: As the Groups Facilitator, Ariel facilitates psychoeducational girl-centered group experiences for girls and young women who are involved with the juvenile justice system. She has 10 years of experience working with girls and young women who are navigating eating disorders, mental health issues, and trauma. Ariel graduated from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida State University and Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University.
: Ashton is a Clinician providing individual and family counseling for the Open Doors Outreach Network. She previously worked at Jewish Family and Community Services doing child welfare work, and she worked with the Achievers for Life program providing mental health services to students in Duval County Middle Schools. Ashton has her Masters in Clinical Social Work from Florida State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
: Chanel serves as a Survivor Mentor at the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center with the Open Doors Outreach Network. This network is unprecedented nationwide and will improve care, coordination and collective impact for child and adult victims up to the age of 24 of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. For the first time in Florida’s history, trauma-informed and victim-centered practices that have demonstrated significant effectiveness in other states have been joined together into one transformative approach. By sharing her lived experiences and unique perspective, Chanel is driven to change the cultural view of the sex trade industry and promote survivor-led services.
: Conchetta provides comprehensive care management services within our Girl Matters: In the Community program and she supervises the Group Facilitator position. Conchetta has been with the Policy Center since our inception where she began her work within the Girl Matters: It’s Elementary program. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field of human services. In 2016, Conchetta received the Florida Juvenile Justice Association Compassionate Care Award and Northeast Florida Mental Health Child Case Manager of the Year Award. Conchetta received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Valdosta State University.
: Jamie serves as the Survivor-Mentor at the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center with the Open Doors Outreach Network.Passionate about improving care for those impacted by sexual exploitation and shifting the focus in the anti-trafficking movement to community accountability and ending demand, she has committed herself to serve the community through her work, volunteerism, and philanthropy. Leveraging her lived experiences, Jamie is able to connect with clients, community members, and stakeholders in a unique way, sharing a needed perspective of someone who has had similar life experiences to those being served by non-profits. In 2018, Jamie was awarded the Survivor Advocate of the Year Award presented by former Attorney General Pam Bondi and Senator Rick Scott.
: Driven by love, empathy and understanding, Jenn Martin has dedicated years of her life to improve the lives of sex trafficking survivors in Jacksonville. She previously worked at Rethreaded as their Survivor Mentor. Along with a mental health professional, Jenn developed a system of care for the women, including developing the program to include case management, court advocacy, counseling and professional development. When Jenn isn’t volunteering in the community or working to improve the lives of women, Jenn works as a group facilitator for Hope at Hand. Jenn aspires to continue to work with individuals who have been exploited and envisions utilizing digital media to elevate stories of injustice and raise awareness around many issues facing women today.
: As the Regional Advocate for the Open Doors Outreach Network, Jenna works with other members of our Open Doors Networks team to advocate, provide care management and build partnerships with community agencies to best serve survivors of sex trafficking. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. She has over 18 years of experience working with girls and young women who are involved in the juvenile justice system and/or adult system. Jenna is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In 2015, Jenna was awarded Child/Youth Therapist of The Year and Compassionate Care Service Award.
: Kimberly is the School-Based Program Manager in the innovative girl-centered intervention programs, Girl Matters: It’s Elementary & Girl Matters: In the Middle. She supervises interns, provides training to school staff and employees, and manages the ongoing needs of elementary girls and their families. She brings to the Policy Center more than 13 years’ experience in social services, having earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Georgetown University.
: Marie is a Regional Advocate for the Open Doors Network. Marie works provide additional resources to survivors of human (sex) trafficking and their families. She also works to create new partnerships across the Northeast Florida region. With more than 10 years of experience in child welfare and community/social services, she’s held various positions at Family Support Services, and is a mentor to young single mothers. Marie received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Michigan State University.
: Nigeria is a clinician providing individual and family counseling for the Open Doors program. She will be a first responder for identified victims of sex trafficking in our region. Nigera has a Masters in Clinical Social Work and has dedicated her career to working with youth in Jacksonville. She previously worked at River Region with justice involved youth struggling with substance abuse and at Family Support Services as a counselor supporting children in foster care seeking permanent housing.
: Rachel oversees the clinical components of the programming team at the Policy Center. She provides clinical supervision for team members and provides management for the Girl Matters: It’s Elementary, Girl Matters: In the Community and Girl Matters: In the Middle programs. Rachel has 20 years of experience working within the nonprofit sector, specifically within the field of community mental health. Licensed with the State of Florida as Mental Health Counselor since 2002, Rachel is also a Qualified Clinical Supervisor within Florida for MHC and MFT Registered Interns. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy and received her Master’s degree from Rollins College in Community Mental Health Counseling.
: Sakenia provides therapeutic services within our Girl Matters: In the Community program. She brings 20 years of experience working with children and families within social service agencies, including early childhood education and other school-based programs. She worked as a Family Advocate and Prevention Specialist with Jewish Family & Community Services and as an Achievement Advocate with Communities in Schools. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Liberty University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Florida State University.
: Ty, a licensed clinical social worker, is one of the mental health professionals for the Girl Matters: Giving Girls a Voice program. She provides individual and family therapy to girls and young women. She also facilitates the girl-specific, strength-based groups (SAVVY Sisters) at the Girls’ Center and at the Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Ty received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and her Master of Social Work from Smith College.
: Alyssa Beck is a trafficking survivor advocate who consults with and advises leaders in anti-human trafficking, experts in girl-centered relations, and legislators to develop laws and practices that support survivors of sex trafficking and youth involved in the justice system. Alyssa works as an Advocacy Specialist with the Policy Center where she brings her lived experience and a passion for improving the lives of children. She is a member of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Youth Advisory Council focused on a national juvenile justice reform movement and appointed by Governor Rick Scott to be on Florida’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group. She has been awarded as one of the Department of Juvenile Justice Youth Ambassadors for the state of Florida and Superhero for Superkids Young Advocate award. In addition to being an international public speaker and advocate, Alyssa’s story was featured on CBS 48 Hours: Live to Tell: Trafficked in March 2018. Her goal is to shift the perspective of people, especially people in positions of power, when they hear: “trafficked,” “prostitute,” “runaway,” “juvenile delinquent.”
: Blythe is responsible for developing and implementing plans and projects that advance the public knowledge of the Policy Center’s mission and accomplishments. She was previously the Assistant Director of Research during which she managed the day to day evaluation activities of model programming projects by developed systems and protocols for coordination of data collection, reporting, security and confidentiality of all data. Before her 3 years on the research team she was the Policy Center’s Senior Project Manager responsible for multimedia communications and special events. Blythe has a master’s degree in Mass Communications at the University of Florida. Prior to joining the Policy Center, she worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine and at the Jessie Ball duPont Fund as a fellow and program associate. email@example.com
: As the Senior Vice President, Vicky manages the day to day operations of the Policy Center’s and oversees the implementation of the strategic plan. She assists with the development and support of new and innovative programs and community engagement. She brings with her more than 18 years’ experience working with girls and young women impacted by trauma. Vicky helped to develop and implement a violence against women prevention program at Vanderbilt University. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, a degree in Social Work from Ryerson Polytechnic University, and her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. She is currently studying for her Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Tennessee.
: Dr. Lawanda Ravoira serves as president and CEO and promotes the Policy Center’s mission of advancing the rights of girls, young women, and those that identify as female, especially those in the juvenile justice systems. She executes the strategic goals and objectives, leads the advocacy reform agenda and oversees the management of the day-to-day operations and ensures long term sustainability of the organization. She brings 25 years’ experience that includes providing direct services to marginalized youth in both residential and community based settings, leading reform initiatives, research, training, policy development, community organizing and advocacy. She holds a doctoral degree in Public Administration from Nova University, a master’s degree in Allied Health from the University of North Florida and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the College of Charleston.
: Olivia serves as the Development and Communication Manager and works to support the agency’s fundraising goals and advance public knowledge of the Policy Center. Olivia is responsible for coordinating special events, building new community partnerships, and managing communication efforts. Prior to joining the Policy Center, she worked in business marketing. Olivia graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Media Communication Studies.
: Vanessa oversees all research initiatives and publications, makes recommendations for strategic direction of the Policy Center, and evaluates agency progress toward community and system level goals. Vanessa brings 20 years’ experience in juvenile justice with a focus on the impact of system policies and practices on girls’ trajectories. Previously, Vanessa managed national and statewide research projects as a senior researcher at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Vanessa has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Florida State University and is currently working on her doctorate in Criminology.
: Vinessa is responsible for managing research on site, she will be assisting with primary research and monitor data trends. She previously worked at the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health in Brooklyn, NY, where she trained high school students in research methodology and coordinated the community outreach programs. Vinessa loves working in the community and enjoys doing research that will spotlight disparities in communities. She received her bachelor’s degree from Washington Adventist University and her Masters from Long Island University-Brooklyn.
: Biannela manages the juvenile justice system book drive and Girl’s Leadership Council. She constantly seeks new development opportunities for girls and young women to be better served within the juvenile justice and foster care systems, and brings her own experience with these systems as well as five years’ experience with a South Florida non-profit organization to the Policy Center.
: Cindy manages the office’s day-to-day operations, provides general administrative support, and serves as executive assistant to the president and CEO. She maintains all financial records in regard to budget allocations for projects and grants and serves as bookkeeper. Before joining the Policy Center, her experience included medical office management and corporate administrative assistance.
: DeeAnne oversees operational and administrative activities, including human resources, finance, infrastructure, and contracts management. Prior to joining the Policy Center in 2015 as Director of Program Development, DeeAnne developed expertise as an administrator and program manager through seven years in the University of North Florida Division of Student Affairs, where her roles included directing the Office of Campus Life, overseeing allocation of the Student Life and Services funds, and managing student life programs. Other experience includes volunteer service on the executive boards of local nonprofits and four years’ professional experience producing broadcast news promotions. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of North Florida.
: Kyle is responsible for managing compliance with grant and licensing requirements, including monthly and annual reporting to funding entities and maintenance of files. Additional responsibilities include the onboarding of volunteer interns and data collection for reports. Kyle is one of ten members on the 2017-2018 Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s (CJJ) Emerging Leaders Committee, a national committee for under 25 year olds that collaborates with CJJ to advise policy, support Juvenile Justice State Advisory Groups, and create the annual CJJ Youth Summit. Before this role, Kyle was a volunteer intern with the Girl Matters: It’s Elementary and Model Programming Fellow with the Policy Center. He was the Spring 2016 University of North Florida Osprey Community Engagement Medallion awardee and earned his BA in Criminal Justice from Hicks Honors College, University of North Florida. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a nonprofit concentration.