Strengthening Families Program Facilitators

Jennifer Pielhau
Jennifer has been working in the field of prevention for eleven years. She earned a BA in Sociology from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and in 2002 returned to the institution and earned a second BA in Elementary Teacher Education. She is currently a Bullying Prevention Program Trainer, Strengthening Families Program facilitator, WISE Program Coordinator, and teacher for Life Skills Training Program and Forest Friends

Deena Cohen
Deena has been a Strengthening Families Program facilitation for RWJBarnabas Health for more than 10 years. She earned a BA in Political Science from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Women’s Treatment Specialist, and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist. She is currently employed as a Perinatal Risk Reduction Specialist, educating consumers in the community regarding Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other drug use during pregnancy.

Anita Crowley
Anita is an accomplished elementary school counselor with 25 years experience in the field of counseling and education. She has been a child/teen facilitator with Strengthening Families since 2003. She earned a BA in Education from Rowan University and a MS in School Counseling from Austin Peay State University. She also holds a certificate as a school counselor. In addition to being an anti-bullying specialist, I&RS and 504 Coordinator, District Testing Coordinator and District Homeless Liaison, Anita is a certified Sexual Assault Response Team Advocate (SART) ,a nationally certified Anger Management Specialist and a certified Substance Awareness Coordinator (SAC).

Karen Kenney
Karen has a MS in Social Work from Rutgers University and holds a certificate in School Social Work. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families in both individual and group settings and currently works full time as a Site Coordinator and Therapist for a school-based youth service program where she provides counseling and other supportive services to students and their families.

Yvelisse Gonzalez
A Perinatal Mental Health Coordinator, Yvelisse earned a BS in Behavioral Science, with a minor in Special Education, from York College of Pennsylvania and a MS in Social Work from Rutgers University, As a Licensed Social Worker, the majority of her professional experience has been working in the maternal and child health field.

Janel Gonzales
Janel has been facilitating Strengthening Families for 7 years at various locations. She has earned a BS from Rutgers University, holds a school Social Work Certificate and is working towards a master’s degree in Social Work. She currently works full time as a school-based youth services social worker, where she provides counseling and other supportive services to students and their families.

Mark Firth
Currently a Community Resource Development Manager, Mark has trained hundreds of resource parents (foster and adoptive) for NJ’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency. He has provided drug and alcohol prevention programs in Asbury Park and has coached multiple sports, at various levels, including the NJ Special Olympics

Mariella Flores
Mariella is a Spanish Certified Medical Translator and is currently enrolled in classes to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Social Services. She has a wide range of experience working with the community and has led health education programs for pregnant women. She is currently working with women suffering Post Partum Depression.

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