Kathy June McPherson of Columbus, Ohio, grew up in the little village of Urbancrest, Ohio, where everyone knew and supported each other. Although it was a poverty-stricken community, all needs were met because of the community structure. Moving to Columbus, Ohio, as a teen provided a new and different experience. In 1993 Kathy began working in the field of social work, where she was later introduced to Bridges Out of Poverty. Working with indigent populations of men, women, and children provided a perfect platform for understanding concepts that could be integrated into her work to create better outcomes for her clients. The Bridges Out of Poverty workshop was also an aha! moment for her because it described her life growing up in many ways. Kathy has worked as a chemical dependency counselor, case manager, court liaison, and with specialty dockets. She has been very active in the community as a mentor, scout mother, dance troop mother, and in other activities. She is currently a program coordinator at Crossroads Recovery and has started a consulting business, K. Consultants. Through aha! Process Kathy is an experienced presenter for Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World workgroups. Kathy has facilitated Getting Ahead workgroups since 2004 and joined aha! Process as a consultant in 2008.
Work and education
- Chemical Dependency and Mental Health, Columbus State Community College
- National Institute of Drug Abuse Clinical Trials, Best Practices (Trauma and Substance Use), University of Cincinnati and Columbia University
- Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Trauma Counselor, Case Manager, Court Liaison, Maryhaven AOD Treatment Facility
- Program Coordinator, Alcohol/Drug and Intervention Counselor, Domestic Violence Counselor, Outreach Specialist, Crossroads Recovery Services
Kathy closely collaborates with other agencies in the community. Much of her career has been spent working with criminal and/or at-risk offenders, women with substance abuse and soliciting issues, perpetrators of domestic violence, and women with trauma. Kathy is a trained facilitator for the Ohio Cross Discipline Training Process and Ohio Violence Prevention Process. She has served on multiple boards, such as the Central Ohio Batterer Intervention Program Coalition and the Metropolitan Community Service Organization. Kathy volunteers in various arenas including Boy and Girl Scouts, school, church, and community.
Kathy’s aha! moment
I first began using this work with a group of drug court specialty docket probationers in 2004. It made such an impact on the investigators for them to examine their lives and communities and see themselves build their own future stories. The process was amazing to watch: men and women making the argument for changing their lives, then following through. I remember at one point telling Phil DeVol, “I can do this for the rest of my life.” He responded “Really?” with a smile on his face. I began the process and became part of the aha! Process team in 2008.
I like to live life to its fullest and help others do so. Take what you have, do the best with what you’ve got, then keep adding just a little more. Adding just a little more can add fulfillment to your life. It’s the simple things, like meeting someone new, learning and trying new things. Just a little can really go a long way in life.
What does Kathy do for fun?
I love nature, the outdoors. Taking time to look at and be in a natural habitat gives me peace and serenity no matter what the weather. I also love people. Elders and young children are my favorite. Taking time to listen to elders’ stories is such a unique experience. It takes me back in time, it’s an education, and it’s priceless. Listening to children is refreshing and new. It’s seeing the world through their eyes.
What are people saying about Kathy?
“I really learned a lot from the Getting Ahead workgroup experience. It changed my life for the better. Kathy is a very good facilitator and friend.”
“Bridges Out of Poverty was one of the best workshops I’ve attended. The facilitator was great, the way she interacted with the audience.”