February 6, 2019
DSP Spotlight: Nicole Tucker at Otter House
Meet Nicole Tucker, Program Manager at our Otter House Behavioral Health location in Chesterfield, Michigan.
Five years ago, Nicole was an administrative assistant at a large hotel chain in the Metro Detroit area. Having grown jaded of the hospitality industry and yearning for a more impactful career, she decided to leave her job of 12 years and find work elsewhere.
“I didn’t want to work with crabby customers anymore,” Nicole says. “I love people and wanted to help them.”
Having recently earned her Associate of Science degree from Wayne County Community College District, Nicole knew she wanted to work in the health care field but was unsure where to start without prior experience. By a stroke of luck, she came across an online job posting for a part-time Direct Support Professional role at Hope Network.
Nicole applied, interviewed and was offered the position a week later. Assuming the role would at least guide her to what health care discipline she would pursue, Nicole was surprised to find herself loving the job instantly.
“Pretty early on I realized, ‘This is what I want to do. I found my passion,’” Nicole says.
A few months after starting in her part-time role, Nicole transitioned into a full-time position. Two years later, she was promoted to shift supervisor. Two years after that, she became Program Manager at Otter House. Amidst this career progression, Nicole decided she wanted to help the people she was serving even more, so in 2016 she began pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. She plans on graduating this May.
Asked what keeps her at Hope Network, Nicole is quick to credit the support the company provides its staff each day.
“Here, I can see that (Hope Network leaders) actually care about their employees,” Nicole says.
After earning her bachelor’s degree, Nicole plans on applying for graduate school to earn a Master of Social Work degree and continuing her career at Hope Network. Asked if she has any advice for aspiring or new Direct Support Professionals, Nicole says to trust themselves.
“Some people will tell you negative things about this job, but not the positive and wonderful things you will get out of it,” Nicole says. “Don’t let negative stereotypes lead you away from a job that helps so many people.”
Thanks for all that you do, Nicole!