Michele Paolella, LMSW
Director of Social Services & Training
As the Director of Social Services & Training, Michele oversees all direct services and prevention programs provided by Day One. She also provides wraparound services, including supportive counseling and case management, to young survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) aged 24 and under. She first attended Ohio University where she majored in Psychology and minored in Women's Studies. After 5 years in the field, Michele went on to earn her Master of Social Work from San Francisco State University with dual concentrations in Individuals, Families, and Groups and Social Action and Change.
Michele's practice spans and merges many diverse experiences, always with a focus on engaging the power of young people. She has worked with IPV survivors in hotline and shelter settings, supported young people living with HIV/AIDS, and provided counseling services and leadership development opportunities to queer youth. She also has years of experience implementing programs using a youth empowerment model, concentrating on youth-adult partnerships as the basis for program development and policy advocacy. As a facilitator of summer camp and experiential learning programs, Michele has also had the opportunity to guide youth and adults through camping experiences and high and low ropes courses. These courses put people on an obstacle course 30 feet above ground to provide hands on learning opportunities of principles of leadership and collaboration.
Michele believes that the blending of community education, activism, and advocacy with access to supportive services is essential for meaningful contribution to social change. She comes to New York after having spent the prior 2 years in Miami, Florida.