Dionna Taylor’s passion for making the most out of the life she’s been given is contagious, especially when it comes to assisting her residents at NORA and NOLAN — sistercommunities located in Seattle, Washington. As a Community Assistant since 2020, Dionna’s solid reputation as a knowledgeable customer service expert has recently garnered a significant promotion to Resident Director, which is a natural transition for one who ensures residents are thriving in every way possible. And as a University of Washington student double majoring in psychology and communication, her empathy and understanding to relate and assist the communities under her care is truly genuine.
Learn more about Dionna and why her joy is a gift to everyone who calls NORA and NOLAN home.
What first attracted you to work for NORA and NOLAN?
It’s actually really funny because it was in the heart of COVID-19 and I could not find a job. I had just moved back to school and the day that I applied, I had been walking around the community — up and down the streets just giving my resume to people. I finally walked into our leasing office and asked, “Are you hiring by any chance?” and they were. Then I sat down with one of the leasing agents at the time and she explained to me what the job consisted of, and I was in for an interview about a week later. I really had no idea what I was getting into, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions that I ever made. I had been feeling so defeated when I came because I couldn’t find a job and didn’t know if I was going to be able to afford school, but it all worked out. So really, it was just one of those whimsical things that fell into place.
What is one of your favorite moments at NORA and NOLAN so far?
I feel like memories associated with working here really just come from the people, whether that’s the people I work with, or the people who live here, or the people who I only meet once but have a really great interaction with. My favorite thing that comes from being here is having a place that cares about you — I feel like it’s a second home. The people I work with are people who I could go to for anything, and I feel like the residents who live here know that they can come to us for anything. That’s so rare, or at least I’ve never experienced it in another work environment before to have that level of support. I would not trade that for anything.
What motivates you to get up and come to work every day?
I love being a helper. I love being the person who can answer anyone’s questions. I know that when I go into work, I’m going to have a list of things to do, a list of people who need my help, and I’m going to be able to help them by answering any questions they have, and I’m going to help them get to where they want to be. I love that! That’s where so much of my joy in life comes from is being someone who can get an answer for you. Whether it’s a co-worker or a resident or a parent who’s concerned, I take so much joy in knowing that people are going to walk away feeling like their situations have been resolved, or relieved, or assured after they talk with me.
What three words best describe you (inside or outside of work)?
Determined, passionate, and understanding.
What do you enjoy most about the work environment at NORA and NOLAN?
I love the safety of it. I know that I’m going to come to work and have a full team of support behind me. Whether it’s that I’m having a rough day in general, or if I’m having a rough day at work, there’s never going to be a moment in time where my team does not support me. That is such a relief considering we’re getting to the busiest time of year right now — the phones don’t stop ringing, people don’t stop coming through the door, but at the end of the day, our management team is always going to be there asking what they can do to help. And that support is the only reason that I can do my job every single day.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Yes, it’s been my quote for many years: “Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, make your absence felt.”
If your life had a soundtrack, name one song that would be on it?
“I Lived” by OneRepublic. I love it because it’s just so much about taking what you have in life and making the most out of it. I love to do that in my day-to-day life by taking the most normal things and making them seem so special and appreciating them for just what they are, no matter how big or small.