Alumni Profile of the Month: Anyia Alston

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icon-clock January 26, 2023

While living this one life always give your best and don’t show up less. Life will not teach you how to smile in pain or how to help others when you have nothing much to give, but if you do what makes your soul happy and live with your purpose, no dream is imaginary and no goal is unreachable.”


Anyia Alston

Graduated: 2016, Cohort 11

From: Van Dyke Houses, Brooklyn

Current Position: LSA Recovery / Young People Recovery Program, Recovery Coach / Peer Advocate

LSA Recovery Inc. is a medically supervised outpatient chemical dependency treatment program providing a variety of services to individuals, as well as family members seeking help and support with substance abuse and chemical dependence. LSA’s personalized program guides you through the step-by-step process towards your recovery. It is important to realize that you will not be alone as you go through the process towards sustained recovery. Our doctors and staff provide you with an understanding of chemical dependence, how it affects your mind, body and soul, and how you can recover. In addition to medical support, LSA will provide you with a robust support network that will help bolster your confidence as you proceed towards your important and achievable goal of recovery.


Tell us about your current role.

“I am a peer advocate working with young adults ages 16-24. I have helped support young adults through their recovery with substance and mental health. As a peer advocate, every day is a step to help them overcome while supporting them in their everyday situations such as living accommodations, employment opportunities, family and peer advocate services, and connecting clients to reliable resources and care as needed. And most importantly, being on call and there when need as they battle the road of recovery.”


What does your typical work day look like?

“A typical work day would be focusing on at least 5-8 clients. A client will come into the office and we work on a wellness plan. It can be anything from looking for shelter for the night to finding employment or building techniques to overcome substance use. If a client is in need of a service and would like support as a peer advocate I will accompany my client to that service if needed and guide them through their processes such as HRA, SNAP, SSI, in court or even building a relationship with their parole or ACS case manager.”


How has your GCF experience helped you in your position? 

“GCF has helped me get to where I’m at by empowering me. I completed [the GCF program] when I was 18 years old – I am 25 today and I stand proud as an alumni. I searched for a path but I knew I wanted to be outside in the NYCHA communities and neighborhoods making a difference, and GCF made that happen for me. Today I stand proud trying and working to overcome in the same neighborhood and borough that helped me build my foundation.”



About Anyia’s career pathway:

“I have gained a lot of my data input experience and community outreach in my younger years at Brownsville Community Justice Center and GCF. I organize my own giveaway events in my free time from resources in my community as well. But as a Recovery Coach / Peer Advocate you gain this career path from life experience. From my own experience with substance and dealing with the shelter system and what life can throw you – that’s how I got where I am at today. I am qualified for my role because I am dedicated to building youth and community engagement while helping support the next generation. Also, reminding our young adults it’s people who care who have been in similar life situations. The role I do is genuinely done from my heart – everyday I face battles with my clients while learning what services the world and our city can offer.”


What advice do you have for current Corps Members?

The greatest advice I can offer GCF alumni is when you find genuine people who care, take all the information you can, that’s God creating its path. And while living this one life always give your best and don’t show up less. Life will not teach you how to smile in pain or how to help others when you have nothing much to give, but if you do what makes your soul happy and live with your purpose no dream is imaginary and no goal is unreachable.”

“I didn’t change. The things that matter did and my actions followed.”


Achievements at Green City Force:

  • Completing basic electrical and GPRO maintenance
  • Receiving the Team Leader Award at graduation


What’s your favorite GCF memory?

My favorite GCF memory was visiting Stapleton Houses in Staten Island: we were all at the point where we were adapting to our teams and adjusting but excited for what we were going to be experiencing with these Eco-Hubs. We were all hungry, my cousin and I actually were on the same team (Team Aram) and we were working it, man. Honestly I don’t remember if we made the most but I remember the feeling of wanting something and being a part of the team. After high school I felt lost, so with my GCF team we were close and we definitely had a ball. A great basketball game every lunch if we could, but most importantly just enjoying what GCF and being together offered.”



“Before Green City Force I was a recent high school graduate hopping job to job, and everything just wasn’t going right for me. I needed a big break. I was determined to make a positive change in my life. I chose to become a part of my GCF cohort because I knew I had the tools but I needed help building my brand, and that’s what made me determined to be a Corps Member. Green City Force has meant so much to me. From staff to cohort, we’re a family, because it takes a village to raise a child, and with GCF everyone’s a part of that. I fell in love with what they were going to help me become. The most important thing I learned from GCF is to step out of my comfort zone and do what others are not willing to do! My plan after GCF is to work on becoming an energy auditor, but there are no limits to success–watch out for me! Special thanks to my Mom, Quanaisha, Diamond, Hannah, and last but not least, Team Leaders Aram and Josh. You guys couldn’t have been more supportive. I appreciate every bit.”



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