Cassandra Taylor nee Denham, Class of 2011
B.A. Sociology & B.A. Criminal Justice
Program Manager and Developmental Disability Professional,
RHA Health Services
Where do you currently work and what is your job title?
I currently work at RHA Health Services, Inc in Milledgeville,GA. I am a Program Manager and Developmental Disability Professional, who works with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. RHA has 14 group homes in the Milledgeville area to help these Individuals be more independent in their home, as well as active in their community.
How did the college program prepare you for your current position?
When I graduated in May 2011 with degrees in Sociology and Criminal Justice, I had already gotten a full time job as a Support Coordinator with Georgia Support Services the previous month. As a Support Coordinator I was able to work from home and still work with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities by visiting them each month to ensure that they are getting the level of care that they need at home and the day programs they attended.
My degree in Sociology has helped me with both of my jobs, in the same career, that required a Bachelor’s Degree in social/human services. My professors helped me not only understand my new career path socially but how others react to people that our different then the “normals.” I remember specifically one exercise for one of my Sociology classes that required me to stand in a congested area for a certain amount of time without interacting with anyone around me. It was so difficult to not want to say, “please don’t judge me, I swear this is for a class,” or just give up and sit down because of the whispers and stares that I felt all around me. I still feel this almost every time I take an Individual out to eat, or go shopping when children, and even adults stop to stare or whisper about them because they look different, sound different or may act different then what they consider to be “normal.” When in reality these Individuals are more alike than different from me and you.
What are your future plans?
I can’t imagine having a career path that is anything other than working with Developmentally Disabled Individuals. When I started my degree in Sociology I did so with the end goal of wanting to be a social worker, and work with kids but after being blessed with the jobs that I have been offered since graduating just two years ago I realize that this is what my life is supposed to be.
What are a couple of your favorite memories of your time at Georgia College?
I appreciated that my professors like Dr. Doude, Dr. McClure, and Dr. Godwin always pushed me to not be comfortable with what was going on around me, whether that was volunteering at a community soup kitchen, or a pregnancy center or even standing silently in the middle of the Georgia College Library to get a sense of what others feel with everyone’s eyes on them. These are the experiences that really shaped who I am today and the things that I think I will always remember about my time at Georgia College.