WraparounD YoutH Partner | lANE cOUNTY
Caitlin grew up in the Rogue Valley with her parents and three younger siblings. She had an active, happy childhood and remains grateful to have grown up with such a supportive family. At fourteen, Caitlin developed an eating disorder and at fifteen, started using drugs and alcohol. She was depressed and felt misunderstood by everyone around her. In high school, she frequently found herself in trouble, was sent to treatment twice, and was even expelled for "acting out" and coming to school under the influence.
After graduating, Caitlin moved to Eugene to attend college at the University of Oregon, where she continued to use drugs and struggle with addiction. In her junior and senior years, she was forced to take time off to reenter drug and alcohol treatment. She felt hopeless but was finally able to get clean and sober in March 2015. Thanks to her sobriety and hard work, Caitlin went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon. She started working with Youth Era one year later.
Her work with Youth Era has enabled her to see the immense impact that peer support can have on "system-wary" youth. She loves that she gets to work with those who have faced or are facing similar challenges to hers. Caitlin is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is expected to graduate in May 2020. She hopes to create a program that incorporates her passions: exercise and working with youth who experience mental health challenges.
In her free time, she enjoys CrossFit, running, traveling, reading, eating good food, meeting new people, spending time with friends and family, and most importantly, spending time with her cat, Biggie Smalls.