Jessica Fernandez

Position Title: Coalition Supervisor

What brought you to Coalition work:  I am a lifelong resident of Hudson County, and as someone who has seen family members and friends struggle with addiction, I recognize that building relationships with community members and prevention professionals is critical in providing prevention support. My passion for challenging the beliefs and attitudes that surround alcohol and other drugs that lead to substance use, and developing and encouraging attitudes that lead to healthy choices, brought me to Partners In Prevention. As a former member of our agency’s education department, I worked within the school system to educate Hudson County youth and their families by enhancing prevention skills and providing support to reduce the risk of substance abuse. 

This valuable experience made me aware of the complex set of factors that influence individuals, and how multiple environmental strategies are necessary to achieve population-level change. This realization is what brought me to Coalition work, along with knowing the unique position coalition members have in providing feedback to the health department, providers, community leaders and elected officials with the ultimate goal of legislation and policy change. As the Hudson County Coalition Supervisor, I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to continue my growth with Partners In Prevention, and I am excited to continue advocating for the youth and communities of Hudson County.

Educational Background: I am a graduate of Montclair State University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree in English.

Fun Fact: Art, nature, and philosophy inspire me, whenever possible I strive to infuse each into my work to change mindsets, and open up new avenues of communication.

Favorite Quote: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” ― Sam Levenson

 

Anthony Menafro

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 PharmD in order to focus on prevention efforts.

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

 

Jeanette Ramirez

Position Title: Coalition Coordinator

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

 

Gyzial Banoub

Position Title: 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.”

 

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Yaisa Coronado

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.”