GET TO KNOW OUR STAFF MEMBER, CRYSTAL STANTON, IN TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT Q&A!
What is your position?
I am the Program Director of Staten Island TASC.
How long have you been working with EAC Network?
I have been working with EAC Network for a little over 5 years. Prior to joining the EAC Network family I was working with RTI International as grant evaluation staff for TASC programs, so I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the EAC Network folks for over a decade! Wow, time sure does fly!
Why did you choose this profession?
I was always interested in psychology and law, so working with TASC is the perfect amalgamation of both fields.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Hands down it’s helping people change their lives for the better, and actually seeing the transformation. In addition, there are many things I enjoy about my job. I have been fortunate to have various opportunities to learn new practices and train others. For example, I am pleased to present at this year’s National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Conference in July. Maybe it’s my competitive side, but I love working toward and achieving programmatic goals and objectives.
What is the hardest part of your job?
I would say it is hard for me to shut off my “work brain.” I am one of those people who is always brainstorming or coordinating things to make the next day easier. It is also difficult but important to not get emotionally invested in the lives of clients. I like to reassure myself that the clients are given the opportunities, support, and tools they need to change, and the rest is on them.
What aspect of your job do you wish people knew more about?
I wish people knew more about the importance of stopping recidivism from a community perspective. I don’t believe that the average citizen is aware just how costly it is to keep someone in jail, and how beneficial various treatments can be to preventing future jail stays.
Name one goal you have for the upcoming year.
My current short-term goal is to raise a minimum of $1,000 for EAC Network’s Over the Edge event so I can rappel down the side of the tower at Nassau Community College. It will be a great experience for a great cause! Here’s my fundraising page!
Tell us about one client in particular who deeply influenced you and how you do your job.
I really couldn’t pick just one client. There have been more than a handful of clients that stick out in my mind. I find that I have been inspired by the clients who have the worst imaginable situation and still can muster a positive outlook. It really makes me feel grateful for all that I have in life, and makes me realize that a lot of my problems are trivial in comparison. Furthermore, getting to know these clients really instills a genuine motivation to go above and beyond to help.
Name one of your hobbies.
I’m a bit of a dare devil and enjoy ziplining! My two favorite lines were over the Jamaican rainforests, and over the Fremont Strip in Las Vegas.
Would you encourage others to go into your profession?
I don’t think I would encourage or discourage others to get into this profession. I would educate, allowing one to make a more informed decision. I feel that there are a lot of misconceptions about alternative to incarceration programs, the kind of work we do, and the people we help.
What advice do you have for others interested in your profession?
Maintain good relationships with all those you meet on your professional journey. In a field that depends on linkages and networking, you never know who you will need help from and vice versa.
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Sarah Muller is the Development & Marketing Assistant for EAC Network. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in English.