Janell Lewis, MSW, began with IHADLA as a Master of Social Work (MSW) intern in 2013 from the University of Southern California (USC), emphasizing the Community Organization, Planning, and Administration (COPA) concentration. She focused on streamlining student case management data and, through that lens, created a needs assessment survey utilized annually to identify IHADLA programming needs and drive resource support. She was appointed the new Interim Executive Director in October 2020, after working as the former CEO’s right hand over the years, channeling her programming expertise and development experience towards IHADLA’s continued growth and success. Janell will also continue in her role as Senior Director of Programs, responsible for the development, operations, and oversight of IHADLA programs and staff.
In addition, she serves as Field Instructor, directly supporting the USC MSW interns who work with the organization. She and the MSW interns collaborate to expose the barriers surrounding program participants and their families. Under Janell’s supervision, the MSW interns provide direct individual and group psychosocial support, advocacy, and resource linkage, fostering effective coping strategies and honoring resilience.
Before joining the executive office team, Janell held years of experience effectively managing people and programs, as well as engaging in both micro and macro social work practice amongst diverse populations. Distinctively, she has facilitated comprehensive clinical and academic support for students in elementary through post-secondary education. Her work has demonstrated a centralized theme of supporting individuals, organizations, and communities. Janell’s personal mission is to educate on systemic barriers that impact the underserved while empowering community members to optimize growth and ignite resilience, including the Dreamers Scholars at IHADLA and their respective families, so all can maximize their full potential.