I am the proud parent of 2 daughters. One of my daughter’s struggles has been manifest in mental, emotional, and behavioral challenges for our entire family. I have been actively advocating for her as we have navigated through multiple Systems of Care (educational, peer support, medical, etc, at the federal, state and regional levels) for over a decade. Through problem solving, with the help of family and friends, and guidance from caring professionals, we have met these challenges and successfully overcome numerous obstacles. Throughout this time, I have worked steadfastly to educate myself and build a network of contacts in order to help other families like ours. I have also been a small business owner for more than 20 years. I have acquired many skills from supervision, management and training experience, public speaking and negotiating contracts, research and recruiting to marketing and training, I also have a very strong desire to support and empower other families to understand and utilize the systems of care from a grassroots community-based perspective. In my free time, I practice yoga, read books and play with my horse, Rocky. You can contact Janice at firstname.lastname@example.org
I raised two wonderful children who both struggle with mental illness and learning disabilities. My daughter is 21 and my son is 19 and both will be soon testing the waters independent from me in their own homes. My son has a rare brain malformation and is a unique and exuberant child. He has struggled through years with intense behaviors but has been doing so well lately that he is able to move into a DDA supported living home. There have been both smooth days and rough days along this path of ours, but we hold on tight to the good and learn from our challenges. As both a parent of children with behavioral health needs, and a professional working in the community, I have the balanced perspective of having been on both sides of the table. I am soon to be an empty nester and I’m not sure what I will do with all my alone time. The plan is to try new things and discover who I am apart from my children. I love to read, explore my creative side, and want to spend as much time outdoors as possible (preferably near water). It is very fulfilling to contribute to the empowerment of individuals, families, and caregivers to hone their self-advocacy skills to be able to overcome the barriers they face and gain access to the services they need. You can contact Amber at email@example.com
Karen Kelly has been employed in the children's behavioral health field since April 2018 as the Project Director for Washington State Community Connectors, a statewide family led non-profit dedicated to uniting WA State family leaders in this field to strengthen children, youth, families, and community partnerships. She is also a Parent Consultant on the Children's Long-Term Inpatient Program (CLIP) Steering Committee as a parent voice, certified in WISe, and a certified Peer Counselor. She comes into this work because of her lived experience in parenting a child with intense behavioral health care needs. Karen is the wife of one husband, the mother of four children, and has a dog, cat, and pet pig at home. Her passion is to help families find or strengthen their hope, see families collaborate with their system partners in supporting their journey to health, provide growth opportunities for parents so they can know better to do better, share the value of the Family, Youth, System Partner Round Tables (FYSPRT) and the opportunities it gives for family and youth voice, and recognize the need for genuine personal wellness in order to become their best selves. You can contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org
SUD Family Navigator Trainer
Jackie has two grown children whom she raised as a single parent and struggled to support her son as it became apparent he was battling substance use disorder. This lived experience led her to being involved with a number of behavioral health care serving systems including addiction rehabilitation, the justice system, and the kinship adoption process as she adopted her granddaughter in 2012 and is currently parenting her. Jackie is actively involved in the kinship care community, connected to Battlefield Addiction weekly solution groups, and is a member of the WSCC Children’s Behavioral Health Outpatient Workgroup. As an SUD Family Navigator Trainer she is excited to help families navigate and grow on their journey to wellness. Her favorite past-times are crafting, crocheting, walking her dog, and organizing and decorating.
SUD Family Navigator Trainer
Kristie worked in Child Welfare for over 20 years, created and ran her own non-profit serving relatives raising their kin’s children, and has a passion to see families are healthy and thriving. Kristie is dedicated to supporting Kinship Care as a grandmother who raised two grandchildren, this experience brought her into the SUD systems and multiple other behavioral health care serving systems. Kristie also has her own lived experience in addiction and recovery. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and supporting families as they navigate the various SUD systems. In her spare time, she enjoys camping and gardening and is active in the recovery community.
Ms. Jolene Nguyen is a Junior at Hazen High School in Renton and is attending Running Start classes through Bellevue College. In June 2022, she will simultaneously graduate from High School and achieve her Associates of Arts Degree from Bellevue College. She is the Vice President of Communications for the Hazen DECA chapter, an organization that helps to prepare students for leadership and education through a business-related curriculum. She plays the viola outside of school. Ms. Nguyen states that "In DECA, I have learned that teamwork is an important asset to have, while in music, I have acquired the knowledge of an effective student and the act of perseverance. I truly hope that my experience will show as useful in WSCC, and I look forward to making contributions!"
Ms. Ellen Huynh is currently a Junior at Hazen Highschool and attends Running Start at Bellevue College. After earning her Associates of Art Degree, she will work towards her business degree. Ms. Huynh keeps busy by staying involved in clubs and spending time with friends and family. She is an active leader in her school’s service club; Key Club. She is also a leader in the two business clubs; FBLA and DECA. Ms. Huynh plays the cello and enjoys spending her free time exploring Washington’s great outdoors! In terms of social media, she runs the social media accounts for multiple clubs and is excited to see what she can contribute and learn here. Social media often has a negative connotation so she is thrilled to have the opportunity to show that social media can be used to promote good.
Ms. Huan Nguyen is one of the Social Media Committee interns for WSCC. She is currently a Junior at Hazen High School and is attending the Running Start program at Bellevue College. Along with school, Ms. Nguyen is heavily involved in the business clubs (DECA and FBLA), the health club (HOSA), and the community services/leadership club (Key Club). She is interested in pursuing engineering or another STEM field in college. In Ms. Nguyen's spare time, she enjoys practicing graphic design and baking as hobbies.