Jordan McVay serves as the Program Coordinator. We sat down with him to learn more about his background and his experience working in our field.
Could we get some brief biographical info from you? Hometown, previous experience, education, etc.?
Originally from Barnesville, Ohio – Most of my “growing up” took place in Wake Forest, NC. Graduated from Wake Forest-Rolesville High School in 2008 and attended Cape Fear Comm College and Wake Tech Comm College. I studied Communications and Psychology.
I spent the last four years working in Behavioral Health, specifically, overseeing acute psychiatric units, as well as detox. I managed a team of 40 Technicians within the hospital and taught Crisis Prevention as well as CPR throughout my tenure. I often dealt with the most complicated, acute psychiatric and detox patients, and that became my expertise.
What is one thing your hometown could be known for, and why?
Barnesville Pumpkin Festival – In a town of less than 5,000 people, the Pumpkin Festival was the place to be each year.
What made you want to work in this field?
I chose this field not only because of my personal experience with addiction, but because I genuinely care about people and their pursuit of happiness. There is something beautiful about meeting a person at the worst time in their lives and contributing to helping them out of that place. The only way we make real progress in anything is when people are helping people and coming together for a common goal.
What do you believe makes GHR stand out in its field, and why?
At Green Hill, we are young, passionate professionals that are willing to push the envelope and go against cookie cutter, one size fits all treatment for addiction and mental health. Most of us have been exactly where these guys are and they need people equipped with knowledge and experience willing to fight alongside them, not just give them a to-do list.
What does your ideal day look like?
I start my day with coffee, of course, and I have a few daily readings that I read. I have a good spread of responsibility when it comes to my job such as program facilitator, case management, over-seeing our step down residence, program development, organizing staff assignments, scheduling..etc. My ideal day at work is when I get to take some time 1:1 with a guy and really get to know them and helped them accomplish something that day. Whether it be lunch and getting them to a job interview, or looking over their resume and assisting with job placement, or just going out and having some laughs and talking about anything and nothing. Those are the moments I cherish. Those are the moments where I see the growth in these young men.
Can you name one role model you have, and why that person has had such an impact?
My role model is a man I met in recovery 10 years ago. He has continued to be in my life throughout my recovery journey and has taught me how to be a better husband, son, brother, friend, and employee. Due to his addiction, he spent 32 years in prison. Not once have I ever heard him complain about his circumstances, or the “system”. He paid his dues, spent the last 10 years in prison sober and has gone on to earn multiple degrees and licensures. He continues to teach me the real meaning of success.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? How has that advice affected your day-to-day?
“Never give up, Don’t ever give up” – Jim Valvano
I have watched the 1993 Espy Award speech Jim Valvano delivered so many times that I feel like this was said directly to me. The message is powerful. At a time where he was riddled with cancer and his time was running out, Jimmy V stood on a stage and showed grace and strength and his wish was to help others who are battling what he had been battling. This was the birth of the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Throughout my journey, I’ve wanted to throw in the towel so many times. I would go back to that speech and it reminded me that I was put here to help others and I needed to get well in order to do that. Today, I get to do that. Even though some days can be terrible and I can feel discouraged, if I take a moment to look at it through a different pair of glasses, I see that it’s never as bad as it seems. It’s a constant reminder to “Never Give Up”.
What is your favorite GHR memory?
I often ask our clients at GHR, what are you going to do today for someone other than yourself? It’s a way to challenge them to think of someone else. Whether it’s a peer at GHR, or someone in the community, it doesn’t matter.
I found out over the holidays that a couple guys (former & current clients) took time out to go over to Healing Transitions and take a meeting and visit with guys over there. Unplanned and with no prompting from staff or Green Hill as a whole, they just decided that they needed to do that for someone else. So awesome. Kind of makes my eyes “sweat” a little – haha!
What’s one message you wish our clients would always take with them?
Success is defined by them. Their success isn’t defined by their parents, peers, or society, and that failure can be a success, if they’re able to learn and grow from it.
Favorite Movie: Wedding Crashers, Tommy Boy, Ali, Law Abiding Citizen
Favorite Food(s): Buffalo Wings
Hobbies: I’m an Extreme Sports Nerd. I Love traveling with my wife Natalie, and spending time with my Staffy, Walker. I’m currently learning how to skate & play ice hockey.
Favorite sports team: Ohio State Buckeyes, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Hurricanes
Pets: My 3 year old American Staffordshire Terrier named Walker.
Favorite Book(s): Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott
Favorite Podcast(s): Digging in with Tripp Tracy; A Podcast Greater Than Yourself; And of course, The Business of Human Flourishing 🙂
What you wanted to be as a kid: Professional Sports Athlete or Music Star