Yates County Peer Support Specialist
Amanda is the new Peer Support Specialist for the Yates County PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program, which is managed by Veterans One-stop Center of WNY.
In Amanda's words:
"My husband SGT James Hayes lost his battle to PTSD in August 2020 and being a Peer Support Specialist brings me joy and empowers me for this next chapter of life. While being a caregiver and spouse to James I was also a mom of two. I have always wanted to help others and I wasn’t sure how to do so after losing James. Before I became a part of the Dwyer team, I helped organize a monthly connection called "Coffee 'n Cards" in Penn Yan, in honor of James.
This program is special to me because it's not just a job but a passion and purpose in helping our Veterans feel empowered once again by connecting them with peers through social activities and events.
Yates County Veterans Service Agency Director
Phil was named director of the Veterans Service Agency in Yates County in 2015. Using his training as a social worker, he strives to leverage his familiarity serving in the US Navy and coaching expertise to help veterans successfully integrate into civilian life.
During his time in the U.S. Navy, he deployed to war zones, faced traumatic situations, and served in Explosive Ordnance Disposal. As of result of these activities and others, he knows what it means to confront stress and contend with uncertainty.
It was his experience serving in mentoring roles while on active duty that inspired him to pursue a new role that would allow him to coach and help others to navigate difficult transitions and realize greater possibilities.
Phil holds a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Psychology from Park University, and a Master’s in Social Work from Nazareth College. He returned to the Finger Lakes with his wife and children over a decade ago following his retirement from active duty. In his free time Phil enjoys walking with their energetic rescue dog, hiking, running, kayaking, skiing and spending time with his family.