Tell me about yourself!
I’ve lived in Johnstown for the last 21 years. I’m from the state of Maryland. I’m married without any little kiddos, but do have grandchildren here in Johnstown. I enjoy cooking. I’m very much a home-body.

What drew you to the CHW position in the first place? Do you have any past experiences that have helped and/or prepared you for this role?
I’ve been pursuing this position for over a year and half. I saw this position advertised on Indeed .com. My history with this position began in Maryland working in the Human Service Field with people with disabilities or mental illness for 2 years with a nonprofit agency. I worked with ARC for 10 years with people with  IDD and autism. Here, in Johnstown, I found employment with Northwestern Human Services/Merakey for 8 years in Residential working with autism. I was a supervisor for one year in Residential.

What does being a Community Health Worker mean to you?
Being a Community Health Worker means supporting people in the community with resources, helping them to navigate through the community and educating individuals in their obstacles. We, as CHWs, are here to help brighten their future and educate them with the tools they need to get where they want to go.

What is the most rewarding part of being a CHW so far?
The most rewarding part of this job is knowing that I was able to help someone in need. Giving back is a major plus. I want to pay it forward and know that my help was honestly appreciated. I know my job truly has MEANING.

What is the most challenging/difficult part of being a CHW so far?
What I know that can be challenging is finding that you have bonded with an individual due to their circumstances. We as the CHW find ourselves extending a lot of energy, and it  can be difficult to know that the participant is not as engaged in their pathway, so, that can be a real bummer. Also, getting that first initial contact can be a struggle.