Senior Managment Team
Biography and photo pending.
Senior Crisis Counselor & Advocate
Michelle is The Center’s Senior Crisis Counselor & Child Advocate. She studied Psychology and Sociology at Manhattanville College and received her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University in 2014. Prior to joining The Center, she worked as a Sexual Health Educator and Outreach Coordinator for Planned Parenthood. She has experience working as the Assistant Director of an outpatient substance abuse facility as well as working with college students in the SUNY Purchase Wellness Center
Crisis Counseling & Advocacy
Child Crisis Counselor & Advocate
Juana Yanes is responsible for providing both English and Spanish crisis intervention, counseling, and support groups to victims of sexual assault and their families throughout the community. Prior to joining The Center, Juana studied Liberal Studies concentrating on Spanish, Psychology and Criminal Justice at Southern Connecticut State University. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Criminal Justice specializing in Cybercrime & Security at Iona College.
Adult Crisis Counselor
Marsha Placide is The Center’s Adult Crisis Counselor and Advocate. Her responsibilities include providing primary and secondary victims of sexual assault with counseling and advocacy services in English and Haitian-Creole. Marsha’s services targets the elderly, homeless, disabled, and sex trafficking population. Prior to joining The Center, Marsha worked as a Manager and Community Support Specialist with Keystone House, Inc. servicing adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. She also has experience working as a Certified Nonviolent Crisis Prevention Instructor for the Crisis Prevention Institute. Marsha studied at the University of Bridgeport and holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services.
Bilingual Crisis Counselor
Evelyn Morales is our Bilingual / Bicultural Crisis Counselor and Advocate. She is responsible for providing services such as: crisis intervention, counseling, and support groups to victims of sexual assault and their families in both English and Spanish. Evelyn has her Bachelor of Science in Human Services and Education from the Metropolitan college of New York. Prior to joining The Center, Evelyn worked at the Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County and Norwalk Housing Authority Child Development & School Readiness Programs as the Family Service Worker/Advocate. For 15 years Evelyn also worked at F.E.G.S in New York in the Welfare to Work program as the Bilingual / Employment Guidance and a counselor with clients of all walks of life.
Adult Crisis Counselor
Nora Reyes is The Center’s Adult Crisis Counselor and Advocate. Her responsibilities include providing primary and secondary victims of sexual assault with counseling and advocacy services in English and Spanish. Nora also works as a Safehouse residential counselor/advocate, in which she services victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Nora studied at the University of Bridgeport and holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Marie, Prevention Educator, is responsible for raising awareness surrounding any and all aspects of sexual violence while simultaneously providing individuals with the tools necessary to react appropriately if they or someone they know has been affected by sexual violence. This is done through thought-provoking and discussion-based education programs and workshops. Marie holds an MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen’s University Belfast and BA’s in both International Studies and History from SUNY Potsdam.
Mike facilitates conversations on sexual assault and abuse throughout lower Fairfield Country and coordinates partnerships with local organizations and groups to raise awareness, with a specialty in engaging college students and leading conversations in active bystander awareness. Mike graduated from the College of Saint Rose with a Master of Science degree in Education and the College at Brockport, SUNY with a Bachelor of Science degree in History with an English minor. Prior to joining The Center, Mike worked at Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson as the Campus Sexual Assault Victim Services Specialist, as well as Vassar College and the University of Chicago in Student Activities. In his free time, Mike likes to play ultimate frisbee, rock climb, officiate weddings, and do stand up comedy.
Jessica is The Center’s Outreach Coordinator. She is responsible for scheduling all prevention education programs for grades K-12, as well as presentations with other non-profits and businesses in the area, from college campuses to parenting groups to corporations. She brings with her two years experience in retail management, and five years experience in education. Jessica was inspired to join The Center after a bystander intervention incident in which she was a key eye-witness. She was subsequently honored by The Center and joined the volunteer hotline service before becoming a full-time staff member.
Melissa Gallaher-Smith, Development Associate, supports the fundraising mechanics of The Center by assisting the coordination of events, appeals, and outreach to community partners. Melissa joins the Center staff after a three-year term on the Board of Directors in fundraising capacities, including as event and committee Chairperson. After studying English Literature and Language at The College of William and Mary, Indiana University, and SUNY-Stonybrook, Melissa worked primarily at home raising her two daughters. She has been a committed community volunteer, serving as PTO President, and as a member of SPEF’s Odyssey of the Mind Steering Committee. Melissa is thrilled to continue working to support The Center’s mission.