Erica McNamara, RCASA
Ms. Erica L. McNamara serves as the Director of the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (RCASA, 2008-present). Since joining RCASA, Ms. McNamara has developed a series of youth engagement opportunities through establishing the coalition’s first Youth Crew and Student Club. Most recently, she served as the Director of Adolescent Health & Youth Development at Lowell Community Health Center (LCHC) where she managed afterschool prevention projects and school based health centers. She was the Director/Principal Investigator of the Cambodian Youth Development Partnership funded by the U.S. SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Ms. McNamara developed programs focused on Asset-Based Youth Development, Teen Pregnancy, HIV, STDs, Substance Abuse, Violence, and Gang Prevention blending innovative and evidence-based approaches. Ms. McNamara was with LCHC for 12 years and previously served as a VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America), Gang Outreach Worker, HIV Prevention Educator, and ESL Teacher. She graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Additionally, she completed the Suffolk University Community Health Management Training Program in 2004 and graduated from the Master of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2008. She has taught a range of evidence-based curricula including Creating Lasting Family Connections substance abuse prevention series, Reducing the Risk, and Changing Scenes. She is a certified TIPs Trainer which focuses on responsible beverage service education. She has presented at both regional and national conferences including the Massachusetts Connecting for Change Statewide Youth Summit, American Public Health Association, United States Conferences on AIDS, and the National HIV Prevention Conference.