Meet Our Youth Voices Matter New York Team
Three dynamic individuals from various parts of the state
serve as our YVMNY Youth Recovery Program Specialists
New York City, Long Island, Lower Hudson Valley
In Rachelle’s words, “It is an honor as well as a pleasure to be a part of a wonderful organization leading the way and doing wonderful things in the community, such as Friends of Recovery-NY (FOR-NY).” For most of Rachelle’s life, and her professional career, youth development has always been a significant passion of hers. Rachelle grew up in Bronx, New York, and as such she understands what it feels like to experience communities riddled in substance use. She has witnessed first-hand how young people often do not know of, or have, positive influences and places to turn to. This is one reason why supporting, empowering, and guiding youth is tremendously important and meaningful to Rachelle. As a teenager, she attended John F. Kennedy High School and was a star basketball player. Playing basketball helped Rachelle discover her love for sports. After high school, she went on to graduate from St. John’s University with a degree in Sports Management. In addition, Rachelle is an advocate for youth and individuals from all walks of life; she is a person who enjoys building valuable relationships and connections that strengthen communities; and Rachelle is someone who will put forth maximum efforts to handle all of her responsibilities with the energy, compassion, care, and diligence that will continue to impact the lives and the communities we serve in a positive way.
Central New York, Finger Lakes, Western New York and Southern Tier
Carlee is a young person from Rochester, NY in sustained recovery. She began her recovery journey in high school, so she is sensitive to the barriers facing young people in recovery. In addition to her work with Youth Voices Matter-NY, she is heavily involved in her community. Carlee has volunteered with multiple grassroots organizations in the Rochester area and co-hosted a local recovery radio show. She has met with legislators, assemblymen and women, and other political leaders to change policy regarding addiction and recovery. She uses her lived experience to help other young people recover from substance use disorder.
Capital Region, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Upper Hudson Valley
In Lori’s own words, “I would like to say how incredibly thankful and excited I am to be starting this new position. I look forward to working with you all and to contributing to a part of the recovery movement in a vast way.” Lori is a young person in long-term recovery and what that means to her is that she has not taken a self-prescribed sunstance since September 6th, 2012! Something she’s learned throughout her recovery journey, which began at the age of 21, is that everyone has an individualized path to recovery; also, that her perspective on what recovery means has evolved with her as she has grown. Lori grew up in Columbia County and, as the Co-Chapter Lead for a non-profit organization known as Young People in Recovery (YPR) in Hudson, NY, was able to collaborate with young people in her community through volunteering outside of continuing her education, working part-time, and building her own recovery. Additionally, Lori held workshops encompassing education, employment, housing, as well as addiction and recovery messaging. Thus, she was able to present and speak to numerous institutions, including both middle and high schools, within the community by sharing her personal recovery experience with students. Today, Lori has equipped herself with vital resources and established an immense networking system to continue making the difference needed to provide recovery options for youth in our communities. She enjoys music, writing songs about her recovery process, and living in the present. Likewise, she enjoys capturing the beauty of sunsets and sunrises to share with others. Lori’s passion is speaking up and being the voice for both her younger and present self and for others to advocate for recovery resources needed in our communities.