Making new friends is no easy task.

If you’re looking to build relationships that leave a mark on others, the American Psychological Association recommends aiming for compassion, listening to others, and consistently checking in on those you’d like to befriend.

Gabriel Homes resident (left) having a conversation with a residential counselor (right.)

A Leading Advocate

Marlene Stevens is an especially outgoing personality at Gabriel Homes. She joined as a residential counselor at the beginning of 2024, and she made an immediate mark on the residents and the organization. Marlene quickly became a champion for the residents, and all of them were up on their feet dancing together during the Spring Fling in March.

“I love Gabriel Homes,” Marlene said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Marlene (left), residential counselor at Gabriel Homes, dancing with two residents (center and right).

Before Gabriel Homes...

... her background was in writing. Marlene worked at the Washington Post for over ten years, followed by a stretch at the Office of Naval Research. After retiring, she took online classes while she was looking for part-time work.

School burned Marlene out once she realized she wanted something challenging. At church, her sister-in-law Beverly told Marlene about a job opportunity with Gabriel Homes, and the rest was history.

“Marlene sees the strength in every resident. Her dedication to them is a duty and passion. She always makes sure the team knows about any needs the residents may have and makes it a priority to ensure they are cared for.”

Gabriel Homes residents (left and center) dancing with Marlene Stevens (right), residential counselor at Gabriel Homes at the spring fling.

The Most Special Days

When Marlene was asked about her favorite types of workdays, one resident, Angie, went over and hugged her.

“Being with the residents – these are my favorite types of day,” Marlene said. “I hope being a residential counselor is the last job I ever have, and I plan to live 60 more years!

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