A La Porte County Life in the Spotlight: Tobi Small

By: Kayla Weiss Last Updated: July 9, 2014

Tobi-SmallBorn and raised in Indiana, Tobi Small moved out to Tampa, Florida for a short period directly following high school before transferring to Purdue University to be closer to her home and family. After receiving her degree from Purdue University, she started looking for work in the area, but couldn't find anything that worked with her new degree, so she moved back up to La Porte County where she found employment at Camp Summit, located just off of Johnson Road.

For the past fifteen years, however, Small has been working with Dunebrook of La Porte County. While working at Camp Summit, the shift rotations where beginning to wear her out, so Small starting looking for a steadier schedule. When she heard of openings with the Healthy Families branch of Dunebrook, Small jumped on the opportunity, having worked an internship with the Family Services Bureau years before.

"I love working with Dunebrook, and all of their partnering programs," Small said. "I enjoy seeing the growth in families that we serve. They are just having all of these 'ah-hah' moments, and it's just wonderful to see and to be a part of."

Currently, Small works as the Quality Insurance Director for Dunebrook and as the Program Manager for the Nurturing Parenting Program through Dunebrook. As the Quality Insurance Director, Small is in charge of making sure that they are providing services that are listed in contracts; purchasing computers; setting up and maintaining the server and phone system; and works as the general Help Desk whenever someone has a question. As the Program Manager for Nurturing Parenting Program, she is responsible for Home Visiting 101 and a voluntary parenting enrichment program called Group Component, which takes place on Wednesdays for sixteen weeks, helping parents go over new ideas to further employ nurturing parenting.

When she's not working with Dunebrook or any of its partners, Small volunteers her time with her church and with different fundraisers for Dunebrook. For instance, this year Small is very excited to be helping out with Dunebrook's Dragon Boat Race, scheduled to take place September 6th. She also helps with golf outings and participates in fundraising walks. Through her church, New Creation Vineyard, she has done mission work in Mexico and assisted those affected by Hurricane Katrina, helping gut houses so that they were ready to be rebuilt.

"Whatever they need me to do, I will," Small said. "I'll go wherever they need positions filled for the race. I just like helping out. And I'm really excited about the Dragon Boat Race. It's brand new this year, but hopefully will be something that we continue to hold in following years."

In her free time, Small enjoys working out and running. She participates in a workout group after work. Currently, she has completed five 5k runs, and plans to participate in more.