Kathleen Riddle Speaks on Her Career in Substance Abuse Treatment

July 10, 2018

I come from a generation of founders of mission-driven organizations who didn’t think about being CEOs – they were driven by a sense of purpose. Identifying the gaps in treatment services in the community and creating resources to address those gaps was completely new territory, but it is something that has remained my constant passion.

In 1974, my first job after college was at a youth services agency located in South Ozone Park, Queens, where I helped adolescents develop vocational goals and assisted with placing them into jobs in the community. I eventually transitioned to working as a drug education specialist for the New York City Board of Education in a middle school in Ozone Park, Queens. During this time, neighborhoods across New York City were experiencing a drug epidemic. The average age of drug users was declining as increasing numbers of children experimented with and became addicted to various kinds of drugs.

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