Daisy Carter, executive director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the Central Mississippi Area, says that when her family was dealing with an addiction when she was young, she wishes they knew there was an agency to call on to help with treatment.
For more than 70 years, NCADD has worked to fight addiction across the country through providing a variety of recovery and prevention programs, as well as educational resources for those looking to break free from addiction or help another person fight the disease.
"I just really love helping people and extending services, and that's what we do," Carter says. "... We do a lot to help people and help families."
Carter's original career plan did not include working with NCADD Mississippi. Instead, she wanted to be a seventh-grade English teacher.
However, an internship with education organization Friends of Children of Mississippi in 2004 piqued her interest in the nonprofit sector, although she continued her path toward a career in education through substitute teaching from 2005 to 2007. She graduated from Jackson State University in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in English and then served as the human resource director for the Mississippi Community Partnership from February 2006 to July 2009. In January 2010, she stepped into her current position at NCADD. She also returned to JSU and received a master's degree in public policy and administration with a concentration on economic development in 2014.
While NCADD helps people fight addictions, it also aims helps those in recovery in other areas, such as housing and health insurance, Carter says.
"We are a community-based organization making sure that our communities have what they need," she says.
For Carter, one of the ways she sees the nonprofit make a difference in the community is through its recovery bookstore, which has resources on eating, sexual, drug and alcohol addictions, among others. The people who work and volunteer there are often either new to recovery or have completed their program, she says, and are looking for ways to keep their mind on their sobriety.
"We see them at their beginning stages of hating the fact that they have to let go of their best friend—their best friend being their addiction—and then having them say, 'If it wasn't for you guys, I wouldn't be here today,'" she says.
Carter attends True Light Baptist Church and has a 12-year-old son, Carter Wilson.