ROC Selects Grace Maxon-Clarke as April Community Champion

OSWEGO, NY – Recognizing Oswego County has selected Grace Maxon-Clarke as the Community Champion for April.

The theme for the month was “Mental Health Awareness and Support.”

From left are: Jackie Wallace, Grace Maxon-Clarke and Patrica Waters
From left are: Jackie Wallace, Grace Maxon-Clarke and Patrica Waters

ROC chose this topic because it is  often an “overlooked but extremely crucial component to personal health and well being (and) we wanted to showcase the groups and organizations that were at the forefront in this area,” said Brandon Morey, ROC co-chair.

Grace is a graduate student in the Mental Health Counseling program at SUNY Oswego and is completing a year-long internship with the Counseling Services Center on campus.

In her position, she has assisted students in developing positive mental health through one-on-one, crisis intervention and in support groups such as grief support, anxiety support and senior transition groups. She also mentors peer educators in their outreach program.

In the nomination, Robin McAleese, mental health counselor at the center, describes Grace as a “tireless advocate for students and mental wellness” and lists the April 26 Mental Wellness Conference on campus as one of the many ways she is promoting positive mental health in the community.

The conference was developed from her involvement and collaboration with the Civic Engagement Street Team and was an opportunity for professional networking in the mental health field.

It featured student poster sessions, sessions on alternative therapies, DSM5, trauma, laws and legislation.

In the Oswego community, Grace has been an active member of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, which includes their yearly “Walk to Save Lives” walk/run fundraiser each September on campus.

She is also the president of SUNY Oswego’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota international honor society for counseling professionals. The organization just raised more than $1,200 to purchase food for 32 students at the BUC school to take home during spring break.

Grace said that self-care is very important to her and that ideally she would like to work full-time in higher education post graduation.

She has also worked for 2½  years with the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program at SUNY Oswego and would love to continue to work with students in transition.

She believes that at this age, college students are just “coming to terms with mental health and wellness.”

ROC would also like to thank Pam Peeling with Catholic Charities for sharing with us all the great work the organization does for our community, including the Children’s Mental Health, Adult Mental Health and Health Home Care Programs.

There is also a Mental Health Expo on May 10 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Fulton War Memorial.

For more information on the programs, call Peeling at 598-3980.

Next month’s theme is “Summer Programming: Events and Meal Services.”

If you know an agency or community member who makes an impact in the Oswego County community in this area, please send in a nomination through the “Recognizing Oswego County – ROC” Facebook page, or contact [email protected]

Nominations are due May 6.

Members of ROC will meet again May 8 from 8 – 9:15 a.m. at the Oswego Federal Credit Union, 90 E. Bridge St. Community members who are working with summer programming or meal services in the county are invited to attend to provide updates.

New members are always welcome.