Date: March 17th, 2017
Healthy Teen Network is pleased to welcome three new staff members: Carol Partonen, Durryle Brooks, and Nicholas Sufrinko!
Carol Partonen is a new addition to the Healthy Teen Network team, having joined in December 2016. With experience in accounting and administrative support, she assists the Director of Finance and Operations, as well as the President and staff. She maintains accounts, pays bills, and completes reconciliations, as well as processes expense reports and supports human resources. She also provides research, transcription, and copy editing support for the rest of the staff, and she assists with various other projects as needed.
Originally from Southern Maryland, Carol earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, only to wind up in Seattle, WA, at a small law firm specializing in worker’s compensation. She worked her way up from reception to form a new position at the firm as part administrative and legal assistant and part bookkeeper.
Though a long-time Maryland resident, Carol is new to Baltimore. She is enjoying exploring the city with her partner, particularly its food, museums, and parks. When not out and about, she can be found reading, listening to narrative/design/history podcasts, and devouring nature documentaries like the nerd that she is.
Durryle Brooks, MA, is a native of Baltimore City. Over the past 15 years, his research agenda has explored the impact of systemic oppression on the holistic health of Black communities with a focus on exploring how racism, sexism, and heterosexism impact LGBTQ+ people’s mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and sexual health.
As a Trainer and Instructional Designer with Healthy Teen Network’s Capacity Building and Evaluation department, Durryle provides capacity-building assistance to Local Education Agencies for the Division of Adolescent School Health (DASH). Additionally, he manages e-learning courses and designs interactive content for partners as well as delivering interactive in-person trainings around the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality.
Durryle’s early work with the Baltimore City Health Department as a Special Populations HIV Outreach worker provided him not only firsthand experience regarding the challenges facing many of those seeking services, but it also provided him with the human experience, which served as a catalyst for his commitment to sexual and reproductive justice. This commitment to sexual and reproductive justice and ensuring that historically marginalized populations have access to quality services has manifested in many ways over the last 10 years. As a trainer, Durryle has provided capacity building assistance to teachers, educators, public health workers, and community-based organization leaders in the areas of creating safe spaces, moving from cultural competency to cultural humility frameworks when serving diverse population, creating culturally affirming and youth friendly services, LGBTQ+ HIV and teen pregnancy prevention, impact of internalized oppression on health, among other things.
Durryle is currently finishing his dissertation, entitled Moving from Trauma to Healing: Discourses of Love among Black Queer Cultural Workers. This work explores how the trauma resulting from racism, heterosexism, in addition to other discrete traumatic experiences impacts their capacity to live and love, while also highlighting the strategies they used to heal trauma. Durryle also holds a degree in Religious Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Master of Arts in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University. He is also an African American HIV/AIDS Fellow with the Black AIDS Institute, CA.
In Durryle’s free time, he volunteers with national organizations to provide youth and young adults with immersive social equity and leadership development training.
Nicholas Sufrinko, Digital Health Communications Specialist at Healthy Teen Network, is a designer, writer, and educator whose work occupies the intersection of public health, advertising, and technology. He has over five years of experience designing and implementing public health communications campaigns and promoting inclusive, comprehensive sexuality education through coalition building and grants management.
Since joining Healthy Teen Network in February of 2017, Nick’s work has centered on two randomized controlled trials aimed at testing the effects of sexual health mobile applications on young women’s use of clinics and effective birth control methods. To this end, Nick creates, implements, and analyzes text message-based educational messaging and internet advertising campaigns across a number of platforms to recruit trial participants.
Prior to joining Healthy Teen Network, he served as the Manager of Reproductive Health Special Projects and Communications at Maternal and Family Health Services (MFHS), a women’s health not-for-profit organization headquartered in the mid-sized, rustbelt city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Holding numerous positions during his tenure at MFHS, Nick led the organization’s education, advertising, and outreach efforts to vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, including adolescents, young men and the LGBTQ+ community. He wrote for, received, and managed government and foundation grants; served as both lead copywriter and art director for multiple grant-funded reproductive health communications campaigns; and improved organizational capacity to serve new populations through training and education. Nick expanded LGBTQ+-inclusive, comprehensive sexuality education and counseling to at-risk youth across culturally conservative and high-need region of northeastern Pennsylvania. His efforts led to a rapid expansion in reach for the organization’s statewide adolescent reproductive health information campaign, SafeTeens.org, and the 2014 introduction of Pennsylvania’s first statewide adolescent health textline, SafeTeens Answers!.
As a freelance creative director and graphic designer, Nick envisions and designs campaigns that tackle public health problems. One of his campaigns, SuperParks.org, casts his hometown region’s networks of trails and parks as superheroes in order to improve mental wellness. Seizing opportunities to design on larger scales, he completed an immersive, six-week urban design workshop at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 2013 to reimagine urbanity in the Boston-Cambridge-Somerville, Massachusetts area. Nick graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Sociology.
Nick enjoys the great outdoors, and he occasionally volunteers at parks and natural areas as a tour guide.
We’re so happy to have Nick, Durryle, and Carol here with us. Each brings new experiences and diverse skill sets and strengthens Healthy Teen Network’s ability to support our members. We hope you’re planning to join us at this year’s conference, Social Norms and Culture, where you can meet each of our new coworkers and learn more about their work.
About the Author
Healthy Teen Network envisions a world where all adolescents and young adults lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Founded in 1979, we promote better outcomes for adolescents and young adults by advancing social change, cultivating innovation, and strengthening youth-supporting professionals and organizations. We serve as a leading national membership organization (501c3) for adolescent health professionals and organizations, promoting a unique and holistic perspective—we call it Youth 360°—to improve the health and well-being of young people.