Stephanie Ellis, MSW, is a community health counselor at Jackson North Community Mental Health Center.
Ellis previously worked at Barry University and Miami Bridge. When she came to Jackson more than ten years ago, she joined Local 1991 in orientation due to some good advice from her mother, who spent 30 years as a clerk in the dental clinic.
“She said, ‘Make sure you join the union,'” Ellis recalls. “It’s good to feel like somebody is on your side. It’s important to have a voice – with a group the voice is bigger.”
Ellis has been active in with the union and appreciates the help she’s received when issues arose with management either for herself or a coworker.
She was a rock star during the Local 1991 campaign to help pass the Jackson bond, visiting numerous churches to speak to congregations about what was at stake for our public hospital. She also represents Local 1991 members at community events, such as a recent pastor and community forum held by the National Action Network.
“When I believe in something I don’t mind speaking my mind,” she says. “It was fun and I got a chance to meet a lot of people.”
As a counselor, Ellis is used to working with troubled youth and their families to help them get what they need to succeed. She takes the same approach to her duties as a steward. She’s the go-to person in her area for the latest news and for coworker questions.
“It’s important that people get involved,” she says. “It helps you stay informed. You get your money’s worth.”