When I began my graduate education at Nazareth College, I had no idea where I wanted to end up. I knew two things: that I wanted to have a career that would utilize art in some way; and that ideally I would have the opportunity to work with young people in a helping capacity.
I began my journey with a semester internship at Monroe County Correctional Facility working with several male inmates presenting with substance use issues. I also co-facilitated two art activity groups for the female inmates. I left that experience with a heightened sense of the nature of chemical dependency, and its potential impact on the life of an individual.
Later, I completed a year long internship at Westfall Associates working primarily with adolescents and their families. Westfall afforded me the opportunity to refine my skills as a counselor; and my knowledge base of chemical abuse/dependency. I was hired on a per diem basis following my graduation- facilitating/co-facilitating adolescent groups; and periodic adult groups.
From 2004 to 2006, I worked at the Center for Youth (a not-for-profit agency) as a Community-Based Counselor. There I worked with youth between the ages of 12 and 21 doing primarily short-term counseling focused on skill-building and crisis intervention. I was also able to apply my experiences there to obtaining my ATR (Registered Art Therapist certification).
I was hired as a full-time member of the team at Westfall Associate in 2006- as a Chemical Dependency Specialist working mainly with the young adult population (ages 19-25). When I look at my journey thus far, I am filled with a sense of purpose, and a curiosity for things to come...