We’re excited to be sharing a new series: Meet the PMs! Our Program Managers are the unsung, behind-the-scenes heroes who have one of the toughest – and most important – jobs within our organization. We’re looking forward to you all getting to know them and their work a bit better, so tune in on social media for #MeetThePMs!
Get to know . . . Emily Long!
How did you become a PM? I graduated from Shippensburg University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a concentration in Social Studies. I taught middle school and high school for 4 years before deciding that this was not the direction I wanted to go. I loved working with the students and helping them. After teaching I continued working with youth as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor for 3 years. This was one of the most rewarding yet also draining jobs I have ever had. I still wasn’t on the right track. I heard about Penn-Mar from a friend who was working there at the time. She suggested I check them out. 10 years ago, I did just that and began working in the Maryland Day Program. I worked in a few capacities while I was working in the Day Program. I worked as a Program Instructor, a One-to-One, and I taught art for 2 years. I decided that I wanted to advance and build on my career here at Penn-Mar. I became a PM in 2013 because much like anyone working in the Human Service field, I wanted to make a difference, felt like I had more to give, and wanted to lead.
Why is Penn-Mar’s mission important to you? I love that we are a leader in the field and help pave the way for others. We set good examples and have great ideas that we put into motion. We are constantly raising the bar. We provide opportunities not just for the individuals we serve, but for the team members we have as well. Not only are we providing employment to our team members but we are providing new friendships, life lessons, and the love for the field. I enjoy watching new team members, who may not have had so much experience in this field, grow their love for it!
What’s one thing you wish people realized about your job? We are on-call 24/7. We get calls morning, day, and night, weekdays, weekends, and holidays. This job is a juggling act. There are many aspects that need to be juggled every day. This is a fast paced and ever-changing job. You must be ready for anything at any time. While it can be stressful at times, it is a fun and very rewarding job every day.
What’s one thing you wished people knew about people with IDD? I wish people knew how incredibly smart they are. They are so often underestimated. They understand more that they are ever given credit for. Talk to them, spend time with them, get to know them. They have so much to offer the world!
What’s your favorite food? My favorite food is pizza, pizza, and more pizza, and just about any kind of candy.
In your spare time you’ll be found . . . When I have some down time, you will more than likely find me on the sidelines watching my daughters play basketball or soccer and cheering them on loudly.
Something people might not know about you? I have been married for 13 years and I have 2 daughters ages 8 and 11. We are a very sports-oriented and competitive family. We love to go to Disney! We also like to travel to any beach, Gatlinburg, TN, and Williamsburg, VA.