Headstrong’s corner office is here to help you learn a little more about our team. Follow along as we highlight the people who make our organization’s mission a reality.
Name: Evelyn Polcari
Title: Director of Development
Hometown: New York, NY
Favorite hobby: Reading, Travelling
Favorite movie: Out of Africa
What’s your role and responsibility at Headstrong? Planning fundraisers nationwide, vetting grant opportunities, and updating funders in a mindful stewardship program.
How long have you been with Headstrong? 6 years — since inception.
How did you learn about Headstrong? My good friend and founding board member of Headstrong, Al Rabil, invited me to a luncheon where I heard Zach Iscol, Headstrong’s Co-Founder, speak about the hidden wounds of war. The courage to speak about what combat veterans were going through, and about their needs, resonated profoundly within me. It made me think of all the Vietnam veterans that never had the opportunity to speak about their horrors or get the right kind of help.
At the time, in 2012, the average wait time to be seen by a psychiatrist at the Department of Veterans Affairs was an unacceptable 42 days. I felt that Zach, along with Headstrong’s Medical Director and Co-Founder, Dr. Ann Beeder, and two board members were onto something that could change the veteran treatment landscape in the US, in terms of addressing veteran mental health in a timely, confidential manner, and de-stigmatizing Post Traumatic Stress in veterans. I truly feel the program could eventually reach and address the needs of our civilian population as well.
What’s the best part about working here?
Seeing the effect of Headstrong’s treatment program with veterans, many of whom I have had the honor to meet. Their sense of hope, words of gratefulness, and ability to be living better lives, makes all the hard work of fundraising worthwhile.
What has been your favorite Headstrong moment or experience?
Everytime our clients get up on stage and share their personal stories, and often their hopes of helping other veterans who may be apprehensive about reaching out for help.
A specific moment that comes to mind is, once, we were asked by a foundation, “How do you measure success?” and, in Dr. Beeder’s words, our answer was “We are saving lives.”
What are you excited about in 2018?
Expanding the program to more cities thanks to the financial support from foundations, individuals, and corporate sponsors. Our expansion is also made possible thanks to our team, that is strongly committed to vetting the right kind of clinicians which yields a successful treatment program for our veterans.
Headstrong Project is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 by combat veterans. Headstrong provides confidential, individually tailored, cost and bureaucracy free treatment for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from the hidden wounds of war. Learn more about us at http://getheadstrong.org/.