Alisa Anthony

Ginger Johnson, Intern

(Statewide Telehealth)

For the last ten years I had the privilege of serving as a juvenile officer, tasked with guiding families through the court process – simultaneously providing constructive services and protecting the community. People asked me all the time, “I don’t know how you do it, Ginger-that must be SO hard,” to which I would respond, “Are you kidding? I love what I do!” I got to meet with families in what was sometimes one of their worst moments to give them reassurance that they would make it to the other side, providing them with whatever services or sanctions they needed until they got there, which sometimes took years. But whether they liked it or not (and often they did not), I stuck with them until they met the expectations of juvenile court. Nothing gave me greater joy than dismissing their cases because they were being better young citizens.

And just as I did back then, I stick with my kids and families no matter what they do and no matter how many times they fall down. But instead of being their “evil probation officer overlord,” as someone once referred to me, I now get to be a true ally, giving our clients constructive support and hopefully, some skills so they can make themselves (and possibly their probation officer) proud. And now, as then, nothing gives me greater joy than watching the people we work with smiling, leaving our services because they’re back to where they want to be in life.