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Community Impact

Meet a Champion: Jay Abdallah, recovery home team leader, Rosecrance Woodstock

Here are Abdallah’s thoughts on the life-changing work he does every day.

Sometimes a career change is how someone finds their career calling. When Jay Abdallah left the business world for behavioral health, Rosecrance leaders helped apply his gifts and talents to serving clients in recovery home settings. Over the past decade, he has served adults at the Greendale recovery home in Rockford and the Woodstock recovery home, while also completing multiple academic and clinical certifications with encouragement from Rosecrance leadership.

Here are Abdallah’s thoughts on the life-changing work he does every day:

What prompted you to consider a behavioral health career?

I always had an interest in helping people, but I began in sales. Even then, people would come up to me and share very personal things. Others kept saying how open and approachable I was, and I always was comfortable having deep conversations. I took a few classes for CADC licensure and then knew that my natural abilities lined up with behavioral health like a calling.

Why did you want to work for Rosecrance?

I saw an opening for Rosecrance Greendale (the adult recovery home in Rockford, Ill.) and thought it sounded interesting. It was my first job in the field, and I stayed with it nine years because I loved it so much. When there was an opportunity at Rosecrance Woodstock, I took it so I could continue to support our mission and be closer to home.

You’ve completed two academic degrees plus a clinical certification while at Rosecrance. How have those experience shaped you?

I’ve gained a unique perspective on Rosecrance with these experiences outside my everyday job. The internships have been good at getting me outside my comfort zone to work with different team members and clients. I’m used to serving adults, but now I’ve worked with adolescents at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus in Rockford, and have participated in a number of our youth and teen services at Rosecrance McHenry County. I’m lucky to have these experiences.

How has Rosecrance encouraged your professional growth?

The right people have been there all along. I work with incredible people at Rosecrance McHenry County who see my strengths and give me opportunities for which I am grateful. They allowed me to pursue different counseling interests and then return to the recovery home when I realized that was where I truly belonged.

What is the value of working for an organization that encourages strong teams?

Everywhere I’ve been at Rosecrance, I’ve met supportive people who taught me so much. We have so many highly competent teams that work well together, giving us all the support and opportunities we need. That is what makes the difference each day.

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