Connor Fahey, Dean of Student Life, graduated from the University at Buffalo with a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology. He began his career working with adolescents in 2001 at a wilderness therapy program for boys 13-17 years old in northern New Hampshire. Living with, teaching, mentoring, and counseling these boys on a daily basis for 10 years gave him a new sense of what it means to be part of a community. Being part of a community isn’t just about living somewhere, it’s about connecting with others, genuinely caring, and making an impact. When this chapter in his life ended, Connor moved to Burlington Vermont to work in a residential treatment center with children age 5-14 who had suffered from severe trauma. It was during this time that he graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a MS in community mental health counseling.
Missing the community he’d been a part of while living where he worked and wanting to get back to working with teenagers, Connor began exploring new opportunities. In 2014, Connor joined the Oli family and loves living in a community that takes pride in helping youth grow as individuals and accepts everyone for who they are. He enjoys the outdoors, writing poetry, listening to music, playing sports, and spending time with his dog, Bailey.
What do you love most about Oliverian?
“I love the kids we work with and the passion all staff bring to helping them find their place in the world. Every person in the Oliverian community comes here with their own personalities and experiences. We come together as individuals and build a community that supports exploration and growth in not only academics, but in life. I love that as a staff we invite students to explore new ideas, new activities, and new feelings by providing opportunities where they can try things out and make mistakes. We live as one community and are allowed to use our own life story as a way to mentor the students and through this, we model that it is ok to make mistakes, support others, go against the norm, and be proud of what you believe in and who you are.”
What motivates you to work with (or in proximity to) kids?
“I believe that life is a journey to finding our purpose as an individual in this world and that once we find that purpose we need to do our best to fulfill it or we will not truly be happy. Although I believe I found my purpose at a young age, I had to face a lot of ups and downs in order to understand it. I had to look at who I was at my core, explore what I liked and what I didn’t like about myself and I had to learn to accept the things I couldn’t change in order to grow. My journey has not been an easy one for me and I often felt alone so I have wanted to be there for others during the times when they are trying to figure out who they are and what their purpose is. People of all ages are constantly growing, but the teenage years are a natural time to explore individual beliefs and goals as we move from being children to adults. I love supporting and encouraging teenagers through this process!”