Meet the Team
Linda Richards, PSP II
Linda is a living example that change is possible. Along her life’s journey, she experienced incarceration. Her family and friends have experienced collateral damage in their own lives and while she acknowledges the circumstances of how she was raised greatly influenced her and the choices she made; she does not use these circumstances as an excuse to live an unhealthy life. She believes in everyone’s power to change and to make healthier choices for themselves. Linda has a strong belief there are unique circumstances to each person’s life and journey. In her practice, she empowers clients to embrace each of their own realities and to believe that change and recovery is possible. In her work at Beautiful Clay, Linda provides a path to accomplish this change. Linda lives the example of recovery herself and provides programming that helps clients examine their thought processes and behavioral choices. Linda’s goal is to use her struggles to help people. This is not accomplished alone; Linda is always open to the guidance of her Higher Power and people who support her mission.
At Beautiful Clay, Linda works directly with clients in workshops and classes.
Shanda Smith, BSW
Shanda is a Social Worker currently pursuing further education at University of Alaska. She chose this field of work and study because she wants to help people overcome the stigma of substance use disorder and incarceration. Her fundamental belief that everyone is capable of change, especially when they have a grounded support system such as we provide at Beautiful Clay. In addition to her work with Beautiful Clay, she also is a supportive housing case manager and has worked with treatment facilities, reentry programs, and in assisting individuals regarding employment opportunities. Shanda was born and raised in Anchorage and, as a person of color who is also a mother, sister, and friend, she has empathy and compassion for others. Second chances are important to Shanda, she wants to provide opportunities for change and growth to her clients as they seek a new way to live.
At Beautiful Clay, Shanda works with clients helping them achieve their goals
LaMirah Johnson, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist
LaMirah is a veteran of the United States Navy. She has two children and received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology. She is empathetic and encouraging to clients with a good-natured spirit. When working with clients, she helps them become aware of their feelings and emotions and the influence these have in their lives. As a Black woman, she has witnessed the stigma people face as they address the topic of mental health. Because of this personal experience, LaMirah focuses on helping clients overcome the effects of stigma in the areas of mental health. She also empowers her clients to value literacy and education, especially to know it is possible for everyone.
At Beautiful Clay, LaMirah aid clients in dealing with emotional mental health