Tell us a little about yourself:
I grew up in Santa Claus IN, lived in CA for 5 years, then have been making our home here in AZ for the past 18 years. My husband and I have been married for 21 years and we have 2 amazing children: Olivia, 18 and Aidan, 16. Olivia is a freshman in college and Aidan a junior in high school. Boy how fast life moves! I miss my babies yet I’m so excited for the next chapters in life and journeys along the way. Some of my other loves are to be outdoors, gardening, hiking in the pines, rain, boating, sewing, and my most favorite place to be is at the beach. After the kids are on their own, our goal is to live by the water and beaches.
Why did you become a COTA?
I became a therapist because the owner for T4K, Bob, knew my frustrations with the education system and recommended I become a therapist. So, I did just that! The next day I was enrolling to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I absolutely love everything about being a therapist, it truly is what I am meant to be. Children are my passion and they inspire me every day to work hard, fight hard, to be my best self, and to appreciate all the small things in life, not just the big challenges we face. My favorite quote is “While we teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
Why do you think your coworkers nominated you for having the most positivity?
Well first of all, I want to thank everyone who nominated me. Truly an honor!! I try my hardest to keep everything I am ever dealing with at home and not to bring it to work. I love what I do, love my workplace, my coworkers, and most importantly all my families I have the privilege to work with. I am naturally a pretty positive person, happy to see they notice it as well.
What do you love most about working for TEAM 4 Kids?
I love everything about working at Team 4 Kids!! I love the collaboration and amazing teamwork between my coworkers. I have had the pleasure of collaborating and working alongside many wonderful therapists who have taught me so much along the way. Not just amongst other Occupational Therapists, but Physical and Speech Therapists as well. I love learning, collaborating and working as a team to accomplish the same common goal: help children overcome the challenges they face.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
Oh goodness, just one wish! I wish the stigma behind Mental Illness would go away. Children face some of the most challenging mental illnesses without the resources to support them. So many suffer, however never seek help due to the stigma associated with mental health. It’s so sad to watch so many suffer in silence because people don’t educate themselves and learn to be kinder, more supportive human beings to those who suffer from a mental illness.
Nominations for Jill:
“Jill is always willing to help out anyone in need. She brings in her own supplies and is always bringing in several foods for messy play and for therapists to have throughout the day for a little pick me up. She always says good morning to everyone and asks how their day or weekend was. She is always looking out for therapists and what is not just best for the clients but therapists as well.”
“Jill is always smiling, laughing, taking tough days in stride.”
“Jill is always helping everyone in the clinic whenever needed. She’s willing to do things not related to her job for the greater good of the clinic.”