Employee Spotlight Series featuring Footprints to Recovery’s Rockstars!
Beyond our degrees and titles, we’re also real humans endlessly passionate about the fight for those struggling with addiction. Our DreamTeam is made up of many hard working talented individuals with interesting stories to tell. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do (on and perhaps off the clock), and how they keep Footprints to Recovery growing and flowing — just the way we like it.
This months Employee Spotlight Series features Footprints to Recovery’s Admissions Coordinator, Agy Wielechowski. With a tremendous amount of passion, motivation and experience Agy works to provide support, guidance, and resources to individuals, families and loved ones seeking addiction treatment. Through her optimism and positive attitude she’s always bringing smiles to the team and frequently receives praise from those she’s helped. We’re beyond lucky to have her as part of our team and are thankful to have people like her in our field!
What’s a typical day in your role?
A typical day as a coordinator in the Admissions Department consists of scheduling admission appointments and conducting screenings with potential patients for all our facilities. We provide information on our programs, evaluate all potential clients, and offer a variety of resources. We also discuss financial responsibility and consistently collaborate with team members from other departments to complete admissions. We are a team of passionate and dedicated specialists, and we strive to offer the best service we can to the many people throughout the country that reach out to us every day.
The best part of my role is meeting new people and having the opportunity to help as many of them as I can. I strongly believe that happiness is found in helping others, and I have so many opportunities to help others in this position. I often leave work feeling very rewarded and fulfilled.
What makes Footprints to Recovery’s Admissions Department stand out?
The Admissions Department is often a patient’s first contact with the company, and I am confident that the quality of the support we provide is something that clients are likely to remember. We are careful listeners and are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve our services. We are empathetic, patient, and never end a conversation without confirming that the client is satisfied.
Additionally, I believe that Footprints to Recovery’s Admissions Department is incredibly unique. Our team consists of individuals with various skill sets and experiences. We all work very well together and are always learning from and supporting one another. The team is very willing and eager to take on new challenges and always go above and beyond for our patients. We offer much more than just an automated email response or telephone prompt, and take great pride in showing our patients that we are real people working on their behalf. I am grateful for my team, and benefit greatly from working closely with them.
In your opinion, what’s the most important thing for addiction treatment centers to provide?
I think that it is imperative for treatment centers to address mental health concerns as well as substance use, as most of the time addiction is the result of other underlying issues. Many individuals struggling with addiction also suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety, PTSD or depression. If these issues are not addressed during a client’s stay at a treatment center, they will continue to be a problem in recovery. I strongly believe that gaining an insight into the relationship between addiction and mental illness can greatly benefit an individual struggling with a substance use disorder.
If you could give Family, Friends, Loved ones of those with a substance use disorder a message, what would it be?
I would tell them to spend some time to focus on themselves and their goals, which is an area loved ones of those struggling with a substance use disorder may neglect. I would also provide them with some tools and strategies for making changes. Something I am very passionate about is SMART Recovery for Family and Friends, which provides support and tools for people who are affected by the addictive behaviors of someone close to them. SMART uses techniques from modern psychology and I believe it is very helpful. It explores ways that individuals can look after themselves better, and establish healthier relationships with their loved one. In my experience, participating in a supportive group environment like SMART can lessen feelings of isolation and provide a sense of hope for family and friends of loved ones with a substance use disorder.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My best friend Matt Ryan is and always will be the biggest motivator in my life. He is the main reason I went back to school and am currently working on becoming a substance abuse counselor. I get out of bed every morning to keep growing my knowledge in this field, and to achieve my goals. I lost Matt to a heroin overdose three years ago, and since then, I have thrown myself into volunteer work and job opportunities that allow me to help those struggling with substance use disorder and their loved ones. Matt always believed in me, and taught me how to love life. Due to having someone as amazing as him in my life, and as someone in long-term recovery myself, it is incredibly important to me to succeed and always stay motivated. I am thankful that I get to experience life, and am grateful for what I have.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
I currently live in Illinois with my boyfriend of three years and three cats. One for each year! Just kidding, it wasn’t intentional. They’re quite a handful, but we love them dearly. Their names are Avi (short for Avocado), Trunks, and Ruxpin. My typical day usually starts with me waking up at 5AM and getting ready for work. I like to spend some time catching up on my shows and relaxing with a cup of caffeine before I start my day, so it’ll usually take me about three hours to get ready. Once I leave work, I’ll usually prepare dinner, play some video games, study, go on a walk, and watch television with my boyfriend. Depending on the day of the week, I will also attend school, or meet with the team from Friends Don’t Let Friends Fight Alone – a new non-profit organization that I am proud to say I am on the board of. We are dedicated to raising funds for cancer, and increasing awareness throughout the community. I am currently in school pursuing my certification as a drug and alcohol counselor, which I have really been enjoying. I’ll typically end my day with a good book in bed, or more video games. Playing video games has always been a hobby of mine, and I even took a few classes in video game programming a few years ago.
What’s your motto or personal mantra?
“People say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar (American author and motivational speaker)
I believe motivation is important in life, as it aligns us to work towards our goals. Motivation can also help you be the best person you can be, which has a positive effect on your confidence and relationships.
What’s your favorite Disney movie & why?
Fox and The Hound, easily. The most important thing in a relationship for me is having a best friend – someone loyal, playful, and silly all at once. In my opinion, The Fox and The Hound is one of Disney’s deepest movies. The entire relationship between Copper and Tod is a great metaphor for war and the way society is sometimes instilled into becoming enemies. This movie also has a lot of emphasis on showing basic human empathy kicking in when it really counts – like when Copper defends Tod from getting shot, and then when Copper gets attacked by a bear and Tod defends him. The Fox and The Hound also taught me that there isn’t a happy ending to every situation, but that’s okay. “Forever is a long, long time, and time has a way of changing things.” There are so many lessons to be learned from this movie. It shows us that our lowest moments are sometimes the moments when we become our most independent selves, and that life can change in so many ways at the most unexpected instant.
More Employee Spotlights