RISE Life Services has an amazing team of people, who make a powerful and positive difference every day in people’s lives.  We’d like you to meet our staff members and learn more about them. This week we are bringing back our Q&A blog and we introduce you to Jared Gabrielli, Mental Health Program Coordinator. We asked Jared some questions to get to know him better.

What is your role at RISE?

I am the Program Coordinator of the Mental Health Program.  I am primarily responsible for the oversight of the operations for eight of the program’s housing units.

When did you start with our organization?

I started about a year and a half ago.

What is your favorite part of working here?

There are so many parts of the job that I love.  My favorite aspect about working at RISE, however, is the gratification of making a noticeable and positive change in the program and/or someone’s life through the services we provide.  There is just something incredible about hearing a resident’s success story.

What do you find challenges you the most? 

Working in the Human Services, you face multiple challenges that are relatively unique to the field.  In most jobs, you focus on minimizing financial losses, maximizing revenue, etc. In an agency such as this, every programmatic decision has an immediate and long-term impact on human life as well.   Finding the right balance between businessman and “clinician” is the toughest part of this job for me.

Any specific goals for this year, professionally or personally?

By the end of this year, I would like to see more smiles on the faces of my staff by making the program a more enjoyable and rewarding place to work.  I plan on accomplishing this by increasing staff support/oversight and making the operations of each house bulletproof.  Ambitious, but doable.  I am confident in my team that we are on the right path.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? 

A whole bunch, actually.  For starters, I love all things related to music.  My mother was musically inclined and got me hooked at a very young age.  I can play guitar, piano and drums, but don’t ask me to sing!  Next, I get a bizarre kick out of participating in psychological research.   I help out in a lab at Stony Brook University in my down time.  I’m currently looking into personality disorders prevalence in sexual minorities in a national sample.  Pretty cool!  I think at least… ha!   Last, but certainly not least, the gym.  I get to the gym as much as possible.  Lifting keeps me focused, disciplined and healthy.

What would we find you typically doing on a day off? 

I like to spend as much of my off day as I can with my SO.  We are two ships passing in the night during the week, due to our crazy schedules, so I like to reserve time for her whenever I can. As long as we get to decompress from the work week together, I’m happy!  With that said, my ideal off day goes something like this:  Wake up (at whatever pace I want), make a tasty breakfast, sip some coffee, hit the gym, read a little and just unwind.  It just can’t get much better than that for me.

Favorite food(s)?

You just can’t beat a Beet Gnocchi from Restaurant Orto in Miller Place.

Favorite color?

What advice do you have for someone starting their career in this area?

It’s without a doubt a tough field, but a rewarding one nevertheless.  Be patient, check your ego at the door and practice empathy whenever you can. Yes, there are changes to be made and things to be fixed, but they will never happen if you don’t weather the storm.   If you have an entire team with the right mindset, it’s unbelievable what can get accomplished.

To learn more about the Mental Health Program at RISE, click here. RISE Life Services provides a residential and supported living environment on the East End of Long Island, dedicated to empowering people with intellectual disabilities and mental health challenges to RISE to their full potential. To learn more about RISE Life Services, residential housing, job opportunities and other programs, please browse our website or call 631-727-6220 ext. 203 with any questions.