The Caring Force Blog May Workforce Hero: Steph Nigrelli

The Caring Force is pleased to announce that our May TCF Workforce Hero Spotlight honoree is Steph Nigrelli (they/them), a Permanency Life Skills Specialist for the Independent Living Program at Bridges Homeward.

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

I took a psychology class in high school that sealed the deal for me. Psychology courses contained the most interesting information I had ever accessed in a class setting. I got my BA in Psychology at Plymouth State University. I consider myself lucky that I was able to study under incredible professors. Also, I have a decent number of family that are in human services; they have consistently been my role models for the type of person I strive to be. I have always taken pride and felt accomplished when I am able to help someone, so human services have been the ideal setting for me.

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

I would like to start off by saying that the people on my team at Bridges Homeward are some of the most incredible people I have ever met. I am immensely grateful that I got to know them, work with them, and consider them my teammates in this field. I work in the Independent Living program, specifically as the Permanency Life Skills Specialist. We have 11 clients in the IL program whom I get to meet with weekly. Typically, we meet at the client’s apartment and I work with them and their case manager, to help them achieve their goals. These goals can be based in education, work, family, mostly anything is on the table. I also get a lot of joy from helping my clients work on life skills, for example, using tools, fixing things, cleanliness, organization, and boundaries/communication.

3. What is your favorite professional memory?

This feels like an impossible question! There are so many memories flying through my brain and trying to nail down just one is tricky.  I have really enjoyed the Juneteenth Celebration that Bridges Homeward holds every year. We have delicious catered food, outdoor games, music, and we learn about and discuss the history behind Juneteenth. It is a lovely time to get together with my coworkers.

4. This question is from our April Workforce Hero Spotlight, Colin Powers: With this being my first job in human services, I had a lot of different people that were by my side helping me learn the ropes, and mentoring me. In your time in this field, have you had someone that mentored you along your journey? Also, how do you plan to mentor employees that are new to the field?

At all of the jobs I have had in this field there has been someone looking out for me and helping me along my journey. I would not say that I have had one specific mentor, but this question makes me think of my family, former coworkers, current coworkers, and my clients. There have been so many people who have had a lasting impact on me and who have made me the hardworking and caring individual I am today. I would not be half the person I am without my family, Bridges Homeward IL team, and friends. I am really lucky to have such support and I think every young person deserves to have that, which is why I am so passionate about permanency for my clients. I think it is important to look for opportunities for growth everywhere; what you strive to be like and traits you would like to grow from. I try to be open and caring to new staff, we all want to be heard and feel seen so offering that to others is very important to me. Bridges Homeward also offers a mentorship program for new staff, I volunteered to be one of the mentors so that I can actively support new folks entering this field.

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

I am the type of person who is always striving to better myself and my community, so I would love to know if you could change one thing about the human services system, what would it be?

Thank you so much to Steph 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.

Back to All Blog Posts