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New York NASW Chapter Names Local Project BASE Coordinator Student Of The Year

Nicole Barylski

"Vicki embodies this sense of The Retreat mission and the NASW Code of Ethics in every service that she provides and each time she engages with a client," noted Lisa Longnecker, Clinical Director at The Retreat. "It would be impossible to list all the ways in which Vicki goes above and beyond in providing service and support. We are so proud of her accomplishments!"

Vicki Cooper. (Courtesy Photo)

Vicki Cooper, Program Coordinator of Project BASE (Barrier and Stigma Elimination), has been chosen by The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) New York Chapter as Student of the Year due to her leadership, academic achievements and contributions to the social work profession. Vicki was honored during an awards ceremony in Albany on Friday, March 20th.

Vicki started her first field internship at The Retreat, the East End's only domestic service agency, in 2013, during which, she provided individual counseling support to victims of domestic violence. Vicki also took the initiative to draft and submit a proposal for a new program that would assist victims process their experience with Equine (Horse) Therapy. This led to The Retreat's debut Equine Assisted Counseling program in the spring of 2014, which was led by Vicki. Along with Spirit's Promise, a horse rescue facility, The Retreat was able to work with clients to boost their self-esteem and make them feel empowered.

During her second internship at The Retreat, Vicki has become one of the vital links in bringing the Safe Dates group to middle-and high school students and parents in Southampton. The evidence-based curriculum has shown to help lower the rate of physical and sexual dating violence among participants. Through a supportive network of counselors, and also incorporating parental involvement, Safe Dates encourages heightened self-esteem, self-awareness, communication, and healthy relationships.

In addition to her internship at The Retreat, Vicki is also the Program Coordinator of Project BASE, which ensures domestic violence services are easily available to victims living with mental illness. She previously served as the Assistant Shelter Director.

For more information, visit www.theretreatinc.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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