MEET OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Evelyn Mejil, MSW
Evelyn Mejil is the current Executive Director of Wynona’s House Child Advocacy Center for Essex County. Wynona’s House CAC is the only fully co-located and most comprehensive agency to service victims of severe sexual and severe physical abuse in the State of New Jersey - and the first in our Nation.
In this capacity she works with onsite partners from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, the Division of Child Protection & Permanancy, and the Metro Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. With an on site hospital for conducting forensic medical examinations and a fully equipped facility to conduct forensic interviews, Wynona’s House is able to provide care that enables children and their families to recover from abuse and receive justice as quickly as possible in order to resume normal life. Wynona's House strives to create a community where children are safe, families are strong, and victims become children again. Ms. Mejil’s hope is that the CAC Model will be duplicated throughout the State and through out the Nation as best practices.
Evelyn Mejil began serving the local community over 20 years ago and has dedicated her professional life to the disenfranchised. For over fifteen years her areas of service have been dedicated to children and families in various capacities from direct service to programming and policy. Prior to her role at Wynona’s House, Ms. Mejil served as the Director of Newark Youth Court, an organization dedicated to using positive peer pressure to ensure that young people who have committed minor offenses restore harm done to the community and receive the help they need to avoid further involvement in the justice system by focusing on research, development, justice and reform.
Ms. Mejil has also worked as a Mental Health Clinician where she served to make clinical assessments for high profile cases of students victimized by issues related to trauma, alcohol, drugs and violence in need of psychological services and building capacity with school staff by way of trainings and orientations. As a Child- Adolescent and Family Mental Health Specialist, Ms. Mejil developed a collaborative partnership with families and their community social services, schools, health care providers, state and local social service agencies to maximize services to the families whil leading a clinical team that assessed clinical, vocational and social needs of children and their families. As a Director of the Children and Adolescent Program and Family Advocate, Evelyn Mejil was able to implement crisis intervention, prevention and resolution innovative programs, as well as establish community collaborations and coordinated children and parenting educational workshops, programs, and support groups.
A recognized leader within the community, Evelyn Mejil was honored with an award from then Mayor Cory Booker from the City of Newark for her work with youth and families of the community. Evelyn Mejil is a voice and channel of hope. As a change agent and entrepreneur she has served both locally and internationally in various capacities. In 2008, as part of the Washington DC’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services, Ms. Mejil created and developed the agency’s Statement of Work contract that established a model for government service providers and its grantees for five fiscal years. Prior to her work here, Ms. Mejil assisted community organizations, military and government officials as the team clinical advisor and counselor for children and family related matters in New Orleans during the Katrina crisis, leading the first team of officials and civilians into the disaster zone with children and families to identify family members and crisis intervention management.
Notable among her achievements is her work internationally. In 2003 she traveled to Medellin, Colombia and dedicated five consecutive years to working with families displaced from their homes and suffered terribly due to the 40-year internal conflict. She worked on an array of comprehensive programs ranging from housing, drug rehabilitation, homeless shelters, food pantries, and entrepreneurship. As a results of her work, today, there are over twenty programs delivering services and she continues to provide on-going support to the local organizations. Ms. Mejil also began ongoing partnerships with local leaders and organizations in Jos, Nigeria in 2003. There, she worked with widows and orphans that were victims of unjust property laws and local conflict. She led a team that included public dignitaries to local religious leaders, and thus began the work towards creating a village that would include facilities like housing, schools, a health clinic, a recreational center, a church, and a vocational school for widows and orphans. In 2005 she became an advocate for the voiceless women of South Africa that were merciless victims of unjust laws, where she created awareness of the horrific conditions and violations of human rights.
Ms. Mejil is a leader and a visionary. In addition to her community involvement, Ms. Mejil’s fervent determination coupled with a strong entreprenerual spirit has lead her into an endeavor as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of her own consulting firm – an organization with a strong global presence and international platform. Ms. Mejil is currently being sought out to bring her expertise to Ghana, India, Israel and Mexico. Her areas of expertise include but are not limited to crisis prevention and intervention, large scale change management, program development, project management, goal planning and vision realization, strategic planning, strategic partnership organizational change, infrastructure development, and more.
Evelyn Mejil earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University and a Masters in Social Work from New York University. In addition to her role as Executive Director, Ms. Mejil is the President-Elect of the New Jersey Children’s Alliance Board of Trustees, Chair of the Advocacy and Policy Committee under the New Jersey Children’s Alliance, Member of the Essex County Domestic Violence Work Group, Member of the National Association of Social Work, an entrusted Advisory Board Member for a private bank sector, and a Professor at Montclair State University. She has been a guest speaker for renowned Universities, local schools and leading organizations throughout the State of New Jersey, New York and internationally. Ms. Mejil is also activily involved in various organizations and committees that tackle issues of child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, domestic violence, and juvenile delinquency.
Throughout her career, Evelyn Mejil has been a strong advocate for social justice and a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves—especially abused children and women. She has delivered results to communities around the globe by building hope and creating solution-based practices. Her work continues to endure challenging times and her dedication continues to persevere.