As the daughter of an engineer, Clenesha already had plenty of motivation to do well and pursue her goals. Mrs. Hayden graduated from Texas Woman’s University with her Bachelors of Social Work degree and then graduated with her Masters of Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. While she has always known that she wanted a career that revolved around helping children or the elderly, she wavered between criminal justice, becoming a registered nurse, and social work. In the end, her experience with DHA, motivated her to pursue a career in social work. Now, as a class case manager, she has the responsibility of ensuring that clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive the services they need. These services include but are not limited to: music therapy, massage therapy, speech therapy, aquatics, habilitation, and horseback riding. Clenesha dreams to either have a geriatric home or a place for teenagers to transition out of foster care. She is on track to earn the highest license in her field—the LCSW—by the end of this year.
Mrs. Hayden advises future foundation scholars: “Keep going, no matter who tells you that you can’t do something. No matter your trials and tribulations. If you have children, don’t let your children be a barrier. There is always a way around. Whatever you put your mind to, you can do. You have to be resourceful.”
To the foundation’s leadership, she says: “Keep helping students because a little can go a long way, and you never know what can help someone accomplish his or her goals.”
Clenesha is driven and ambitious, and she looks to a future of giving back through her professional and personal endeavors.