Position Title: Coalition Supervisor
What brought you to Coalition work: I grew up in Hudson county and this community is very important to me. I am very interested in prevention work as I worked with adults in recovery from substances in the mental health field. I also facilitated group discussions regarding substance abuse prevention strategies and mental wellness related topics.
Educational Background: I obtained my undergraduate bachelor’s degree in psychology at Kean University, having transferred from Hudson County Community College where I earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts. I am currently finishing a master’s degree in psychology at Montclair State University.
Fun fact: I am an avid traveler and foodie. When not at work I enjoy travelling, exploring new places, and discovering new foods.
Favorite quote: No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. – Aesop
Position Title: Research Specialist/Coalition Coordinator
What brought you to Coalition work: Hudson County has been my home my entire life. I have a lot of love and care for this community being that I have lived in the same town my entire life and a majority of my family also reside in Hudson County. During undergrad, I had the opportunity to intern for a rehabilitation facility or prevention agency. After working in a pharmacy for almost eight years and being a pharmacy technician for five years, I decided that I no longer had much interest in solely the treatment of disease, but rather focus on prevention efforts. My internship changed my perspective and really made me understand how important prevention and upstream action is. I want to help create a community where our youth are protected.
Educational Background: I obtained my undergraduate degrees from William Paterson University of New Jersey in Public Health & Psychology. I conducted research as an undergrad and have been published in research journals. I am in the process of going to graduate school to obtain my MPH in Biostatistics & Epidemiology.
Fun Fact: Outside of work and school, I still try to learn as much as possible, such as learning how to speak a new language. I enjoy traveling, riding my bike, longboarding, and spending time outdoors as well as spending time with my family and dog, Cookie.
Favorite Quote: “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” – Buddha
What brought you to Coalition work: Yoku Crentsil serves as a Coalition Coordinator for the Hudson County Coalition for a Drug-Free Community. He grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration with a minor concentration in the Biological Sciences from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ. Approaching the 1-year mark of holding this position, Yoku looks to bolstered his coalition’s effort to empower and collaborate with youth throughout Hudson County to not only vocalize their concerns but also actively prevent substance misuse and abuse. He also seeks to provide immense support for planning and implementing environmental strategies involving every sector of the community.
Education Information: Yoku graduated from Rutgers University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration wit a minor concentration in Biological Sciences.
Favorite Quote: You want to be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around! Make them wonder why your still smiling. That’s true greatness to me”. -Claire Colburn ~Elizabethtown
Position Title: Youth Prevention Specialist/Coalition Coordinator
What brought you to Coalition work: Growing up I knew I always wanted to help, give and be around people. I have always felt a sense of fulfilment helping others. I started as a Community Health Worker in Hudson then Essex County. I enjoyed being the frontline helper to the people of the community and connecting them to the resources they needed. It was recently when I began feeling like I need to learn and do more. Shortly after, I came across the Coalition Coordinator position and I applied for it and now I am grateful to have this opportunity to tap deeper into the community along with other professionals to work together in unity to help bring awareness to our community.
Education Information: I graduated from Rutgers University where I earned my degree in Public Administration and psychology.
Fun Fact: When I’m not working, I am with my husband and family and friends making memories. I also have a blog where I enjoy sharing about beauty tips and tricks, home décor and self-care.
Favorite Quote: “Nature never hurries yet everything is accomplished.”
Position Title: Coalition Coordinator
What brought you to Coalition work: I have been involved with the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute since high school. Volunteering to help develop leadership skills in youth while remaining drug and alcohol free has been a fantastic experience, and actually led me to my first job as a Coalition Coordinator for the Bergen County Prevention Coalition. Being able to develop a network of support through many people in different fields of expertise, and then using this network to tackle the various substance misuse issues in the county, slowly became a passion. It was inspiring to see many different people coming together toward a common goal and actually accomplishing sustainable change. After spending a year with Bergen, I saw the opportunity to join the team in Hudson and I went for it. I am ecstatic to be able to work in such a diverse county with an extremely strong and supportive team.
Educational Background: I attended Rider University for both my undergraduate and graduate academic careers. I received my bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Computer Info Systems, and my masters degree in School Counseling with a certification to be a Student Assistance Coordinator.
Fun Fact: I absolutely love trying new things. Have a new band or artist that you have been listening to nonstop? Maybe an awesome restaurant somewhere in the area, or in the city? Or even simply a new kind of tea that you have been enjoying? I am always open to suggestions, don’t be shy!
Favorite Quote: “When the wind’s against you, remember this insight. / That’s the optimal condition for birds to take flight. / Now the wind’s against you, don’t give up the fight.” – Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari, “Airfield”
Position Title: Associate Executive Director
What brought you to Coalition work: I came to this organization after dedicating nearly ten years to supporting families in crisis, advocating on behalf of children who have suffered abuse and/or neglect, and recruiting foster and adoptive families.
Educational Background: I graduated from Rutgers University where I earned my Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-profit Management.
Fun fact: When not at work, I enjoy the great outdoors, traveling, concerts, listening to public radio and petting my doggie, Suki.
Favorite Quote: “Love the earth and sun and animals. Despise riches. Give alms to everyone that asks. Stand up for the crazy and stupid. Devote your income and labor to others, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.”