Student Testimonials

Joseph Pannell, OTI Graduate 2010

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“Congratulations on your 20th year at Outreach Project. Not only did you spend 2 decades helping OTI become, in my opinion, one of the best clinical training services around, but you have been influential in helping countless CASAC-T’s in ‘becoming’ – myself included! The one statement that I heard during my training with you that stood out more than any other was the one about identifying who I really am, and how to become who I was created to be. Your holistic approach to recovery emphasized how important the spiritual component of the ‘bio-psycho-social-spiritual aspect of recovery is I am eternally grateful that I met you when I did and had a chance to be influenced by such a wonderful human being as yourself.”

Francisco Saltares, OTI Graduate 2010

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“Mr. Armiento, my life has really been impacted by your presentations at OTI, and as a result I am truly evolving as a person, first and foremost, but also as a professional in the field of addiction. I greatly appreciate your approach to teaching, and the authenticity you offer as a person. You will always remain one of a few mentors I’ve adopted during my life’s journey. I wish I had the complete vocabulary to truly express to what extent our brief encounter has shifted my being, and level of energy. I want to take this time to thank you for your guidance in finding this wonderful path I am on today. You’re a great person, and sincerely in my eyes, a master. Again, I can’t thank you enough for the formal introduction to “Waldo”.”

Sonia Cannistraci, Registered Nurse at Montefiore Medical Center

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“Our family has been blessed to have Mark in our lives. I have chosen a word that sums up various meanings of who and what Mark evokes in our lives: wonderful.
W – Wonderful and willing
O – Objective and outstanding
N – Never underestimate the powers of who you are
D – Dynamic and dad
E – Easygoing and expert
R – Refreshing and religious
F – Fantastic, friendly, farsighted and family man
U – Understanding and uniting
L – Love, laughter and live life to the fullest”

Ken Carney, OTI Graduate

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“I actually called Mark a Jedi Knight on my evaluation. Everything about him is simply amazing; his knowledge is ridiculous. The way he hypnotizes this room seriously touches me. I could go on forever, but let’s face it: I could sum it all up with one word, and that word is inspired!”

Roy Radames, OTI Graduate

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“It’s really amazing when I think about the positive impact you have had on SO MANY people. Do you ever think about that? You are truly blessed and are an inspiration for many. I hope that you never lose sight of that. By the way, I also thank you for your light in my life. You HAVE made a difference! I like to tell people what they mean to me while they are alive; in my opinion, that’s when it matters most. We may not cross paths frequently, but you have left an imprint inside of me that can’t be erased. Shine on!”

Ronald Wegner, OTI Graduate, Pioneer Class of 1997

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“I enrolled in the Pioneer class and first met Mark on the opening day of OTI at St. Anthony’s in Woodhaven in 1997. From that day on I knew that I was on a journey of a lifetime, embarking on a career that would prove to be rewarding beyond all expectations. Mark’s passion for his work and vast knowledge of the disease of addiction inspired me and everyone in our class to learn all that we could from him. Mark’s style allowed us to understand, absorb and retain complex theories and use this information to engage and treat clients in a way that proved to be enjoyable and therapeutic. The most important lesson I learned from Mark was to ‘take care of ourselves.’ Mark always said that we could not effectively treat a client and work in the field if we personally were not ‘walking the walk.’ No truer words were ever said. Mark is a consummate professional who inspires all who come into contact with him. I am proud to call Mark my friend and colleague and thank him for all he has given to me and to the field. The journey continues…”

Jeanette Sowell, 2010 OTI graduate

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“I am empowered!! … Mark inspired me in so many ways; spiritually, emotionally & intellectually. He reached me with a depth of knowledge I have never before experienced and now feel more confident about entering the counseling field. Keep doing what you’re doing – You are an inspiration in my life and a remarkable lecturer.”

Janet Lynch, Administrative Aide, Judicial District Supreme and Criminal Court

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“I believe that Mark Armiento unveils the value of spirituality in recovery, which should become the model and primary focus for treatment modalities servicing persons seeking freedom from addictive behaviors. Mark proves that over time, with the right mind set and a belief that there is more, people do transform their lives permanently.
I have seen and experienced personally a transformation in my own perception about life and my ability to really achieve my goals after being exposed to Mark and his Spirituality lectures. My classmates have all expressed inspirational transformation and perception changes because of Marks message of spirituality- they now look at their clients differently! Mark’s teachings about Spirituality in Recovery make it easy for people like myself, to shout to the world, “this is it!”- Here is where you can find the answers to questions you’ve been asking all your life – Here is where you can find the first day of the rest of your life. The hope in Mark’s selflessness equips students with a message that brings light to a world of darkness and instructs future therapists to help people find their true selves and achieve their life’s potential.”

Mr. Merrit Hartblay, Case Manager Seafield/OTI graduate

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“Mark changed my life!! He is an amazing spiritual force – mentor – guide. There wasn’t a lecture where I didn’t leave class teary eyed. I hope that I can carry his message out into the field. His lectures on NLP changed my life. He helped me find WALDO. Mark is a special person and I hope that you can in some special way recognize him for the gift he gave me and my peers at OTI.”

Ms. Roseanne D’Angelo, OTI graduate 2011

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“During my 23+ year career as a transition counselor, working with sentenced adolescents at an alternative high school on Rikers Island and then as a corrections outreach worker working with HIV-positive inmates at Nassau County Jail, I have written, presented and taken more training hours than I can count. But I have never experienced the caliber of an instructor as Mark. Every one of Mark Armiento’s classes continues to resonate with me and is helping me be a better person and counselor; in short it is helping me find balance in every aspect of my life. Mark is by far the very best that the Outreach Training Institute has to offer!”

Kristina J. DiGangi, CASAC graduate 2011

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“In his teachings, I learned to value my life and to believe that hope was for everyone. Mark brings to the broken, the realization that cultivating kindness promotes acceptance, peace, freedom and happiness. Marks shows us that we can learn to be spiritual, we can learn to pay attention in the present moment and more importantly, we can change our habitual patterns our vulnerabilities to automatic reactions based on past experiences of hurt. Mark shows us that too often we’re on auto pilot, not even paying attention to what is actually happening in in the present, just responding to triggers that cause us to react automatically and defensively respond. The way Mark presents, it allows one to engage more fully with ones emotions and experiences. He shows us the infinite possibilities if we allow ourselves to hear and forgive and more forward without judgement for past actions that cannot be changed. I am forever indebted to Mark Armiento for the light he shed on my life and empowerment received from his message.”

Leslie Lemon, Brooklyn OTI graduate 2011

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“Once again, I have to thank you, Mark, for making a huge impact in my life. OTI made the right move by hiring you teach the initial class in September because you instantly ignited my craving to learn. The class loves you! I’m sure I will see you again at a book signing…. It’s been a great experience learning from you. You’re the Michael Jordan of OTI!!!”

Gwenne Landau, CASAC graduate 2011

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“What I have achieved has changed my life. I will never be the same! My changes are not cosmetic, rather they are rooted in my soul. I am so thankful to you Mark. Nothing has awoken me more than what I have learned during our time together. How do you thank a person for helping you not only get back your life, but helping you find a meaningful one? I will honor and thank you by living a life that exemplifies what I have learned.”

Perdona Jones, CASAC graduate 2011

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“Thank you for giving me the much needed information about myself. It has been a true learning experience. and a priovelge to sit in your class. When I came to OTI, you inspired me to find 1 thing that I really wanted to change and I did. I lost a total of 37 pounds and it all started because of you. All I can say is I am grateful, grateful, grateful to you!”

Sandra Chu-A-Kong, CASAC graduate 2011

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“Mark – you especially fill my heart and soul. I am so grateful that god placed you there at the time. The spiritual feeding is what I have been missing from my life all these years. So that you… thank you so much for helping me. I do want to express to you my deepest appreciation and tell you that you’ve changed my life forever. You are wonderful person and I’m privileged to have known you, and even thought it was for five months, you will last a lifetime in my memories.”

Benjamin Samuel, CASAC graduate 2012

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 “I just want to express my deepest appreciation for the profound knowledge and skills you impart. I was really moved by the spirituality session last week and the way it impacted me as a pastor and human being. I pastor a main line congregational church. My ability to execute and articulate the scripture has taken a different shape. I learned some great    truths from you which I did not get from my seminary. Thank you very much and and God bless you.”

Lisa Lopez, CASAC graduate, 2011

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“Mark opened up my eyes with the concept that I am making choice based on past hurts, past experiences and therefore, repeating negative life patterns. Mark showed me that I did not have to be a slave to my thoughts, that I could change my perception and life a postiice, focused healthy life if I allowed myself to. I’m eating to live and be healthy. I excercise regularly. I fel gfreeat and I am changing my person choices not only in food but in how I approach relationships and even my marriage. Thank you for clearinfg the fog from my thoughts. I really love the classes you teach and the curriculum you designed for OTI.”

Fred Hoffman, Jr.

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“I have known Mark for a little over 1 yr. & have had the pleasure of experiencing several of his lectures on PTSD, Trauma, Neurolinguistics, & the Psychology of Addiction. He has vastly increased my educational knowledge in these important clinical areas.
Finally, Mark is very passionate in his clinical tutorial instructions. He has inspired me in the clinical area os Spirituality. Mark has instrumentally enhanced my consciousness & inspired a vast positive change in my life that enabled me to successfully graduate his excellent OTI program.”

Ms. Tracy Sims, 2012 NYC student

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“Mark’s lectures have taught me that “wellness” is the most important aspect in life for me to pay attention to – not only feel better about myself but also to maintain long lasting sobriety. I have Mark to thank for my increased energy and new found wellness; focusing on becoming more stable, spiritually & emotionally. ”

Latoya Sykes, 2012 OTI student

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“The first time meeting Mr. Armiento I was immediately drawn to him. The day he lectured on Spirituality I received my “ah-ha” moment. Mr. Armiento is a great teacher with a Spirit that draws people -His awareness of self & spirit allowed me to open up and explore more of myself. I feel anyone would be blessed to have him in their lives, whether as a teacher, husband, father, therapist or friend. Mr. Armiento has a Dalai lama spirit!

Maria Elena Roth, 2012 Long Island Student

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“Words can’t suffice to express how thankful I am for your presence at OTI…. I am more centered now than I have ever been and better equipped to handle anything that comes my way, professional or personal. The training I received from you is not only necessary information in the counseling field but it’s life changing in helping me become whole. I’m beyond grateful that you were my advisor. Mark you are truly a gift to all who cross your path! “Know you are blessed”.”

Jill Lumina, 2012 OTI Long Island graduate

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“Mark, you have the powerful ability to turn a 50 page manual of information into an enlightening experience. Anyone can stand before a group and simply read text off a powerpoint slide but it takes a great man to make that text come alive. I admire all that you have accomplished and I hope to one day have a life equally as fulfilling – continue to inspire others and bring light to dark souls.”

Ben Nnaji, 2012 NYC OTI graduate

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I’m very grateful to have met you. Without mincing words, you are one of the few individuals that have inspired and motivated me about what tomorrow will bring. You have taught me in NLP to let my FAITH be BIGGER than my FEAR. During my time in OTI, you inspired me, made me laugh, smile, dream bigger, and most importantly to  keep the HOPE alive.Thank you and God bless you.

Jacqueline Calderon, 2012 NYC OTI graduate

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Words cannot express how I’m feeling. .. I would like to thank you for all your love and support during my time at OTI. You are an amazing mentor you have helped me more than you know. I know that I will take all that I have learned from you and utilize it in both my professional and personal life. You are truly blessed with the gift and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity in meeting you!

Aima Davis, NYC OTI student

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I am not one who is easily impressed but Mark immediately got my attention! I was told by other students that I would love him because he has a great sense of humor, very knowledgeable and  vibrates on a level that is not the norm- he thinks outside the box!  Mark presents with such enthusiasm and passion, a great skill in and of itself. Mark vibrates on a level to where he is magnetic and you can’t help but gravitate toward him. He exudes energy and confidence!   If everything in life is energy his energy centers are lined and are lit up! Whom ever crosses Mark’s path consider yourself lucky. I am!  Thank you, Mark for the role you have played in my life in such a short amount of time-  You are a gift to so many!

Eddie Pabon, OTI graduate

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Mark I just wanted to say that you’re an amazing person and I admire and respect the work that you do. You have truly changed my life and the way that I think and for that I am grateful. I promise to spread the consciousness. I have finally found balance and peace with myself and became a human being not a human doing. “Know that you are blessed”

Cindy Press, OTI Class of 2013

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“I was blessed enough to listen intently on your lecture about spirituality.  It has made a significant impact on my own recovery and my quest to become a CASAC.  I have been a teacher for years and whenever I have been told I have made a mark on one of my students it provides me with great satisfaction and renewed feeling that I am on the right path.”

Carey Wainwright, Wainwright Associates

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Mark is an extremely competent and caring clinician. He taught me so many things to help others after first helping myself. He has myriad areas of expertise and is very willing to share with others to enrich their personal and professional lives. Mark was a mentor to me and I am a significantly better person and clinician due in no small part to his guidance and support. I recommend Mark wholeheartedly and will remain forever grateful!

Eric Rosen, House Manager, Samaritan Village

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My name is Eric Rosen, I’m 47 years old. I believed my life’s better years were behind me, then i met Mark Armiento. My experience with this gentle man was life altering. His sense of self and purpose of helping others touched me, and awoken in me a belief how we are all connected in our pursuit of spirituality. His influence inspired me to become someone i was not aware of. I, today feel a freedom i cannot repay, Mark is a beautiful soul, a well educated professional, and most importantly, a true human being. I am very grateful to have been brought into his hope for humanity, His solution based ideas for addressing behavioral issues profoundly changed my life forever. I feel he would become a valuable asset to any environment which involves him.

Claudette LaNasa, Suffolk County Police Dept.

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“Mark is a wonderful mentor and role model for each and everyone of us. I was fortunate to be his student at OTI. Because of his success in life skills and his pursuit of happiness he has undoubtedly influenced my decision to further my education and attain self actualization. I started St. Joseph’s College in September 2011 and will be graduating this spring. God willing. I will then intern and study for my CASAC exam. Thank You Mark for sharing and caring for all your students,myself included,at OTI. Miss you! Claudette. PS. I still try and drink a gallon of water a day!”

Francisco Saltares, Mental Health Professional

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Mr. Armiento is an extremely knowledgable, personable, and dynamic lecturer. His presentations were clear, precicse, and well referrenced. He served me, as well as many others, as model and mentor. Should I be in a position to hire Mr. Armiento I would not hesitate to assign him to the highest post possible with the assurance that he will meet all goals presented to him with great quality and sincereity from the heart. His dedication to date has been unsurpassed, and I continue to model myself after his teachings. He is one of those people who enter your life and impact so greatly he will forever live in your heart. These are my honest feelings.”

Alexis Collado, OTI Graduate 2013

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“I have never felt worthy- always looking for my voice and validation. Mark has helped me to find my voice!  I’m now pushing through my fears,  see my own self worth and finally learning what to do with it!  I now look forward to finally speaking up and letting my voice be heard!  Thank you, Mark!    I’m not scared anymore.”

Yolanda Crespo, OTI Graduate 2013

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“Since the 1st time I met Mr. Armiento, I felt relieved during all of his lectures.  Mark, has motivated me to believe in myself and not be ashamed to express who I really am. Since such time in my professional life, I have become a better and stronger person. Realizing that what I have been doing for so long is a gift – a blessing that has helped others find themselves like I have. God bless you, Mr. Armiento for your warmth, professionalism and most of all for the gift of touching others with your words of wisdom.”

John B. Westervelt LMHC, Bellmore Merrick School District

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 “Mark was a great administrator at the Outreach Training for counselors for substance abuse. He inspired so many people in this program because of the special way that he connected with people. This program was one of the best run training programs that I have experienced and I am sure that the knowledge and personal attributes that made this program top notch also make Mark a great counselor. Many people told about how the program had changed their lives and I am sure he is continuing to help people change their lives as a counselor.”

Angel Torres, Social Worker/Substance Use Counselor at Brooklyn Hospital Center

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“Mark Armiento is one of the most exceptional men I have ever known. his professionalism is legendary at Outreach and other substance abuse treatment facilities. The reason for this is that Mark and his extraordinary team helped train many of the C.A.S.A.C. professionals in the field today. Mark will be an incredible asset to any organization that hires him.”

Kenny LaPlante, 2013 graduate

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As a recent graduate of OTI I had the pleasure of meeting Mark. I can’t put into words the profound effect that you had on my life. Synergistic is the word that comes to mind! At a time when I was searching for ” The meaning of it all” you confirmed some of the things I believe in and taught me new things also. Thank you for sharing part of your life with me, the spiritual part! Truly I have been blessed by meeting you and that’s from my heart!

Michelle Wealth, OTI Graduate 2013

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“Thank you for the everlasting gift you presented for all of us in class, Mr. Armiento. There was so much emotions and passion coming through me in every moment in the class.  I guess what I am saying is that I felt every chakra and matter inside me vibrating and it would not stop. There were times I wanted to explode but I held it in. There were so many things you were hitting inside of me that I am ready to release and so many purposeful things that I am feeling that calling for me not to resist anymore. You say huge things in such simplicity that heals a person the moment they allow it to be fed into their minds. I am not trying to put you on a pedestal or anything just sharing what you have invoked inside of me….Now I no longer feel the need to save others-Nor do I feel opted to be their hero. I just could not see any of that before Mr. Armiento, I so appreciate you that it is making tears coming through my eyes. …. When I see you Mr. Armiento you are like a huge ocean that magnetizes and purges humanity in authenticities. Thank you soooo much. My arms go around you with so much gratitude. Man Mr. Armiento you are a store house of GOD Power.”

Marie Taylor, 2014 OTI graduate

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Mark’s lectures are always humorous. Indeed, each time I have received a lecture from Mark, I feel that I’m going to get information and insight that I never had before in my life. He has taught me how to work with more compassion, openness, and  to fully understand my role with people who need to receive my assistance.

Anthony Martinez, 2014 OTI graduate

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Mark Armiento is a tremendous person, who is very knowledgeable and well detailed about all subject matter he lectures on. He has a extremely knowledge in the field of addictions and amazingly presents the material in a manner so everyone can comprehend it. I have been blessed to have such an instructor as Mr. Armiento

Laurette Ramsey, OTI Graduate

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“I’m a 64-year-old African-American grandmother, fulfilling a 10-year-old dream, once lost but now awakens as a direct result of the Mr. Armiento’s school. During his classroom lectures he spoke to me about self –discovery through using gentle humor , allowing me not to take life so serious- in the search for “Waldo”. He would smile while looking deep into my eyes,  seeing my soul and replying: “ you’ll be introduced to the real Waldo soon”. Mr. Armiento has awakened my spirit, once deferred. Words cannot express endless joy that I have discovered in learning about me (a.k.a. “Waldo” ) “

 Shenetta Lese, OTI  Graduate

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The Gift of Mr. Armiento
I can express the extreme gratitude of such presence of Mr. Armiento but it doesn’t express totally the unwavering gift of having him in your life and experiencing the changes that not only he is a supportive host of but the genuine backbone when it comes to understanding, and hearing your voice. He helps you move through your fears and pushes your strengths like a beautiful symphony. He teaches you to shine your light as a star on a dark night. He won’t give up on you and surely under his watch won’t allow you to give up on yourself. His wealth of information in not only empowering but also inspiring. If you grant him your ears he will guide you in seeing how life should appear. He is like a shower washing away all your insecurities making u even better for a new presentation of you and a more positive outlook on ur future. You never have to guess if he is there because the reflection of his work is represented seeing yourself arrive in the driver seat of your life. He is your coach, your support system, a friend and one of your cheering fans. He takes his work seriously and will not leave u and will be a encore with you in your life’s performance toward the greatest show ever.  Having him in your life will be a memory you will never forget.