James is a Licensed Social Worker successfully working with children and families since 2000. He has worked in the summer camp and social service industries in various aspects including: management, clinical and direct services. James’ vision is to maximize the focus on the frontline within social service agencies towards more effective and lasting impacts on lives.
James is described by clients, employees, and fellow leaders as a team player, who easily cultivates solid rapport and can facilitate success with most anyone. He is also a practicing psychotherapist.
Danielle W. has been a Program Supervisor since spring 2021 and was promoted to Program Director in August 2022. She holds two Master’s degrees, one in General Psychology and one in School Psychology, both from Adelphi and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology. She was recently selected for the Psychology Advanced Standing Doctoral program at Hofstra. Danielle has a strong passion for working with and helping children and adolescents. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her friends and family (including those with 4 legs), traveling, and time outdoors.
Danielle B. is our Program Manager. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2020 with a BS in Human Development and Family Sciences. She minored in Disability Studies and did coursework on Child & Youth Development, Play-Development & Early Education, among other topics.
Kayla earned her Master’s of Social Work from Stony Brook University in May of 2020. She has interned at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School in Shirley, NY, and at Children’s Home + Aid in Bloomington, IL. Kayla also has experience working as a Youth Development Professional at the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington.
Maeling has been a Program Supervisor for Lodestar since December 2019 and was promoted to Program Coordinator in August 2022. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, as well as a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. She has seven years of experience providing children’s mental health services, including clinical services for foster children and mental health services for autistic young adults.
Yvette graduated from Adelphi University with her Master of Social Work in 2010. She has been working professionally with children and families for over ten years, including as a Health Care Integrator and a Waiver Service Provider. Along with her responsibilities at Lodestar, Yvette works as an OLP and as a Program Coordinator elsewhere.
Emalee is a SUNY Oneonta graduate majoring in anthropology and a minor certificate in positive psychology from Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Netherlands. Emalee is looking to pursue a master’s in Mental Health Counseling in the Fall of 2021 to further her career and ability in helping children and adults.
Danielle P. received her B.S. in Applied Psychology from New York University in May of 2018. During her time in university, and following her graduation, she worked as a tutor and teacher’s assistant in multiple locations, helping a wide age-range of students. She also worked as a one-on-one Community Habilitation Worker, providing home care and tutoring for a college-aged teenager. In her free time, Danielle loves to play video games, practice her violin and viola, travel, and play with her cat, Patches.
Allison K. is a recent graduate from Messiah University and currently practicing Mental Health Counseling in the community working towards licensure. She has a passion for serving families across Long Island and especially loves her work with children and youth. A California native, she loves the outdoors and especially relaxing in the sun.
Assistant Program Supervisors
Erik graduated from Adelphi University in 2017 with a Master’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education. He is currently a full time Second Grade Teacher and Musical Choreographer for High School. Erik has always had a passion for helping and teaching others of all ages. He enjoys traveling, singing, dancing and being around friends and family.
Dorothy graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from SUNY Farmingdale. She is pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work from Stony Brook University. She provides PSR, RCS, and YPA for Lodestar. She has a wealth of experience with children with ID/DD and mental health difficulties.
Gina achieved a Master’s Degree in Special Education/General Education from Dowling College and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Dowling. Gina prides herself in her ability to think outside of the box. Gina loves to read and encourages others to do so. Gina also loves spending time with her husband, their two daughters, and their big, loveable dog Teddy.
Alex graduated with his Master’s in Social Work from Stony Brook University in May of2022. For his graduate field placement, he interned at Central Islip School District where he got to support the social-emotional needs of students in elementary, middle, and high school settings. He is passionate about social justice and is currently pursuing a career in school social work. In Alex’s free time, he enjoys spending time with his two dogs, Bentley and Rocky, and fostering kittens for an animal rescue in Central Islip.
Anthony earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry Education from Manhattan College and his graduate degree in Special Education from St. Peter’s University. He am currently a full-time high school Chemistry Teacher and part-time Adjunct Professor. Anthony love working with his students and their families, travelling, and trying new foods.
Daniella is finishing her last semester at CUNY Brooklyn College and will be achieving her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Since 2018 she has worked as an after-school teacher, teacher’s assistant, and a student mentor/intern and provided children of all ages a safe, friendly environment. Daniella cherishes the connections she has made with each of her students and ensures that they feel valued as individuals. Daniella is very passionate about helping children, mental health, and fitness.
Alyssa graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2020 and is currently enrolled in a Master’s Program for Mental Health Counseling. She has a passion for helping others and has been working with children for many years as a babysitter, and field worker and is also a mother of two daughters.
Stephanie achieved a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Queens College as well as a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Pathology. She is passionate about working with children and she is most proud of her three beautiful children.
Kadin is currently attending Sarah Lawrence College to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. He is working towards a career in animation, but also enjoys graphic design and critical psychology. Kadin loves using his skills in visual arts to spread awareness for causes that he is passionate about. He also works as a Website and Graphic Designer at Blue Umbrella Experience. In his free time, he likes playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Pokémon.
Allison is a Stony Brook University graduate, majoring in psychology, currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Adelphi University. She grew up babysitting and caring for her niece and nephew, giving her great experience with children. She is passionate about mental health, physical fitness, and encouraging healthy behaviors.
Tiffany has an associate’s degree in Science from the Lincoln College of Technology. She is skilled in communication and building relationships with clients.
Darrell recently graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is ready to pursue his passion for helping those with mental health needs. Darrell completed one hundred hours of community service advocating for social justice and helping to provide education, clothes, and food to those in need.
Brianna J. earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Stony Brook University in May of 2021. Currently, she works with children ages 3 to 5 as an Educational Replacement Staff at Stony Brook Childcare Services. She also completed an internship at the Developmental Disabilities Institute in early 2021. In college, she was an active member of the Women’s Lacrosse Club and the Psi Chi Honor Society.
Cyla recently graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Business. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Forensic Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. She is passionate about advocating for others’ mental health and enjoys working out and being active!
Lotouria earned her Master’s of Social Work from Long Island University Post in May of 2006. She has several years of experience in upper management and counseling in the non-profit sector. Lotouria has a strong passion for mental health. She has a wealth of expertise and experience involving families, children, substance abuse/alcohol, mental health, and gerontology.
Tricia earned her BA in Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2019. She is
currently pursuing a dual master’s degree in social work and public health at Stony
Brook University. Tricia has many years of experience working with children including
in daycare settings, babysitting, working with children with special needs, and being a
foster parent to vulnerable children. Outside of work, Tricia’s passions and hobbies
include wellness, mental health, fitness, cooking/baking, being active outdoors, and
going to the beach.
Eren graduated from Stony Brook University with a bachelor’s in Psychology in 2020. He strongly values mental health and loves being able to help others with it. His current plan is to continue his studies with a Masters program in the mental health field.
Chantel currently has her Master’s in Social work from the University of South Carolina-Columbia. For two years, she has worked as a Youth Care Associate, member of the Race Equity Committee, and social worker for JCCA. In the past, she has also worked as a Residential Counselor for adolescents and a Rehabilitative Aide for people struggling with addiction. She also worked as a Human Services Specialist, conducting monthly in-home safety visits and helping families receive treatment services.
Heidi has a Bachelor of Science degree from Empire State College. While her degree is in Interdisciplinary Studies, her academic studies concentrated on Health and Healing. Heidi’s strengths lie in Holistic approaches. She is a certified yoga instructor and massage therapist and continues to work as a community leader for Breast Cancer Action. In the past, she has also worked with children as a school bus attendant.
Katerina received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Queens College in December of 2020. She worked for two years as a babysitter at LA Fitness, supervising infants, toddlers, and young teenagers while their parents went to the gym. She prides herself on her ability to work well under pressure and multitask efficiently.
Renata graduated from St’ Joseph’s College with a Bachelor’s in Community Health and Human Services in 2014. Even before then, she had a passion for working with kids, shown by her experience as both a Teacher’s Assistant and a Childcare Provider. Alongside her duties at Lodestar, she currently works as a Case Manager for Supported Living at Concern for Independent Living.
Emilysia graduated from Adelphi University with a Master’s degree in School Psychology in 2021. She has worked with children of many different age levels as an assistant teacher, a camp counselor, and even a dance teacher! She also completed an internship at a school’s psychology department helping with counseling and consultations.
La Kesha studied Psychology at the University Of Maryland and then completed her BA in Psychology with a minor in Mental health at Southern New Hampshire University. She enjoys spending time with her children as well as working with children. La Kesha plans to start her Masters in Sociology in the spring of 2022 and eventually earn a PSYD or DSW.
Tanisha is a Daemen College Alumni, Majoring in Health Care Studies – Community Health. Tanisha currently works in social services as a full-time Senior Case Manager. Tanisha has a passion for working with children who are challenged by various circumstances. Tanisha loves working with children and enjoys helping children explore new experiences.
Lovejeet graduated from St. John’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2019. After graduating, he worked as a Youth Development Specialist, helping youth aged 12-18 with daily living and coping skills. Currently, along with his work at Lodestar, he works as a Family Specialist , creating discharge plans and delivering counseling services to those in need.
Sarah is working towards getting a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology. Sarah has joined Lodestar because she has a drive for mental health advocacy.
Jolie is currently working towards her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology at Stony Brook University. She has over four years of experience working with babies, toddlers, and young children as a caregiver. She also has experience working with children with developmental disabilities.
Kate recently graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is currently working toward getting her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Kate has a passion for working with children as she has experience
working at a daycare and as a behavioral technician. Kate loves the beach, trying new
foods, and advocating for mental health.
Theodhora received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from CUNY York College. She is skilled in providing mental health interventions in a trauma-informed and culturally competent manner. She has experience working with pediatric and homeless populations. She is passionate about breaking the stigma associated with mental health issues within immigrant
communities. She hopes to go to graduate school to support the integration of mental health into medical care.
Lindsey has her Bachelor’s from SNHU in Psychology with a specialization in childhood and adolescent development. She is working towards her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Lindsey has worked in daycares as a lead teacher and knew that she wanted to work with children since she was 5. She enjoys reading, music, hiking, yoga, and meditation.
Julia graduated Summa Cum Laude from SUNY Oswego’s Honors Program with a
Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology. She was a part of Oswego’s counseling outreach peer
educator team and was an advocate for students’ mental health on campus. Julia has
four younger sisters and has been babysitting for family members, friends, and people
in her community for the past 5 years. She is passionate about helping others, mental
health, and learning.
Gabriela earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Stony Brook University and is continuing her education there to receive her Master’s in Social Work. She has had multiple jobs and internships working with youth, including work with preschoolers and developmentally disabled children. She is also fluent in Spanish!
Alexander graduated from Saint Joseph’s College in 2021 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology. He is currently continuing his studies at Stony Brook University with the hopes of graduating with a Masters in Social work in 2024. Alexander is an animal lover, having worked as a kennel assistant and obedience trainer and currently working as a veterinary assistant alongside his responsibilities at Lodestar!
Caitlyn graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in May of 2022, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Mental Health Counseling at Hofstra University. She has worked with both children and teenagers in tutoring settings, helping them with math and reading comprehension. Currently, she works for HearMe, an anonymous chatline for individuals seeking support. In her free time, she likes performing acapella and dancing.
Raina is a recent college graduate from St. Joseph College where she earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology. She graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors as well as holding a position as secretary of the Psi Chi National Honors Society. During her college career, Raina became a mother to her beautiful son Koda who was gifted with an extra chromosome. When she was informed of her son’s diagnosis it became her mission to spread awareness and advocate and support those with special needs. She does this by sharing her son’s journey on social media with the hopes of eliminating the negative stigmas surrounding Down Syndrome and other various types of special needs. Some of Raina’s favorite things to do are to go on long walks, visit local farms and zoos with her son, and cook fun, toddler-approved nutritious snacks and meals that both her son and she can enjoy together.
Alexandra earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Social Work from SUNY Old Westbury in 2021. She worked as a mentor at the Sangha Education Center inOld Westbury and as an Aftercare Worker for the St. Joseph’s College Bears. Alex has a passion for creative arts- from art to music to photography, as well as sports.
Brianna M. has recently graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts degree
in Psychology in May of 2022. She has worked with children as a camp counselor and after-school program aid. She has decided to pursue psychology because she has the desire for
helping others with mental health challenges. Brianna intends on going back to school to obtain
a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.
Holly graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from SUNY Geneseo. She has extensive experience in her field, including past work as a Childcare Volunteer and a Case Manager. She has also been a Research Assistant for work on children’s psychology. Currently, she works as a Mental Health Counselor Intern and as a Behavior Technician for children with autism.
Nicole graduated from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Science in December of 2018. She has nearly ten years of experience in care management, counselling, and social work at multiple agencies, including a current job at Advance Care Alliance. She is also trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers!
Nicole just recently graduated from Stony Brook University in May of 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Majoring in Psychology and Sociology, Nicole’s studies focused primarily on children and women’s studies. For two years she was a Home Health Aide for her mother, helping her with everyday tasks that were difficult due to her mother’s disability.
Dayna earned her Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies from SUNY Oneonta in May of 2016, and has just recently begun to pursue her Master of Science in Adolescent Special Education at Pace University. She has worked as a Child Protective Specialist at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, and has recently been selected by the NYC Department of Education to work as a NYC Teaching Collaborative Partner Teacher in an alternative certification program.
Emma P. graduated with her Bachelor of Science from CUNY Hunter College and has nearly five years of child care experience. She previously worked as a Daycare Assistant Teacher, helping children learn and preparing healthy meals for them. She has also been a Private Nanny since 2018, and continues this job alongside her responsibilities at Lodestar. Emma is also fluent in Spanish!
Bianca has her B.S from Sacred Heart University in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She is working towards her M.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Pace University. Bianca has extensive experience in career counseling undergraduate students and working with eating disorder
patients aged 7-26 at Center For Discovery. On her time off Bianca loves to cook, teach people how to cook, paddleboard, hike, read, and garden.
Jillian graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with her Master’s degree in Occupational
Therapy. She works as a school-based OT, and is very passionate about helping
children feel comfortable and confident in their abilities. In her free time, Jillian loves to
hike, bake, and dance!
Angelique graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2020 with a
Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Psychology. She has experience working with adults and
children. Angelique has a strong passion for mental health and helping those who need,
she cherishes the connections she makes with everyone she has and will work with.
Angelique enjoys traveling, cooking, fitness and being around friends and family.