Katy Bednarsky

Title: Youth Mentoring Initiative Coordinator / Preventionist

Department: Prevention



Extension: 15

What are your primary duties? I oversee the Youth Mentoring Support Project, which is a free group mentoring program for Morris and Passaic County youth who have been impacted by opioid use.  I also am the coordinator for Youth Tobacco Action Group in Morris County, which aims to raise awareness of e-cigarettes/vaping by empowering students in their advocacy and education efforts to their peers. Additionally, I oversee our efforts for Tackling Opioids through Prevention for Athletes (TOP).

Where did you go to school and what did you study? The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), B.A. in Sociology with a concentration on non-profit and community development and minors in gender and sexuality studies, Deaf education, and psychology. Rutgers University School of Social Work, MSW (soon to be in May 2021!) with a certificate in the Violence Against Women and Children program

How many years have you worked in the field? I have worked for 2 years in the prevention field.

Why do you work in the field? I think that there is so much power in mobilizing and empowering the youth in the community. Whether it is connecting youth to support systems that they may need or facilitating interactive educational programs regarding vaping or opioid use, I am committed to creating a supportive environment that’s free from stigma. I am so grateful for the chance to do this work every day with such an amazing group of people as well!