Chance Encounter: Aiesha Rahn Shares How Her Commitment to Helping Families, Being Present, and Making Connections Has Led to Her Current Success

Training after training, conference after conference, one virtual call after another—when you work with children and families, chances are we have rubbed shoulders and maybe, even spoken briefly. These seemingly chance encounters are not always so “chance”.

Almost 10 years ago, I met this beautiful lady at a conference in Kearney, Nebraska. We were in the same group, where we had to do some role-playing, and she discussed wanting to work for Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s Sixpence as a TA. I coached her to apply and go for it! I told her she had everything she needed to succeed in doing the job!

Fast forward. I was the Family Engagement Manager at a local Head Start program, and to my surprise, here was this beautiful soul I met all those years back.

She had shown up that day to present the site’s Sixpence data outcomes for the Teachers and Family Engagement Specialist. We instantly came together and hugged it out! This moment was another brief encounter, but we now knew where to find each other.

Aiesha's series of accidental collisions with Stephanni Renn led to her current position, where she works in a state of appreciation for where she is and what she does.
Aiesha’s series of accidental collisions with Stephanni Renn led to her current position, where she works in a state of appreciation for where she is and what she does.

Sometime later, I heard of an opportunity with the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) with Nebraska Children. The organization later invited me to interview for the Sixpence TA position instead.

I will never forget her words to me, “The state needs to see you, as well as Nebraska Children.”

In some ways, she was now coaching me.

If you know like I know and believe like I believe, there are no chance encounters. As you stay in the moment and become aware of the power of connection, one’s opportunities will grow beyond even your own expectations.

The previous encounter I have described was with Stephanni Renn, our very own VP of Early Childhood Programs. In this period of social distancing, we cannot lose sight of human connection.

As we go about the business of working with children and families, do not take sharing space for granted, as each encounter is for a purpose and will lead to something great.

In my case, meeting Stephanni and reconnecting with her has led me to be a part of an awesome Sixpence team which has opened the door to many different opportunities.

Like with the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health through the Nebraska Chapter, when I heard of that new opportunity, I had a silent desire to be a part of the Alliance.

I connected with Sami Bradley and Dr. Holly Hatton-Bowers, whom I had come to know as I did contract work for the state some years ago. They asked me to be a part of something big, and I could not say YES fast enough. I have learned that when someone presents something to you, and it is bigger than you, you must participate, as it opens the door to so many more blessings.

These encounters, connections, and relationships have led to me becoming a member of the Nebraska Association for Infant Mental Health (NAIMH) and ultimately getting my Infant Mental Health Family Specialist Endorsement.

I also must mention that, along with these connections, I submitted more than 200 hours of trainings (this is the mundane part I am talking about) and acquired several references to earn this endorsement.

Yet another achievement for Aiesha (r): she participated in First Five Nebraska's Early Childhood Policy Leadership Academy. What a way to make a difference in life-changing policies that affect our children!
Yet another achievement for Aiesha (r): she participated in First Five Nebraska’s Early Childhood Policy Leadership Academy. What a way to make a difference in life-changing policies that affect our children!

I started this blog by talking about trainings and conferences; those are essentially parts of this work that can become tedious and repetitive. Too often, we keep our heads down and do the work, but if I had maintained that thought, I would have never met Stephanni, and all of the other pieces of this situation would have never developed.

If there is anything I can leave you with, it is these few thoughts:

  1. Do not take for granted the ordinary things that we might think are just a part of the work.
  2. Always be in the moment.
  3. Leaving lasting impressions with people; they should be impressed upon your heart during everyday connections.

Sign up for our eNews

Subscribe to our blog

Read more Sixpence success stories

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state's most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Archives

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: