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January 26. 2014 8:12AM

Jennifer Altieri: You can do anything you believe you can

Jennifer Lynn Altieri 

Jennifer Lynn (Amidon) Altieri, 34

Hometown: Littleton

Birthplace: Saint Johnsbury, Vt.

Immediate family: Husband, Shane Altieri; daughters, Lillyannah Altieri, Paislee Altieri and Ambrielle Altieri; mother, Gloria ClichÚ; stepfather: Philip ClichÚ; father, Richard Amidon, deceased

High school: St. Johnsbury Academy, Saint Jonsbury, Vt. (graduated in 1998)

College/post grad degrees: Lyndon State College, Lyndon, Vt. (graduated with a B.S. in human services and counseling in May of 2002). Currently enrolled full time at Plymouth State University in Plymouth in their M.S. in clinical mental health counseling program.

Current job: Employed with NAFI/NFI North. My current role is program director of the North Country array of services. The Davenport School, located in Jefferson, is an intensive family driven residential treatment program for adolescent girls that includes a fully licensed special education school, trauma informed treatment services, residential care, foster care and in-home treatment. Through the use of trauma informed evidenced based practice participating youth develop adaptive coping skills, strong social skills, appropriate peer and family relations and activities of daily living. The Davenport School addresses the specific needs of adolescent girls through a comprehensive gender responsive programming curriculum. Students receive individual, family and group counseling based on individual treatment needs. Various evidence based treatment modalities including Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are utilized according to individual treatment needs of students. The program also offers a unique structured experiential learning component and summer program that includes the use of our onsight high and low ropes course.

Key past positions held: I have loved each and every position that I have held. I have viewed all of the positions held as a stepping stone to my growth and development as a professional. One role I absolutely loved was at the beginning of my career with NFI and that was as a direct care counselor. Working closely with youth and their families was so rewarding and forever changed my life. I began working at NFI North when I was 21 years of age and since have been given so many amazing opportunities from shift supervisor to assistant director to being a program director. The best in each role has been the ability to mentor many staff, youth and families I have been so blessed to work with.

Most admired person (outside your family): Charlene Nickerson, a clinician at the northern NH Correctional Facility in Berlin. Charlene has been my mentor for years. I met Charlene as I began my career with NFI North. Charlene is amazingly patient, kind hearted and dedicated to her work with families in New Hampshire. She has been my role model and biggest cheerleader. I will be forever grateful for her willingness to take me under her wing, teach and support me through all I have accomplished.

Last major achievement: Being awarded $5,000 scholarship toward receiving my M.S. in mental health counseling. This money was awarded by National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) as I am a currently certified as a Human Services Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) through Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE).

Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: I would say the lack of funding and resources available for those struggling with mental health issues.

Favorite place in New Hampshire: I absolutely love Waterville Valley as it is absolutely beautiful with breathtaking views and is very peaceful.

What book are you reading now? Many textbooks for school including group counseling and research and design. I am currently working on designing an anger management curriculum for teenage girls and am also reading through lots of books on that topic.

How do you relax? I love camping with my family, going to the ocean and drinking coffee in the morning.

What websites do you visit most often? I am on Amazon often ordering items for work.

Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: I love the "Big Bang Theory" and "Dr. Phil." I listen to 103.7 WOKQ and I love Toby Mac.

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. 
Body Copy Rag-Right: 

"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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