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Meet and Greet: Lei Portugal Calloway


My name is Lei Portugal Calloway (she/her).

I am a Peer Team Lead at Orange County AOT. I’ve been at Telecare for 9.5 years.

In my role, I do a mix of things, including providing support to our members by working alongside a hard-working team of compassionate, funny, adaptable, diverse warriors of mental health. The frosting on the cake is that, as a Peer Team Lead, I get to advocate for, support, and represent other peer professionals at Telecare, in the peer movement, and in our mental health community.

In my view, the best part of my job is that the recovery journey of those we support and my own recovery journey are so intertwined that it doesn't even feel like a job. More like a well-written story or a beautifully-composed melody of hopefulness, resilience, and strength.

What makes me really proud of my team and the work we do is that no matter what is going on, what we have already planned, or how busy we all are, we come together seamlessly and harmoniously for each other and our members.

When I’m having a tough day, the thing that keeps me going is knowing that I have a responsibility and obligation to do my job to the best of my abilities. And I am blessed to have found my calling in life. That I have a purpose. And that somebody may be depending on me — and I am dependable. Being able to do this job has been a privilege and an honor.

My favorite quote or personal motto is one I used during a keynote speech recently that reminds me that doing this job takes both courage and bravery (yes, there is a difference): “There are two forms of courage in this world. One demands that we jump into action with our armor on. The other demands that we strip ourselves bare-naked and surrender. Bravery is a curious thing.”

If I were going to describe Telecare in three words, they would be relevant, innovative and much-needed.

My photos show a bit more about me! They include some Telecare memories: A picture of me, masked-up and ready to face each day for the past two years of coming to work, and, also while at Telecare, meeting and marrying a man I met five years ago, when we both worked at STEPS/AI Program. Finally, a movie: me in Telecare’s Year in Review 2021.

Thank you for letting us get to know you, Lei! We are so glad to have you as part of #TeamTelecare!

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