Ini Udofia, West End House’s first full-time social worker, joined the team in May 2022, making an immediate impact on our organization. Ini was hired to integrate trauma-informed practices into all of our programming, and he got right to work. He currently leads a team of wellness professionals including Yuliana Santos Pagan, R-DMT, our Manager of Therapeutic Arts Programs and Partnerships, as well as three MSW graduate student interns (two from Boston College and one from William James College) and one Ph.D. in psychology candidate from Boston University. Ini has also led trauma-informed training and professional development for local Boys & Girls Clubs in Massachusetts.
One of the new programs he introduced at the West End House, Fresh, Fit and Healthy, pairs him with Isaiah Moore, our Sports and Fitness Coordinator, in our fitness center. Together they help young people understand the connection between mind and body and encourage physical activity to relieve stress and build resilience.
Ini was drawn to work at the West End House because he wanted to move from a strictly clinical setting to community-based approach that balances one-on -one counseling, with group work and training to build the skills of staff, caregivers, and youth. Ini grew up in Southbridge, MA. After college, he was a City Year Corps member, and that experience convinced him to work in youth mental health. He received a Master of Social Work at Boston University and worked with youth in group homes and a shelter before coming to West End House. “I love the teamwork among staff here to make sure that every youth reaches their potential.”