Quest is home. As our final salute to dynamic women during Women’s History Month we highlight our Chief Operating Officer (COO), a woman who has forged her own path and by doing so continues to make an impact at Quest for the individuals she serves and for all the #womenofQuest.
She believed she could so she did…
Brooke Eakins began her journey in serving others during her years as a student at the University of Florida by taking a class that required community service hours to help the elderly and persons with disabilities. She fell in love with the work. Her first job out of college was working in a facility assisting 14 women with intensive behaviors. She became a licensed Direct Support Professional (DSP) and started at Quest in 2002 in that role. “Quest is a part of who I am and my identity. No other provider has the comprehensive offering of services that we have, and no one does it better than we do. If I’m going to put my name on something I want to be proud of it, and Quest is something that I am proud of,” said Brooke.
Through her hard work and diligence in various roles, now 16 years later as COO, she is a strong leader and is constantly seeking ways to accomplish objectives effectively and efficiently. In her role she is responsible for all of Quest operations in Orlando and Tampa including: intermediate care facilities, group homes, training centers, supported living and our newest transformational community, Quest Village, just to name a few.
One thing that Brooke wishes that more people would understand is that the adults, children and youth served at Quest are just like everyone else. “They want the same things: friendships, to be independent, to feel a part of something like a hobby, club, anything. They want to feel included and be successful; they want a job and to make money. They want to look nice, have relationships... They want to do all of the same things we all want to do.”
She hopes that women wanting to be leaders will not be discouraged by the challenges that society may bring their way, simply stating, “They (all women) can. And should.” Brooke would never ask anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do, and her mantra is to “glove-up” and do the work. “What matters most is the goals of each individual, our team members and Quest’s reputation and ability to have programs that make changes,” said Brooke.
Today, Quest is in the hands of great people, and some amazing, intelligent and dynamic women. Brooke is a beacon of tolerance, acceptance, strength and respect. She represents the legacy left through Katie Porta’s work, and just like Katie, Brooke’s legacy matters.
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