Ledonia, Navigator Program Supervisor in Pensacola, shares more about her experience in social work, serving students and young adults in Western Florida and her passion to do GOOD. 

What fuels you in your role every day?
Social workers are either made or born. Made through getting a degree or born with a heart of gold and loving service to others. I am the latter. My “why” is because I understand that most people need guidance and resources to help them thrive. Some lack the education, support or just live in impoverished areas. I can be an advocate for them. Now that I am a supervisor I can coach my staff in how to lead with empathy,  connect them to resources for clients and support them in whatever they may need.

What lead you to the field of social work initially? Did you always know you were interested in helping people from a young age?
I often say I was born a social worker. From a young age, I used to want to give my stuff away to my classmates who had less. That turned into volunteering, mentoring and fundraising for different social causes.

What advice would you give social workers on their very first day or right after graduating college?
Social workers should lead with empathy but have discernment.  Develop a schedule for self-care and filling up your own cup because if not you will experience “burnout”, the need is great and not everyone has the heart for this work. Strengthen your organization skills as it will help you to stay on task. This is heart work not hard work, being disorganized makes it challenging.

What is the favorite part of your role?
The favorite part about being a supervisor is supporting my team. I love seeing my team thrive and know that while they are boots on the ground, I have their back. I can come in and assist them with sourcing resources, dealing with a challenging situation or just reminding them to take vacation so they can recharge. The Navigator Program is a program that places CHS Social Service Navigators in high-need schools in Escambia County. The Navigators “guide and provide” resources to students and families who are experiencing challenges so that the student is free to learn.

Do you have a favorite memory with CHS?
I remember when I was a Navigator going through some challenges at my campus. I remember my supervisor and Program Director rally behind me with love and support. That really meant a lot to me to know that they will do whatever to make sure I was ok. Social workers need support too.

What do you want to be remembered for most?
I want to be remembered for helping those in need, as well as being a supportive supervisor and coach to my staff. I hope that I can encourage social workers to lead with empathy and  take time for self-care. As social workers we are often pouring into others and never take the time to fill up our cups.


This March, we’re celebrating our social workers making a difference each day. Do you have a social worker in your life? Share a “thank you” today!


Interested in joining a CHS team like Ledonia’s? Learn more about open opportunities here.