– Brookwood Florida Leadership –
Pamela Mesmer, Ph.D. – LMHC
Letter from the Executive Director:
On September 11, 2018, I celebrated 40 years of employment at Brookwood. Brookwood has represented my home-away-from-home, my second family, my best friends, and my opportunity to help generations of kids.
Discovering Brookwood during my six years as a St. Petersburg police officer opened my still-naïve eyes to the plight of abuse victims. All these girls without viable families, without the opportunities we give to our own children, without role models and goals, and essentially without hope, challenged me immediately. I thought, if I could positively impact the lives of these teens – before they became adults and repeated the negative experiences which brought them into care – then all the generations to come would benefit. Ideally, they would finish school programs, prepare for employment, garner independent living skills, and emotionally heal and grow through our counseling efforts. It could be a better world and I could have my part in it. Wow!
“Thank you for never giving up on me! You [Pam Mesmer, Executive Director of Brookwood] and your staff proved that you would love me and that no matter what awful things I did or said I could not push you away. This is what changed me forever.”
R.D., former Brookwood resident
Thousands of girls later, I still believe in the resilience of youth, the importance of investing in troubled young lives, and the ability to break dysfunctional cycles. I gave up on the goal of 100% accomplishment, but I try to never give up on the possibility for success and the potential within each girl.
Assistant Executive Director
Letter from the Assistant Executive Director:
I started at Brookwood in December 1991 and have since worn many hats (i.e., Youth-care worker, case manager, counselor, intake coordinator, program director, etc.). I completed my Master’s Degree at USF in Mental Health and Rehabilitation Counseling in 2001 and became a licensed mental health counselor in 2004.
As the Assistant Executive Director at Brookwood, I meet with the girls, staff, guardian ad litems, and families to present Brookwood’s program and asses eligibility for future residents into our program. I am the first point of contact for each new girl who joins our Brookwood family and I coordinate meetings with our staff clinician that is most compatible with her.
I have helped and witnessed over 5,000 girls become stronger, self-sufficient, competent, independent, and amazing young women. Many of these young ladies have become mothers themselves and have broken the cycle of abuse and neglect by using and teaching their own children what they learned at Brookwood.
I look forward to continuing to be a part of each girl’s journey into adulthood, independence, and success, for many years to follow.