A NEW Look: Case Manager Denise Ziegler

Case Manager Denise Ziegler considers herself Superwoman. She doesn’t wear a red cape or fly an invisible jet, but her days are devoted to helping others and saving the day.

Denise works as a case manager for New Horizons, helping mothers find stability and confidence, and helping their kids stay motivated and inspired. Denise is also earning her BA in criminal justice. As if that’s not enough, Denise takes care of her elderly mother and most weekends, all four of her grandsons, ages 12,11, 5 and 1 stay with her.

Serving others, she said, is just who she is.

“When I started working at NEW, I could really identify with the women because of my own personal experience,” she said. Denise had her own battle with addiction as a young mother, so she sees herself as a real life example of someone who has succeeded despite setbacks.

“You see the struggle especially when they’re trying to stay clean,” she said. “You show them more than you tell them. You say, ‘I was where you are and look where I am now?’ I really have compassion and a real love for what I do,” she said.

After Denise earns her BA, she plans to get a job working in a jail or with women coming home from jail. Her kids and grand-kids are all doing well and she has no intention of giving up her Superwoman title any time soon.

“It’s all about giving back, and sharing your experience of strength and hope,” she said.  “You want to make a difference in someone’s life and I think I have.”

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It’s been a challenging time for all of us as we adjust our days, our budgets and our expectations to COVID-19. And now, add a city and country grasping for footing after the death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer and we all feel even more out of control, unstable, and concerned about the future. Here at NEW we know that one way we can process our own feelings is to think about the needs and feelings of others.

We need you. The women need you. Your community needs you. Now more than ever women and children in DC need a safe and stable place to live.

Give.