15 Feb New Hope’s Black Leaders: Paula Guynn
As we celebrate Black History Month at New Hope of Indiana, it’s important to us to highlight a few of our amazing black leaders.
by Paula Guynn, NHI Manager, Group Homes
Born and raised in Indianapolis, I am part of a very large, close-knit family, where aunts and uncles are like mom and dad, and cousins are like sisters and brothers.
For me, black history Month is very important. It gives us a time to reflect and remember those that paved the way for us, from W.E.B. Du Bois to Rosa Parks, to Maya Angelou to Shirley Chisholm, Dorothy Height and Kamala Harris. It also renews the fight in us to persevere and to remain strong, to show our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and their friends that they can do and be anything they want in this world. It also helps others to recognize the accomplishments of the many black people that have helped shape, and are helping to shape, this country.
Being black is not just who I am, although I am reminded every day, rather overtly or covertly, that I am black. Martin Luther King said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” My blackness is the first thing that people see; my voice is the next thing that catches them off guard. My family heritage taught me to work hard, respect others, and be honest in all I do. It has cultivated a faith and worldview that looks to God as the source of all things. Every day, I want something that I say or do to be that thing that someone has never received before.
New Hope allowed me a safe place in a world that can be very unforgiving. I was, and still am able to learn and grow, and can offer wisdom to those coming into this field. New Hope gave me the opportunity to spread my wings, be creative, and allow others to really get to know me. At New Hope, I found my purpose at 26 and it still holds true today, to help people, whether client or associate.
There were many reasons, over the years, why I loved my job. The most consistent reasons are the individuals. In a world of right and wrongs, good and bad, black and white, they shine every day, leaning on all of us for support. They love, they share, and they open up unconditionally. I have learned so much from those that I have served over the years. I also have a very strong support system in my Group Home team. I love the collaboration! I work with a diverse and beautiful group of Human Beings!