Pride In Action!Read what people have to say about Parks employees who continuously strive to deliver excellence in everything they do.
Tabitha Russell, is a full-time guard at Haulover Beach Park and Marina. During a patrol of the park, she noticed a patron sitting on the driver’s side of a vehicle, parked in an accessible parking space (ADA) at the Lifeguard Station parking lot. When Tabitha approached the driver to see if she was okay, the woman mentioned that she was disabled and that she was sitting in the car waiting for her family as they enjoyed another day at the beach. She explained that she always did this because she had no way of getting down to the beach. Tabitha offered to bring her a beach wheelchair and called the lifeguards to have the chair brought to the patron.
During this time she offered to locate her family to assist in transferring her and asked for their description and location on the beach. Tabitha walked down the beach and brought back a family member to assist. Upon being transferred into the beach wheelchair, the woman broke down in tears. Tabitha asked her if she was okay and once she composed herself, she expressed that she had never been able to enjoy the beach with her family and that she was crying tears of joy for what Tabitha had done for her.Stephen Yeomanson
Stephen Yeomanson is a Marina Equipment Operator. Recently he was approached by the staff members at the seabird station rehabilitation center because they needed help starting their boat as they had had received a report of an injured brown pelican on Bird Key. After several unsuccessful attempted to get the boat started, Stephen offered take the staff members in a PROS marina boat to the key and assisted in finding injured pelican wrapped up in fishing line.
After several exhausting attempts attempts to capture the pelican, Stephen hopped into the water and safely cornered the pelican in the mangroves and after several pelican pecks, he was able to restrain the pelican. Later we were notified that the pelican; aptly named “The Skipper” was able to be rehabilitated and released into the wild.
Submitted by Susan Estevez, Project Search Teacher
This Project SEARCH student has Autism and has an aversion to touch and smell. He worked in the Zoo Miami Aviary Kitchen where diets for the birds are prepared daily and that included working with different textured fruits, like papaya and interesting smells, like fish. This became a challenge and the search for a solution was right under their nose and at their fingertips!
The Bird Department zoo keepers came up with some reasonable accommodations which the student was comfortable with – a pair of dishwashing gloves and a paper surgical mask. The mask was not quite enough when dealing with the fish, so the staff suggested adding a touch of lavender or other scented oil inside the mask. This worked like a charm! Instead of reassigning the student to another area, the bird staff of the Aviary learning about the student’s needs and with his input, worked to find the way to make the able to complete his experience. “Thank You!” for helping the Project SEARCH students achieve their goals, gain experience, build confidence and learn life skills.
Sterling Leadership Program
Employees who are selected to participate in PRIDE SLP will do so over a fifteen-month period and will be paired up with someone from Management, who will act as their mentor. They will provide participants with coaching and advice to assist them in developing their administrative, management and leadership skills while providing them with a better understanding of Department-wide goals. PRIDE SLP participants will be expected to dedicate up to 16 hours per month to work side by side with their mentors. Employees who are selected to participate in PRIDE will contribute to the department’s success in various areas. Opportunities include but are not limited to:
- PROS Three Pillars: Placemaking, Health and Wellness and Conservation
- Performance Excellence
Congratulations to the current PRIDE Sterling Leadership Program protégés. Here they are with their mentors on the Pelican Skipper after completing a beautification project on Pelican Island.
The participants are: Jonathan Desvergunat, Janeen Feiger, Yamilette Rivas, Bernie Rodriguez, Nathalia Salas-Restrepo, Ricky Smith, Karen Solms, Pablo Tejeda, Kevin Whitley