Meet a Board Member!
Turning Point is pleased to continue its Spotlight Series featuring the members of our wonderful Board of Directors! This week, we interview Board Member Diana Juarez --
Diana, how long have you been a Board member at Turning Point and what first inspired you to become involved?
I’ve served on the Board for 4 years. I worked with Turning Point through my position as Director of the English Language Learner (ELL) Parent Center and was impressed with the staff’s dedication to providing quality service to their clients. I saw the organization striving to grow and evolve with the needs of the community, and was inspired to be a part of it.
Could you tell us a little about your background? Are you from Chicago?
I am born and raised in Chicago, currently living in the north side of the city with my husband and 15 month old baby.
What field have you worked in? Could you tell us a little about your work and professional history?
I have worked for 15 years in community outreach, starting in state universities and moving into serving Skokie schools about 8 years ago. I have focused on working with traditionally underrepresented communities.
Any activities that have lifted your spirits during the pandemic?
Having a baby the day before the state went into lockdown last year proved to be the biggest challenge of my life. I found solace in particular in connecting with an online book club run by the Skokie Public Library. It set a personal goal for me to finish at least one book per month, and “attend” a virtual discussion about it with other adults. I read during sleepless nights, and had something to focus on that provided a break from colic concerns and the consuming fears of being a first-time parent. It also exposed me to some amazing literature.
Any book you've recently read or movie/TV show seen that you would recommend?
The book club really helped expand my reading horizons into different genres and authors I had not heard of. One book that sticks with me, still, is Tommy Orange’s debut novel There, There. It’s a beautifully told story through characters in different Native communities around “violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people” (National Book Foundation).
What do you find most rewarding about serving on the Turning Point board?
I very much enjoy being a part of an organization whose goal is to support the community as needed and in the best, most efficient ways possible. Turning Point is a valuable asset to those it serves, and to the community at large. I feel good knowing the organization is making a huge positive impact that ripples throughout the neighborhood, village, and surrounding areas.
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ABOUT TURNING POINT BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE CENTER, established in 1969, is a non-profit outpatient mental health center, serving children and adults, with a mission to provide “solid support, when you need it most.” Each year, Turning Point serves approximately 1,300 children and adults from throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, approximately 90% of whom are low income. Located in Skokie and recognized as a leader in innovation and community support, Turning Point was honored with the 2017 Excellence in Mental Health Award from the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health, the 2015 Impact Award for Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management from the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the 2017 Public Health Partners of Excellence Award from the Skokie Health Department and Board of Health, in recognition of exceptional contributions to the health of Skokie.