"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Monday, November 28, 2011

team 5: meet avis

Avis Smith is a licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years experience in child/adolescent mental health. She is Director of Prevention and School-Based Programs for Crittenton Children’s Center and an instructor at of The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. CTT is extremely fortunate that she chose to be a team member not only last year, but this year as well! Avis will be returning in two short weeks to the children at SMK - the children with whom she fell head over heels in love.

Avis made a particular point last year of seeking out the quieter children at the orphanage - those who were on the shy side, those who had very painful pasts. She was able to get them to open up to her and recount their sad stories. Often I would see Avis sitting on the dirt ground with a little hand in hers, listening intently and respectfully to the child seated next to her. She encouraged and supported so many hurting children last year. She knew she had to return so that her work could continue. Those children will be so happy to see Avis. They will be comforted knowing that the safe place she provided will be available once again.

I have gotten to know this smart, caring, hard working and well respected woman pretty well over the past couple years. I am grateful for that. And happily, this past year, Avis accepted my invitation to join the Board of Directors of CTT.

I'm so looking forward to traveling with her as a team member again this year and to learning from her astute insights and perspectives. Avis is a gem.

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