Sierra Black

28
UCHealth Co-responder with Fort Collins Police Services

Tell us about yourself, your history and how you came to be where you are now. 

I was born and raised in Colorado and have a passion for community work. I received both of my degrees in social work from Colorado State University, and have spent my career serving the community of Northern Colorado, including various roles such as victim advocate, case manager, inpatient care provider, mobile crisis therapist and co-responder.  

 

What are you passionate about professionally and personally, and why? 

Personally, I am passionate about my family (and dogs are family, of course). I believe your family is what you make it, and mine is everything to me. Professionally, my passions lie with people as well. I work every day to provide compassion, kindness and grace to all members of our community even on the hardest day of their lives. For me, it all comes down to helping others and building connections.  

 

What is your superpower? 

My superpower would be my ability to solve any problem with a snack. Whether it is my own [problem], a friend’s or a client’s, I am known for my ability to find solutions to any tricky issue with a snack.  

 

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment, either professionally or personally? 

I think that my biggest accomplishment so far has been beginning my career in co-response. It has been a long-time goal of mine to work on a collaborative team in the community with law enforcement to make a positive impact on people’s lives and create needed change to the crisis system as it exists today.  

 

Who has been the biggest influence in your life? 

The biggest influence in my life was my elementary school teacher, Jenny Park. She taught me more important life lessons than I can count, including how to be confident and use your voice when needed. She continues to be someone I look up to and has been incredibly supportive throughout my life. I carry the lessons that Jenny taught me into my work with clients every day.  

 

Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years? 

I see myself still working and living in Northern Colorado. I have been fortunate to build a beautiful life here with my husband and dogs and hope to still be working with the community and getting outside every weekend.  

 

What piece(s) of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self? 

I would tell myself to relax. Good things come to you when you work hard, are good to the people around you and stay the course. When we are 18, it feels like everything has to happen right away but I would tell myself to slow down and not worry so much about how fast things get done. They will come.  

 

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime? 

In my downtime I enjoy gardening, biking, kayaking and taking motorcycle rides with my husband and family. And, like any good Northern Coloradan, I enjoy a good beer on a patio.  

 

What would you like to give back to your community? 

In my work with members of our community, I try to give back the same accepting and supportive environment that I have found here. I hope that every person that I come in contact with can see that they have value and worth and have a place they belong here in Northern Colorado.