Meet Mary O’Reilly (fondly known as Mary O), our new Executive Assistant and Family Support Education Specialist who is helping manage our donor database and assisting families with school placement and supporting young people with next-step education goals!
“I first heard about Sunset Youth Services from my supervisor, Rachel Mack, when I was working as a counseling intern at Mills High School. The thing about SYS is that the minute you walk in, you feel accepted and welcomed. You can see the work and the direct impact on the lives of youth. I look forward to contributing to that.
I went to school for an undergraduate degree at San Jose State in Justice Studies and continued with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from University of San Francisco, which uses the national American School Counselor Association framework for student success–including academic development, career development and social/emotional development.
I worked for the Salesian Boys and Girls Club for 5 years, first as a summer day-camp instructor and after-school counselor offering direct service, and in more recent years as an executive assistant. We worked with 1 Catholic and 4 public schools and served about 100-150 kids per day in our afterschool program, providing supportive relationships, homework help, and activity supervision.
Simultaneously, during this past year, I volunteered at Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) in San Jose––a mentorship program where I became a court-appointed youth advocate, got matched with a young person and offered support on time management, school work, and creating a resume. It was highly relational and prepared me for the work here.
It can be scary to see a school counselor. My hope is to offer a safe space where students, families, and I can explore options together. College isn’t for everyone, but it’s possible and we can make it happen. I look forward to being available and supportive, advocating for what youth need, and building long-term relationships and connections with young people at SYS.”