Preparing New Employees With Tools for Success: Meet Jessica Marchese

Jessica Marchese is one of the first people you’ll meet when you start your career at Bancroft. Currently overseeing the day-to-day operations of Bancroft’s New Staff Orientation, she prepares new employees with the necessary tools needed for their role and gets them excited, as they embark on their journeys with Bancroft. 

Last year, Jessica was awarded the President’s Award — shining a spotlight on her many achievements throughout the 16-years she’s been with the organization.

Q. How long have you been with Bancroft and what is your role?

I have been with Bancroft for a total of 16 years. I have worked with the Organizational Development and Learning (OD&L) team for the past 11 years and was just recently promoted to Training Manager.

My responsibility now is to oversee the day-to-day operations of our New Staff Orientation as well as our Annual Recertification training. I oversee all of the compliance and regulatory training for employees within the organization.

Q. What brought you to Bancroft?

I always knew that I wanted to work with children in some capacity. I have always had a strong desire to help people. After I graduated from Rutgers in 2004, I was a Kinship Care Social Worker in Philadelphia. 

After a year in that role, I began looking for employment closer to home in NJ. That is when I applied to the Lindens Program at Bancroft. I had heard many good things about Bancroft and I was familiar with the Lindens specifically because I had a family member who was supported there. I applied for the Clinical Associate position, interviewed for the role, and instantly fell in love with the program. I guess you can say the rest is history!

Q. Can you talk about the career growth you’ve experienced at Bancroft?

I began my career as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at the Lindens back in 2005. I was in the DSP role for about a year and then was promoted to an In-charge staff, which we now call Senior Program Associates. I was an In-charge staff for about a year and then applied and was promoted to a Program Manager position. While in the program manager role, I was responsible for mentoring new staff hired to the Lindens and helping with their onboarding process. I was always very passionate about this part of my job and that is what led me to my current role and department.

After five years at the Lindens, I transferred to the Clinical Training Specialist role with the OD&L team. In my time with the OD&L department, I have been a Clinical Training Specialist, Lead Training Specialist, and now most recently, the Training Manager.

It’s never felt like “just a job” because it has always meant so much more than that to me.

Q. What’s your biggest piece of advice for new hires? Wow, I have so many pieces of advice for new hires! But this is honestly one thing that I tell all New Staff Orientation classes: “Please don’t ever forget how important and influential you are in the lives of the individuals supported here at Bancroft. As a DSP, the relationship you have with the individual served is one of the most important relationships they will have. You will be spending more time with that individual than anyone else, so you will have a huge impact on them and their life. One of the most important things you can do is build a positive, healthy relationship with each individual served, one based on trust and respect. Please use your time at Bancroft to impact someone’s life in a positive way! And remember you are working with someone’s child…someone’s family member…always treat that person the way you would hope someone would treat your child or family member.”

Q. What does your job mean to you? My job means the world to me. It is such a huge part of my life and my identity. I have spent the majority of my professional career at Bancroft and have grown so much both personally and professionally during my time with the organization. After all these years, I still love getting up every morning and coming to work. It’s never felt like “just a job” because it has always meant so much more than that to me. I love what I do and I love sharing my passion and excitement about Bancroft with others. 

Q. You were an Employee Recognition Award Winner last year! What award did you win and what did that moment mean to you? I won the President’s Award in 2020. Being awarded the Toni was such an honor and truly a humbling experience. It’s hard to describe exactly how I felt when I found out that I won. I was shocked, emotional, and truly just humbled by the experience and to be recognized in that type of way. I won this award after a really tough year, and it was definitely motivation to keep going and keep doing what I was doing because it was recognized and appreciated. It definitely motivated me to work harder and be even better. I was super thankful.

Jessica Marchese teaching a New Student Orientation class.

Q. What is the most rewarding thing about the work you do?

At the end of the day, I know that what I do makes a difference. While I may not work directly with the individuals anymore, I am preparing employees with the necessary tools so they can provide the best possible services to the individuals served. The things I teach help keep people safe and even helps save lives.

One of the things I love the most is when an employee comes back after class and shares a story with me about a time they were able to use something they learned in class to either keep someone safe or save someone’s life. 

This motivates me to keep doing what I am doing because at the end of the day it makes a difference. I also love interacting with new employees as they embark on their careers here at Bancroft. I’ve had an amazing 16 years with the organization and I love sharing my experiences with them and getting new employees excited to begin their journeys with Bancroft.

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