About my it...
I've named it, I've experienced it, I've owned it and I'm grown because of it.
I created this website, this business and professional service at the age of 48. Already accomplished as a professional social worker, person in long-term sustained recovery and two-decade long relationship. I have experienced the highs (literally) and the lows (literally) beyond my wildest imagination. My first major life lesson occurred at the age of 20/21, feeling sorry for myself as my high school friends seemed to be succeeding as I walked in and out of rehabs and therapy offices. I lacked purpose and zest for life. I was busy feeling resentful at life and for being somewhat required to participate in this broken society.
With the help of others I was able to shift my focus from the world in which I live, to the life I wanted to live. Both in my early twenties and late forties, I have learned how to claim the moment and to be far more intentional about my "it" and how I chose to experience this life, each and every day.
Turns out, my IT is a lot of things. From the crisis which was my addiction, to the opportunity which is my recovery. From my queerness which is my identify, to my activism demanding equality. From my detest for inequity, to my career as a professional social worker. My it is my passion, my heart, my focus, my energy, my next big move.
The world can be a very loud and confusing place. Not to mention all the internalized structures and beliefs we have acquired over the years from family and society that turn us upside down and inside out. Who am I? Where do I go next and what do I want? We can have all the big ideas and goals in mind, but if we lack the understanding, know-how and confidence to make it a reality, we stay stuck. I'm here to help identify your it, create a path and make it a reality.
Make (your) it happen
We all have dreams, aspirations, passions and ideas. The trouble is, too often those dreams, aspirations, passions and ideas never seem to become a reality. When life just happens, as opposed to making a conscious decision to live more intentional, we burn out, we get lost and we get small. The good news is we can make a decision at any moment to prioritize ourselves and our it. Easier said than done, you say? Well, that's where a professional consultant and coach comes in. You can and will make it happen, it's just a matter of how and the when is right now.
Project Development (done it)...
Project Lead & Program Director - Center of Treatment Innovation (COTI Project) - in response to the opiate overdose epidemic New York State, Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) funded a new concept treatment and recovery program intended to save lives by increasing access to Medication Assisted Treatment in underserved communities. The project introduced recovery peer advocates, mobile outpatient services and telehealth services (before COVID was a thing) in three counties focused on helping individuals overcome barriers to treatment and recovery. This program has been a great success, helping hundreds of individuals overcome addiction and thrive in long-term recovery.
Program Lead & Program Director - Opioid Treatment Program (OTP / aka; Methadone Clinic) - Do to a shortage of clinic openings for persons struggling with an opiate use disorder, New Choices Recovery Center was struggling encouraged to open a new clinic and the Executive Director tasked me to make it happen. OTP's serve a very specific function and population intended to reduce the risk and harm of overdose and help individuals build a new life in recovery. OTP's must meet federal and state regulations and therefore obligated to receive authorization and accreditation to operate by OASAS, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA/Federal), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA/Federal) and the Joint Commission (Federal, State & third-party standards of care for behavioral healthcare programs). In just under two years the OTP opened it's door, had nearly 100 clients and met the standards for a three year accreditation.
Schenectady Pride Festival - Co-founder and Co-chair (10 years) of Schenectady's annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) pride festival which helped to create community and foster visibility of the contributions LGBTQ individuals were making to the redevelopment of this upstate New York industrial city.
Schenectady Pride Arches - Lead on this Public art project, funded by the Schenectady Foundation, constructed in 2019 in Gateway Plaza which continues to act as a welcoming symbol and educational experience, open to the public, about 50 years of progress towards LGBTQ equality in New York State.