A high turnover rate in the human services industry motivates Donna Lee of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee’s Guardian Ad Litem Division.
Lee has always been interested in working with those in need. For the past 10 years, she’s worked as an assessment professional, visiting child wards and learning if their needs are being met by their current caretakers. She works closely with guardian ad litems and social workers to advocate for these children.
“I provide a voice for the voiceless,” she said.
Lee’s bright personality and determination is often challenged by tough cases of child neglect and abuse. She finds strength in her faith and daily positivity reminders from family and friends.
“It’s been a journey. In the past 10 years I learned that I have thick skin and it’s taken me to places mentally that I never thought I’d go before,” Lee said. “I’ve been challenged to the limit — to the point where I do get stressed out. … I learned that this is what I’m made to do.”
Marcy Wichman, Lee’s supervisor, is well aware of her dedication to the job.
“(Lee) really wears her heart on her sleeve,” Wichman said. “She will fight for what she thinks is right for the kids we represent. It’s difficult sometimes to advocate with the court process. She really communicates her thoughts well.”
Working at Legal Aid for 25 years, Wichman has watched Lee grow in her career.
“Because she takes her role so seriously, she’s learning over time that she has to take care of herself,” said Marcy.
Outside of work, Lee volunteers with multiple programs such as those for adult literacy and under privileged youth.
“Rewards come from putting forward my best. It’s not just a paycheck,” Lee said. “It’s serious because I’m dealing with human life.”