Known simply as “Ms. A”, Anna Morgan-Mullane serves as Director of Mental Health Services for Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC) where she infuses mental health into afterschool programming for children and adolescents who have an imprisoned parent. It is often challenging for kids in this unique population to open up to and relate to adults, yet Ms. A’s informal nickname is a testament to the ease she brings to any situation and the level of comfort the youth feel when they are around her. Through her use of empathy and empowerment, Ms. Morgan-Mullane has slowly helped deconstruct the walls of guilt and shame felt by the youth she works with and has encouraged them to speak about themselves, their feelings, and their situations openly and honestly.
Ms. Morgan Mullane has helped to set CPNYC apart from other afterschool programs by introducing research-driven interventions that explore the neurological and psychological impacts and damages that CPNYC’s population experiences. Anna conducts an extensive training program for interns and staff that allows each individual to gain critical therapeutic skills needed to work with CPNYC’s children. These trainings have allowed CPNYC to offer individual support and attention, and to serve even more youth each day. Anna’s work has ensured that the staff can help families to appreciate and understand the process of their own personal growth, as well as the behavioral achievements of their children. Anna’s work may serve as an example that other programs and staff work with to achieve the same outcomes with equal impact.
Over the past year, Anna set a healthy example for youth and peers while training for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. The youth at CPNYC, who already love and respect Ms. A, were inspired not only by her commitment to physical fitness, but also her dedication to join four other runners in raising over $15,000 in support of Children of Promise. When Hurricane Sandy struck and the marathon was cancelled, Anna did not give up – she kept training, fundraising, and registered for the LA Marathon, which will take place in March 2013. Ms. A’s commitment to CPNYC is unwavering and when she starts something, everyone knows she will finish it.
Anna believes in the resilience and inherent strengths that each individual child possesses. She leads by example, offers love and support, and provides the youth at CPNYC with a safe space and a positive role model.