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Dec 23

Staff News - December 2019

Posted to Community Services News on December 23, 2019 at 11:26 AM by Janet Lo

Working Towards Wellness - A Lifelong Season of Self-Care

The Division of Community Services cares.  It cares about the community it serves and its dedicated employees who provide those services.  Just as the airlines say “put on your mask before you help others,” we recognize the need to care for ourselves to be effective in caring for our community.  We want to support all employees as we continue to provide the best service possible to better the lives of residents in our community. Accordingly, please take part in the new self-care program for Division Staff:

The goal of our self-care program is to reduce stress and enhance our short and long term health and well-being. It is a preventative measure. Such a goal not only benefits our work lives, making us better and more productive and engaged employees, but it will boost our personal lives too.  While it may be challenging to add self-care to the already long list of things we have to do, we will find that engaging in self-care makes us better able to accomplish the tasks and face our challenges both at work and at home.

  Our self-care program rests on four cornerstones:


Activities and advice to help you make balanced and nourishing food choices to fuel your body, increase your well-being and ability to function at high levels. 

•   Nutritional Coaching

•   Recipe Shares

•   Cooking Classes


Activities and advice to help you stay fit and healthy, with the energy and strength to get through your daily activities at peak performance.  Aerobic exercises also help you to relieve stress and you might just get a little weight loss too!

•  Yoga

•   Self-Care At Your Chair activities

•   Ambassador Directed Workout Activities

•   Healthy Shelby Activities

•   Active and Fit benefits

Mindset/Motivation/Emotional Well-Being

Activities and advice to help you manage stress, promote resiliency, build new attitudes and see beyond the day to day. 

•   Meditation

•   EAP - Lunch and Learn

•   Volunteer Opportunities

•   Motivational Moments


Activities and advice to provide a mental break from your day to day routine so that you can return refreshed and renewed. 

•   Massage Services

•   Tea Party

There are other components of self-care, like spiritual well-bring, emotional support and healthy relationships. You will be encouraged to consider all of the components to create a self-care that works best for you.  

Throughout the year, we will encourage you to care for yourself and we will provide tools to help you do so, whether it be an organized activity, a motivational moment, or a reminder of services that are available to you.  You are encouraged to take from the program what works in your life and add to it where you see fit.  They key is to find what works for you and to be consistent.  Our program is designed to keep you on the path to wellness, giving you gentle nudges and reminders to care for yourself, BECAUSE WE CARE ABOUT YOU!!!!

EAP CURRENT WELLNESS SEMINARS: “Thriving through the Holidays” and “Work Life Balance” 

2019-12 STAFF tea party

2019-12 STAFF Rolanda EatmonRolanda Eatmon
is the new Finance Administrator for the Division of Community Services. She holds an MBA with Honors from Webster University. She is also a proud alumni from our local HBCU LeMoyne-Owen College. Along with 15 years of working experience, Rolanda’s previous experience includes Fiscal & Contracts Manager with Workforce Investment Network and Senior Investment Analyst with the City of Memphis Finance Department. Rolanda is a believer of having a strong work ethic and enjoying time with her family. Rolanda is married to James Eatmon, owner of King of King’s Bar-b-que. She is also the proud mother of Jonah, Vivian, and James.

2019-12 STAFF Dec bdays

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Nov 22

Director's Message - Honoring Those That Serve

Posted to Community Services News on November 22, 2019 at 10:25 AM by Janet Lo

Director's Messageyoung headshot 1-101-2

Honoring Those That Serve

Activating the Benefits of Gratitude

This month, Shelby County and the entire nation focused attention on honoring men and women who have served our Country through military service. During our own Annual Veteran’s Day Luncheon, Celebration Breakfast, and daily e-stories this month of employees who have served, we have had the privilege of honoring those who have chosen to serve millions of us that they will never even meet. To every individual who has ever served our country reading this message, the Division of Community Services says THANK YOU!

Honoring veterans and others who dedicate themselves to service is indeed a privilege for us because it allows us to activate our gratitude. This link between honor and gratitude is what makes November one the most special on the calendar. The more trips around the sun I go, I realize how critical being grateful is, not only to survive each day, but to thrive and live our best lives. Research also supports my realization. According to a recent article in Psychology Today, there are several scientifically proven ways that gratitude benefits our lives:

  1.        Gratitude opens the door to more (and better) relationships. If there is one thing that I have learned within my career and life in general, relationships matter. Good relationships are built on trust among people. The more you can focus on the good within your co-workers, clients, supervisors, and even family and friends, the easier it is to be vocal about what you appreciate about them. Who doesn’t welcome being appreciated?

2.        Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people have less aches and pains and self report feeling healthier than others. Apparently, gratitude also helps to better endure the 5:30am workouts that someone (me) committed to because of the Division’s plan for self-care (See September’s message).   

3.        Gratitude improves psychological health.  An intentional moment of gratitude increases the release of several hormones and neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin increases feelings of satisfaction, happiness, and optimism. Having a rough day? Break for some gratitude.

4.        Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.  During this year’s annual staff meeting, I challenged us all to have grace for ourselves and others as we work through the complexities of human services daily. It is inevitable that we will all make a mistake in action or word at some point. If you adopt an attitude of gratitude, it is far more likely that you will react in a way that heals and moves the team (and yourself) forward in a positive, productive way.

5.        Grateful people sleep better. Thanksgiving > Insomnia. Is there any debate here?

6.        Gratitude improves self-esteem. One of the greatest superpowers of gratitude is how it can make you feel better about yourself. When we feel good about our own abilities and potential, we maximize our performance at work and home. Gratitude also reduces the likelihood of comparing yourself to others and minimizing your awesome unique skill set and contribution to the team. Gratitude helps you to remember that you are indeed a rock star!                    

7.        Gratitude increases resilience. As a Vietnam Veteran, my father has told countless stories about the horrors of war and conflict. Even as he struggled through those years and the years after returning home, the one thing that kept him was his being focused on gratitude for his family, friends, and faith. No one is immune to challenges and difficulties, whether here at work or in your personal life. Building up a reserve of gratitude can help you to face those inevitable moments with resilience and hope.

I am hopeful that moving forward, each of us will commit to activating our gratitude individually and collectively every day. As we move towards a culture of gratitude, the better positioned we will be to best serve Shelby County and her families, children, and individuals.

Dorcas Young Griffin
Director of the Division of Community Services
Shelby County Government

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Nov 21

November 2019 Staff News

Posted to Community Services News on November 21, 2019 at 3:27 PM by Janet Lo

Office of Community Engagement and Outreach

The Division Cares About You
Burnout is a real thing. Work and life challenges can wear you thin, but self-care is the perfect antidote.  The Division of Community Services is pleased to announce its division-wide employee self-care program called:

Working Towards Wellness – A Lifelong Season of Self-Care
This program has four components: nutrition, aerobics, relaxation, and mindset/motivation/emotional well-being. Throughout the year, we will provide employer-sponsored activities that will support and encourage our employees in their commitment to self-care.  Activities may include bringing in a motivational speaker, an organized activity, or just a reminder that services are available.  Employees are encouraged to take from the program what works in their own lives and add to it where needed.    

2019-11 self care tea2019-11 self care tea ambassadorsThe kick-off for the program is the Division-wide (No-Go) Tea Party held on November 26.   All employees received a “teabag” invitation and were encouraged to take a “mental break” from their workday and enjoy a cup of tea at their desks – all at the same exact time. After enjoying their cup of tea, employees returned to their desks refreshed and rejuvenated.   

Throughout the months of November and December Employee Assistance Program (EAP) wellness seminars entitled Thriving Through the Holidays and Work-Life Balance are being offered at the various Division of Community Services locations for all employees.    

Staff Changes
Jacqueline McDuffie has joined the Agency’s family as a Temp for CSBG.  Genina Newsom and Magaly Ramirez were formerly temps, but have rejoined us a permanent staff members!

2019-11 Staff JMcDuffieJacqueline McDuffie is 26 years old and has lived in Memphis most of her life. She graduated from Kirby High school with honors in 2011.  Jacqueline’s favorite food is soul food, her favorite place to shop is Wal-Mart, and favorite color is red.  Jacqueline says, “I’m in love with red roses.”   She has two daughters and loves to write.  Jacqueline is infatuated with quotes and loves fashion.

2019-11 Staff GNewmonGenina Newmon
is originally from Memphis. She graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science and Government. She is a mother of two precious children, a boy and a girl. Genina enjoys traveling the country, looking for the world's largest roller coasters. She is looking forward to bringing her knowledge and compassion for helping others to contribute towards the mission of Shelby County Government.

2019-11 Staff MRamirezMagaly Ramirez was born in St. Clair, Illinois and  was raised in Memphis. Magaly’s roots are Mexican and American.  She is 22 years old and a mother of two amazing children.  She recently went from a temporary worker to permanent with the
 LIHEAP program as a Clerical specialist. Magaly says her goal is to provide great customer service along with Spanish translation for the Latinx community.

2019-11 BDAYS

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