Michele Paolella

Michele Paolella (she/her/hers) is the Assistant Director of SVR at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, joining the team in October of 2019. Michele has been working with teenage and young adult survivors of violence for over fifteen years. Prior to joining Columbia, Michele was the Director of Social Services and Training at Day One, where she delivered and oversaw prevention, awareness, and intervention services for young survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence and their communities. During her time at Day One, Michele developed and managed several new programs, trained thousands of professionals, and spearheaded key partnerships with city institutions and community partners. She also chaired multiple coalitions including the NYC Domestic Violence Task Force Youth Intervention Prevention and Education Services (YIPES) Committee and a group of culturally specific service providers called Advocates for Safe and Empowering Relationships (ASER). Before Day One, Michele worked primarily with LGBTQ and HIV positive youth, as well as youth involved in the criminal justice system.​​​​​


  • Master of Social Work (Dual Concentration Social Action and Change and Individuals, Families, and Groups), San Francisco State University
  • Bachelor of Psychology (Concentration Women and Gender Studies), Ohio University

Certifications and Licensure:

  • Licensed Master of Social Work
  • Student Intern Field Instructor Certification

Professional Experience:

  • Day One
  • The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth
  • Youth Leadership Institute (YLI)
  • Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY)
  • The Children’s Place
  • My Sister’s Place
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters

Awards and Honors:

  • 2017 Advocate of NYC Award
  • 2018 Strell Executive Leadership Fellow