Cheryl Gist marks 20 years
with Spaulding for Children
When she heard about new job openings for skilled executive assistants at the Big Three, Cheryl Gist decided to first practice her interview skills.
Fortunately for all who have worked with her, she answered for practice an advertisement from Spaulding for Children.
“I had never heard of Spaulding,” Ms. Gist said. “I came to that meeting and my heart was 'pricked.' I had no idea that there were so many children in the system in need of a permanent home.”
Ms. Gist said that growing up, when a child needed help, a relative would step forward and take him or her in. She was surprised to learn how many families were unable to do that.
“After the interview and hearing about their work and the kids, I wanted to cry like a baby," Ms. Gist said. "That was Friday. All that weekend, I talked about Spaulding and what they were doing. I asked everyone: 'Did you know about all these kids? They need permanent homes!'"
On Monday, Spaulding called and offered her the job as Executive Assistant. In 20 years since, she's served three development directors and three presidents.
"We do really good work here," she said.
The 2018 COA review is an excellent example, she said. The Council On Accreditation inspects, records and certifies institutions that serve the public. Out of 400-plus standards measured, SFC came up short in only three standards.
"And we fixed them, just like that."
Ms. Gist said she loves that Spaulding's mission is family. "But when we say family -- it's the real deal," she said. "It's not a tagline. It's genuine. It's what we care about -- families and kids."
Ms. Gist describes the workplace itself as a family environment. On most any given day, visitors will see staff members' children, if there's a snow day.
"I started bringing my son at age 3," Ms. Gist said. "And he ended up volunteering here as a young adult.
"I love what we do. I love the families. I love the children. I love the board, the staff. I think God did that. He knew what I wanted. And not only what I wanted: What I needed."
"It's gone so fast. It doesn't feel like 20 years."