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Alyssa | 40 for 40 Portraits RVA

Alyssa Ward, 43 Clinical Psychologist Behavioral Health Director for the Virginia Medicaid Program

This woman is kind, compassionate, & fiercely loyal (also a total badass). It's really no surprise to anyone that she found herself in policy work. Alyssa and I have known each other for a couple of years and have overlapping circles of friends, but she's someone I always wanted to get to know better. She booked a family session with me last fall and then lost her mother very suddenly three weeks before our scheduled shoot. You can read more about their session here.

"I'm a mom of two girls and wife to an amazing guy. As a kid, I grew up on Medicaid and am now running a one billion dollar budget for the state Medicaid behavioral health program. The past two years have been intense on an entirely different level. I'm also a runner, a writer, and a person who loves people. I'm an Americorps alumni, and the great grand-daughter of Lithuanian immigrants. Throughout my life, I've lived in small towns without a single stoplight, in the hearts of both LA and DC, and on the edge of the ocean in Hawaii. I've determined that my 40's is when you truly begin to shed all of your f**ks. I'm tired. So tired. But I also feel stronger than I ever have before."

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ― Fred Rogers.