Title: LEAD Irvington Project Manager
What are your primary duties? LEAD is based on a harm reduction philosophy, meeting individuals where they are at. The project is a culmination of community partners that work together to meet the needs of the community, reduce recidivism while spreading awareness and education. As the Project Manager, I am responsible for coordinating all aspects of the initiative and managing its day-to-day activities. A trusted partner of all the partners involved in LEAD, serving as a resource and liaison to the various workgroups. The project manager’s goal is to enhance collaboration and communication between all sectors of the community, from executive leadership to next-door neighbors, with the end goal of supporting members of the community who struggle with substance use disorder, mental health, poverty, and involvement in the criminal justice system.
Where did you go to school and what did you study? I received my BSW from Seton Hall University, my MSW from New York University, and my Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) from CARES. I studied clinical social work, with a special track in Substance Use Disorder while at NYU.
How many years have you worked in the field? I have been working in the field for 7 years. 7 years with Clinical work and 6 years in the peer field.
Why do you work in the field? I started as a volunteer at PIK in 2017 while I was completing my education in social work. I was geared towards working in the clinical field but my experience at PIK changed my attitude and passion for the peer world. After completing my MSW, I knew that staying in the Peer world was my true path. I have the ability to use my story to aid others, with no judgment, it is truly beautiful. My imperfections make me better at what I do, and I don’t need to hide who I am.