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Compassion drives rewarding career

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By Becca Owsley

Leslie Hall found the career she loved after her husband was assigned to Fort Knox. It’s a career that has led to an appointment to a state board.

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After completing a degree in psychology and biblical studies at Tennessee Temple University, Hall participated in an internship at the child abuse council in Georgia and found she enjoyed the social work aspect of what she did.

Her husband was then transferred to Fort Knox. After working as social services director at a nursing home, she began work with the family resource and youth service center at West Point Independent School. She later worked at Woodland Elementary and now is in her second year as youth service center coordinator at North Hardin High School. In total she has worked for resource centers in area schools since 1995.

Her job is comprised of referring students for counseling and working with the Teens as Parents program and the Friends of Rachel Club, which promotes kindness in schools.

“I like helping people,” she said.

Before finding her niche in social services, her favorite job was waitressing because she would get to know people who were regulars, she said.

The ability to connect with others was important in that job and her current one.

“I love getting to know people at different levels and helping them,” she said. It’s something she attributes to learning from her mother.

The job can sometimes be discouraging when it’s hard to see results, she said.

“You have to have the faith that somewhere down the line the little seeds you planted will make a difference in people’s lives,” she said.

But every once in a while she’ll run across someone with evident changes in their lives that makes her job rewarding. When she gets to the point where she’s not sure she can do her job anymore, she said, God will send someone through the door to show her how she has helped them.

“It’s just a little boost to help keep you going,” she said.

Many times in advising parents, she paraphrases actor Tyler Perry.

“Sometimes the very things we are trying to hold onto the tightest are what God is trying to rip from us to give us a better life,” she said, adding adults have a hard time letting go of things.

There’s another piece of advice she gives to students.

“I believe that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are but we are responsible for who we become,” she said.

Her husband, Doug, is no longer on active duty but is with the National Guard at Fort Knox. He was deployed several places but she was fortunate he was stationed here each time to be able to develop her career with family resouce centers in this area.

“It’s been phenomenal,” she said.

In November, Hall was appointed to the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Board. Serving on this board is a part of her duties as vice president of the Family Resource and Youth Service Center Collation of Kentucky.

On the board, her job is to help give insights on different substance abuse policies in the state and help funnel funding into the local branches in the best way possible.

She also serves as president of the local board of the Salvation Army and is a member of the Optimist Club of Radcliff. Before helping with the Salvation Army, Hall worked for 13 years with Toys for Tots.

At home, she likes to spend time around a campfire in the back yard with her family. Her three children are older and they don’t get to be together a lot, but when there’s a family bonfire, they all try to come.

She also has what she calls “spare” kids. These are children whose homes weren’t happy places and they lived at her home, sometimes for years.

The term “spare” is used in the context of bowling.

“Life cannot afford you a strike, but come to my house and you can pick up a spare,” she said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Getting to know Leslie Hall

  • Favorite movie: “Gone with the Wind”
  • Favorite TV: “Ghost Adventures” and prefers Aaron to lead investigator, Zak.
  • Favorite Music: Christian
  • Favorite Book: “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier
  • Pets: She has three cats and had a black lab but he went to college with her son.
  • Mentors: “I got my heart from my mom and my strength from my dad.”
  • Age: 44
  • Family: Husband, Doug, and three kids ages 18 to 23, Keir, Dah-Ve and Jahi. She wanted her children to have names that would be unique to them.

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