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Navigating the Mental Health Crisis in Young Adults

March 30, 2023

Meet Darlene, Our Finance Manager

When hiring a finance manager, you need someone who is good with numbers, sharp as a tack, and right on the money. Fortunately, Darlene Pennington came to Hopewell in spring 2022 with those qualifications and more.

Working in finance and teaching math are lifelong pursuits. Darlene attended Kent State University and worked in accounting before moving to Pennsylvania to raise a family. She returned to school at age 36, earning a BS in education specializing in math and an MS in math and reading.

“I taught business, accounting, and personal finance to middle and high school students for the last twelve years. Sadly, I realized that mental health is one of the ‘side issues’ that you deal with in teaching.” Warm and compassionate, she created a safe place in her classroom. “I feel like I have a calling to help people. Students came to me when they had concerns and problems. They were like my kids and I advocated for them.”

Circumstances brought Darlene back to Ohio in 2022, and the opening at Hopewell caught her eye. “I was intrigued by the opportunity to return to finance at such a caring place. Besides, where else can you see our Belted Galloway cows out for a walk while you crunch the numbers?”

Not one to hide out in her office, Darlene has gotten to know some of the residents by joining a farm work crew. On Christmas Day, she visited the farm to play cards with those who did not go home for a break. “I thought it would be hard for residents to spend Christmas away from their families.”

Asked to sum up a “best day” at Hopewell, Darlene paused and said, “A best day is when I can work on the farm in the morning and the books balance in the afternoon.”

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