We are thrilled to announce ALKU’s newest Employee Resource Group (ERG), RISE! The Mission of RISE is to open conversation around disabilities and better educate those with disabilities on daily living skills, treatment options, pain management, and overall health and wellness. The goal is for ALKU employees to discover different ways to rise above the stigma and continue to learn different ways of recovery, management, and overall well-being while living with a disability. RISE is sponsored by Craig Cowen and led by Tatiana Anaya and Haley Ante!
Recently, we sat down with Tatiana to ask her a few questions regarding herself and the future of RISE. Check out the RISE Table Talk below for all the details on ALKU’s newest ERG!
What do you hope the future of RISE will bring?
My hope for the future of RISE is to bring awareness to disabilities, promote diversity and inclusion, and provide support for employees managing the symptoms of their disability. RISE will be a safe place where employees can learn different pathways to managing symptoms, whether with medication or lifestyle changes. The main goal is to spread awareness and educate those with and without disabilities on how people with disabilities rise above every day takes. Let’s take this ERG to the moon!
What motivated you to create RISE?
Before ALKU, I was a special education teacher who serviced the severe population for five years. I fell in love with the job from day one and strived every day to change the lives of those served. Love needs no words, and the children taught me more about myself than I ever could have imagined. Another motivation was that I have two disabilities. Coming to ALKU, I wanted to have a space where others like myself could come together and share their experiences, hoping we could learn from one another.
What are you most excited about since implementing the RISE ERG?
I am most excited about the sense of community RISE will bring to ALKU. RISE will be a safe space to share your story with others dealing with the same thing. Everyone wants a place to call home, and RISE will be that place.
How does RISE help to support members of the ALKrew?
RISE will help support members of the ALKrew by giving them a platform to speak and learn more about their disability and how to manage everyday life. Members can also have RISE sponsor an organization they feel passionate about. RISE will be the go-to support as an ERG for anyone with physical or neurological disabilities.
What advice would you give someone interested in joining/learning more about RISE?
My advice would be to speak up! Educate yourself more about the ERG by talking to myself Haley and/or Craig. We would be more than happy to provide any information needed or come to a meeting as a guest and learn from other people’s stories. This ERG can be your home if you want it to be. Educate, engage and learn!
What are some things you want people to be aware of outside the group?
I want people to be aware of just how brave our members are for stepping forward and joining this ERG. Society does not treat people with disabilities the same as those without. We can change that with this ERG with all ALKrew members’ support.
How can we make ALKU a better workplace and better support RISE?
ALKU is already doing so by letting RISE be an ERG without hesitation. The company cheered my idea and supported it like it was their own.
Who is your biggest role model?
My biggest role model is my father. From day one, he always encouraged and supported me whenever he could. He never missed a softball game, parent conference, etc. No matter what he had going on, he always put me first. As a single young parent, he always provided for me, even during the most challenging times. My father was there when I was diagnosed with my disability, taking care of me and supporting me mentally. I wouldn’t be me without him.
What is one thing/activity that improves your day-to-day life?
The one activity that improves my day-to-day is my morning routine. Because of my disabilities, my body reacts to stress differently, so I need to start the day relaxing and productive, which can be a daunting task. Every day, I will have my morning coffee which is my saving grace. Then I relax in bed for a few more minutes or spend time with my siblings before they go to school. Having such a relaxing morning routine is crucial for my mental state.
What does DE&I mean to you?
DE&I is the heart of any workplace. It allows people to be themselves and be true to who they are. Everyone has a story to tell, and DE&I gives people a platform to stand on and express themselves.
What is your approach to understanding members of the ALKrew from different backgrounds?
Educating myself is crucial for understanding members of different backgrounds. Without this education, I could not learn about different backgrounds and stories. Starting the conversation is something I strive for.
Stay tuned for our next RISE Spotlight!
To open conversation around disabilities and better educate those with disabilities on daily living skills, treatment options, pain management, and overall health and wellness. The goal is for ALKU employees to discover different ways to rise above the stigma and continue to learn different ways of recovery, management, and overall wellbeing while living with a disability.