Alumni Stories

If you are a TRTC graduate, and would like to share your story, please email Please keep your submission to a couple of paragraphs. Let's tell people what you can do with a TRTC education and a passion to help people!

Hi everybody;My name is Riki Smith and I am a substance-abuse counselor and CASAC-T. I graduated from The Resource Training Center in May of 2008. I walked in those doors bright eyed and full of questions, i.e: would I be a good counselor?, did I have what it takes?, and so on and so on. What I found out from Ms. Dee is that you can give facts, history, demographics, populations, pharmacology, etc; but you can't teach counseling. It's a lifelong journey to learn to BE a counselor. TRTC held a job fair and one of the prospective employers hired me for my internship. It was the St. Vincent's MICA clinic in Brooklyn. After 5mos there, I was hired permanently at the YMCA Counseling Svc in my old neighborhood, where I grew up. I was hired as an Intake Counselor part-time while I go to school full-time in the evenings for Mental Health Counseling. The Y also sent me back to school on a scholarship for my Family Development Credential given through Cornell University and I accomplished that goal. I am hoping to be able to get my LMHC and my CASAC, so I can open my own agency. I never would have made it here without TRTC. With Community Health Action being first and VESID being second, the TRTC is the third in a long line of people and organizations helping me to fulfill my dream and realize my life's work. I am forever grateful and always available if ever needed to help the next one behind me at my alma mater. Thank you so much TRTC, especially the Donna's. I will keep you all in my prayers and stay in touch.
Hi All! I want to share my current status as a graduate of The Resource Training Center. When I began searching for an internship I had no experience in the field, so with the help of a fellow student I made a short video resume to help present myself. I drew from the excellent knowledge I gained from The Resource Training Center and the passion I had to make good use of myself and somehow made a good enough impression that in January 2010 I began an internship at Hazelden NY. While going through the process of interning, which included co-facilitating groups,recording notes on the clients after the groups, attending staff meetings and much more. Listening, listening, listening! (Oh did I mention listening?) I came to the realization that counseling may not be the exact best thing for me because it can be very demanding and stressful but I discovered what I’m really good at in the process. I discovered that I’m super organized and I’m great with detail so I’m now pursuing learning more about Assessment and Intake and Office Management which are extremely valuable aspects of the treatment center process. This summer I took a position in another field to catch up on finances but was retained by Hazelden NY one day a week to continue processing their Monthly Utilization Reviews of their clients. The whole internship process has made me ready to apply and pursue what I’m good at within that process. I’m hopeful about the future which is a different tune from what I was singing when I started.
While I attended the Resource Training Center, I sat in the front of the class, was always engaged in the classroom training and educational experience, while never missing a class. I knew that I was headed in the right direction. After graduating from the Resource Training Center, I was accepted into John Jay College of Criminal Justice for the Masters Program. It was my CASAC-T from the Resource Training Center that was vital in getting me accepted. I am now finishing in the Spring and am doing my thesis on Intimate Partner Violence, Victimology and Substance Abuse and how they fatal that cocktail can be. I also have been a member of AAPNY and NADAAC and that was the icing on the cake. My experience and diploma at the Resource Training Center also landed me a position with the Federal Government in a position where I utilize my skills, knowledge and training to examine cases pertaining to Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Disorders. Completing the Resource Training Center and remaining devoted to the experience and commitment that you absorbed from the center is one sure way to save a lot of lives, the most rewarding career path one can pursue.