Advocacy always has been Marlena’s career goal. It is the reason why she focused on criminology and social welfare and justice while attending Marquette University, where she graduated in 2019. The very definition of an advocate is one who supports something or someone for the common good. And, providing support for the common good is what Marlena is passionate about.
Before joining Mind-Eye, Marlena put her interest in mental health to use as a counselor for adolescents recovering from eating disorders. Now, as a patient advocate, that passion spurs her interaction with Mind-Eye patients, “many of whom have symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), traumatic brain injuries and other neurological disorders,” Marlena indicates. And she calls it ‘fulfilling' when she is able to give hope and information to patients by phone or, when, at the front office counter, she can help patients, especially first-time patients, feel more comfortable about their visit to the Mind-Eye Institute.
For patients struggling with visual processing disorders, “a trip to the Mind-Eye clinic can be a draining process,” Marlena adds. “My goal is to make it at least a bit easier for them.”
When Marlena is not assisting patients, this Chicago resident enjoys drawing, sketching, and, yes, even playing a video game or two.
“I feel my work at the Mind-Eye is helping improve the lives of others. I am literally shocked every day by seeing how people’s lives have been changed for the better,” Marlena says.