Clarise Blanchard, PhD of San Carlos has been helping women with substance abuse and mental health issues for more than 16 years. Today a psychotherapist and program director for Youth and Family Enrichment Services, she has long believed that women who have been victimized by trauma and domestic violence too often “fall through the cracks” of traditional mental health/substance abuse treatment programs. Clarise pioneered new ways to engage and treat these young girls and women that are today a model for many local programs. At the heart of her approach is a passionate belief in the effectiveness of individualized treatment provided with warmth and support rather than confrontation. In 2000, her success led her to help create the Women’s Enrichment Center, a program for mothers having difficulty moving from county assistance to self-sufficiency. Next, she helped develop the GIRLS program for incarcerated girls and then was tapped in 2003 to assist with the merger of Family and Community Enrichment Services (FACES) and Youth and Family Assistance to form Youth and Family Enrichment Services. Her holistic approach is now the backbone of all 22 of the agency’s programs. Clarise’s unshakeable faith in her clients has given hundreds of women in San Mateo County new hope and strength. Her passion and creativity have changed lives and made our community a better place.