Staff Spotlight Series: Natalie Solga




How long have you worked at NW? What’s your position? 
 
I was hired as a therapist for the Jaguar and Mallard teams at Merritt Creek Academy in August, 2017.
 
What makes you want to come to work every day?
 
It’s the kids that make me want to come to work every day. The idea of having the opportunity to help my kids realize their strength and potential to make it through life’s challenges is so worth my time. 
 
What qualities, skills, or characteristics do you think you need to have in order to work with our kids?
 
Optimism and forgiveness. A lot of days are tough, a lot of kids, families, and teams go through tough times. But we need to be able to hold out hope because it will better! And we need to be able to forgive the hurt our kids dish out when they are hurting. Also forgiveness and grace with ourselves because we just can’t do it all. Most of the time, we will get another opportunity to correct mistakes made or try again with a different approach, and if not hopefully we laid the necessary ground work for someone else to pick up where we left off. 
 
What’s the best part about your job?
 
It’s the small little breakthroughs I get to observe my kids having! When one of my kids reframes a negative thought on his own or  a child who often has negative peer interactions experiences success in a team activity and the rest of the group cheers for him. They are happening every day if I just stop and notice them. 
 
What do you like to do when you’re not at work? 
 
I love spending time with my kids and husband, going for hikes, cooking meals, exercising, travelling, and playing games. 
          
If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Hmmm…Maybe a cat. It seems peaceful to rest in the sun spots and they don’t really have any predators so they don’t have to be on alert. 
 
Describe the kids at Northwood to someone who just learned about our organization.
 
They are the kids that can’t make it in a normal school setting due to behaviors or mental health challenges so they present with some tough behaviors. But underneath those tough behaviors are some of the strongest, most resilient, most intelligent, kind, funny, creative, and above all loveable kids I’ve ever met. 
 

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