by Clarissa Mendiola, Donor Cultivation Coordinator
How did you come to GLIDE (why did you seek GLIDE out, when did you start)? As a lifelong resident of the Bay Area I have heard about GLIDE my entire life. The name Cecil Williams is synonymous with empathy and compassion. Those two qualities have also driven my work as an advocate for domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking survivors. I never imagined that I would work at the most well respected non-profit in the Bay Area. When a position became available at the Cecil Williams House (CW House), I knew I wanted to be a part of an agency that holds the same values that have guided my work for 11 years. The primary value of GLIDE is radical inclusivity. This foundation led me to GLIDE. Finally, I love GLIDE’s idea of recovery; that we are all in recovery for something. That is grounding and takes out the oppression of ‘helping’ people. I am not better than you…we all are struggling.
Why are you passionate about your work as Support Services Supervisor? My position as the Case Manager Supervisor sets a framework for the services we provide to the residents at CW House. I am passionate about this because my goal to is provide high quality client centered services that provide support to residents were they are at. My belief is that individuals are the architects of their own recovery. I am passionate about that idea and I believe in that. My goal is to model authenticity and genuineness. When resident or clients know you are coming from a real belief rather than just working through a model I believe they are more inclined to accept the support being offered.
What do you believe about an individual’s capacity to change and transform? I could not have been able to do this work for the last 11 years if I did not believe in change and transformation. In fact, I believe in resiliency. A person’s ability to see their own resilience is the key to change. My goal is to empower clients to tap into their resilience and acknowledge the strengths they bring to their recovery. It is my belief that when we focus on someone’s deficit, we miss opportunities for true change and never see the resilient spirit that is inherent to us all.
What part of GLIDE to you carry with you wherever you go?
No matter where I am the GLIDE’s Core Values follow me. I believe in them even when it is hard and may feel like it is easier not to.
What inspires you? The clients/residents inspire me. My favorite time is in the morning when I am greeted by the residents that sip their morning coffee in the Solarium. I get hugs and smiles…that drives and inspires me every day. A simple smile.