As Black History Month proceeds, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana continues to celebrate Black leaders, mission participants and students who contribute to fulfilling our mission each day. Michelle Washington has shown great dedication to this mission during her career, serving as a Goodwill Nurse-Family Partnership® Nurse Home Visitor, a Nurse Supervisor, and now, one of the Directors of Operations for the program.
Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a nationally recognized community health program that pairs expectant parents pregnant with their first child with a registered nurse for ongoing nurse visits. These visits aim to support parents in providing the very best start for their families during the earliest, most developmentally critical years. As one of the Directors of Operations for Goodwill NFP, Michelle is responsible for ensuring that the central region nurse teams are able to serve their clients to the best of their abilities.
“I love problem-solving in creative ways,” said Michelle. “I also love spending time talking with people on our teams to find out what's going on and what I could do to make their work easier.”
Having previously been in their roles, Michelle understands the importance of the work Goodwill NFP Nurses accomplish for the families they serve. For a year, she has been serving as Director of Operations, growing with the position and being fulfilled by her work.
“I work with amazing people who work so hard every day to make sure that the families we serve are well taken care of,” said Michelle. “It is a privilege to see how transformative NFP is in our clients’ lives.”
Michelle considers Black History Month to be a time when the contributions, culture, and history of Black people are highlighted and have more visibility – but it’s her goal to celebrate Blackness throughout the year for a purpose greater than herself.
“I am the mother of three little brown girls,” said Michelle. “Representation and the way that they see themselves reflected in the world is very important to me. For this reason, I try to elevate their potential every chance that I get, not just during the month of February.”
During this time, Michelle believes that there are many ways for people to celebrate and participate in Black History Month.
“I think the first step is to be intentional in however you choose to spend the month of February,” said Michelle. “Whether it be supporting Black businesses, donating to charities that support anti-racism equity and equality, reading books by Black authors, or attending online workshops, there is something for everyone to take part in. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has lots of free virtual events going on throughout February.”