- Cydney Wessel, MSW, MBA - Executive Director
- Yuritzy Cruz, MBA - Finance and Office Manager
- J.J. Wett, MS, LMFT, CCTP - Clinical Director- Therapeutic Group Services
- Stephen H. Garlington, MSW, LCSW - Clinical Director- Youth and Family Counseling
- Jasmine L. Young, M.S.Ed., LPC, CADC, NCC - Associate Director
- Shatoya Jackson, MSW - Director of Prevention Services
- Nicole Smalley, BS HDFS - Community Outreach Coordinator
- Heleena Barnett, B.S. HDFS graduate
- Lucero Martinez, M.S. Ed., LPC
- Pagel Palmer, MS, ALMFT
- Danielle Owens, M.S.Ed.
- Nicole Patterson, MS, ALMFT
- Onetha Hill, MSW
- Hannah Isiminger, Graduate Intern
- Jacquelin Haacker, Graduate Intern
Cydney is committed to ensuring all children receive and experience the support necessary to achieve their full potential in life. With more than 27 years of experience she has a proven track record for producing extensive growth through her strategic visioning and change management. She is proficient at creating new possibilities, motivating staff, engaging stakeholders and implementing strategies, processes and policies to elevate organizational success.
Fun Fact: Cydney loves to travel and collects Christmas ornaments offering her the opportunity to reminisce about all the fun places she has been every year when she hangs them on the tree.
Yuritzy enjoys cooking for her family and loves spending time with her three dogs, Sugar, Cocoa and Hazel. During her free time she likes to read novels and eat ice cream.
Fun fact: Yuritzy is fond of sewing, she loves taking the time of designing and making blankets!
J.J. was born with spinal muscular atrophy which was supposed to kill him by the age of two. However, he is 30+ years old and ready to bring his life and professional experience to you! He has overcome many obstacles in his life including receiving his Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University. While studying at Northern Illinois, he trained under several leading relationship therapists and now he is able to bring this knowledge into your life. J.J. also has 10+ years experience working with people in a social service setting. He has made it a priority to ensure people with disabilities receive the services needed to live a fulfilling life. In fact, he researched family dynamics relating to a child having a disability for his Master's thesis.
Fun Fact: J.J. is an encyclopedia when it comes to music and can generally “Name That Tune” within the first five chords of the song.
Stephen is committed to empowering children and families in attaining self-sufficiency, socio-emotional well-being and productive outcomes leading to quality lifestyles and personal fulfillment. With more than 25 years of experience, he has a proven track record for facilitating organizational effectiveness, motivating people to challenge themselves and “making a difference!”
Fun Fact: Stephen enjoys deep-sea salt-water fishing and playing the electronic keyboards.
Jasmine completed her Masters in Mental Health Counseling at Northern Illinois University, and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral program at NIU. She completed two internships at YSB, and we were thrilled to have her come aboard!
Jasmine has experience working with clients from diverse populations including: socioeconomic, gender, ethnicity and LGBTQ. She has collaborated with other helping professionals in Child and Family Team Meetings for clients in DCFS care. She has facilitated anger management groups, and currently coordinates our Early Intervention for Drug and Alcohol Program.
Fun Fact: Jasmine's office is a center of serenity.
Shatoya is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a Bachelor’s in Sociology. She is also a graduate of Aurora University with a Masters in Advanced Clinical Social Work. She works with diverse populations, including two years working in domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as working with homeless youth.
Growing up in DeKalb, Shatoya’s passion is to give back to the community and is aware of resources available in the county to help our clients and their families.
During her time at YSB, she has led preventative service programs as well as supervise crisis programming. She advocates for her clients as well as helps them find a voice of their own. Help kids talk back and be heard.
In her role as a bilingual therapist, Shatoya utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution Focus Therapy, and Narrative therapy in her practice. With her clinical knowledge and awareness of resources in the area, Shatoya actively engages in measures to help bring social justice and equality to clients and their families in need. Shatoya actively takes a stand for social justice by developing and implementing services to help reverse biases and prejudices.
Fun Fact: Everything looks better in HOT PINK!!!
Fun fact: In her free time Nicole likes to relax and spend time with family and her cat Sammy. Her hobbies include light baking and knitting.
After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, Heleena hopes to continue learning and helping others by receiving a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy or Counseling. She has experience working with children and teenagers, as well as individuals with autism. In the future, she would love to open her own practice with a focus on helping individuals with trauma, PTSD, depression, and ADHD.
Fun facts: Heleena loves to create, whether that is writing, painting, video editing or building. She likes learning new things, cook and bake, work out, and enjoy nature, whether that is through kayaking, hiking, or camping.
Lucero identifies with Object Relations Theory, a theory that explains how individuals begin to form their identity at early stages in life, as early as infancy.
Majority of the time, it is the parents or caretakers that are the ones in charge for the overall well-being of infants, therefore, infants and children are influenced by the relationship they have with their caretakers. She believes that ultimately, the individual or child, begins to shape their identity and overall personality by how they view others, how they view themselves in relations to others, and their relationships overall.
Fun Fact: Lucero enjoys working out and taking group exercise classes. Her ultimate fitness goal is to become a Zumba instructor and help others lead an active lifestyle.
Page graduated from Northern Illinois University with his Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences. He continued his academic career at Northern Illinois University. Page graduated with his Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Program. He has experience working with youth, couples, and families. Page completed his internship here at DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau, where he’s worked with a variety of clients and their families.
Page identifies with Narrative Therapy, Bowen Family Systems. Within the future, Page wants to continue working with youth while also obtaining certification in Advanced Childhood Trauma, Play Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for adolescents.
Fun Fact: Page is a really good dancer!
Danielle identifies with Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), mindfulness, and narrative therapy. Danielle views individuals as the main character of their story; as they are working toward a goal. An example of this is “The Wizard of Oz.” Everyone is similar to Dorothy, a person on a journey to reach a goal. Counselors might be viewed as the Tin man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow. These are people that remind Dorothy that she has the tools to achieve her goal. Through this framework, individuals are able to identify thoughts that are beneficial to them and develop positive coping skills. Danielle believes individuals will gain a sense of self, learn coping skills and an understanding of their decision-making style.
Fun Fact: Basketball is her favorite sport #BallisLife
Have a great day!
Nicole identifies heavily with Bowen Family Systems Theory and Attachment Theory while also implementing some structural techniques with her clients. It is her hope to one day open her own private practice as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as open a practice in Jamaica, where her family originates from.
Fun Fact: Nicole is Jamaican, LOVES music and likes to do sudoku puzzles!
Identifies with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Systems Theory. She focuses on learned behavior and how past relationships affect their current behaviors. In the future, Onetha wants to continue working with youth and their families. She wants to start a teen pregnancy program that helps teen parents access resources that they may need or may not know about.
Fun Fact: Onetha knows sign language (can hold conversation, not fluent) and travels every 2-3 months.
Hannah prefers Cognitive Behavior Therapy, due to her years of experience working in a behavior-based profession. She believes that by observing behaviors and coming to an understanding of their cause, people can work on improving their lives and even the lives of the people around them. Still, she is excited to work more with other styles of therapy so that she can serve diverse populations and meet them where they are at.
Hannah is hoping to graduate and work more with the families that are affected by ASD, as there is a need for the whole family and not just the individual on the spectrum. She loves working directly with people and hopes to continue that for the duration of her career no matter where that takes her. She is hopeful that she will earn her LCSW within the next few years, and after that is considering becoming an adjunct professor if she is able to do so.
Fun facts: Hannah loves being outdoors- especially if there is an ocean involved, driving is her favorite form of self-care, and she loves cooking for her friends and family.
Jacque identifies with Family Systems and Strengths Perspective. She believes that every child deserves a secure, caring, and stimulating environment to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially. She hopes to continue working with kids and families in the community so that they can develop love and respect for themselves, others, and their environment.
Fun facts: Jacque enjoys reading and fostering dogs in her spare time. She also loves everything Disney and Starbucks, especially drinking Starbucks while in Disney World.