Meet LifeWay Network Social Worker Rushielle Brown

During Social Work Month, LifeWay Network is celebrating the gifted and committed social workers who support the women survivors of trafficking in our safe housing program. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Rushielle Brown, who brings a keen intellect, deep experience and a desire to serve to her work at LifeWay.

What made you decide to become a social worker?

I have lived by this phrase: “Where much is given, much is required.” Serving others has always been my passion, whether it was helping someone on the side of the street or a coworker with a task. I decided to become a social worker because I wanted to pour into others and help them reach whatever their goals were. I wanted to serve people in a special way. I wanted to become part of something much bigger than myself. Seeing people’s lives transformed into something greater than their vision is why I do what I do.

Social Work Month social worker Rushielle Brown
Rushielle Brown

What was your path to this career — what schools and training did you attend?

Initially, I was a biology major. My goal was to become a neurosurgeon. I attended the University of Bridgeport, and I obtained a bachelor’s degree in arts and science in human services and psychology. I have also obtained certifications in human development and gerontology. Afterward, I went to the College of New Rochelle for graduate school. I received my master’s degree in science in mental health counseling. My primary focus was to become a psychotherapist. I was trained and mentored by Dr. Jeffrey Gardere. 

What other kinds of work have you done before coming to LifeWay?

I am a human services leader and clinician who has devoted over a decade to serving veterans, homeless families and individuals in various sectors. I started as a case manager and quickly rose up the ranks to program director, overseeing multiple emergency shelters, supportive housing programs and residential programs in New York City. In addition, I worked as a psychotherapist in a private practice, serving individuals and families with mental health issues. 

What led you to LifeWay?

Years ago, I worked at the Jewish Child Care Association in Pleasantville, NY. I worked as a Milieu counselor in their Gateway Program. This program is designed for children and young adults who have been sex trafficked. Working with this population has left a stamp on my heart. I was led to LifeWay because of their mission and dedication to changing the lives of the people they serve. My passion for working with human trafficking victims and vulnerable populations led me to LifeWay Network. 

What are your goals for yourself in this role and for the women whom you serve?

My goal is to develop and implement systems that can flow and change the trajectory of women’s lives. Another goal is to challenge the status quo associated with human trafficking victims and bring awareness to a worldwide problem.

What are some ways that you execute your work?

Some ways I execute my work are as follows:

  • Advocacy: advocating on my clients’ behalf. Standing in the gap and providing quality services that can develop and empower them to go forward in society.
  • Service connections: exploring community resources that can support and develop my clients.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy my one-on-one encounters with my clients. Seeing their lives changed by implementing services and connecting them to a bigger system that can support their journey. The ability to pour into their lives in a positive way is what I enjoy most about my work.

March 16, 2024