This week's career spotlight comes from Damali - a passionate educator focused on equipping parents and educators with the skills they need to positively impact the lives and development of children with disabilities through learning. Find out what an average day is like in Damali's world as well as what she does to unwind after a long day.
What do you do?
I provide direct service to children with Autism and other developmental delays. I also provide training for parents of children with autism and educator workshops throughout New York City.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I was born to Jamaican immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. I love to explore and that manifests in multiple forms, which include but not limited to: baking, travel, studying, etc.
What's your academic background?
I have Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems, a Masters of Science in Teaching Students w/ Disabilities and an advanced certification in Applied Behavior Analysis.
What drew you to your current industry? Why have you stayed?
I applied to the New York City Teaching Fellows to leave the corporate scene I was in and I've stayed because I enjoy seeing the impact that my work has on the lives of others.
What does an average day look like for you?
It varies. I am sometimes in a school setting, providing clinical support to the teachers and other times, I'm in the home setting providing clinical support to parents and staff of children with Autism.
What's been your biggest professional achievement?
Becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. This is incredibly valuable to me as it is internationally recognized so there are little to no limits to where I can practice and the families I can serve.
What do you do to unwind after a long day?
I sometimes cook, play music or watch an episode of the Real Housewives...
What's the next step in your career journey?
I'm building a web-based platform so I can offer my services and products to families outside my geographical area.
What advice would you give women trying to break into a new industry?
I'm a firm believer in first hand experience. Give everything a try before you decide. Trust that you will know what's a fit for you and ignore external (cultural, familial, societal, etc.) ideas of "who, what & when you're supposed to be...". Set yourself free!!!