Charlotte has been a Peer Recovery Specialist at the Joseph S. Massie Unit since 2015. She came to Massie after working for almost 18 years for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services teaching social studies and math to the adolescents at Backbone Youth Center and working for 2 years at Friends Aware as a community support counselor for an individual with cerebral palsy. Since starting at Massie she has been working towards obtaining the necessary courses to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. She works directly with the clients of the Massie Unit to help them gain a better understanding of the recovery process by teaching them about the recovery process and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery.
She started at the Massie Unit with 9 years of sobriety which provided her with insight into what it takes to build a solid foundation in recovery and to maintain sobriety long-term. Soon after joining the Massie team, she developed a 4-week peer support group which covers many topics such as sponsorship, character defects, spirituality, gratitude, resentments, and Steps 1-4. She serves as a positive role model for the clients, by displaying the positive characteristics of someone who is successfully working a recovery program. She gives clients hope that they too can recover and that life can get better if you’re willing to work for it. “Miss Charlotte” maintains a peaceful and serene attitude which promotes the same within clients and staff alike. However, she remains humble enough to admit her own character defects and areas in which she has struggled in her own recovery, her openness and honesty make her even more relatable to the clients. Regardless of the difficulties that may be presented to her during any given shift, she strives to maintain an objective perspective and works collaboratively with counselors to de-escalate situations. Charlotte goes above and beyond to promote a recovery-based environment by addressing client’s negative behaviors and taking the extra time to sit down individually with clients who may be struggling with the structure of treatment or the reality of “living life on life’s terms.”
Charlotte cares not only about each client but staff members as well; she is always willing to listen, give feedback, and hugs if needed. She encourages clients and staff to relax and not sweat the small stuff. She displays a strong work ethic often working overtime and filling in wherever necessary to ensure that the program continues to run smoothly and prevent unnecessary changes to the clients’ schedule. Charlotte is dedicated and passionate about her work, she loves giving back to the newcomer because she has learned that “you can only keep what you have by giving it away.”
For all of her hard work and contributions we are grateful to have “Miss Charlotte” as a member of the Massie Unit treatment team and proud to have her named as the Allegany County Health Department’s Employee of the Month for February 2017.