Primed for Progress: Meet Mary Adams

Jun 22, 2015 | | categories: Spotlights

Mary has more than a decade of social work experience under her belt - experience with young adults, children, families and whole communities alike. With her breadth of knowledge, it's no wonder she was a perfect fit for a very unique position with US, serving as the Managing Director for Mental Health and Wellness for both University Settlement and our partner organization, The Door.

This brand new position with our family of organizations seems tailor made for Mary, and she couldn't agree more. "I saw the position listing and thought it looked fabulous. I was ready for this opportunity, and to have the chance to work with both young adults and the community at large with two strong organizations is really a dream for me," she noted. This comprehensive position she's stepped into involves supervising our Consultation Center, our Children's Case Management and Home-Based Crisis Intervention programs. She'll also be supervising our satellite sites, based in four Lower East Side Schools, as well as The Door's Counseling Department. She's also responsible for building stronger partnerships with our Butterflies Program and Neighborhood Center, as well as with The Door's supportive housing facilities. With such a long list of responsibilities, Mary's attitude about it all is overwhelmingly positive: "The idea of this position was to integrate a common thread across both organizations. It really speaks to our commitment of ensuring that everyone has access to services that support and promote wellness."

The theme of wellness is one that Mary comes back to time and again. "We all struggle. It's part of being human. We need to make sure that all of our people in all of our programs are happy and well - not just when they're in a dance class or a literacy class, but also when they've experienced a loss or are struggling."

Mary's empathy and passion are contagious, but she feels it's a common quality with our organizations. "I am consistently meeting people here every day who are true to their mission and to their work. It's not just the directors; it really is everyone, throughout both organizations. We are committed to the core, and I'm so thrilled to be a part of this."

Though the excitement is there, she also recognizes some of the many challenges we face in our field of work. "Both The Door and University Settlement are progressive - they're always pioneers, and the world is still catching up. We don't have everything we need to do everything we want - or should I say need - to do. We know that strengthening people and families is the most important work of all, and we've forged ahead anyway and found a way. We're creative with the resources we have."

That pioneering spirit, so full of creativity and commitment, is one that Mary also embodies as she embarks on this new journey with US. We look forward to seeing the powerful change that she can bring, and cannot wait to see where it takes our family.

While Mary is on your mind, check out a wonderful piece she contributed to in New York Nonprofit Media about the struggles youth with mental illness face in our city.


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