Meet Natalya Young, executive director at St. Monica’s Home.
How did you get started in the business? – In 1998 I started working in human services in my home state of North Dakota with individuals in a community-based group home. I enjoyed working with others and assisting them in reaching their daily living goals. I found a passion for working with people in a residential setting. My work advanced to managing community-based group homes in South Dakota, then Nebraska. In 2006 I started working at St. Monica’s as a residential coordinator. In 2008 I moved to a role in the admissions department, working with authorization and admissions. I gained my professional Alcohol and Drug Counseling license in 2015 and managed the admissions department. In 2019 I was promoted to a leadership role in administration. In July 2022, I became the executive director of St. Monica’s.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – I empower staff members to reach their professional goals and support them in their journey.
Tell us a little about your family. – I am the youngest of six children from Bismarck, and have lived in Lincoln since 2002. I am married to Jason Young, and we have one son, Jack, a freshman in high school. We enjoy movies, sports, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – In September 2006, I switched from working with developmental disabilities to substance use recovery specific to women at St. Monica’s. I am an adult child of an alcoholic; I experienced treatment work with my mother and family education. Before I started working at St. Monica’s, I did not realize the amount of courage and vulnerability it takes when someone seeks help to create a new life journey. Seeing the women at St. Monica’s choose a better life daily is immensely powerful.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Run outdoors. I have run ten half marathons and would like to complete another in 2023.
Who inspires you? – My professional inspiration is my first supervisor in human services, Janelle Thomas. She empowered me to learn, be patient with others and myself, and seek guidance to grow as a young professional. I hope to have a similar impact on others as she had early in my career. My personal inspiration is my dad, Irvin Russell. My dad was a restaurant entrepreneur. In 1985 he became ill with a significant mental health diagnosis that affected his ability to continue to run a restaurant. His life’s path changed, but his joy for life did not. What sticks out the most about my dad is that he wasn’t bitter or angry. His motto was to talk it out, accept it, and come up with a solution if applicable. There were challenging days, but he accepted where he was at in his life. He taught me to be kind, loyal, honest, and to keep going. I miss him dearly, knowing he and my mom cheer me on daily to do good for others I meet.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things,” – Kurt Vonnegut.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – Schilling Bridge in the Fallbrook neighborhood. The owner and staff are all very friendly.