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Oct 23, 2018







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What are you really into right now?

I’m an avid reader, for sure. … I like to hike. I like to be outdoors.




Sara Lutat
Master of social work

01/04/18



Explain what your current job is.

I’ve been the executive director since May. Previous to that, I was the program director. Basically, that entails you name it, I do it. My main job is to oversee the operation of Dismas Home, to create policy, to write grants, to create community partnerships, reach out beyond Dismas and into the community for ... the women — the residents here, who are previously incarcerated women released within the last year from the prison system or the jail system. 
 
How did you get interested in this kind of work?
When I was doing my internship for my grad school, for MSW, I had an internship at Keystone Hall in Nashua … which focused on women with children who had substance abuse. And I worked there for a year. … [I] thoroughly, totally fell in love with this population, just really found my niche, I guess you would say, working in the field of addiction. I also spent another year working in the YWCA in Manchester, working at the women’s shelter for my second internship and I came in contact with women who had been previously incarcerated in both locations.
 
What kind of education or training did you need for this?
I just got my master’s of social work at the University of New Hampshire Manchester. I was in the executive program, so I went to school Friday nights and Saturday mornings for three years and worked full time. [A master’s] was not required when I first took this position. It was the position of program manager, which is essentially someone who monitored the comings and goings of the house. But under my supervisions I developed programming to assist women with reentry.
 
How did you find your current job?
Based on everything [Dismas House] had done over the past year, they created [this] new position for me [from program director].
 
What’s the best piece of work-related advice anyone’s ever given you?
The best advice that I got was just to not try to work myself to death. … To trust in myself, to trust in my decisions. 
 
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?
Since I’ve come here, it’s literally been learning mode every day. … I wish I knew that I had the confidence within me. … I allow things to play out without reacting to them, and I think that’s probably the hardest thing for me. At first, when I first took this position, I wanted to do it perfectly. I wanted everything to work out the way it’s supposed to work out. And life doesn’t necessarily work that way.
 
What is your typical at-work uniform?
I’m dressed professionally. I have what you would call business casual some days, but … I never know who is going to be coming through my door, and usually, it’s a donor that needs a tour. So I always have to … look the part of my executive directorship. 
 
What was the first job you ever had?
My very first job was to work in an office in Steiger’s department store and I was a customer service person. 
— Ryan Lessard 





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