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Employee Spotlight: Mi-Yeet Wong, LCSW, Celebrating Impact and Innovation

A photograph of Mi-Yeet Wong, LCSW

December 14, 2023

Written by Sarah Greer, MS

Mi-Yeet (Mimi) Wong, LCSW, the Director of Community Impact at the Philadelphia Autism Project at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, discussed her impactful journey and the significant initiatives undertaken at the Autism Institute. Mimi began working at the Autism Institute in 2016, drawn by the opportunity to seek clinical case consultation when she was working in a community agency. Her experience as a case manager gave her a valuable perspective on supporting autistic adults, motivating her to seek a broader impact.

Her career trajectory began with an interest in human behavior that led her to major in psychology during undergraduate and evolved into a passion for social work. Despite initial reservations about research and social work, Mimi embraced the dynamic intersection of social work within a research environment, acknowledging the flexibility and applicability of social work skills. As the Director of Community Impact, Mimi appreciates the innovative nature of her role, allowing her the chance to connect with diverse perspectives and initiatives. The daily advocacy work she is exposed to propels her to continually self-assess and look for new ways to make an impact.

The Philadelphia Autism Project is a citywide initiative in partnership with the Philadelphia City Council and Philadelphia's managed care organization, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) and Community Behavioral Health (CBH). They work alongside the statewide Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training (ASERT) Collaborative Eastern Region. Mimi highlighted the importance of these partnerships because they make the Philadelphia Autism Project unique. The project has statewide, local, and managed care partnerships, which ensures that projects and initiatives are guided by multiple perspectives and work in tandem to meet both regional and statewide needs.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Mimi finds solace in moments of quiet, appreciating stillness amid the chaos. Her dedication to self-care extends to fitness routines and avid reading despite the scarcity of free time. She did not hesitate to proclaim her loyalty to her favorite cheesesteak spot in Philly. She grew up eating Pat's, which provides nostalgia, but nowadays, she recommends Jim's and looks forward to them reopening soon. Mimi was also adamant that she would never go to Geno's for a cheesesteak. She also recommends podcasts like "Social Workers, Rise," "Stop Playing Diversity," and "Law of Attraction Changed My Life," along with Lisa See's "The Island of Sea Women," noting they have been instrumental in her personal growth and focus.

When asked what advice she would give her younger self just starting out in her career, she emphasized taking it easy on herself and always prioritizing taking care of oneself, "No one will value you more than you. You are always going to feel like you need to do more, but you can't last long if you are not taking care of yourself. Who's to say where you will end up. You don't have to have a firm answer on what you will do or where you will be. Knowing what you don't like can also lead to the next step. Your career is one aspect of your life. You have other aspects, too."