Melissa lives and works in Northwest Indiana. She has been married for 6 years, and is blessed to be the mother of 2 wonderful children who continue to amaze her daily. Melissa also loves her fur babies: her 6 year old puggle dog: Fisher, and the most recently adopted member of the family, her cat: Gunner. She enjoys singing, watching her favorite tv shows, reading, and playfully refers to herself as a "grammar snob".
Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development Family Studies, with a specialization in Child and Family Services, from Purdue University Calumet (Hammond) in May 2005. Upon graduation, Melissa continued working for a local grocery store chain for many years, while simultaneously trying to find a career that would allow her to satisfactorily utilize her undergraduate education and skills.
In the winter of 2011, Melissa was given the opportunity by Fair Haven Center for Women to work part-time (8 hours a month) facilitating the children's group in Fair Haven's Strengthening Families Program: Project Sail. She was offered a more permanent position as a Program Facilitator/Administrative Assistant at Fair Haven, in September 2012.
In 2013, Melissa was promoted to the position of Program Supervisor. She also began to facilitate Fair Haven's first adolescent group program: Project Anchor. It was when she was working in this program, that Melissa became inspired to pursue her graduate degree. She enrolled in her current graduate program in December 2013, and is working toward obtaining her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Melissa is passionate about her work at Fair Haven and feels privileged that she is able to have a career that encompasses what she loves; helping people.
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
We are asking if you could please help us get the word out again.
10-15 decent/clean (new or used) sitting chairs (folding okay)
kleenex (no lotion please), hand sanitizer/wipes
highlighters, pens, glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, crayons
notebooks, Pocket folders (with/without metal clasps)
1-2 inch and D-Ring Binders
acrylic paints, fabric paints/markers, fat paint brushes
Scrapbook page protector sheets
small 9 X 12 canvas boards/canvases (any size)
Project Sail: Program Incentives
Any small, less expensive toys for boys ages 6-16 years
sports related toys, toy cars/air planes
educational games/models/building sets
Any small, less expensive toys for girls ages 6-16 years
stuffed animals, dolls, stickers
nail polish/lip gloss/costume jewelry
educational games/craft kits
Incentive gift cards for Parents (ranging from $5-$50)coffee, bath & spa, restaurants, gas cards, movie theater, grocery stores, shopping, game cards (Google/Apple)
Please contact us at 219-961-4357 or firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on FB if you have any of the above mentioned items.
Thank you for your support!! We appreciate YOU!!!
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Project Sail (A Strengthening Families Program)
Our next Sail group will be beginning soon in February/March 2015. Project Sail is made up of 14 total sessions. This program provides families with science-based parenting skills, children's life skills, and family life skills. The program is specifically designed to empower families and improve relationships. It is made up of 3 parts, which include: a meal, individual class time for mom and children, and a joint family time at the end of each session for a total of 2.5 hours each session.
Project Sail GroupsProject Sail groups are designated for parents/guardians and children between the ages of 6-16 years old. The families will meet once a week for approximately 12 weeks. Each session includes the following:
A meal before each meeting.
Interactive lessons/activities and participation incentives
Weekly handouts, family practice sessions, and fun projects/activities
Graduations ceremony which includes a certificate of completion for each member
Previous Sail participants testified the following:
- "I learned to keep trying different ways to encourage my children."
- "I learned how to give clearer directions more age appropriate and to have more realistic expectations."
- "I learned how to praise successes, have family meetings, and to have consistent discipline."
Project Voyage is our adult services program and provides both individual and group counseling, as well as victim advocacy to adult women who have experienced violence and trauma in their life. We specialize in recovery services for victims of domestic abuse, sexual trauma, verbal abuse, codependency and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Voyage is a program which focuses on mind, body, and spirit restoration. Voyage women are validated for the pain they have gone through and learn to identify problem areas in their life that threaten themselves and their loved ones. They learn to build a support system and begin to change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors as they embark on their healing journey of recovery. We are always accepting people for individual counseling so please feel free to contact us if you are interested.
Project Voyage Groups Winter SessionProject Voyage groups meet on a weekly basis and is offered on Tuesday mornings from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Our winter group session will resume on January 12, 2015.
Previous Voyage group participants testified:
- "I learned that I will have my ups and downs and that's okay"
- " I learned it is good to share and be with people and share and learn from each other."
- "Group confirmed that I am not alone and that I don't have to go through anything alone."
- "I learned that it's ok to feel. It's ok to be me. I'm learning to trust more by being open and honest without being afraid of being hurt."
Project Anchor is a specialized program for female adolescents between the ages of 13-19 years old. Project Anchor utilizes a combination of techniques in a supportive group setting. Some of these modalities include art, music, and play therapy in addition to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). These therapeutic interventions allow adolescents victims of trauma and abuse (examples include: sexual, physical, and/or emotional trauma, abandonment/neglect issues) the opportunity to process their pain and emotions in a safe environment.
Project Anchor equips adolescent victims with the ability to recognize and challenge maladaptive behaviors and thought processes, while simultaneously developing their own set of recovery tools and positive coping skills in order to find healing from their trauma.
Project Anchor is made up of 16 consecutive weekly group sessions that meet for approximately 1.5 hours each session. Each session includes a learning objective as well as a therapeutic project/activity which is recorded and kept in a personal scrapbook created by each participant.
Previous Anchor group participants testified:
- "Fair Haven was a trustworthy place for me to discuss my biggest fears, my feelings, and build trust with myself and others. I am really thankful to have had this opportunity to be in the Anchor Program."
- "The fact that Project Anchor was so hands on really helped me open up more. I let out my anger, sadness, hurt and everything else I was feeling in a safe way. While I was there not only did I learn a safe way to let my emotions out but I also learned how to let myself feel."