Allies All-Star Spotlight: Keitha Francis, program manager

All throughout the Allies organization, exceptional, talented, and dedicated team members make the services and support we provide possible. Allies wants to recognize the people who make the work we do possible. In each issue of Allies: Keeping in Touch, we will highlight someone who is doing incredible work and who puts the “Ally” in “Allies.”

Question: How long have you been with Allies?

Answer: I started with Allies in August 2017.

Question: Why did you choose to pursue a career in this field?

Answer: I chose this field because I have family members with disabilities and I have a deep love for helping people.

Question: What is your favorite part of your role?

Answer: My favorite parts of the job are all my individuals. I love getting to put a smile on their faces, showing them love, and treating them like family.

Question: Is there anyone who is part of the organization that you look up to? Why?

Answer: I look up to Bernette Dixon and Ricky Alfaro. They showed me I should excel and not hold myself back. I also look up to Raushana Turner and Damaris Rodriguez for believing in me.

Question: How do you think your role has helped to shape the lives of those you serve?

Answer: I have some individuals who don’t have family, and we’ve become all the family they know. I never look solely at anyone’s disability; I look at the people we serve as their whole selves.

Question: Where do you think you have the biggest impact in your role?

Answer: My biggest impact is helping my manager and staff to ensure we are doing the best for people we serve so they can be fully supported and empowered to live great lives.

Question: Can you tell me about a professional experience or accomplishment you are proud of?

Answer: When I started with Allies, I started as a regular day program staff member. I eventually became a vocational specialist. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked at the Redfern program as a manager, which was foundational and helped to mold me into the manager I am today.

Question: Do you have any advice for people hoping to advance in this field?

Answer: Put your best foot forward and remember: You help to ensure our community is happy and living a great life.

Question: If you could choose any superpower, which would you pick?

Answer: I would pick the power to heal, so people wouldn’t have to suffer.

Question: Do you have anything else you would like to share? Anyone you would like to shout-out?

Answer: My whole residential team. I love the team and how we work together. Specifically, Raushana Turner, my executive director, Damaris Rodriguez, my assistant executive director, and Yvonne McLean, a traveling manager and Bernette Dixon, in quality assurance.