Service is among the core values of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM). It’s also one of Tina Pantuso’s.
“Holy Names quickly became part of my calling,” says Pantuso, AHN’s newest Licensed Clinical Social Worker. “Truth be told, it wasn’t a part of ‘my plan’ but God opened doors for me to be here. I applied for a substitute teacher position with AHN and was contacted and told there was a part-time school social worker job available. With social work being where my heart is, of course, I applied…I love working with teenagers on their journey toward better mental health and loved the mix of that in a faith-based school.”
Pantuso, who started her own private practice during the pandemic found a growing percentage of the community wanting someone to journey with them through life’s ups and downs.
“Many were lost or couldn’t afford therapy, so I informally started a barter system,” Pantuso says. “Therapy for haircuts, massages, clothes, artwork from local professionals and artists. Soon, our stories were interwoven. I love what I do so much. It truly is a blessing.”
Here at Holy Names, Pantuso says her main goal is to mimic what she does in private practice: making our young women feel safe. She calls it “releasing the mental and emotional clutter.”
“There is so much being thrown at all of us every day. We must battle the comparison and divisive culture that emanates from social media, the news and all around us. I want to be a guiding light back to a simpler way of healing through encouraging girls to be authentic and genuine; to be unique and different as they were created; to do what they love and are passionate about. I want to provide a haven where they don’t have to compete or be fearful; they can just be themselves.”
You can learn more about Pantuso via her website.