Our Executive Director
As a professional, I have served as a Special Education Self-Assessment Consultant and Family Advocate in New Jersey. I have served as the Judical Assistant to a Superior Court Judge in New Jersey in the Family Division and Civil Division. I currently serve on the Board of Directors of Central Forida Cares Health System and Week of the Family - Orange County. I am a board member of the Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. Central Receiving Center representing family voice. I have served two (2) terms on the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Orlando (NAMIGO) and have completed the NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program. I have attended an array of training workshops enhancing my professional development in areas such as children’s behavioral health, parent partner medical home alliance, New Jersey Wraparound values & principles, trauma-informed care, as well as training in administrative areas of non-profit management. In 2012, I have served on the Board of Directors for the Seminole Community Alliance representing family voice. I am truly honored to serve as a Commissioner on the Orange County Youth Mental Health Commission and Committees to develop effective strategies and initiatives to improve: 1) the mental health of children, adolescents and young adults in Orange County and 2) the system of mental health education, prevention and care for youth in Orange County. Currently serving on the Youth Mental Health Commission's Management Network for the Breakthrough youth pilot in Orange County.
I am originally from New Jersey and relocated to Florida in 2010. I bring a wealth of knowledge professionally and by personal experience in the areas of special education and mental illness.
I am the proud parent of two children, Kimberly, age 37 and Michael, age 29. My children are special in their own unique way. Kimberly is “artistic and goes against the grain”. She should have been born in the 60's definitely a flower child (love, peace & happiness). She is a professional tattoo artist in Texas and travels throughout the U.S. and abroad as a "guest artist". Kimberly is very successful in this field. Michael is the child who has made me the person I am today.
I have lovingly and diligently advocated for my son who was diagnosed at age 4 on the autistic spectrum and later diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 14. It took time and patience with my son and a stressor in my life that as I look back on should have taken me out of this world. It is not easy raising a child with mental health needs. You are easily frustrated, discouraged and judged by others. Michael taught me patience and diligence. The love and commitment I have for my son overcame all obstacles.
My journey was never easy with Michael. You always second guess yourself when you make difficult decisions on behalf of your child. As I look back on my decisions, they were in his best interest. I am proud of the progress Michael has made. I continue to navigate the adult mental health system ensuring that Michael continues to flourish and receive the appropriate support and services necessary to his mental health wellness.
Fast forward -- there is hope and recovery! I am pleased to share that Michael has now relocated to FL effective May 14, 2019 to walk beside me to increase family & youth voice in the System of Care.
It is my hope to one day see a comprehensive System of Care to support children/youth/young adults and their families in Florida facing the day-to-day challenges of a loved one with a mental health need.
I am committed and passionate about assisting families in obtaining needed support and services so that children and youth grow up healthy and able to maximize their potential. I will continue my advocacy and commitment to children’s mental health as I serve as the Executive Director of Federation of Families of Central Florida, Inc.