On this page you will find the list of counselors selected to participate in ATS's Adventure Camp 2017 intensive SM training.  Each counselor participated in an intensive SM training held at ATS and led by Dr. Carmen Lynas. All counselors participate in supervised lead-in sessions to ensure intervention fidelity. You will notice that many counselors request to return for another summer, or two, or six! These are truly passionate people wanting to make a difference in the lives of children.

Kelly

Dr. Amrhein earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Hawthorn Center, in Northville, Michigan, which is the only state-funded inpatient psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents in the state. At Hawthorn Center, Dr. Amrhein provided a variety of services, including psychological assessments, individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and coordination of aftercare services for her patients. Prior to her pre-doctoral internship, Dr. Amrhein provided therapy and assessment services to families, children, adolescents, and adults at both the university clinic and a community mental health center in Ohio. These experiences included working with children diagnosed with selective mutism and teaching social skills in group therapy. Dr. Amrhein utilizes a third-wave cognitive behavioral therapy approach in therapy, and integrates other therapeutic modalities to tailor her treatment to the individual child and family. She is an avid reader and enjoys learning about current research developments in psychology. Dr. Amrhein’s research has broadly focused on the impact of communities and parents on the development of problematic behaviors (such as delinquency and depression/anxiety) in children who experienced trauma. Dr. Amrhein is excited to be joining the team at ATS to expand her knowledge and skills in the treatment of selective mutism, and is interested in working with clients of all ages to help improve the quality of their lives.

KristinaBKristina Butler, M.S., is a fifth year graduate student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). She earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rice University in 2011 and her master’s degree in psychology from IIT in 2016. Kristina has experience working with young children and their families with a variety of concerns including developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, and emotional disorders. Additionally, she has worked in several types of settings including schools, outpatient hospitals, and community mental health centers. Kristina is looking forward to being a counselor at Adventure Camp this summer and helping children with selective mutism and their families.

MoselleMoselle Campbell earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in educational studies from the University of Florida in 2013. After receiving her bachelor's degree, she was a research and clinical assistant at a child anxiety program in Miami. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology specializing in children at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Moselle provides outpatient therapy to children and adolescents with various behavioral and emotional concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression, and disruptive behaviors). She also co-facilitates an anxiety group at a boarding school for children with complex learning disabilities. Last summer, Moselle provided therapy to clients with OCD, anxiety disorders, and depressive disorders at a residential and intensive outpatient setting in Houston, Texas. Moselle also has research interests in anxiety disorders and is involved in multiple research projects at SIU. She recently completed her master's thesis examining underlying mechanisms in child anxiety. Moselle is excited to join the Adventure Camp team and learn how to provide therapy to children with selective mutism.

KellyKelly Clark, M.A., is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in school psychology at Northern Illinois University. She graduated from the University of South Florida with her Bachelor of Arts in psychology (2015) and recently earned her Master of Arts in psychology (2017) from Northern Illinois University. Kelly has had applied school psychological experiences in several school districts in the Chicago suburbs as part of her training. Kelly enjoys working with a team of school professionals to prevent and address academic, social-emotional, and behavioral difficulties among youth. She is particularly interested in school-wide intervention programs to facilitate students' well-being, and Kelly is passionate about conducting research that promotes student happiness and academic success. Kelly is excited about working with children and families who are affected by Selective Mutism.

ZenaZena Dadouch spent 13 years of her life in Damascus, Syria, and moved to the US in 2011. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University, with a focus on trauma and PTSD. Zena has worked with both adults and children in a clinical setting, with a variety of different clinical concerns. She is mostly interested in working with refugees and conducting research on resiliency post-trauma. Even though selective mutism is not trauma-based (a common misconception), anxious avoidance is a prevailing presentation among those with anxiety disorders, including PTSD, selective mutism, and other anxiety conditions. Zena is fluent in both Arabic and English, allowing her to effectively communicate with the refugee populations that may be involved in this research. Furthermore, Zena is familiar with the “silence period” that can manifest in refugee children when learning a new language and culture. Zena plans to apply the exposure therapy skills she learns through Adventure Camp not only to help kids with selective mutism, but also to help in her future work with PTSD. Zena is excited to join the diverse Adventure Camp team this summer to learn specific skills on how best to help children approach rather than avoid their fears.

NicoleNicole Dorio, M.A., graduated from St. John Fisher College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is currently in her third year at Northern Illinois University pursuing her Ph.D. in school psychology.  Nicole has worked in various school districts throughout Northern Illinois as part of her training.  In the Fall, Nicole will be working as a school psychologist extern where she will serve students in PreK through 12th grade.  She will be expected to screen and assess behavioral, social-emotional and academic concerns, facilitate problem solving meetings, consult with parents and teachers, and implement behavioral, social-emotional and academic interventions. Her research interests include bullying and victimization as well as associated social-emotional concerns. As a future school psychologist, Nicole is excited to join the Adventure Camp team this summer, learn hands-on about selective mutism, and apply her learning with her cohort at NIU as well as her externship site school district.

LynetteLynette Ensalaco, M.A., earned her master’s in clinical psychology with a counseling specialization from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and is currently towards the end of her Psy.D. requirements at Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She completed her master's practicum and internship at The Professional Offices of Dr. Lisa A. Breisch where she worked as a mental health counselor for toddlers, children, teenagers, adults, couples, families, and groups. As part of the requirement for her doctoral degree, Lynette completed clinical hours at ATS as an Advanced Practicum Extern in 2013. Lynette is currently employed at Arlington NeuroHealth where she provides neuropsychological testing and therapy for children, teenagers, and adults. Lynette was one of the original AC 2011 counselors trained by Dr. Steven Kurtz (KPCPC) at ATS, and has returned each year since. She is looking forward to working with children again for the seventh time at AC 2017!

AbbyAbigail Fehr graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She went on to complete her Bilingual and English as a Second Language teaching certification through the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Abigail has been a bilingual educator for ten years and has taught children in kindergarten through fifth grade in both Wisconsin and Illinois. She is currently teaching bilingual second grade in Romeoville, Illinois, and pursuing her master’s degree in bilingual speech-language pathology through the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Abigail is passionate about teaching and helping her students overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. She is thankful and excited for the opportunity to help children overcome their fears and use their brave talk during Adventure Camp. She plans to apply the clinical knowledge and techniques gained from camp with her current students and in her future career as a speech-language pathologist.

AndrewAndrew Flannery is a rising fourth year student in Northern Illinois University’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Andrew previously worked as a mental health counselor at Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin, IL. He has also had the pleasure of conducting assessment and therapy with children, adults, and families at the Psychological Services Center at NIU. Additionally, Andrew has worked as a behavioral consultant at Opportunity House, Inc. in Sycamore, IL. In this role, he provided therapy and assessment services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This summer, Andrew will begin an externship position with Florissa Pediatric Development Center in Dixon, IL, where he will conduct comprehensive assessments of autism spectrum disorder and other neuropsychological evaluations. During his free time, Andrew loves to cook and watch sports. Andrew is excited to be joining the Adventure Camp team this summer, and he is thrilled to be helping children, adolescents, and families affected by selective mutism.

Lisa Gudmundson

Lisa Gudmundson received her bachelor's degree in special education from Elmhurst College and an endorsement in English as a second language from Benedictine University. Her overall teaching experience ranges from teaching nonverbal middle school students with moderate to severe disabilities to primary students with mild learning disabilities, autism, and emotional disorders. Currently, she is an elementary special education resource teacher and interventionist in Westchester, IL. In addition to providing research-based, intensive interventions to her students, she also works closely with school psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, and speech therapists to help meet the various needs of her students. Her interest in selective mutism stems from working with an increasing number of students who have the condition and also working with their parents and teachers. Lisa was an Adventure Camp counselor in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and is excited to participate once again for her fifth summer at AC.

ElenaElena Harriman, M.A., is a third-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL). She graduated from Montana State University, Bozeman, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English teaching and a minor in psychology. Currently, Elena is completing her clinical practicum at Florissa Pediatric Development Center in Dixon, IL, where she provides therapy and assessment services to children, adolescents, and families in an under-resourced rural community. Elena’s prior clinical practicum was at the Wheaton College Counseling Center, where she utilized empirically-supported treatment approaches to provide individual and group therapy to college students. Her additional clinical experiences include working at a therapeutic boarding school, where she collaborated with a multi-disciplinary team that provided intensive therapeutic intervention to adolescents; collaborating with a caseworker and therapist to mentor a child with emotional and behavioral concerns; and teaching a 10-week forgiveness class to elementary students in Chicago. Apart from her clinical work, Elena has also worked in several school settings, including teaching high school English classes and supplementary math classes to elementary school students. Learning about selective mutism through the Adventure Camp experience will help prepare Elena for her future role as a clinical psychologist.

MeganMeghan Kanya graduated from Michigan State with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in children and families at Northern Illinois University. Prior to beginning her work at Northern Illinois University, Meghan had the pleasure of working with hundreds of children and adolescents of all ages while teaching swim lessons and coaching a summer swim team. Within her graduate school work, Meghan has worked in outpatient settings with children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties (e.g., anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct issues, depression, and general adjustment issues). She has also conducted developmental research with young children and their mothers both during her undergraduate years at Michigan State University and currently at Northern Illinois University. This is Meghan's first time as a counselor at Adventure Camp and she is excited to join the AC team to provide evidence-based care to the children and families involved! 

KristinaKKristina Kochanova graduated from Elmhurst College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently a rising third-year student in the Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track at Northern Illinois University. She is enroute to receive her master’s degree in 2017 and her Ph.D in 2021. Kristina has worked with at-risk children and adolescents by assisting clinical psychologists who utilize evidence-based techniques to treat youth behavioral problems. She has also actively provided support, modeled beneficial behaviors, and taught coping strategies to at-risk youth dealing with academic, personal, and community issues. Kristina has extensive research experience with families and children with various emotional and behavioral concerns such as anxiety and ADHD. Currently, she is a graduate student clinician at the Psychological Services Center at NIU providing assessment and therapeutic services to families, children, and adults. Kristina looks forward to meeting all of the campers, receiving training that facilitates the development of her clinical skills with child anxiety, and furthering her knowledge of Selective Mutism.

MichelleMichelle Kuhn, M.S., is a Doctoral Student Clinician from Seattle Pacific University’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Washington University in Washington, DC, before traveling to Seattle where she has received her M.S. in psychological science from Seattle Pacific University. Michelle’s graduate practicum experiences have given her training in diverse care settings in Seattle, WA. At Seattle Children’s Hospital she served as a member of a multidisciplinary team, conducting assessments and therapy with toddlers, children, and adolescents, informed by input from medical specialists. At Ryther, a community mental health center, she gained experience working with families and children impacted by severe anxiety, neurodevelopmental, and traumatic stress disorders. Her assessment experience has focused on children with problems such as school avoidance, ADHD, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and learning disorders. Across settings, Michelle is driven by a developmentally and systems minded approach, and enjoys collaborating with parents to discover effective interventions for children with behavioral and neurodevelopmental problems. Michelle is excited to be working in an innovative, intensive group setting with Adventure Camp. She greatly enjoys working in group settings with children and parents, using evidence-based interventions to provide therapy within a supportive, collaborative environment. Michelle has previously led summer camp and school-based therapy groups for children with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and behavior problems, and is thrilled to be working with others who have a passion for selective mutism.

AngelaAngela Lee graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis with a bachelor’s degree in psychological and brain sciences with a concentration in experimental psychopathology, and minors in anthropology and children studies. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Louisville. Clinically, Angela has had the opportunity to provide empirically supported interventions to children and families with a variety of emotional and behavioral concerns, in both individual and group settings. Angela also works with children in a research setting examining risk factors for the development of pediatric anxiety, particularly among preschool children. Angela is thrilled to be participating in Adventure Camp for the first time, and looks forward to working directly with students who are affected by Selective Mutism.

MaggieMagdalena Malik, Ed.S., earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her Masters of Education and Education Specialist degree from National Louis University. She is currently employed as a school psychologist in an elementary school. In her position, Magdalena conducts special education evaluations and gathers and analyzes academic and behavioral data. She is also responsible for a counseling caseload which includes: helping students cope with anxiety, teaching social skills, and promoting effective executive functioning strategies. Magdalena's passion is helping children be independent and successful in a school environment and looks forward to continuing this passion through helping the children in Adventure Camp reach their goals. She also hopes to bring the knowledge and experiences gained from training through Adventure Camp back to her school district.

HawaHawa Navarro, MSW, LCSW, earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds the credential of Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois. She also received her bachelor’s degree in human development from Cornell University. During her graduate school studies, she completed internships at a community-based alternative to suspension program for short-term suspended middle and high school students, as well as an outpatient substance abuse treatment program for adult women and mothers. Her professional work experience has included the provision of clinical case management services to incarcerated youth and mental health and substance treatment to incarcerated adult women. Hawa joined the Advanced Therapeutic Solutions (ATS) team in May 2016 as an Intake Coordinator where she continues her dedication to providing effective services driven by her passion for helping others. In this role, Hawa conducts phone intakes and assists with scheduling, billing, data collection/management and coordination of new referrals. She is excited to participate in Adventure Camp as a Counselor for the second time.

CateCathleen ("Cate") O'Leary earned her Master of Arts in counseling from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her practicum and internship at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois where she worked as a school counselor helping students who struggled academically due to social and emotional issues. Her professional experience also includes working as a hospice counselor where she provided anticipatory grief and loss counseling for patients, families, and caregivers. Cathleen has been with Adventure Camp (AC) since 2013, serving as an AC Counselor from 2013-2015, and as an AC Classroom Facilitator since 2016. She also joined ATS' clinical team in 2015 as a part-time therapist accruing her licensure hours to turn her provisional LPC license into a full LCPC license. In addition to providing part-time hours at ATS, Cathleen continues her role as a job coach for both high school and adult transition students with developmental and emotional disabilities at a nearby school district. She provides on-site vocational training and counseling for students who may also have co-existing issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder or selective mutism. As a professional counselor and also a mom of two girls ages 21 and 15, Cathleen feels passionate about providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and adolescents so they may grow and develop to their full potential.

JackieJacqueline (“Jackie”) Pabis recently graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology as well as a minor in Human Development & Family Studies with a Multicultural Certificate. During 2015, Jackie worked as a research assistant under a team of graduate professors at her university's Youth Depression and Anxiety Lab. She focused on assessing what psychological methods adolescents use when dealing with mixed emotions in controversial situations. The methods were then compared with what coping mechanisms were most often used when depression or anxiety were present. During her senior year at the University of Missouri, Jackie worked in the Cognitive and Emotional Control Lab, as well as volunteered at the local Veteran's Affairs hospital for additional experience with anxiety-related disorders. Jackie was an undergraduate intern at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions during the summer of 2015 as well as a counselor for Winter Adventure 2016. She had the opportunity to take part in skill trainings and shadow clinical experiences, which crystallized her passion for working with children. Recruiting Jackie to return to ATS as our Research Project Manager was an obvious choice. Her commitment and dedication was evident during her summer with us, and her personable nature bodes well for her work with children, as well as work with our team. As her Research Project Manager role comes to an end, Jackie is looking forward to participating as an Adventure Camp counselor this summer, and beginning her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University in August.

Emily Stewart

Emily Padgett graduated from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois with a bachelor's degree in psychology and Spanish. She is currently a rising fourth-year student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Northern Illinois University (NIU) where she will eventually obtain her Ph.D. with a specialization in children and families. Emily has been fortunate to work with children, families, and adults across multiple clinical settings, including a clinical practicum at the Psychological Services at NIU, Joliet Public School District #86, and a local private practice. At these sites she had the opportunity to conduct multiple neuropsychological assessments for children and adolescents and work as a co-leader for group therapy sessions for children ages 6-17, providing empirically-supported interventions. This summer, Emily will begin an externship at a community developmental center where she will conduct autism, neuropsychological, and social-emotional assessments. Emily was a counselor for AC 2015 and 2016, and she's delighted to be a counselor again for AC 2017. Emily looks forward to helping children and families impacted by selective mutism.

LaurieLaurita Erio Provancal received her Master’s Degree in School Social Work in 1984 from George Williams College. In addition to her degree in Social Work, she received a Master’s Degree in School Leadership from Concordia University in 2008. Laurie has been employed as a school social worker for the past 33 years. Throughout the past 28 years of her career, she has worked primarily with children aged preschool through third grade and has also been serving as a parent coordinator in the district. Laurie has worked with children in individual and small group settings as well as providing consultation to teachers in managing students in the classroom setting. She uses various research-based interventions in working with children with a variety of challenges. Laurie is very passionate about her work with children, parents and school personnel, and she is a strong advocate in helping children with special needs realize their true potential alongside their peers. Laurie is excited to continue this work by serving as a counselor for Adventure Camp this summer.

AnnaAnna Rakowski, MS.CCC-SLP, earned her Master of Science in speech language pathology from St. Xavier University in 2009. For the past eight years, she has worked with children of varying ages in a public school setting, as well as adults in a hospital setting.  She has experience with students who struggled socially and academically because of a wide range of communication disorders due to autism spectrum disorders, articulation disorders, language delays, apraxia of speech, stuttering, selective mutism, learning disabilities, and many others.  Anna has also worked with patients affected by neurogenic disorders such as aphasia and dysarthria, as well as patients with voice and cognitive communication disorders.  In addition to being ASHA certified, Anna also holds a bilingual (Polish) approval through the State of Illinois Board of Education which allows her to provide evaluations and treatment in the Polish language for individuals with communication disorders.  Currently, she is providing bilingual and monolingual assessments and treatment for clients ranging from toddlers to adults. In the future, Anna hopes to become a resource for other speech language pathologists and families whose lives are affected by Selective Mutism especially within the Polish community.  

MartaMartha Rodriguez has been in the field of helping children, adolescents, adults, and families for decades. She is a bilingual English/Spanish licensed clinical social worker, an Early Intervention Specialist, and an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for diverse Head Start and Early Head Start programs for ages 0-5 years. Martha received her Master’s degree in social work with a concentration in children and families at Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003 and her Infant Mental Health post-graduate certification at Erikson Institute in Chicago in 2011. She has experience leading and co-leading adult and child-parent support groups. Martha has provided in-home, evidence-based therapeutic services to youth involved in criminal activity and their families.  In addition, she has provided clinical supervision to Master’s degree clinicians and students. Martha worked for eight years as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant as part of the project funded by the Department of Human Services, “Caregiver Connections,” providing bilingual Spanish/English consultation, technical assistance, and supporting professional development of home daycare providers and educators in order to promote early childhood social-emotional development.  She presents to the community of home daycare providers and educators on several topics, including child development, social-emotional health, brain development, stress/trauma, and more. She has also presented for diverse annual conferences throughout Cook County. Throughout her career, she collaborates with other professionals to best help children and families in a culturally sensitive environment. There is no doubt that Martha has already made a huge impact on children and families throughout her long career, and it is exciting to think about the impact she can make on bilingual families coping with Selective Mutism. Martha is grateful for the opportunity and looks forward to participating in Adventure Camp this summer, not only to increase her skills to help children, but also to share what she learns with her colleagues.  

KristinKristen Santoro graduated from Augustana College in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Spanish. She is currently a graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology Master’s program at the University of Northern Iowa. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate career, she has gained hands-on clinical experience with children and adults with a wide range of communication and swallowing disorders in the University clinic, a skilled nursing facility, and the school setting. Within her area of study, Kristen has developed a passion for language, literacy, and communication in the pediatric population. She has had the opportunity to pursue these areas of interest through research and community involvement. Kristen will be wrapping up her coursework next fall and continuing on to complete two internships in Illinois. Upon graduation, she hopes to work as a speech-language pathologist with the pediatric population in either a school or private practice setting. Kristen is very excited for her first Adventure Camp counselor experience! She is eager to learn more about how to best serve children with selective mutism, so she can be a well-informed clinician and advocate for this population!

OlgaFor the last twenty years, Olga Silva-Zletz, Ph.D., has worked in different capacities supporting children and families. As a bilingual English/Spanish clinician, she worked initially as a developmental therapist at El Valor Early Intervention Program. Then, while earning her Ph.D. at Loyola, she worked as the coordinator of El Valor Prevention Program for children ranging from newborn to three years old. Dr. Silva-Zletz has also worked with Metropolitan Family Services in the Family Preservation and Reunification Program. After she obtained her Ph.D. in 2000, she initiated the Healthy Steps program at Infant Welfare Society in Chicago and managed it for five years. Dr. Silva-Zletz’s passion is working with families and young children from different cultural backgrounds, especially Latinos. She has been a bilingual Infant Mental Health Clinician with the DuPage County Health Department since 2005, an Early Childhood Mental Health consultant to the Head Start, Health Families and Early Childhood Programs in DuPage County, as well as a socio-emotional evaluator and therapist with the State Early Intervention program. She has also provided direct infant and early childhood mental health services to young children and their families, where either the child or the parent suffers from mental illness. Dr. Silva-Zletz has received an endorsement from Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health as an Infant Mental Health Specialist, Level III in 2006. The skills Dr. Silva-Zletz brings to Adventure Camp, and the skills she carries forward from Adventure Camp to her clinical community work, adds to the influence she has on the community of families coping with selective mutism. Dr. Silva-Zletz’s experience with Adventure Camp since 2015 has led to a better understanding of how to conceptualize selective mutism, and how to best intervene with a child experiencing selective mutism. She has helped many families who are monolingual Spanish speakers who would have otherwise not been helped. Furthermore, she has shared her understanding with colleagues during her consultations as well as in an article published in 2015, reaching hundreds of early interventionists, and helping to meet ATS’ mission to spread awareness about selective mutism.  Dr. Silva-Zletz appreciates the opportunity to continue learning and collaborating with the Adventure Camp team as she joins AC for a third summer.

Easter

Easter Young, M.A., graduated from Northwestern University with her Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies (2004) and then went on to earn her Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry from North Park Theological Seminary (2010) and her Masters of Social Work from UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work (2014). As a youth ally and family advocate, Easter has found a way to live passionately by combining her interests of youth development, youth ministry, social emotional learning, and student support services. Easter has had a number of unique experiences that have influenced her career trajectory. As an undergraduate, Easter studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa, where she was immersed in African Diaspora Studies and was challenged to view the transatlantic Slave Trade from the perspective of people on the African Continent. Easter conducted field research and had the honor of taking classes at the University of Cape Coast & the University of Accra. She has conducted independent research at the Summer Research Opportunity Program, and competed independent studies by engaging with materials from Northwestern's Africana Library. She has acted as a visiting research assistant for the child psychiatry department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Most recently, she served as an IL LEND Fellow, where she was a part of an interdisciplinary team that explored disability across the lifespan. Easter has over 11 years experience counseling at-risk youth and supporting families as they plan for future success. She has made a positive impact in the educational nonprofit field. She has expertise in post-secondary planning, social emotional learning supports, and high school guidance. She has worked to create a safe space for Chicago Public School students to grow and advocate for themselves by working to increase the college-going culture. She hopes to continue to support youth in the school setting, specifically as a school social worker, and to continue to use the best research-based practices that yield positive outcomes.


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