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Karen Merrill

Karen Merrill
Oswego County Opportunities

Karen Merrill is a transitional services coordinator at Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., Fulton.

Merrill, 38, earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and public justice from SUNY Oswego in 1992. Merrill has worked with OCO for 16 years and has extensive experience in planning, developing and implementing human service programs. These include managing 24-hour residential programming for foster care, runaway/homeless, pregnant/parenting and domestic violence populations.

She is a therapeutic crisis intervention trainer and has extensive training in incident management control. “I run programs that teach employment skills,” she said. “Many youth benefit and will take jobs that adults will not. I teach homeless youth skills to help them become employed and educated instead of on the streets,” Merrill added.

Merrill has served on the Oswego County Runaway and Homeless Youth Task Force, Teen Health Committee, as a residential director with the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies, and on the Oswego County Alcohol and Substance Abuse Committee. She has been a Special Olympics volunteer for the past four years, and also volunteers ass a mentor to a middle school student in the Fulton City School District.

In 2003, she captured the OCO Outstanding Employee Award. In 2005, she won the OCO Distinguished Employee Merit Award. A year later, she won the COFCCA Kenneth Skinner Child Welfare Excellence Award. “I ensure youth I work with are safe and have their basic needs met,” she said. She is married to Andrew Merrill. (LS)