This week we’re excited to celebrate Destini Goodwin, Managing Director of Fathers & Families Support Center. Over 19 years, she’s built an incredible career that centers around helping parents and children reach their fullest potential. As the first in our Women’s History Month series who doesn’t work in the financial sector, we’re thrilled to feature her because she shows that financial success depends on a variety of community resources, especially those provided by advocates like Destini. Keep reading to learn more about her background and simple financial advice:
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose to work in non-profits?
I’ve worked in non-profits since 2002. I began tutoring elementary aged children in Mississippi and then redirected the focus of positive impact on children by working with fathers. I don’t think I chose to work in non-profits because career assessments tell me otherwise (☺), but I stay in non-profits because I have a passion for helping others and seeing them strive. No doubt it is challenging. However, over the years, I have seen some amazing transformations by helping fathers navigating parenthood, reconnecting with their children, finding and maintaining employment, and resolving generational family curses.
How did you end up “here”/where you are now?
Coming from a small town in Mississippi, I knew I wanted to go to a big city to learn how “the big city” did community work and what resources I could learn about and bring back to my childhood community. As a kid, I spent every summer in St. Louis with my great-aunt, who is a retired teacher from the St. Louis City Public Schools. So, St. Louis was a natural fit for me to come start my career. Since moving here in 2004, I’ve only worked at Fathers & Families Support Center. However, I have held various roles leading to my current position of Managing Director.
What do you like most about being in your role?
What I like most about my role is being a change agent for our staff, participants, and their families. What I mean by change agent is observing, listening, and taking action to the things that need to change in order to better experiences in service delivery, resources, training, and within the organization. Being here over 16 years, I’ve seen a lot of positive growth within the organization, and I’m being a voice in helping it continue moving upward. Also, being able to tell the agency’s story through data. I enjoy seeing and sharing our families’ successes with the community to demonstrate we are making impact.
What would you consider your greatest achievement in your career so far?
The greatest achievement so far is seeing my 100th class graduate from Fathers & Families Support Center. What that means is I’ve seen thousands of fathers making a difference in their children’s lives. THOUSANDS! To see them grow, learn, and apply what they’ve learned is a rewarding experience. To see the parents’ growth and even their children’s growth has been most rewarding.
What advice would you have for someone looking to pursue a similar career?
Keep the course! Working in service can be challenging, frustrating, and demanding, but the reward makes it worth it. Understand your talents and abilities and use them. Be open to learn every aspect of your work environment/organization. Most importantly, learn to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health while serving others and set the appropriate boundaries to do so. It is often forgotten that your self-care is important. How are you to serve others, if you are not well? It becomes overwhelming and frustrating, and burnout definitely occurs. Taking care of yourself, first, will make you a better productive person for those who lean towards you for help.
What is your top, simple financial tip?
Budget the money you have monthly and cut back in areas where you spend too much. Also, save your money, even if it is only the coins after spending a $1 or just $5 a month… save! Put money aside to ensure you have a reserve for an emergency, a need, or a vacation. It requires discipline and habit, but it’s possible.
Thank you Destini for sharing your story!