Christy Blue, executive director of Turning Point Counseling and Outpatient Services, is on a mission to help others, but her current job wasn’t necessarily part of her plan.
Blue didn’t really know who or what she wanted to be when she grew up, but she’s always had a passion and desire to do good in the world. She grew up in the dusty plains of Odessa but moved to Breckenridge at 16 and graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1997.
At 23, Blue attended Ranger College in Graham where she took her core classes and received an associate’s degree in arts. A week before she graduated, however, she decided to attend Texas State Technical College in Breckenridge to study counseling and chemical dependency.
“I knew I wanted to do social work of some sort,” she said. “I feel like I didn’t choose the field and God chose it for me. I decided to go to TSTC, and I loved it.”
She garnered an associate of applied science and arts degree in chemical dependency counseling from TSTC in 2006. With two associates degrees in hand, Blue decided to work at Walker Sayle Unit Prison in Breckenridge as a counselor intern for three years.
She then moved to Mineral Wells and worked at an intermediate sanction facility, where she dealt with parolees who violated drug charges. A year later, she left that position to work for Summer Sky, a residential facility in Stephenville. She commuted every day, and during this time she enrolled at Midwestern State University and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and applied science with an emphasis on social work.
“I’m a road warrior,” she said. “It gives you time to decompress from work to home.”
She worked for three-and-a-half years as the director of the adolescent unit there, counseling children who abused substances due to a troubled home life or traumatic experience.
“I would take groups (of students) four hours a day off campus and teach them they can have fun without substances,” Blue said. “I was allowed to take them to Dinosaur Valley Park in Glen Rose. And we’d have some city kids and we would get them excited about how they could have fun.”
After the adolescent unit temporarily shut down, Blue became the discharge coordinator for adults at Summer Sky. She would make appointments with doctors, help substance abusers who made it through rehab find a sober living environment and coordinate a plan of action for when clients were discharged.
One day, Blue received a phone call from Whitney Pilkington, former executive director of Turning Point. Pilkington explained that she was leaving the position and asked if Blue was interested in the job. Blue was hired within three days. She gave her two weeks notice at Summer Sky and started work at Turning Point on Oct. 7, 2013.
She said that although the pace of work in Graham is slower, she is able to see results on a more personal level with her clients.
“The clientele — they’re lost, broken-hearted and looking for help,” Blue said. “Most of them want something different.”
Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.