Company: Equality for Children
Location: Fairfield, New Jersey, United States
Barbara Jean Francavilla, Owner at Equality for Children, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Healthcare Professionals for dedication, achievements, and leadership in counseling.
It is an honor to be presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who. I am a lifetime resident of New Jersey and I am proud to have been educated in New Jersey public schools and state universities. Upon attainment of my graduate degree in Counseling with a concentration in Alcoholism, I was inspired to obtain my licenses as a Licensed Clinical Drug and Alcohol Counselor as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor, within the mental health field. Counseling is a second career and while pursuing my counseling credentials, I volunteered at a local hospital as a substance abuse counselor. At this location, I learned from many experts in the field of substance abuse with the adolescent population who were mandated to this hospital’s inpatient substance abuse facility. A year later at this location, I progressed from a volunteer to a full-time per diem substance abuse counselor, that I achieved my greatest lifetime award, I was able to educate and counsel a male adolescent in the 12-step philosophy. After many hours of counseling coupled with education, this male adolescent, realized he had a higher power in his life and that higher power was always with him. This awareness and identification of a higher power in his life provided him with hope to enter recovery, strength to sustain recovery, resiliency to subside from substances, and return to the “city” that was his home, with a “zest” to initiate a life of freedom.
I left the hospital to gain full time employment as a Director of a substance abuse prevention education program in a local township. I accepted the position with awe and admiration for this township who created a substance prevention education program in a highly educated and socioeconomic township. I thought this town was gutsy and fearless that their real estate values would not spiral downward. And they did not, not then, or presently. This program was grant funded by the town and sponsored by a local hospital. As the Director, I wrote age appropriate curriculum coupled with a recreational program. I was teaching substance abuse education lessons to students from the elementary grades through high school. I enrolled over 600 after school students who voluntarily registered for my program. In addition, the substance abuse prevention education also included an age appropriate lessons in life skills. I also incorporated a recreational program during the weekends and/or team leadership training skills at camp sites or hired a trainer to come to my facility to train team building and leadership skills to my enrolled adolescents. I initiated and maintained congenial, respectful, and close working relationships with all 9 schools in the town as well as the other health community agencies. All of these programs, education, training and recreation, made this agency very successful. I had the pleasure and honor working with 4 other women in the community. This team alliance taught me team building skills, communication skills, leadership skills, and the strength of a team when unified. We, the team of 5 women, achieved such success in the agency’s program that the town adopted the agency under their recreational program and the agency became a town program. I left this program after 5 years of successful challenges to fulfill a desire to be involved with adolescents and their families. However, I maintained an admiration and very close friendship with the other 4 women who assisted in the program’s and my success.
Eventually, my career endeavors lead me to be a student assistance counselor within a public- school system. It was at this employment that I was able to couple the comprehensive education from both of my licenses to maximize my systematic thinking; the securement of the best services for the student, their family, and the school. My systematic thinking unknowingly led me to my career passion, advocating for students with disabilities. I had the enjoyment of meeting disabled students and their families while advocating for school services the former required but also provided the disabled student with self-confidence to learn within the educational setting, socialize with their peers, and assist with subsiding student and parental fears. Advocating for this population of students and working with their families was my second greatest achievement. I earned the disabled student and their family’s trust and confidence of leadership that empowered and propelled me to learn their struggles and push for their rights to be seen as a capable, compassionate, educated human beings with a very slight difference from others.
Presently, I am in a new venture of appropriately opening, Equality for Children, a business advocating for disabled students and their families. This will be my final employment endeavor where I incorporate the educational knowledge from my licenses, the skills as a leader from the community agency, and the wisdom that a unified team is highly effective and successful.
Lastly, I am a member of various counseling agencies, CHADD, Understood, Autism Speaks and etc. These agencies are fabulous resources for students and families of students with disabilities. I refer families to these organizations frequently. And, I am a celebrated Marquis Listee, Who’s Who in American Women and Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professional.
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