Staff Spotlight – Muriel Drago

Muriel Drago-Program Assistant Bethany Women's Center-001To kick off this new year, we would like to introduce you to N Street Village staff member Muriel Drago. Muriel began working at N Street Village in 2007 as a program assistant in Bethany Women’s Center.  This past year, Muriel joined the Clinical Care Specialist team, where she offers ongoing support to clients, coordinates intakes, and welcomes newcomers to the community. Muriel recently shared with us more about herself, her experience at N Street Village, as well as her reflections on 2012 and wishes for 2013.

NSV: What inspired you to work at N Street Village?
MD: I first came to Washington, D.C. in 2006 as a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. I always wanted to work in the substance abuse arena and decided to attend University of D.C. to receive certification in addictions counseling.  I was first introduced to N Street Village by a classmate who started working at the Village. After completing my educational hours, I began working for N Street Village in April 2007. Working for an organization that promoted dignity and respect and worked with a vulnerable population was especially important to me as a survivor of Hurricane Katrina.

NSV: What do you do on a daily basis at N Street Village?
MD: On a daily basis I meet and collaborate with my colleagues to ensure that our clients receive quality care.  It is a joy to come to work every morning and see women who are working hard to live a better life as well as working in a community that promotes a positive lifestyle through a variety of programs and services.

NSV: What has been your greatest 2012 accomplishment at N Street Village?
MD: In 2012, I transitioned into a new position at N Street Village, becoming a Clinical Care Specialist and began working very closely with one of N Street Village’s newest permanent supportive housing programs, Erna’s House.  It is a professional accomplishment that is very fulfilling to me and I am excited to continue to serve the Village in a different capacity.

NSV: What is one of your favorite N Street Village memories?
MD: Christmas and Recovery Housing Graduation days at the Village have always been special to me.  On Christmas Day, everyone gathers together in Bethany Women’s Center for an exciting game of Christmas Bingo. There is always a lot of laughter, good cheer and joy throughout the community and a feeling of gratitude.   Recovery Housing’s graduation is a time to celebrate women who are demonstrating success in the program.  Their family, friends and the community gather to offer encouragement for the women to continue their sobriety efforts.

NSV: What is your New Year wish for the clients you work with?
MD: My New Year’s wish for the clients I work with is for them to continue in their efforts to reach their goals and to let them know that N Street Village is here to support them.

NSV: If you could go to a movie theatre tomorrow, what movie would you want to see and why?
I would like to see the movie Flight, starring Denzel Washington, who plays a pilot struggling with alcoholism. I am always interested in anything involving substance abuse, alcoholism and recovery.

NSV: What is your favorite song of inspiration?
MD: My favorite song of inspiration is Mary J. Blige’s song titled “Just Fine”.  I love the lyrics — “So I like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m walking past the mirror, no stress through the night at this time of my life,  got my head on straight, I got my mind right, I wouldn’t change my life, my life’s just fine.”

NSV: Describe N Street Village in 3 words.
MD: N Street Village in 3 words to me: Support. Hope.  Joy.