Joining Highland Rivers Health’s ROC — Reaching Our Community — Clubhouse in March, Julie Bermudez is helping build a solid foundation for its members “through empowerment and education.”
Opened in January 2016, the ROC Clubhouse served 41 students, with six graduating, in its initial year. By offering various life-skills lessons to youth 11 to 17 with a mental health diagnosis, the program helps participants transition into adulthood and continue to reach their full potential.
The clubhouse is operated by Highland Rivers Health and is situated at 1 Goodyear Ave. in Cartersville.
“My responsibilities as the program lead for the ROC Clubhouse are oversee all operations of [the] clubhouse; identify outreach opportunities for clubhouse members; and establish and maintain relationships with community partners, just to list a few,” Bermudez said. “I love working with the kids and the staff. We are a team, from the executive team down to the ROC Clubhouse staff.
“Alegna Williams, Josh Brown, Leighann Millwood and Renee Gable are my clubhouse staff, and they are a vital part to the success of our program and the success of our individuals that we serve. Some of my most memorable moments are the off-site trips we take with the children [to] Six Flags, rollerskating, Rome Braves game, etc. and seeing them being able to just be kids and enjoy themselves.”
Name: Julie Bermudez
Occupation (title): Highland Rivers Health program lead for the ROC Clubhouse
City of residence: I reside in Polk County, but work in Bartow County. I’m planning to buy a home in Bartow County one day.
Family: I am married to Rick Bermudez, who is a therapist for the HRH Floyd Home Again Program.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Special Education
DTN: When did you join Highland Rivers Health’s ROC Clubhouse, and what drew you to this line of work?
JB: I joined HRH ROC Clubhouse March 1, 2017, when the position opened up. Before joining the ROC, I worked for HRH as a CSI (Community Support Individual). I have always loved working with children, and I come from a long line of educators.
DTN: Provide some background information on the ROC Clubhouse, such as when/why did it open and who is it geared toward?
JB: The ROC Clubhouse opened in January 2016 as an opportunity through supportive funding by DBHDD (Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities) to provide resiliency support for youth with behavioral health needs in [the] least restrictive setting.
DTN: What is the purpose of the ROC Clubhouse, and why is it needed?
JB: The purpose of the ROC Clubhouse and why it is needed is to build a strong foundation for Bartow County youth and adolescents through empowerment and education. It is a safe and fun environment where youth and adolescents can hang out and socialize while learning important resiliency strategies. The members participate in social outings, educational support, group discussions and other activities that help them build pro-social behavior and life skills.
DTN: What do you hope the students gain or learn from the ROC program that they can apply going forward in life?
JB: I hope that our members gain safe and effective coping skills, life skills and social skills to help them obtain jobs, succeed in school and relationships, as well as become productive members of the community.
DTN: What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?
JB: One of my greatest personal achievements would be graduating from college with my bachelor’s degree and looking into furthering my education and earning my master’s degree.
DTN: If you were not in your line of work, what would you like to do?
JB: If I was not in this line of work I would have liked to have been a pediatric nurse, but if I had to pick a line of work without children I would have liked TV production.
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
JB: Three words to describe myself would be passionate, outgoing and compassionate.
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
JB: Something people might be surprised to know about me is that one day I would like to become a foster parent looking to adopt.
DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received?
JB: The best advice I ever received is “treat others the way you want to be treated.”
DTN: What do you like to do in your spare time?
JB: In my spare time, I like spending time with my family and friends and exploring different areas of Georgia, since I [was] born and raised in New York and have only lived down here for four years.
DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
JB: My favorite place in Bartow County is downtown Cartersville. I love all the little shops and restaurants.
Latest from Marie Nesmith
- Litter enforcement takes center stage at Sept. 7 workshop
- Gold Standard Band to close out Music by the Tracks Saturday
- Pumphouse Players kick off 43rd season with ‘Beer for Breakfast’
- Family Treatment Court takes shape in Bartow County
- Homegrown and Handcrafted: Cartersville Farmer’s Market features ‘diverse offerings’