Ryan Herrera was the director of Social Services within the Housing Department at the Reading YMCA and was promoted to the executive director position in April. Before working with the YMCA, Herrera oversaw the County’s Second Offender DUI program. Additionally, he assisted in a program called Camp Joy. This program served as a transitional living facility for those with substance abuse disorder. He is a state Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor and a Certified Recovery Specialist.
The Reading YMCA offers a long-term drug and alcohol recovery program. The program has approximately 150 beds for its members. Almost all of which are recovering from substance abuse disorder.
“People who join the program come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences,” says Herrera. “One of my main tasks as director is overseeing a team of about 25 other employees to run the recovery program.”
Ryan says it is rewarding serving the most underserved population.
Herrera says, “From day one of attending Millersville, my view on my job was widened. My coursework enabled me to make connections from what I was studying to what I saw on a daily basis at work. For example, children growing up with certain deficiencies are more likely to be the individuals I work with when they grow up. Issues like community violence, poverty and substance abuse in the household will have a serious lasting impact on children as they mature.”
Herrera also said his experience at Millersville made him more professional. “I don’t think that I would be able to do the job that I am doing today without having experience at Millersville”