Geek Moms & Company got the opportunity to talk with Renika Adams from RISE. Keep reading to find out more about
GeekMomsCo: Hi, can you give an introduction of yourself and what you do?
Renika Atkins: Hi, I am Renika Atkins. I am from Houston, Texas but currently reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I work as a Healthcare IT Training Consultant currently contracting for a provider in North Texas. I have been doing Healthcare IT for a little over two months with a strong background in policy, training and management. I have an extensive background in Social Services, I currently am pursuing a Master’s of Social Work with a Community and Administrative practice concentration. Aside from my career I am a mother to a very busy two year old and owner of a non-profit. My role in my nonprofit right now is to do everything. We are starting up and gaining traction but with the help of consultants and a good team I work hard every day to develop our programs, material and our name in the community.
Geek Moms Co: Also if you can talk a bit about how you got into the position you are in today:
Renika Atkins: I came into Healthcare IT, really on a whim. I received an email about a contracting opportunity. You know the whole spill of how they found me on a job search website and some of my experience matches what they are looking for. I actually found the position to be too good to be true but something was telling me to just apply. I was really in transition, I was burnt out on case management. I am a very good Case Manager but I have never just settled for things that I am good at. I have always wanted to blaze new trails and really kick down doors for young black women, so I took a leap of faith. I interviewed for the position and on the spot was hired.
Geek Moms Co: What was the biggest challenge you faced in getting to where you are now or in the current position you have now:
Renika Atkins: The biggest challenge I faced getting to where I am now is getting over the misconception that you have to be socially or academically inclined to do something. You know when children grow up and pick up a stethoscope we automatically assume they want to be doctors or if you’re real good in math we label you as an engineer. The hardest part is trying to convince someone you know how to do something you have never done before.
Geek Moms Co: How did you overcome that challenge and what was the biggest lesson learned from it:
Renika Atkins: Well I like to believe I purposefully debunk the misconception because I take everything I know or want to know and apply it across all industries. If we all sit back and think about it, it’s all connected. A lot of people ask me, “Well what does social work has to do with healthcare it?” It’s only when I start to explain to them that on a macro level in social work you have to know all current policies and makings of healthcare because healthcare is the most sought after service of your clients. You have to be able to see how it all integrates to effect the end result which is the access, delivery and quality of care. I use my knowledge of policies such as the Affordable Care Act and what is meaningful use to tie it into my purpose for training in Healthcare IT.
The biggest lesson I have learned so far, is that you can never settle into a position, you have to keep acquiring credentials, acronyms and accreditation. We are no longer living in times where you can easily climb the ladder in a company or work somewhere for your entire life. Today the key to success is widespread success and versatility.
Geek Moms Co: Have you ever suffered from imposter syndrome in your current role how do you manage it or how did you overcome it:
Renika Atkins: I have not experienced imposter syndrome. I mean initially you have your doubts, but ultimately I applied because I felt I could do it. I think my confidence in already having gained experience in Social Services has really made me confident in all other areas of my life. The added benefit of having this confidence that I can take it and apply it to everything that I do. To be honest , this field is where I feel the most comfortable even in the uncertainty.
Geek Moms Co: As a CEO, what’s your best advice for pursuing a healthy work life balance?
Renika Atkins: I would say to eat right, pray every night and find someone or something to love on. When I come home from a challenging day, just being able to hug and kiss my daughter sometimes is the therapy I need. You have to find something outside of what you do every day to love, even if you have to change hobbies every year.
Geek Moms Co: What was your mission behind RISE, what drove you into starting the nonprofit?
Renika Atkins: RISE stands for Resources Inspiring Success and Empowering. RISE has a mission to bridge the disparity gap between transitioning young adults and their community through awareness, mentoring, education and outreach. I was driven to start RISE through my own transitional experience. I was very concerned about the level of disconnect I had from my community. When I say disconnect I am referring to the access of information and just simple assistance. RISE is here to be that bridge for young adults and really just everyone in need while they are at their most vulnerable.
Geek Moms Co: What do you want your legacy to be?
Renika Atkins: I want my legacy to be widespread. I want to leave behind a new trend of really getting out there and doing it. I tell people I come into contact all the time that they can do whatever they want. It’s cliché but it’s true, you can do whatever you want to do but first you have to want to do it. You have to understand that by wanting to do it, you have to want to fail, you have to want to have bad days but you also have to want to be successful. It is a hard task to do, to both want to fail and to succeed, but you can’t have one without the other, success is recovery from failures.