Immediately after high school, Tevis decided to pursue a career in the culinary industry. Not too far into her studies, she discovered that none of her teachers had known that she was going to be in the department. This resulted in many of them second guessing not only her decision to enroll, but her ability to succeed. “Who does she think she is?” and “Does she really think she can do this?” are two of the questions Tevis recalls hearing. Later, she learned that some of her teachers didn’t think she would last — that she would drop out.
However, Tevis said that a few of the teachers told her they were sorry for the way she was being treated, as well as others (as well as their own) attitudes toward her. This proved to be a turning point for both Tevis and the faculty. “I feel like I opened that door for them,” she said, because even though she eventually decided to pursue another career, “at least they knew what to do for the next person who’s possibly like me.”
While working at phone-carrier call center, Tevis found about career opportunities at Peckham in Phoenix through a family friend. “I was in the middle of leaving my employer and was lucky to actually get a job here because the other company was closing down,” she said. That was 2017. A year later, Tevis had been promoted to the position of quality assurance monitor, listening to calls, grading them, and being part of the team that certifies those coming into training.
Tevis then worked her way into becoming a Technical Service Representative, and currently has her sights set on becoming a supervisor. Along the way, she’s learned how to work with people with different disabilities. Recently, she worked with a CSR who is permanently blind. She called it “a challenge that I was definitely up for,” and said that two-way communication was the key to a successful training period.
She said that she’s “always still felt like I had to juggle between having an able-bodied mind, (while) physically being disabled. So I’m in between those two worlds.” But at Peckham, she feels that she doesn’t have to be “this or that. I can finally be put those two worlds together.”
At work, her primary sense of enjoyment and satisfaction comes from “seeing how people grow from being so nervous, taking calls, especially if this is their first call center job,” to developing into confident, relaxed professionals. Outside of work, Tevis enjoys shopping (admitting to being “a bit of a shopaholic”) and several months ago attended a Black Pink K-Pop concert in Dallas.
She said that working at Peckham “definitely helped me grow not only professionally, but also personally.” Reflecting on her experiences, which have included mentoring high school students, she said that “all my life I’ve always felt like I’ve been meant to help others.” However, prior to coming to Peckham, she wasn’t sure how, or in what way. “I feel like I found that purpose when I came here,” she explained. “I think what makes Peckham the great place to work is the assistance that they provide, knowing that they’re here to help you succeed in every way that we can.”
If it wasn’t for Peckham, Tevis said that “I don’t think I would have found my purpose as fast as I already have.” With a mindset of “whatever I set my mind to, I’m going to execute it,” she admitted that although she’s faced some substantial barriers, “I overcame them even better than what I thought I could.”