Evelyn Saim-Lobos, Recovery Program Director, discusses support systems and being a part of the only recovery education program in Maryland.
Q: What is your role at Sheppard Pratt?
I am the Program Director of The Landing Adolescent Recovery Program and the Recovery Academic Program (RAP). The Landing provides a safe after-school environment for Montgomery County teens who need support to live a sober life. RAP allows students who have fallen behind at school the opportunity to make up credits, with personalized support for recovery and academics. I have worked at Sheppard Pratt since 2011.
Q: Can you tell us about yourself?
I have an amazing husband and a beautiful 1-year-old baby girl. I am the youngest of three girls, the daughter of immigrants, and originally from Guatemala. Family is profoundly important to me, and I strive to make my family proud.
Q: What motivates you?
The teens in my program. They have little in the way of support systems and just need someone in their corner. Empowering them to rebuild family relationships, recover academic motivation, and gain the ability to love themselves as they learn to live sober lifestyles is my biggest motivation.
Q: What is your favorite part about working here?
The kids! I love working with adolescents; they are striving for independence and individuality. Helping them find their way helps me define myself and gives my life so much meaning.
Q: What has been your most meaningful project?
The development of RAP. Sheppard Pratt partnered with Montgomery County Public School System to create a safe, sober, encouraging space. Currently, RAP is the only recovery education program in the entire state of Maryland, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
Q: What has been your proudest moment at work?
At the graduation of a program participant, every student was handed a rose as they walked across the stage. The principal explained that the flowers were not for the students, but meant for them to give to whomever supported their journey. After the ceremony, the student presented the rose to me and said, “If it weren’t for you, I doubt I would even be alive, never mind graduating today.”
Q: What would you title the autobiography of your life?
“I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way.”
Job title: Recovery Program Director
years working at Sheppard Pratt
Three words to describe Sheppard Pratt: Hope, Health, Potential