I am a lifelong learner and a resident of Durham, NC who graduated from Shaw University, Duke University (A one-time pilot), and Durham Technical Community College. My career has been new initiatives within medical facilities, group homes, county and state government, educational systems, early childhood, and higher education settings. Part of my journey was learning to embrace my Lived Experience with every system as a mother, caregiver, and Kinship Provider. I also gained an appreciation for how to share my voice for the needs, support, guidance, and resources required for my family to be successful. The journey was not easy. Making the choice to learn and understand systems, policies and procedures led to over forty-plus years of living, learning, building relationships/partners, and cultivating my skills and passion to support children, youth, and families locally, statewide, and nationally.
Hi I am Frederick Douglas and family is extremely important to me. I am the mother of 3 beautiful daughters, the grandmother of 5 and great grandmother of 6. I began this journey supporting my daughter who was experiencing emotional and behavioral mental health challenges. She was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder at the early age of 5. I was overwhelmed with questions. What is Bi-Polar Disorder? What did I do to cause my daughter to act this way? Who can help us? After what seemed to be forever of trying to figure out what to do, I was finally connected to a grant that had a non-traditional approach to supporting families. This was my first introduction to System of Care. My daughter was not seen as a client that needed to be fixed and my family was not seen as a problem that needed to be solved. We were invited to be a part of a process that valued our thoughts about what worked best for “our family”. My family learned more about the mental health delivery system through this process, and we were able to share our views about some of the barriers to the system that was not really meeting the specific needs of families. We sat on both local. State and national committees, participated as co presenters in trainings and even assisted in developing and participating as faculty in a system of care multidisciplinary course at UNCG. I have over 30 years of experience in training and supporting families within the principles of youth-led and family-driven care. I truly believe that the voices of the families being served must lead the decision-making process in service delivery and that it is a vital component of mental wellness. I currently serve as the Certified Family Training Coordinator with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Some of my National and community accomplishments are Nationally Certified Family Peer Specialist, recipient of the National Federation of Families ‘Jane Adams Award for Peer Support in 2017, an ordained Elder and Pastor of a nonprofit “Faith in Community Ministries” in Greensboro NC, Bachelor of Arts in Communications at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. But my greatest contribution and accomplishment is using the experiences and lessons that I have learned in supporting my own family to support other families who also face the challenges associated with mental illness.
I’m honored to serve as Communication and Outreach Coordinator for the Family and Youth Support and Education Program. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in English from North Carolina State University. Prior to coming to UNCG, I was a Youth Support Partner for High Fidelity Wraparound where I used my lived experience to advocate for and empower youth with mental health diagnoses. I am passionate about building relationships and sharing my experience in a way that leaves others feeling seen and heard and their stories validated.
After being diagnosed with Autismat 13, and spendinghis adolescent years transitioning through various residential placements, Kyle Reece got involved with various youth-serving mental health organizations in his hometown of Durham, North Carolina. After serving aspresident of multipleyouthadvocacy organizations, including Youth M.O.V.E North Carolina, Kyle transitioned into his role as Youth Training Coordinator at UNCG. With his position, Kyle utilizes his lived experience expertise, as well as his passion toaffect change for youth in his community and across the state, by providing technical assistance and training to,youth-serving organizations, communitycollaboratives, and residential placements across the state.