The Caring Force Blog January 2023 Workforce Hero: Nora Rwatangabo

The Caring Force is pleased to announce that our January TCF Workforce Hero Spotlight honoree is Nora Rwatangabo, Program Manager for Individual Support Services (ISS) from Incompass Human Services.

1. Tell us about your background.  How did you decide to pursue a career in human services?

My love for human services began nearly 20 years ago as a young adolescent. My mother fell ill and didn’t have anyone to take care of her. I made it my duty to care for her. From showering to feeding her through the tubes, washing clothes, cooking for her, and walking to get medications from the pharmacy. We came from modest means and couldn’t afford at-home care. Ultimately, she was hospitalized. It was in the general ward of the hospital that I met some very kind souls.

After my mother passed, I realized how close this work was to my heart and wished to help my community. I pursued a degree in social work and human services, allowing me to start a nonprofit in Africa called Awakening Smiles Initiative. By the time I left Africa in 2021, we had nearly 1,300 people in our care. I am honored that I was able to bring those skills and experiences to Incompass Human Services. When I care for anyone, I do it wholeheartedly.

2. What does a typical day look like for you at your organization?

As a program manager for the Individual Support Services program, a typical day for me at my organization is one mixed with emotion, passion and caring for individuals the best I can. I divide most of my days between administrative work and going into the community to work directly with individuals in my caseload.

In the mornings I call my team to check that their schedules are intact and ask if they need any help from me. I remind that that I am always available if something comes up during the day. I then reach out to any individuals who were not well the day before to check how the night was. Afterwards, I call the individuals that I’m going to be seeing for the day to remind them to have done their hygiene by the time I’ll be there.

3. What is your favorite professional memory?

One of my favorite professional memories was working alongside an individual on my caseload as he committed to his sobriety. He looked at me and made me promise to believe in him, and I carried out that promise.

4. This question is from our December TCF Workforce Hero SpotlightMichael Bourassa: Do you feel rewarded at your job? How do you stop from getting burnt out?

Yes, I do feel rewarded at my job. Human services and or caring for others is not just a career, it’s a way of life for me. That being said, this line of work can be very physically and mentally demanding. To help prevent myself from getting burnt out, I make sure to start my days with a workout and meditation.

5. Do you have a question for the next person we spotlight?

What is something you wish you knew earlier in your career?

Thank you so much to Nora and all of our wonderful human services workers who bring joy and passion to work every day! We are so thankful for your efforts and for making the Commonwealth a better place.

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