Team Member Spotlight: Miguelina Jorge
If you ask Miguelina (Miggy) Jorge to describe herself in a few words, she will immediately tell you: “I’m loud and I smile a lot”. Everyone that has come across her path will tell you just how true this is.
Miggy was born in the Dominican Republic, and came to the United States when she was only six months old. While she only lived in the Dominican Republic for a short time, growing up in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York made her family feel like they never left. “Washington Heights is an enclave with a huge population of Dominicans. One of the first things I do whenever I visit is eat all of the cultural foods that I can’t find here!”
In 2005, Miggy transitioned from being a city girl to an Orlandoan when she moved to Central Florida. It was difficult to transition at first due to the family ties she was leaving behind. One of the starkest differences she notices between Dominican and American culture is the sense of family and the strength of that bond.
This fun-loving single mother of two serves as the Osceola County Quality Manager for Embrace Families. Miggy formerly trained child welfare professionals, and has covered a myriad of topics in everything ranging from Pre-Service to the Florida Safety Decision Making Methodology (SDMM). She jokes that she has “child welfare attention deficit disorder” because her eagerness to learn leads her to explore different careers available in the field every few years.
Her favorite position happens to also be her first position out of college. She started as a Private Investigator at the Administration for Children’s Services in New York.
“I’ll never forget my first removal,” Miggy states. “I was excited and had so much adrenaline that I felt like I was on the television show CSI. As I was driving back to my office with the childrenthat were removed from their home, I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw their faces. My immediate thought was ‘What have I done?’. I had to take a moment to cry and reflect on what a removal really is for a child and call my mother to gather my thoughts.”
Twenty years later, Miggy has taken away some important life lessons based on the challenges that have come from her career. A couple that have stayed with her include:
• You can’t save everyone, but if you can work with one family and make their life better then you have done your job.
• Each child carries their own story. Going into the foster care system does NOT have to dictate where they will go in life.
While Miggy’s positions in child welfare may have changed, her love of working in the field remains.
“Nobody does this for the money,” she explains. “The pay that you get is the satisfaction of a family doing better or witnessing the adoption of a child you’ve worked with.”