Cristina Pagen, LCSW

Associate Director Community Mental Health Initiatives

Cristina Barnes-Lee Pagan was born and raised in Paterson, NJ.  Cristina has been actively working in the community for over twenty years.  In 2012 Cristina was led by God to start a 501c3 non-profit named Teens2BHeard. Teens2BHeard organization teaches leadership, teen advocacy and peer support. It offers mentorship, and family support.  She obtained her License in Social Work after graduating with her Masters from Rutgers University in 2016, her concentration was and continues to be trauma and its effects on the person and the community. Since 2016 Cristina started working as an In-home counselor with youth and families in the community. Cristina sees community as a mandated second or at times first family for many youth in the city.  She works day and night with youth, primarily from Paterson, to instill hope and motivation needed for individualized success.

Cristina’s current role as Director of Paterson Youth Services Bureau, which encompasses the Evening Reporting Wellness Center and Transitional Program, affords her the opportunity to work with youth and families in the community who have come into contact with the Juvenile Justice System on one or more occasions.  She works closely and diligently with her staff to assist youth and families in hopes of diverting recidivism by providing tools needed to succeed which include but are not limited to education, employment, social skills, self-awareness and motivation. Cristina is passionate about her work with youth and will continue to advocate for them by promoting positive change in our communities. Ms. Barnes-Lee Pagan will be working closely with The SASH Lab as a community research fellow in training for The Paterson Prevention Project.