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Meet Our Team!

 

Patricia Young

Patricia’s path to Join Rise Be has been a circuitous one to say the least! After getting a B.A. in Psychology from CCSU, owning a business and having a history of inconsistent career paths, an opportunity to be a live-in Caregiver for Survivors of sex trafficking in Miami presented itself. Since overcoming is in her DNA and she lives to fight for others, saying yes was a no brainer. After an enlightening and transformative 3-months of closely caring for those who suffered severe cumulative trauma in the sex trade, it was impossible for Patricia to go back to business as usual. It was time to step into a career that was more congruent with the person she was evolving into. Becoming the Program Manager for Join Rise Be is exactly that.

Depression, anxiety, trauma and being grossly misunderstood, all once served as potentially life-threatening ailments for as long as Patricia can remember. Upon accepting these facets of life as part of the package, she had an epiphany which led to massive growth in her recovery and beyond. Patricia discovered an untapped power from leaning into fear and began viewing each hardship or challenge in life as a weak powerless opponent who can and will be defeated. She now embraces life’s challenges and disappointments with confidence, vigor and a militant pursuit for the best possible outcome!

Patricia is honored and excited to join Advocacy Unlimited, with aspirations of being able to help young adults cultivate their own fighter within!

Luz Feliz

     Luz became a part of the Warmline team in February 2016. Working on the Warmline provides a personal, intense sense of community and gives her the opportunity to give back. Luz loves that Join Rise Be is an initiative revolved around young adults and she enjoys being a part of something that would have been beneficial to her when she was younger.

     Through her work, Luz has had the opportunity to become a certified Recovery Support Specialist, an achievement she feels very proud of.

     Additionally, Luz is trained in Intentional Peer Support and uses the knowledge gained to help navigate through her everyday life. Working with Join Rise Be has also taught Luz to be more accepting of herself and how to use constructive criticism in a way that will help her transform and grow.

     Through these positive life lessons,she has been inspired to continue improving in her everyday life to be able to serve her community effectively and simply be the best person she can possibly be each and everyday. In addition to working for the JRB team, Luz is currently studying to obtain her degree in Social Work. 

Marco Stanley

     Marco is an empathetic and intuitive artist who was born and partially raised in Meriden, Connecticut. In the span of a few years, he moved from 3 different homes until his mother made the decision to give up guardianship. Despite traumatic childhood struggles, it wasn’t until he was in high school when he first discovered his fascination for the human psyche. For as long as he can remember, Marco has always wanted to make others feel welcome, happy, and loved. Exploring what it means to be conscious became a priority after issues surrounding abandonment and lack of self-worth became prevalent. Multiple hospitalizations and other hardships showed him the importance of time and energy. His purpose became very clear: Do what you love and inspire others to do the same.

     Working as a warmline operator goes hand in hand with his abstract way of thinking. He believes in pursuing a self-defined life around the many forms of creation. From photography to graphic design to poetry to music, he takes on many hats in life. With that being said, when he’s not working at the Join Rise Be headquarters, he’s creating art and publishing it while simultaneously sharing knowledge and advocating for topics such as love, substance abuse, healing, abandonment, mindfulness and so on.

Skyler Rivera

     Skyler has lived in West Hartford all his life. In 2011 he suffered his first anxiety/panic attack. After that he began living in fear of the next attack while simultaneously battling depression. His school attendance started to plummet his senior year, which put him in a position to possibly not graduate.

     The thought of not being able to graduate with his best friend, drove him to overcome his fears through determination and he soon focused all of his energy on graduating, which he did in 2012.

In the coming years he tried his hand in community college and found it to not be for him. Over the past 8 years Skyler went through the IOP program at the Institute of Living once a year to help him “reboot” when he sensed the signs of anxiety and depression resurfacing. It was during this time that Skyler discovered the emerging leader within himself! As he took on leadership roles in the various groups he was in, he discovered an ambition to change the mental health system and to help others so they would not have to suffer like he so often did.

     His love for the Philadelphia Eagles, Basketball, baseball, and anime (One Piece, Attack On titan, and many others) keep him going through tough times. Working on the Join Rise Be team is fulfilling Skyler’s passion in making a difference.

Torry Bernard

     Torry has been involved with Join Rise Be since June 2015. She grew up in the Foster Care system between the ages of 13-21. Torry was challenged with obstacles and struggles that led her into recovery later on in her 20's. When Torry moved to Connecticut she faced homelessness and mental health challenges. She began her recovery by talking with other peers who had similar experiences and this led Torry to believe strongly in peer support. 

     Torry's passion is to help others. She loves advocating for foster youth and young adults who are trying to find their path in life. The resilience and strength Torry found during her childhood and early young adult years has given her the hope that she can be there for others who are going through the same thing. 

     Torry earned her Associate's degree in Liberal Arts from York County Community College. She is also a Recovery Support Specialist, is trained in Intentional Peer Support, and is a certified WHAM Group Facilitator. Throughout her years of involvement, she has come to know that there are many resources available for young adults within the state of Connecticut that others may not know about. All  the work she has done and everything she has been involved in has helped her to conclude that recovery is possible. 

     

Alex Perfetto 

     Alex Perfetto has a variety of facets attached to his journey. Starting with a severe onset of multiple mental health issues at the age of 10, Alex persevered leading to an improbable success story that he lives out daily, showing continuous progress in a unique way that only such a life story can demonstrate.

 

    Alex was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 10. He spent a majority of his childhood in and out of different hospitals, schools, and living situations. He went into DCF at 15 and transitioned to Young Adult Services once he turned 18. Alex was also diagnosed with PTSD at the age of 22.

 

     Now 26 years old, Alex has taken his life experiences and turned them into making a difference in the lives of others. He is an activist regarding mental health, working with Young Adults who share similar struggles. He is involved in the Join Rise Be Movement in Connecticut advocating for those in need, as well as the agencies that help Young Adults. Alex has testified for these agencies at The Legislative Office Building to keep them intact. He lives through composing his own poetry and music as artistic expression for not just himself, but for others as well. Alex is also a diehard sports fan. His favorite teams are the Boston Red Sox, Dallas Cowboys, and Oklahoma City Thunder. In addition to being a Warmline Operator for Join Rise Be, he also works for the Middlesex YMCA as an Assistant Site Director for before and after school childcare, with the common goal in mind; to give back, help others, and make a difference!

     

"Sharing our experience to influence change so every young person has the opportunity to achieve recovery across the state of Connecticut."

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