An ASCI Gem: Tulleesha Burbage Discovers Family Heritage
Tulleesha Burbage is a Child and Family Services Program Supervisor at ASCI. After completing roughly 1,000 kinship adoptions, Tulleesha shares that she feels good knowing these kinship adoptions are keeping the children connected to their biological families.
“I love my department. We are the beginning to the end. We are the Alpha and Omega.“Tulleesha Burbage
Tulleesha’s professional and personal support systems keep her going. Having friends in education, who are child advocates and who are dedicated to making a better life for all people gives Tulleesha motivation to make it through each day.
However, in the midst of COVID-19, Tulleesha felt out of place. With the loss of important relationships, she wanted to get closer to her own family. So, she reached out to her best friend, genealogist Dennis Richmond, to find her family history, and he delivered some pretty interesting news! Tulleesha’s paternal grandfather, Knowlington Burbage (K.O. “Buddy” Burbage), was a well-known outfielder in the Negro Leagues from 1929 to 1942 in Philadelphia.
“My mom’s side was filled slaves, as we all could guess, ” she says. “But my dad’s side had two Marines, I have a Negro League grandfather, we have educators and so much more!”
Dennis always discusses the importance of legacy in Black households with Tulleesha. Through this endeavor, Tulleesha has learned so much and finds it important to also share with today’s youth about the Great Depression, World War II, discrimination, slaves being sold and labeled and other important historical information.
Soon enough, the Philadelphia Inquirer found out about this find and contacted Tulleesha directly. “To know that the Philly Inquirer put me online, people were tagging me…I didn’t know how to feel. They tagged the Negro League. They added museums. They’ve added powerful Black influencers. I was in awe!” Tulleesha giggles, admitting she didn’t read her own article until a week after it was published due to nerves. And she was also surprised to find out it was Dennis who gave her information to the Inquirer. “I had no idea that he was doing this. It was completely awesome!”
“I hope I made the agency proud.”Tulleesha Burbage
It is very clear that ASCI employs an absolute gem in Tulleesha Burbage! Tulleesha says she’s extremely honored to have been divinely chosen to be a legacy of the amazing Buddy Burbage. About the Inquirer feature, Tullesha humbly shares, “I hope I made Dr. McDaniel proud and that she calls me. I hope she’s OK with the interview. I hope I made the agency proud.”
More About Tulleesha’s Work at ASCI
A Second Chance, Inc. works tirelessly to help children and families reach reunification, which we value as the first permanency option. In some cases, reunification is not possible, and that’s when the permanency department steps in. “We get them into the swing of things and it ends with finalization, which is me. I love helping getting these kids into permanency,” Tulleesha says.
One thing Tulleesha notes is that working at ASCI gives her room for improvement. She loves that her ideas don’t get shut down; instead, her leadership gives constructive criticism. “Tiffany Byrd is really good with listening to me. I love that I can be creative and she trusts me. I feel heard. I love that this job gives the opportunity for its workers to grow.”
“You know what you’re good at,” she adds. “I’m a helper. I support and help a lot of people. I’m resourceful. [But] it’s also the agency. You can love your job at McDonald’s and the people around you make you not want to do it, but if you go to a different McDonald’s you’ll enjoy it because it’s the people.”
Thank you, Tulleesha, for all that you do for children and families!