Staff Spotlight: Clinician Melissa Hyer-Mitchell cherishes the privilege of changing students’ lives

Clinician Melissa Hyer-Mitchell has been a member of the Social Services team at Latham Centers for so long that she thinks of Latham as her second home. She began working here during her sophomore year of college. Melissa was a psychology major and knew she wanted to work with kids, so when a friend who worked at Latham suggested it might be the perfect fit, she applied. Twenty years later, Melissa feels as strongly as ever that “at Latham, we have the best kids in the world!” Our students are the primary reason Melissa chose to grow her career here. “The students are so incredibly resilient, genuine, and inspirational.”

Melissa also attributes her longevity to the staff and the team environment here. “Our staff are incredibly committed, compassionate, and enthusiastic. Working at Latham is always about working as a team, and our team is really phenomenal. Working in a clinical environment such as we have at Latham provides a rare opportunity to work and collaborate directly with the teachers, direct support professionals, nurses, and administrators on a daily basis. We are able to develop personal and professional relationships with individuals so involved in each piece of our students’ lives, and this enables us to truly understand the various dynamics that are contributing to the lives of the students. Working collaboratively allows us to provide the best individualized care for each student we work with. As a clinician, some of the most profound moments I have had have been where a student has trusted in me to share pieces of their life that they have never told anyone else. It’s an honor to bear witness to someone’s life story. Working here for as long as I have, I’ve been able to see students go from their most vulnerable to gaining self-confidence, skills, and a renewed hope for their life which often culminates in celebrating their transition to their next journey.”

Knowing that Latham is currently hiring an additional clinician, Melissa described the qualities of the ideal candidate: “A desire and commitment to make a difference in someone else’s life is critical. Being open to new experiences and challenges, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone to learn and grow. Having a good sense of humor, flexibility, and a desire to work as part of a collaborative team.”

Melissa cares deeply about the work we do and supports our mission beyond her regular work hours. She raises funds for Latham by participating in the annual Falmouth Road Race, and she raises funds for Special Olympics of Massachusetts by running in the Hyannis Jolly Jaunt Holiday 5K. Her interest and enthusiasm in supporting these fundraising efforts is a reflection of our staff’s incredible personal commitment to the children and adults we serve. Thank you, Melissa!

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