Meet our new Community Liaison

Photo of addiction peer coach Yvonne

Published Dec. 10, 2020

Yvonne has extensive experience in customer service roles, Spanish/English translation and the healthcare industry. As Community Liaison, Yvonne serves as the point of contact for our FIT @ Work partners in Colorado Springs. She builds relationships with employers, manages ongoing company training and ensures partner satisfaction.

Yvonne is also one of our loved one coaches. She uses her lived experience as an affected family member to help others struggling with the people at risk in their lives. She’s passionate about helping others and completing more outreach into Hispanic communities, as she knows firsthand how often stigma prevents people from getting the help they need.

What stood out to you when you applied to Face It TOGETHER?
I have two close relatives who are still struggling with addiction, so it was great to see an organization that provides that peer-to-peer support. It felt right to apply because it was something that touched my heart.

After going through coach certification, I began to understand how addiction works. I also realized that instead of blaming my family members, I can show them compassion and tell them I love them no matter what.

What are a few of the challenges facing loved ones of those with addiction?
Being a loved one is an emotional rollercoaster. You get to the point when you don’t know what to do anymore – you just want to help them, but you don’t know how.

You also feel extremely isolated. Especially in a Hispanic family, you’re supposed to stay quiet and not say anything. You lose yourself completely because you’re in a world with the person suffering that you’re not supposed to speak about with anybody else.

What’s one thing you’d like people to take away from your personal story?
If they should take away anything, it’s all about having hope. Don’t give up. It’s really easy to say, ‘I give up; I’m done.’ You can help family members change and become well, you just need to have the right resources and tools.

Just don’t lose hope. I haven’t lost hope even after some of the experiences I’ve had. That’s why I continue to be there for my family members, and now I’m with an organization that helps individuals get well.

What are you most looking forward to in your role as a coach?
I just want to be able to help others and make a difference. I love to be part of other peoples’ success. That’s why I’m looking forward to helping others using my own experiences. As a loved one, I didn’t know what to do for so long. I didn’t know where to go to or how to help them make change. So I’m very passionate about the work Face It TOGETHER does and about being able to guide family members.

What skills from past jobs will you bring to your role as a coach?
In my past coaching roles, I loved listening to others, building relationships and giving advice. I’m also very good at reading people. One thing I’ve learned about coaching is the importance of being open. If you’re open with someone, they’re going to feel safe and share with you too.

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