“Shame dies when stories are told in safe places.”
Making a proud addition, John Guadagna joins the Brookdale Team as Recreation Therapist, driven by a passion to help others get better by combining therapy and fitness. Originally from Long Island, NY, John moved to the Poconos in 2004, where he has since called home.
John attended Northampton Community College from 2013 to 2016, changing his major a number of times before finding his true path in life. He then transferred to East Stroudsburg University, where he attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitative and Human Services, graduating Summa Cumme Laude in 2019.
While obtaining his degree, John worked in various settings in the field of recreation. Most notably, he was employed by a recreational facility in the Pocono Mountains, having various roles throughout the 5 years he was with them. These roles included Counselor and Supervisor of the High Ropes Course and Adventure Park Department, serving a population of low-income students who never had the chance to explore the outdoors. This opportunity helped John realize how much he enjoyed helping others try new things and explore activities that pushed them to their limits, while being a supervisor allowed him to work directly with students, oversee a staff of over 30 employees and maintain a positive relationship with school personnel.
Alongside this position, John has experience working within a school setting, helping students with disabilities. From January 2019 to May 2019, he completed a 15-week internship at a local high school in the career exploration classroom. In this role, John helped students with special needs connect with various services to find gainful employment within their community.
Outside of work, you can find John at the gym, hiking with his dog, Rocko and spending time with his girlfriend and family. He is also in the process of applying to different graduate programs to further his education, something he really enjoys doing.
As Recreation Therapist for Brookdale, John hopes to help all who walk through our doors reach their highest quality of life possible. He says, “All people deserve the right to smile, enjoy the little things and have a sense of self-worth. I believe that the Recreational Program will allow for patients to find the hobbies they may have lost during addiction. I want to teach our patients that it is possible to laugh, have fun and enjoy life without needing a substance.”