It was my pleasure, on the first day of working at Gateway Center exactly one year ago today, to interview Ms. Cox, who would become our receptionist.  There is no one working at Gateway Center that does not respect and revere her fantastic professionalism and kind demeanor   We are lucky to have her and proud that she was voted our Employee of the Month in July.  Congratulations! I had the opportunity to ask Ms. Cox, ever shy about seeking personal attention, to share some of her journey with us. Enjoy- Jason Tatum. Note on the above photo: Ms. Cox does not love to be in pictures. Our supply is pretty short. 

(Jason) What was the path like that led you to working at Gateway Center?

(Pekoula) Although I have worked in an academic environment most of my career, after working at the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless , which was an eye-opening experience concerning the plight of the homeless in Atlanta, it also gave me a more in-depth perspective of the struggles of being homeless. I firmly believe that each person should try to perform one act of kindness each day. When I became aware that this position was available I thought it would be a good fit!

What are some memorable moments  you can recall from your career?

While working in the financial Aid Office at Michigan State University I had the opportunity to give a short-term loan to the then unknown Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Needless to say, he doesn’t need that or any other type of loan anymore.

We used the occasion to coerce Ms. Cox into taking a photo for us.

We used the occasion to coerce Ms. Cox into taking a photo for us.

 How has Gateway challenged you?

Working at GWC has taught me to be more appreciative of the little things we take for granted, realizing how blessed I am & that with this economy some folks are “just one paycheck away”. While teaching life lessons to my grandchildren I remind them that life is not a “dress rehearsal”.  Usually you only get one bite at this apple called life. (yes, they laugh & think it’s corny too).

In what ways have you grown by working at Gateway?

As a mother and grandmother my first instinct is to help. There are times when I would like to offer clients personal assistance – which is not allowed. But the mission of the Gateway Center is spot on in terms of trying to Change lives and end homelessness. I’m proud to be a part of this awesome team!

What are the aspects of this job that you enjoy the most?

I really am overjoyed when I hear these words….. “I just got a job” or “I just got my own place”. The sense of empowerment I see in the clients’ face is very rewarding.

You’ve lived in a lot of different parts of the country. What is unique to you about Atlanta?

I find Atlanta to be a great destination city for friends & family.  I am a huge sports fan although NONE of the Atlanta teams are on my favs list, but it’s fun to talk with some of the passionate  fans (staff and clients) here at Gateway. Go YANKEES!!!