Natick, Mass. – Yolanda Kennedy, the Army Community Service (ACS) Program Specialist at Natick Soldier Systems Center is ready to bring her expertise to the Installation.
Kennedy came to Natick with more than 11 years of mental health counseling and case management experience through service to military and civilian communities. As a licensed mental health counselor, Kennedy previously served as the Assistant Director of the Child Development Center and as a Military Family Life Counselor at Hanscom Air Force Base and at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL.
“I have worked with the military population since 2016,” Kennedy said. “Before that, I provided clinical and non-clinical services to diverse communities. I haven’t served in the military, but having moved around a lot with my Family, I can understand the many challenges involved when Families relocate.”
Kennedy believes it is important to serve support the people who may not have the circle of Family and friends close to them as they move from Installation to Installation.
“I understand what it’s like for someone to move to a new area where there’s no Family, nor a support system,” said Kennedy. “I have been through the hurdles and obstacles they encounter and navigating through that can be challenging. I have a big heart and connection to helping those individuals.”
NSSC’s ACS program offers proactive information, education, referrals, and outreach services on a wide range of social service topics. According to Kennedy, the ACS program’s priority is to support Soldiers, civilians and Families during life transitions and provide liaison services to a variety of agencies.
“Our program and referrals assist those relocating, those with exceptional Family needs, and those facing life’s emergencies,” Kennedy said. “We offer unit classes, briefings, and webinars to teach on topics that promote readiness. We have a Lending Closet where personnel can borrow household items during before and after PCS. We also offer books and resources to help Families cope with the stressors of moving.”
Kennedy is looking forward to enhancing Natick’s ACS programs by focusing on mental health and wellness.
“My short-term goals are to become familiar with what exists already and what has been done thus far,” Kennedy said. “I plan to work towards enhancing the program to meet the existing needs of Soldiers and Families. I want to help people create a new normal and adapt to where we are in the world today.”
Kennedy has a simple yet effective philosophy that helps keep her focused when it comes to helping those who come through her door and invites members of Team Natick to reach out to her.
“Call or email me and we can work it out. I am here to serve,” said Kennedy. “I am here as someone who cares, and people can depend on.”
Army Community Service can be reached at 508-206-4026 or by email Yolanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.