Always striving to be the best she can be, Arleen Evans O’Reilly has dedicated her career to ensuring that people have the tools needed to succeed at life. She abhors knowing that others are being taken advantage of, personally or professionally, and decided at a young age that she had to do something about it. She proceeded to obtain a Bachelor of Science in social work from California State College (now the California University of Pennsylvania) and a Master of Science in human services and gerontology from Capella University, and to become certified as a social worker.
Over the years, Ms. Evans O’Reilly has become familiar with several different aspects of the field. She started as a medical social worker for the Department of Health, and then garnered experience as a social worker for the Community Health Program, the Maternal Health Crippled Children Program, the Adolescent Teen Pregnancy Program, and the Salvation Army Boys Home. Ms. Evans O’Reilly has also served as a relocation officer for the Housing Authority. Since 2002, she has worked as the director of the VI Family Caregiver Support Program.
Ms. Evans O’Reilly considers her greatest accomplishment to be succeeding in her current position. Her program didn’t even exist when she was hired; she created it using her background in social work and the knowledge she gleaned from various conferences and workshops. In the 16 years since then, she has dedicated herself to developing a full program with a board of directors and staffed committees for caregivers caring for aging relatives or parenting the second time around. She is really proud of how far the VI Family Caregiver Support Program has come, and hopes to continue bringing new services to her clients. Ms. Evans O’Reilly attributes her success to being compassionate, passionate, and a hard worker. She is a strong leader who encourages staff and group involvement when necessary and maintains a strong follow-through mentality. If she could offer some advice to the younger generations, it would be to acquire a passion for the job and to maintain a heart for the people.
When Ms. Evans O’Reilly has free time, she enjoys decorating, crafting, event planning, sewing, and family activities.