Years in St. Pete
Organizations involved in
I donate to St. Jude’s Research Hospital and the American Cancer Society. I’m also on the committee for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and I donate to the Florida Dream Center, which helps human trafficking victims. And I am the past board president of The Kind Mouse.
What gets you out of bed every day?
Besides a good cup of coffee, I like to feel challenged by the day’s activities. Whether linking individuals and/or family members affected by mental illness to services and support groups, to talking with my 7-year-old grandson about his day. But most importantly, I just want to try and make a difference in somebody’s life.
Why St. Pete?
My brother lived in St. Pete several years before I moved here, and I would visit him on weekends. And honestly I just fell in love with the overall atmosphere of the city. I had an opportunity to transfer with my job, and I had the choice of St. Pete or Miami. So I jumped at the chance of relocating to St. Pete, and I’ve enjoyed raising my daughter here and seeing all the growth of our beautiful city over the past 22 years.
What is one habit that you keep?
I do try to take 15 or 30 minutes each day to do meditation and yoga. Meditation and yoga really helps me relax, clears my head and re-fuels my spirit.
Who are some people that influence you?
My mom, who was widowed at a young age and raised me and my brother by herself. My mom really taught me how to be resilient when life throws you curveballs. And also, any story of a resilient person who continues to fight for recovery, and their determination to succeed.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
I’m currently reading ‘Guide to Non profit Leadership’ by Joan Garry. This is a tell-all book about the life of nonprofits and the people who are involved with these amazing organizations. The benefits of reading, and expanding my knowledge about the nonprofit industry, helps me practice the strategies learned, to make me a better leader, and help me transform the lives, or at least some aspects of, the lives of the individuals we serve.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
How important it is to talk about your mental health! You know, mental health – just like physical health – needs attention and care. And it’s OK not to feel OK. And it’s OK to talk to someone about how you are feeling. NAMI Pinellas works hard to break the stigma surrounding mental health, and I’m honored to be part of that initiative.
In a few months, NAMI Pinellas gets to see some of our Peers in Recovery membership program participants take their exam to become Certified Peer Specialists. Peer support is very needed in our community, and NAMI Pinellas is expanding out youth outreach by collaborating with other youth organizations.