“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 
― Sheryl Sandberg

BABE #14: MICAH ARFONS, <BR>Case Manager @ Safe Children Coalition

Case Manager @ Safe Children Coalition

Micah was referred to me by her super sweet husband Jacob, whom I've known for years from church back home. I already love her by default because she's [now] a Seminole, but I've never actually met her. Since I can't personally speak to much else about her, I've decided to be super embarrassing and share her Babes Who Hustle nomination, sent in by Jacob. (Grab some tissues.)

"Micah is incredible. I'm biased, but I'm not alone. She is a full-time child welfare case manager in Manatee County. She's held her position for less than a year, yet already has the most cases and responsibility in her department. She's also currently completing her Master's program in Social Work at FSU. She's motivated and ambitious, and has the talent and passion to back it up. On top of all that, she deals with a needy husband on a daily basis. I could go on, but I'll let her tell you the rest." -Jacob

The Basics:

Hometown: Born in Gibsonville, NC + raised in Tallahassee, FL
Current location: Bradenton, FL
Alma Mater: Southeastern University (Undergrad,) Florida State University (Masters - 2017)
Degree: B.S. in Social Work
Job: Certified Case Manager @ Safe Children Coalition

The Interests:

Babe you admire and why?
I have had some pretty incredible mentors over the past few years. My internship supervisor, Jessica Felix, and my current supervisor, Erica Henry, are both incredible young women who are the definition of dedication and excellence in their fields. Both have taught me so much about impeccable work ethic, grace, and having fun. I consider myself so blessed to be able to learn and grow under such leadership.

Favorite website?
Google.com/Flights. My skill for finding discounted flights is unmatched. Even though I'm not always looking, it's fun to dream and know what my options are for potential adventures.

What would the title of your memoir be?
"A Legacy More than Laundry." // I want my legacy to be one of passion, love and adventure. I believe the greatest thing you can give your children (whether you work or stay at home) is to show them a life worth living; how to serve others, take risks, and love inclusively.

What do you enjoy most about being a woman?
Wow. That's a loaded question. In the last couple of years, I've gone from resenting women to being completely honored to be a woman. I've had the pleasure of traveling to several different cultures around the world, and there is one thing that remains true no matter where you go: Society is built on women. The "housekeeper" is a romanticized term that (unfortunately) describes gender roles in America. In other parts of the world (and particularly less affluent societies,) women are not only the housekeepers, but the harvesters, bread makers, and financial providers for their families. They are the ultimate Babes Who Hustle, and all without an equal voice and social rights. I am proud of the legacy of the women that have pioneered before me, and I'm proud to be able to continue on the relentless path of passion, strength, dignity and perseverance. (#DAMN.)

The Hustle:

Tell us about your hustle:
I am a Child Welfare Case Manager. Once a child is removed from the care of their parents or caregivers for reasons of neglect or abuse, I work with families to provide safety and permanency for those children. I connect parents and kids with services in the community that address their current needs, and help equip them to be successful, life-giving members of society. I report to the courts on their progress and plan for reunification and adoption accordingly.

What does your typical workday look like?
It varies so much based on the situations occurring within my cases. Usually, I'm at the office or court by 9a.m. I work on an endless stack of paperwork, meet with parents, show up in court, connect with service providers, and my personal favorite: make weekly to monthly home visits with my 27 kiddos. I get home anywhere between 5-7, where I then begin my school day. I'm currently taking 6 credit hours online for my Master's program.

Favorite part about your job?
The people. 100%. I really have a heart for people and want them to succeed.

Hardest part?
The people. 100%. Haha. Although I love people, it's still sometimes difficult to work with them. People - both co-workers and clients - come with a baggage and a history, just like everyone else.


What's the most important lesson your job has taught you so far?
Be kind. I work with some pretty sad circumstances and regularly receive hate from a lot of people. The stereotype of a child welfare case worker, however, is incredibly demeaning. My job isn't viewed as "heroic" like a firefighter's might be, yet I believe that I truly make a difference in one of the most real, tangible ways out there.

Any funny work moments?
I went to go visit a client, whom I'd never met, in jail. He didn't seem to understand what was going on, so I sat with him for about 30 minutes explaining the dependency court process and what he should expect next. It was only after I had left that I realized I'd been talking to the wrong person. There's some guy in jail right now who probably thinks he's a dad. Oops.

Dream job?
My husband and I have a dream to start our own nonprofit that works internationally to develop communities in a sustainable and progressive way. Wrap-around services would partner with leaders and missionaries in those communities to assess specific needs and interests. Examples of these services would include therapeutic and mental health, education, and business and technology development, all with little-to-no outside means. 

What do you see in your future?
Adventure. Saying "yes" to new opportunities. Lots of love, travel, and eventually - like multiple years from now - lots of kiddos.


Any career advice for other women?
Know what your dreams are, and don't let life get in their way. I think if you have a true passion on your heart, then you have everything you need to make it a reality. It might take time and a different path than expected, but it will be worth it in the end.


This interview has been condensed and edited.

BABE #15: MADISON GEERY, <BR>Client Services Manager @ Someecards

Client Services Manager @ Someecards

On Being a Black Woman in the Tech Industry

On Being a Black Woman in the Tech Industry