Heartland House Employee Spotlight – Curtis Quay
Curtis Quay joined our Heartland House team in mid-2019 on what has been an eventful life’s journey. Curtis was first a client of the House, holding professional credentials that he could utilize to resume a lucrative career after his program. Curtis chose instead a path that he believes will keep him sober and allow him to be of service to others.
Curtis is a native of Philadelphia where he attended Temple University, earning his bachelor’s degree and then a law degree, both with honors. He worked for one of Philadelphia’s largest law firms, including as a trial attorney for over twenty years.
The firm transferred Curtis to its San Diego offices in 2005. During this time, Curtis’ drinking became a problem serious enough to require help. He found that help at Heartland House in early 2019. Curtis grasped and absorbed what the Heartland House program offers to help men get and stay clean and sober, and during his five months on the receiving end he came to the conclusion that he wanted to guide others to recover the way that he had been guided.
Curtis’ early staff responsibilities at the House were in volunteer positions, first as a driver and then, as he continued to impress the House’s management with his professionalism and empathetic style, as a group counselor. Curtis accepted a position as a paid counselor for the House in 2021, working with groups of clients referred to treatment by the Veterans Administration. He also began working on certification as a Substance Use Disorder Counselor.
Today Curtis is handling a full caseload at the House, assisting several individual clients and conducting numerous group counseling sessions each week. He is scheduled to begin an internship for his counselor certification in the fall and then take his certification exam in the spring.
Why has Curtis stayed with Heartland House to work? “Here I found a purpose that I didn’t think existed. Robert, Lafitte, Erica and the staff are genuinely dedicated to their clients and as a team we capitalize on our individual skills and talents unselfishly to serve our mission”. When asked what makes his role special, Curtis puts it eloquently: “In my position I get to watch individuals undergo positive change in their ninety-plus days with us I love to see people begin opening themselves to the potential that life holds for them”.
Curtis has said that he’s thrilled to be doing what he’s doing and not eying the future beyond his current responsibilities. While he would like to resume performing in community theatre productions and maybe play some more golf, Curtis seems very happy with his life as it is. And Heartland House is delighted to call him a teammate.