I’m a native Long Islander. Long Island is a funny place. New Jersey is a riot.
I’ve now spent more of my life in New Jersey than in New York, which took me awhile to come to terms with. I feel like New Jersey has come to accept me as one of its own by now.
I came to NJ in 1996 to attend Rutgers University. My mom thought I’d be a good physician assistant, so I decided to go to Rutgers because they had a Physician Assistant program. I realized quickly biology was not going to be my next love, so I drifted to English and B.S.’d my way through undergrad, picking up a Psychology Minor and a great core group of friends along the way. I thought I might be a teacher someday.
A bunch of them had already graduated and worked at a community mental health program. It paid well as part time work for a student goes, so I started working there, picking up random shifts in random group home and semi-supervised apartment programs and learning about how to treat mental illness.
They gave me a full time job when I graduated, so I worked there for a few years as a counselor before moving to a small agency that did the same work but this time, the care was based on the Psychiatric Rehabilitation philosophy (you can pick up the story of my career here.)
I’m a father to an amazing little boy. Fatherhood allows you to feel like a child all over again.
I’m now an undergraduate instructor, so I did achieve that goal I mentioned earlier of thinking I might want to teach.
I’m also a researcher in Supported Education. Learning about how to help college students over the past few years has felt like it has become the role I am meant to fulfill. The things I have learned are why I am doing this podcast.
And now, I’m a podcaster. My goal is to help college students with mental health issues succeed in college, whatever that means for them.