Share Your Service: Meet Elizabeth!September 8th, 2021
Elizabeth began her journey with Horizon in 2014 as a Counselor after graduating from Canisius College with her Bachelor’s in Psychology and from CUNY Brooklyn College with her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. Now as a Program Director, Elizabeth works at our Horizon Village Terrace House location, which is our residential stabilization program. She manages the second floor, directly supervises the clinical team, and assures that daily operations flow smoothly. Let’s learn more about Elizabeth and her journey at Horizon!
Why did you choose Horizon?
I was looking for a job in the Buffalo area while still residing in Brooklyn, as that is where I went for my Master’s Degree. I really didn’t know much about Horizon, other than hearing they were one of the largest companies for the treatment of mental health and addiction, and they had a good reputation. I came home for an interview, not having expectations going into it, and shortly after, I was offered a job at Terrace House, which had just recently opened in 2014.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My daily schedule varies, but includes weekly individual supervisions, group sessions with patients, orienting new patients to treatment, and scheduled weekly meetings such as case conferences. Working in residential treatment, we can never predict what might happen in a day, so while I plan ahead, flexibility is often needed with prioritizing tasks. Sometimes there are patient crises to manage, patients who want to leave treatment suddenly and unexpectedly, and staff who need my assistance in managing a situation. I try to assure that daily programming flows smoothly for all departments and I do my best to remain available to help wherever needed.
What is the best piece of advice you learned during your time at college that you still use today?
In discussing career goals and plans, I remember a professor talking about finding a job that doesn’t feel like a job. If you can enjoy the work you do, your passion will show, and it will be truly gratifying.
How did your college experience help shape who you are today?
Outside of my daily classes and college education at Canisius, I was also a member of the Swimming and Diving Team. Being a Division I athlete, above all, taught me discipline and teamwork. While fitting in two practices daily, maintaining a required GPA, completing community service hours, and having to miss out on social events, I learned how to prioritize, remain motivated and lean on my team when needed. I gained values that I still use today, and I value those memories, as they shaped who I am today. When my work day gets difficult or busy, I often reflect back on those days to motivate myself and remember that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
What is your favorite Horizon perk/benefit?
I really enjoy the amount of PTO we receive after being here for a certain amount of time. It’s usually too much to use! We have the option to buy back and receive a paycheck for PTO, which is nice to have a couple times a year. I also appreciate our profit sharing program, as it really adds up for retirement.
What is an experience or memory that stands out to you while working at Horizon?
Terrace House is a very special place, as it’s the beginning of patients’ recovery journeys. We see their authentic selves return, and since they live here, it’s more like I am in their home. While it can sometimes be difficult to work on a holiday, it’s also extremely gratifying and humbling. I will never forget Thanksgiving dinners in which staff serve the patients, and eat a big meal with them. Having patients of all races, ethnicities, and religions who came together in a prayer of thanks was an impactful memory for me. It’s powerful to see that no matter how different people are, they have the common goal of recovery here and they are able to support and inspire each other. On challenging days, I remember how much our presence at the work, facility, and company level means to others and how it has saved and changed the lives of many.
Are you interested in working with a group of committed individuals who are gratified and humbled by the work they do? Check out our available job openings and APPLY TODAY!