A Longstanding Educational Alliance (EA) Employee, Liz Jack reflects on her time working at PRIDE Site before it evolved into the Center for Recovery and Wellness (CRW).
Liz, how long have you worked at Educational Alliance (EA) and what is your current role?
I’ve worked at Educational Alliance for almost 25 years, and my current role is an Administrative Assistant.
The entire 25 years that you’ve worked for EA, have you worked at CRW that whole time or different parts of the agency?
No, actually, I started working in the Residential MICA programs, and when that department closed, I was transferred to Addiction Services at PRIDE Site #1, the original residential facility, at 371 E. 10th street. Then in 2015 the residential and outpatient programs became unified into the Center for Recovery and Wellness at 25-29 Ave D.
What do you think is the most challenging part of your job and what do you think is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most challenging part of the job right now is getting the clients set up with their HRA benefits. Before COVID-19, the process was much easier, but now with everyone working from home, including the HRA offices, it’s so difficult to get someone that you can speak to in the office or even answer an email regarding the clients’ benefits.
In all my years of working here, it’s always rewarding when the clients complete the program and move on, I’ve seen clients who were enrolled in treatment who came back and told us, “I got my bachelors, I got married, I have a baby, I have a car, I have a residence…”. In PRIDE Site 1, I saw a particular client who came in from the shelter without IDs and nothing to his name. By the time he finished the program, he received his CASAC certificate, and he was even hired back into the facility to work as a counselor. It’s always rewarding to see when they return and are still sober.
What do you think makes CRW unique?
For one we offer so many different programs which makes us stand out as a provider of addiction treatment services and community services. We have been giving out free food for a while informally, but when it started, we didn’t have an organized Brown Bag program in placed like we do now. The Prevention Team teaches prevention education classes in local schools where they incorporate it into their curriculum. There are also programs offered to staff too such as exercise programs. We are providing the services, but it’s not only offered to the clients, because sometimes we (the staff) needs help too. For instance, Tom Kraus’s Reiki program, staff were able to participate in this service as well.
Would you like to share anything else as a closing thought?
I enjoy working at CRW. Over the years the agency has evolved, some programs are new and some were on pause because of the pandemic but are now resuming. I like the morale of the staff and I like working with everyone. I have worked with a great group of ladies who made coming to work a pleasure, Glenda Clark and Charlotte Graham, thank you. To the current A-Team, Princess, Norma, Shervon, Vanessa, Kim H, and Ryna, thank you for all that you do and working together as a team. I would really like to say thank you to the MEC staff. I think during this year when the pandemic has been especially hard on the addiction treatment field, they have gone above and beyond to accommodate not just the clients, but the staff as well. Thank you.