Meet The New Director of The Ark Preschool

From Winter 2015 “ECSM Essentials”

Susan Weber, MSW, LGSW, joined ECSM staff as Director of The Ark Preschool in December.

ECSM is pleased to welcome Susan Narcelles Weber, MSW, LGSW, as the new Director of The Ark Preschool. Susan comes to The Ark from Kentucky where she was the Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator for the Housing Authority of Bowling Green (HABG). Prior to her work at HABG, Susan spent nearly 10 years as program manager for the Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD), a large network of community-based clinics in California that link uninsured and low-income families with medical care.

Susan is a certified social worker in Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Between supervising teachers at The Ark and giving little legs a boost up on the playground, Susan answered a few questions about herself.

What interested you about working at The Ark?
I have always been a strong proponent of social justice and the opportunity to serve those who are in need is one that I regard as a privilege and an honor. The opportunity to visit ECSM allowed me to visualize the mission and galvanized my desire to fulfill what I consider my life’s calling and be part of an awesome team of loving and giving staff.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the children enrolled at The Ark? The greatest strength they possess?
In my opinion, the greatest challenge facing the children of the Ark is homelessness. Not having the same basic life needs such as their own home cause these children to become vulnerable due to lack of living structure. Conversely, these children also develop a great sense of resiliency and ability to adapt to their situations. Each one has the potential to excel if given the chance and the resources to do so at an early age.

Why did you become a social worker?
Having experienced the true meaning of “social work” from both a personal and professional perspective confirmed that this field is where my passion lies. In my personal view, the textbook definition of social work goes beyond its literal meaning: I define it as the cord that binds the community to work together to promote goodwill; the voice that is soft enough to give comfort, yet strong enough to advocate for the underserved; it is the springboard of hope for those who feel they are at a dead end; and it is the ladder to healing and success. It is in this spirit that I hope to continue this noble work, to make a difference in the lives of people, just as it has done in mine.

What’s the best part about working at The Ark for you?
Although it has only been officially my second week, I have to say I love my job! I was very impressed with the dynamics between staff and the children the positive environment and professionalism provided by Ark staff. I am also encouraged by seeing how the community of Baltimore is mobilized and willing to volunteer their time and donate items for our preschool children.

At this point, I think about half of the children remember my name now. Interacting with these young ones invigorates me in knowing that at the end of the day, I can look back and feel good that I have made a positive impact on the lives of these beautiful and valuable children. That is what working with the Ark Preschool is about!