Guidance of Newer Professionals: Mentorship Program

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The New England PTTC Prevention Mentorship Program is a nine-month program that was developed in response to a needs assessment conducted by Public Consulting Group (PCG) for the New England PTTC in 2019. New England prevention providers indicated a need for mentorship within and across state lines for newer prevention professionals, particularly where they work in organizations where organizational supervisors may have little to no substance use disorder prevention background.


The New England PTTC Mentorship Program has four objectives: 2022 Prevention Mentorship Program Mentees & Mentors


  • Establish a cohort of prevention mentors in each of the six New England states.
  • Provide a structured process for new prevention professionals to receive guidance and counsel from experienced professionals in the field.
  • Create opportunities for experienced professionals to enhance their leadership skills and share their experience with the newer prevention professionals.
  • Assist prevention professionals to plan career advancement.


The ultimate goal of the program is to increase prevention workforce retention and the quality of a prevention workforce that is educated, qualified, culturally competent, diverse, and growing.


Applications for the third year of the program are OPEN! The program will kick off in January 2023! Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 20, 2022 at 5:00pm ET. After this date we can no longer accept any applications for mentees. Thank you for your understanding.


Sign up for our email list to request the link to apply, and receive updates on future programs and upcoming resources.





Mentor Emily Dooling Hamilton


Emily Dooling Hamilton graduated from Springfield College in 2008 with a Master’s of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. At the University of Maine-Orono she completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education. She is currently certified to teaching K-12 Physical Education in the state of Maine. While at UMaine, Emily played Division I field hockey and was on the student athlete advisory board. 

Emily has been at Healthy Androscoggin since fall of 2010 and has a National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice (NCTTP) and is a Certified Prevention Specialist (PS-C). She works hard everyday so individuals who are interested in quitting tobacco have the resources and information to do so.  In addition, she is passionate about protecting community members (especially children) from secondhand smoke exposure. 


Mentor Alissa Cannon



Alissa Cannon is a Certified Prevention Specialist working in the field of Juvenile Justice and Prevention for the New Hampshire Juvenile Court Diversion Network, a statewide Nonprofit Organization coordinating screening for substance use and mental health in juvenile court diversion programs. She has worked in the areas of prevention and community/school-based health education for nearly 15 years and has enjoyed every moment of it. She also proudly serves on the Prevention Taskforce of the NH Governor's Commission on Prevention, Treatment & Recovery, the Alcohol & Other Drug Policy Advisory Committee for New Futures, and is actively working with the NH Service to Science Expert Panel to designate the NH Juvenile Court Diversion Model as Evidence-Based.


Mentor Tonya Fernandes



Tonya Fernandes, CPS, MS is a Certified Prevention Specialist at the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services in Boson, Massachusetts   Tonya is a Prevention Program Coordinator.  She provides program support and fiscal oversight to funded prevention providers.Tonya holds a Master of Science Degree in Human Services from the College of Public and Community Services at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Tonya enjoys gardening, reading, and listening to music.




Mentor Daniel Fitzgerald



Daniel Fitzgerald, MPH, ICPS is a National Senior Manager of Advocacy for the American Lung Association and the Executive Director of the Chariho Youth Task Force. Dan’s educational background is in prevention science, social marketing, nonprofit management, and public health. Prior to his current roles, Dan worked as a Prevention Fellow with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) and was stationed at the RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare working with all the states funded prevention coalitions. Under his direction over the last 14 years, the Chariho Youth Task Force has become a 501(c)3 nonprofit working to create a society driven toward physical and mental well-being created through collaboration, education, and activism working primarily in Charlestown, Hopkinton, and Richmond, RI. Dan is an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist and sits on the Rhode Island Certification Board.


Mentor Kathy Gardner


Kathy Gardner is a very versatile, compassionate, and reliable Certified Prevention Specialist and has 15+ years of experience to offer. Kathy followed her passion for working with youth later in life and returned to school to complete her Bachelor’s in Social Services and Health at Roger William’s University. She then went on to complete her Master’s in Prevention Science at the University of Oklahoma. Currently, Kathy is the Project Manager of a Partnerships for Success Grant covering the South County area of Rhode Island. Prior to her current position, Kathy had the opportunity to implement and manage a variety of Federal grants over the years; Drug Free Communities, STOP Act, as well as RI state grants. Kathy has been trained in an extensive list of Evidence Based Programs from Substance Abuse Prevention, Suicide Prevention, RX360, and programs specific to the American Indian Population. The love of building coalitions, establishing relationships with stakeholders, and mentoring young people keeps Kathy excited about her work. One of Kathy’s main goals is to recruit more young people to follow their passion through the prevention field.


Mentor Maura McGowan



Maura McGowan, CPS, is the Program Director of the NH Teen Institute, a non-profit agency whose mission is to empower youth through personal leadership development and community engagement. Maura has worked in the field of prevention since 2002 and became involved with the NH Teen Institute in 2008 when she began volunteering for programs and working on a curriculum updating and development board. In 2017, Maura became Program Director in charge of youth programming and volunteer engagement in addition to being a facilitator for professional development trainings offered by the NH Teen Institute.



Mentor Robin Rieske


Robin Rieske is a Certified Prevention Specialist with 32 years of experience in the field of substance treatment and prevention. She has been working as a Prevention Consultant/community organizer in the State of Vermont for the past 30 years and supports communities and coalitions to promote best practices in substance use/misuse prevention.  

Among other publications, Robin has co-authored the Ready To Test Manual:  Getting Ready to Test: A Review/Preparation Manual for the Written Prevention Specialist Examination. Her treatment background includes directing an adventure-based substance treatment program for youth in treatment and assisting in aftercare programming. Robin also works as both a state and federal grant reviewer for substance programming. She is part of the newly formed IC&RC Prevention Board in Vermont. She lives in Brattleboro with her partner, two kids and Micah, her labradoodle. She recently finished hiking all 48 4,000 footers in New Hampshire.


Mentor Jessica Summer


Jessica Summer is the Executive Director for the Milton Community Youth Coalition in Milton, Vermont, and the Operations Director for Prevention Works!VT. She was part of the pilot year of the New England PTTC mentor program and is super excited to be back for year two as a mentor! She was also the Vermont Fellow in the New England PTTC's research fellowship program last year. Jess has a special love for data collection and evaluation. She graduated from NCCU with a Master of Library and Information Sciences degree and from Franklin Pierce University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Jess lives in Fairfax, VT with her husband and rescue greyhound Blaze. When she's not working, you can likely find her baking or reading a book.





Mentee Leah Briere


Leah Briere, AS, BS, is a Regional Prevention Coordinator with the City of Gloucester's Health Department in Massachusetts. She is new to the field of Prevention and come by way of the Public Housing sector where she worked as a Case Manager through a Housing First Initiative which supports families who are transitioning out of DTA shelters into homes of their own.  Currently, she is working on an Early Childhood grant and a Tower grant. In addition, to her professional experience, Leah earned a BS in Psychology and an AS in Accounting.  She is excited to continue her education through this program.  






Mentee Jiffy Kelley-Young

Jiffy Kelley-Young, LADC, PPS, MHFA, grew up in a small town on the coast of Penobscot Bay in Maine. She attended SMCC and USM, in several fields of study including Hospitality Management, Behavioral Health and Human Services, and Social Work. She is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Provisional Prevention Specialist, and Certified Mental Health First Aider.

Prior to moving to the prevention realm, Jiffy worked in the Substance Use treatment and recovery field for 14 years as the Clinical Intake Coordinator in a Counseling/Men's Residential Treatment program.  Within the past year, she moved to a primary prevention role, as a Community Health Promotions Specialist, with the City of Portland's, Division of Public Health, Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reductions Services.  Jiffy has been a member of the Board of Directors of AdCare Maine since September 2018 and represents the Maine Board for AdCare Mass. 

Jiffy lives in Sebago, Maine with her husband, and their four boys (two cats, Clayton and Morty, and two Chiweenies, Sam and Elliot.)  In their free time, they enjoy road trips around the beautiful state, hanging out on Sebago Lake, and all the activities involved with letterboxing. 


Mentee Lexi Perry


Lexi Perry is a Provisional Prevention Specialist. She was born and raised in Central Maine, moved to North Carolina where she attended High Point University and received her B.S. in Exercise Science with a Health/Wellness Concentration before moving back home. Prior to starting in Prevention this past summer, she worked in Harm Reduction for two years working specifically on overdose prevention and staffing a syringe service program locally. In August 2021, Lexi started at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control program- specifically focusing on substance use prevention. 

Lexi lives in Winthrop, Maine with her husband, their three cats, and their 1 1/2 year old rescue Borador (lab/border collie mix), Oakley. They enjoy getting outside to hike, kayak, paddleboard, and go camping in the summer and fall! 


Mentee Courtney Widrick Fitzkee


Courtney Widrick Fitzkee is the Prevention Coordinator for the Town of East Hampton, CT in the Youth and Family Service Office. Courtney was born and raised in Upstate New York, where she attended SUNY Oswego and received her B.S. in Health Promotion and Wellness in 2013. Prior to starting in Prevention this past summer, she worked in Youth Development for Cornell Cooperative Extension and the YMCA in NYS. Currently, she primarily coordinates for the East Hampton prevention partnership under the DFC grant. The Coalition is a grassroots organization that focuses on substance abuse education, awareness, and providing alternative activities to the youth of East Hampton. She lives in Portland, CT with her husband and dog, Prim. They enjoy traveling when they get the chance and fixing up their home they purchased last year.




Mentee Deborah Lake


Deborah Lake, Director of Program Planning and Implementation has been with The Governor's Prevention Partnership since 2019. She is responsible for the daily operations and support of the program team. She works closely with the Co-Presidents to ensure smooth administration of prevention and mentoring programs. her responsibilities include managing community relationships, serving on statewide advisory boards, guiding the statewide youth advisory board, and supporting staff. She has over fifteen years of experience with managing programs, system operations, and training adults. She holds a Master of Arts in International Education with a focus in non-profit management. She lives in Connecticut with her daughter and can frequently be found reading for fun when not going to the playground.

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