In the past two weeks, CASES employee Theodore “Ted” Willbright celebrated two noteworthy milestones: 10 years of working at CASES and completion of a Master’s degree from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Ted’s 4.0 GPA earned him a spot on stage during graduation ceremonies.
As a CASES intake coordinator, Ted works in the Courts to identify individuals with serious mental illness who are facing incarceration and who might be better served in a community treatment program. Ted advocates for these individuals to be sentenced to CASES’ Nathaniel Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), a state-licensed alternative-to-incarceration program providing mental health treatment and a range of other support services. Nathaniel ACT helps justice-involved individuals with serious mental illness achieve stability in the community while avoiding future criminal involvement.
With over 20 years working in not-for-profit organizations providing direct services to clients, Ted earned a scholarship to Hunter College through a professional development program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Ted is grateful to the City and Hunter for understanding the circumstances and needs of older students. During his studies, he continued working full-time and says he could not have completed his academic program without the ongoing support of colleagues at CASES.
“I was very cognizant of my responsibilities to the City for my scholarship, to Hunter for accepting me into the program, and to CASES for their belief in me and the crucial support they provided throughout my time in the Master’s program,” Ted said.
Working full-time and keeping an accelerated academic schedule, he said that one of his biggest challenges was time management. Ted’s biggest challenge now? “I’m just trying to get back on a regular sleep schedule!” he said.