Staff spotlight: Errica Pruden, Assistant Program Director
Celebrating 9 years with the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches
On July 12, 2021, Errica Pruden celebrated nine years with the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. In May, Errica also earned her Masters of Science degree in Healthcare Administration.
As Errica reflected on her career journey and time at the Ranch, she acknowledged her growth. She is not alone in acknowledging and celebrating that growth either. Her team members recently celebrated her success by throwing a surprise party for her when she graduated in May.
“I’m continually looking for ways to improve myself and contribute to the Ranch’s growth, good work, and success,” Errica shares.
Errica’s career journey: The Path to the Ranch
As with most professionals, Errica’s career journey has not always been fulfilling. Errica first felt compelled to work at the Ranch because she was tired of applying for jobs which felt empty.
“I wanted to find a job I could feel good about,” she remembers. “I was tired of working in dead-end jobs.”
She recalls seeing a job posting for her position at the Ranch. After reading it, she felt it was a perfect fit. The job description matched her credentials, but more importantly, it described fulfilling work. And that’s what she was looking for.
Prior to joining the Ranch team, Errica provided in-home care for patients while pursuing her bachelor’s degree. Having been raised in a home fraught with abuse, addiction, and relational turmoil, Errica knew she wanted to pursue a career in social work.
“It was important to me to break the cycle and give back,” she notes.
Giving back: Errica’s contributions to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches
Errica is doing just that by caring for residents at the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches on a daily basis. For example, she regularly oversees houseparents, relief houseparents, and residents. The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches provides a place to call home for about 60 children annually. Errica is a core part of the solution to providing better lives for the children at the Ranch, ensuring they have a smooth transition as they apply, go through admissions, and acclimate to the Ranch environment.
In addition, once children become residents, she coordinates appointments for them, prevents and resolves conflicts, and coordinates transportation. Errica manages the admissions process for new Ranchers. Also, Errica serves as case manager for residents and as liaison with the Department of Human Services and Department of Child and Family Services.
As with many nonprofit organizations, Errica’s position requires her to remain agile, flexible, and quick on her feet. She may arrive at work in the morning planning to take a child to a medical appointment, and she discovers she is most needed to help resolve a conflict on campus. Working with children and houseparents necessitates patience, tolerance, and big-picture thinking. Luckily, Errica manages all three traits with ease.
The Ranch is grateful to have Errica on board as a valued team member and looks forward to watching its programs and services grow in the coming years. Thank you for your service, Errica!
Feeling inspired by Errica’s story? If you want to join the Ranch team, now’s your chance! We’re currently seeking to hire houseparents. For more information, contact Philip Ives, COO, at 870-793-6841.