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Jennifer Altieri: You can do anything you believe you can


LITTLETON — Jennifer Lynn Altieri got some seemingly simple advice years ago, but she said she has found it to be true.


"You can do anything you believe you can," she said in a recent interview.


Apparently it's working, because the 34-year-old wife and mother of three girls has already accomplished a lot. 


The 1998 St. Johnsbury (Vt.) Academy graduate went on in 2002 to earn a degree at Lyndon State College in human services and counseling. She's now enrolled in Plymouth State University's master's degree program in clinical mental health counseling.


In addition to the time she spends with her husband, Shane Altieri, and Lillyannah, Paislee and Ambrielle, Jennifer is program director at the Jefferson School. 


In her written comments to the Union Leader, Altieri said the North Country-based school delivers an intensive, family-driven residential treatment program for adolescent girls that includes special education, "trauma-informed" treatment, residential care, foster care and in-home treatment.


The Jefferson School seeks to develop in clients adaptive coping skills, strong social skills, appropriate peer and family relations and activities of daily living, she said.


The school is under the umbrella of the Peabody, Mass.-based North American Family Institute which, according to Altieri, provides a broad array of clients "birth to elderly" services. 


As for volunteer activities, Altieri wrote, "I have had the privilege to engage in two separate mission trips over the years; one in 2004 to Nicaragua where I stayed at an orphanage where I spent my Christmas with orphan children as well as walking through villages where we fed and prayed for many. 
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"Again, in 2007 I spent time at another orphanage in Mozambique, South Africa, where we stayed at another orphanage and also did various street ministries," she said.


She recently began working collaboratively on a project with other stakeholders known as the "Hand in Hand we have a plan" project that the NFI North, Davenport youth and staff participate in annually with other teen and adult volunteers and agencies throughout northern New Hampshire. This project seeks to engage youth and adult volunteers in providing home maintenance/ repair assistance to low-income, elderly, and disabled residents in Coos and Grafton counties during the summer for one week.

Asked her key current professional challenge, she answered, "Doing more with less. Most agencies continue to struggle financially, including the nonprofit organization I work for. Many treatment facilities in New Hampshire have ceased service due to the financial constraints, therefore fewer agencies to collaborate with and the loss of many amazing colleagues, resulting in fewer treatment options for youth and families in New Hampshire. Very sad!"

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