Since 1976, February has been designated as Black History Month, a time to celebrate and explore influential Black figures who’ve shaped our country through the years. While it’s important to remember and recognize those who’ve made a difference in the past, let us also celebrate our “do gooders” of today… our impactful Black team members creating history right now for the kids and families we serve… team members like Phyllis Curl.

A member of the CHS family for more than 34 years, Phyllis Curl’s legacy of GOOD has spanned many roles and opportunities to serve children, families and young adults in her community… initially getting her start as an intern.

Today, she serves as program director of YouthWorks, serving teens and young adults in Escambia County who are at risk of dropping out of high school or who have already left school. Through the program, she has the pleasure of helping them develop a personal plan to achieve educational and/or employment goals, learn to build upon their interests to pursue potential careers, gain interviewing and employment skills and make friends with others determined to build bright futures.

“There may be a stumbling block, but it’s not going to stop you. It’s only for a short term, you CAN accomplish your goals,” Phyllis shares.

Throughout her long career with CHS, Phyllis has found value in being of assistance not only for the young adults she serves, but her fellow team members too. So recently, in honor of Black History Month, she had the pleasure of joining our Black Professionals @ CHS Affinity Group to share more about her career as a Black woman today.

During the gathering, she shared of her difficult times, like an onset of depression following two miscarriages. She reflected: “In this service, we have to pay attention to each other and look after each other because you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.”

She expressed gratefulness for CHS because they wrapped their arms around her during these difficult times. She recalls never asking for a promotion after earning her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, but was granted one due to her strong work ethic.

“You live past changes. Failure is not in my vocabulary, I didn’t allow any failures to cripple me- I knew I could be great. Don’t be afraid to fail!”

Advice offered during the session included:

  • You cannot save the world. Offer resources and hold your boundaries
  • Each day brings about renewed energy and new sights
  • Your character is vital in your career development
  • Don’t let anyone dim your light!
  • Respect others and they will respect you!


Are you interested in joining Team CHS and taking part in activities like this? Learn from professionals in child welfare, like Phyllis, and be a part of a growing team impacting kids and families across Florida. Learn more here.