NAMI NH Spotlight - Victoria Gonzalez
How did you first learn about NAMI NH and how long have you been involved with the organization?
When I decided for sure that I would be moving from Illinois to New Hampshire, I was on Facebook one day and there was NAMI NH's Facebook page. It was like a sign from God that I saw it. I contacted NAMI NH and after moving in May of 2013 I went to visit Annette Carbonneau and knew I had found a new home. I have been with NAMI since 2000.
Can you share what your NAMI NH volunteer roles are and have been and will be?
Right now I am serving on the policy committee and I was just appointed to be New Hampshire's Consumer Council representative for NAMI National. I serve on the board of directors for NAMI national. I am a Connection facilitator for the town of Manchester, and a NAMI Connection trainer in English and Spanish. I hope to start a Connection group in Spanish in June for the Hispanic community in Manchester.
Can you share more specifics about your volunteer role as a Connection Facilitator?
My role as a Connection facilitator is a very fulfilling one because not only do my peers get to heal, but so do I. We both leave feeling better after attending the group than when we came in. That is why I will never stop doing this. I have been a facilitator since 2008 and have no plans to retire. If I can listen to one person’s story and make them feel wanted in this world, that’s priceless.
What motivates you to continue to dedicate your time and energy for NAMI NH?
What motivates me to dedicate my time and energy to NAMI NH is simple. I love the people there and I love NAMI. I feel welcome there. NAMI has saved my life and I have had a pretty hard life. NAMI is my family.
When not volunteering for NAMI NH what are some of your favorite winter activities?
I enjoy making snowmen with my grandchildren and coming in and making hot cocoa and playing with them. We are now experts at making snow angels.