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United Way, UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Safe Harbor, Gannon University to announce community school case managers

Monday Apr 19th, 2021

Community School Case Managerssmall

Officials from United Way of Erie County, UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Safe Harbor, Erie’s Public Schools and Gannon University have announced each of the five Case Managers hired for the Removing Barriers to Learning Through Case Management in Erie’s Community Schools project.

In July 2020, United Way announced a $2 million US Department of Education grant to boost our
community schools initiative. This grant, the largest single award to United Way in the organization’s 105-year history, will further support United Way’s community schools initiative aimed at removing barriers to learning so students and their families can succeed.

In July 2020, United Way announced a $2 million US Department of Education grant to boost our community schools initiative. This grant, the largest single award to United Way in the organization’s 105-year history, will further support United Way’s community schools initiative aimed at removing barriers to learning so students and their families can succeed.

The federal grant will total $2,031,397 over the course of a five-year grant period. The amount is 27.5% of the total costs of the project. 72.5% of the total costs of the project will be financed by non-governmental sources.

The project is designed to serve 3,138 high-risk, low-income students attending the five pilot United Way community schools. These include Edison Elementary School (PreK-5), McKinley Elementary School (PreK-5), Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School (PreK-5), East Middle School (6-8), and Strong Vincent Middle School (6-8) in Erie’s Public Schools. Each school is a Title I Schoolwide building.

Goals for this project include: increasing social, health, and mental health services and supports; increasing overall school attendance and decreasing truancy and chronic absence; increasing family and community engagement and supports; and implementing evaluation strategies that can build a predictive model that supports the development of an early warning system.

United Way’s Community Schools have become central hubs for students and their families in the neighborhood to receive essential resources and services needed to succeed and thrive in life. Through the work of their Community School Director, Principals, Community Partners and United Way, many families have managed to continue this success despite the hardships of this past year.

The team of five Case Managers will be managed by Program Director Bill Herlihy. They will work in close collaboration with the five pilot community schools to identify students and families in need of assistance.  The Case Managers will then work directly with those families to provide the needed support.

Below are the details of each Case Manager.

 

AMON KAREN 2021413Karen Amon
Strong Vincent Middle School

Karen Amon is the Full-Service Community School Case Manager assigned to Strong Vincent Middle School.  This new role is part of the Removing Barriers to Learning through Case Management in Erie’s Community Schools project, in partnership with United Way of Erie County, Erie’s Public Schools and Gannon University. 

Karen has a BS in Psychology and a minor in Exceptionalities from Slippery Rock and her MS in Community Counseling with a K-12 certification in School Counseling from Gannon University.

Karen has worked in the social service field since May of 1998.  She has experience at Sarah Reed Children Center, having worked there for 20 years.  Karen is currently employed with the Barber National Institute working in the Agency with Choice program for 3 years.  She has experience working in the drug and alcohol field as she has worked with her current employer at UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Safe Harbor.  She was an evaluator clinician with the Warm Handoff program for 1 1/2 years.

BRUSCHI MATT 2021413Matthew Bruschi
Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School

Matt Bruschi is a Full-Service Community School Case Manager in the Removing Barriers to Learning through Case Management in Erie’s Community Schools project in partnership with United Way of Erie County, Erie Public Schools and Gannon University.

Matt graduated from Gannon University in 1986 with his degree in Mental Health Counseling. He has been a case manager in Erie, PA for over 20 years and has worked with Case Management, Stairways Behavioral Health, and the Achievement Center, providing case management to children and adolescents. 

 

 

 

FOWLER SYMMPHONY 2021413Symphony Fowler
McKinley Elementary School

Symphony Fowler is a Full Service Community Schools Case Manager in the Removing Barriers to Learning Through Case Management in Erie’s Community Schools project in partnership with United Way of Erie County, Erie’s Public Schools and Gannon University.

Symphony graduated from Slippery Rock University in December of 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in Criminal Justice.  She has worked in the human services field since 2008, starting as an Intern at Venango County DHS for one year. In January of 2009 she transferred to Erie County Office of Children and Youth as an Intake Specialist for 6 years, where she was part of the team that investigated child abuse and neglect. From there she was blessed to be able to gain multiple experiences from human service agencies around Erie County; Stairways Behavioral Health, Barber National Institute, Harborcreek Youth Services and Family Services as a Behavioral Specialist in an Erie Public School. 

GRADY AALIYAH 2021413Aaliyah Grady
Edison Elementary School

Aaliyah Grady is the Full-Service Community School Case Manager at Edison Elementary School responsible for truancy in the Removing Barriers to Learning through Case Management in Erie’s Community Schools project, in partnership with United Way of Erie County, Erie’s Public Schools, and Gannon University.

Aaliyah has BS in Psychology from Penn State Behrend, The Erie College. Aaliyah has 4 years of experience in the mental health field through the Barber National Institute working in many residential group homes around Erie, PA. She has also attended schools that are involved in the Erie Community Schools project. Aaliyah is familiar with the structure of Erie Public Schools and is passionate about working with children and giving back to her community!

 

MOYAK ASHLEY 2021413Ashley R. Moyak
East Middle School

Ashley Moyak is a Full-Service Community School Case Manager and will primarily work with the students and families at East Middle School. Ashley is part of a new and innovative program, the Removing Barriers to Learning through Case Management in Erie’s Community Schools project, in partnership with United Way of Erie County, Erie’s Public Schools and Gannon University.

Ashley graduated from Penn State Behrend with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and with a certificate in Behavioral Health and Counseling. She has been working in human services for about 5 years. She completed an internship through The Mentor Project at Penn State Behrend as a mentor and leader for an assigned middle school. While going to school, she worked as a personal care aid through Asbury Home Services.  Upon graduation, Ashley began working at UPMC Western Behavioral Health as a Behavioral Health Worker for the Community and School Based Behavioral Health Program at Lincoln Elementary. In this role, Ashley provided support to children and families with behavioral and mental health needs in a school, home, and community setting.