Meet the VSC Team

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Lui Damiani – Executive Director

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Lui Damiani is a proven leader whose background in business and public service spans more than 25 years.  He has served the Central Florida community as a County Commissioner, corporate executive, small business owner, governmental manager, television host, and homeowner’s association president.  His experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors has given him a well-rounded approach to problem-solving and doing what’s right for the community.

Upon graduating from the Ohio State University in 1987, Lui moved to Orlando to put down roots and begin his professional career building a solid resume in business and public service. While working full-time, Lui attended UCF and earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 1994. He served as Chief Aide to former District 3 Commissioner Mary I. Johnson for eight years and was recognized with the county’s highest service honor, The Chairman’s Award.  It was during that time that Lui was instrumental in helping to establish the Victim Service Center.  Subsequently, Lui spent five years in the private sector as Corporate Marketing Director and Vice President of one of Florida’s largest woman-owned businesses and he has operated his own small real estate business for more than 12 years.  In 2010, Lui became an Orange County Commissioner where he championed a local ordinance to help service-disabled veterans, helped to pass a human rights law, worked to reduce government spending, pushed for lowered government fees, and allocated critical funding to economic development initiatives intended to assist small businesses and create jobs.

Throughout his career, Lui has served his various roles with character, honesty, and passion earning him a solid reputation of integrity among his peers.  Today, as Executive Director of the Victim Service Center, Lui is honored to continue his service to the Central Florida community building collaborative relationships with business and governmental partners, and leading an extraordinary team of crisis intervention experts dedicated to helping those impacted by sexual assault, violent crime or traumatic circumstances.

Sheri – Grants Manager

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Sheri Baeza comes to VSC from Daytona State College. She has a 10-year career in higher education programs and grants management both at the university and community college level, as well as experience as a non-profit management consultant and professional grant writer in Texas and Florida. She holds a BA in Communications and a Master’s in Public Administration and Leadership from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin and a Graduate Certification in Nonprofit Management from Texas A&M University, Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Sheri is passionate about helping others and finding innovative ways to fill the needs of the community. Sheri is a native Texan, having lived there for over 46 years. She moved to Florida in 2020 to be closer to her family.  She enjoys volunteering her time with organizations such as Meals on Wheels and is a member of the Junior League. She has also sat on the board of directors for many community organizations in Texas and looks forward to doing the same here in Florida. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and exploring her new home state.

 Rhonda – Senior Advocate

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Rhonda has been part of the VSC team since 2009. She has three graduate degrees, a Master’s in Human Services, an MBA, and a Master’s in Administration of Justice and Security. Rhonda has over 30 years of experience in criminal/military justice. She served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years.  After retiring from the Navy, Rhonda worked as the Director of a Residential Re-entry Center for inmates transitioning from federal prisons. Rhonda’s goal is to engage the entire community in activities that prevent sexual assault and crime.

Alliyah – Victim Advocate/Crisis Counselor

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Alliyah obtained her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Alliyah is currently a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and working towards becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Alliyah has experience working as a Mental Health Therapist working with LGBTQIA+ youth. Alliyah is most passionate about supporting people to feel empowered to reclaim their identities and peace after experiencing trauma.

Shaye – Victim Advocate/Crisis Counselor

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Shaye graduated from the University of Arkansas with her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work. She uses a multi-life course approach that includes using social change theory, life course theory, symbolic interactionism, and ecological system perspective. She is certified in CAMS-Care that focuses on suicide prevention and collaborating with a client to ensure best practice. She is excited to be part of anyone’s healing journey and cannot wait to work with VSC clients.

Jaimie – Victim Advocate/Crisis Counselor

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Jaimie received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Central Florida and has ten years of experience counseling children, teens, and adults with a clinical specialization in sexual assault, trauma, and abuse recovery. She is also involved in international nonprofit work as well as international adoption, serving on the board of directors at Priority One Worldwide, Inc. and Children’s House International as an adoption social worker. Jaimie’s interactions with diverse and courageous people in crisis compelled her to pursue a career in counseling and advocacy. Working with sexual assault survivors is and has been one of her greatest professional privileges and callings, and she is honored to be able to provide services to the individuals who call on the VSC for support.

Jaimie is committed to building a unique collaborative alliance with each client through reflective listening, empathy, respect, and humility. She has been trained in EMDR, exposure therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. She is also a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern. Jaimie believes in her client’s ability to heal and grow after experiencing all types of adversity; it is the privilege of her life to listen to their stories and provide support as they do so. She strives to empower and encourage both adults and children in their pursuit of mental health, healthy relationships, resilience, and purpose.

Deja – Victim Advocate/Crisis Counselor

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Déja obtained a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Déja is currently obtaining a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University and is set to graduate in December 2023. Before becoming the Overnight Victim Advocate, Déja was a Case Coordinator for the Orlando Health Child Protection Team and conducted forensic interviews. Déja has a passion for advocating for those who have endured various traumas. In her free time, Déja enjoys traveling.

Diana– Victim Advocate/Crisis Counselor

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Diana holds a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor degree in Social Work from Florida International University. During her time in New York, she had the privilege of interning at a victim service agency, where she had the opportunity to provide essential support to survivors of violence. This experience has been incredibly meaningful to her, as she witnessed firsthand the strengths and resilience of survivors and the positive impact that dedicated support can have on their lives. As a first-generation Latine Social Worker, she takes pride in offering bilingual (Spanish Speaking) services. Recently, having moved back to Florida she is determined to pursue a Clinical Social Work License. She eagerly looks forward to contributing to individuals’ healing journeys and providing assistance to those who seek support at the Victim Service Center.

Therapy

Sharon – Therapist

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Sharon is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida.  She earned her Master of Art in Counseling at Rollins College and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).  Believing that people are hard-wired to be in relationships, Sharon meets clients where they are and strives to create a therapeutic alliance in a safe, judgment-free space.  Counseling sessions are collaborative with a focus on identifying and nurturing clients’ strengths. Her therapeutic approach includes CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), solution-focused therapy, family systems therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).  “It is my honor to come alongside individuals, couples, and families to listen and process the fear and pain that is getting in their way of living a joyful life.”

Orialis – Therapist

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Orialis is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in the state of Florida. She earned her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Florida. Orialis’ therapeutic approach includes CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT-informed (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), self-compassion, and mindfulness. She strives to create an authentic and collaborative space with her clients for self-reflection, accountability, and growth. Orialis believes we are all deserving of self-forgiveness and self-compassion. She is bilingual and speaks both English and Spanish.

Estifani – LGBTQ+ Therapist

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Estifani is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida. Estifani holds a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College, where she also earned a Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. She deeply believes in the human capacity to heal, the possibility of designing and living a meaningful life, and the power of relationships and connection in helping us achieve our goals. Estifani uses a collaborative, trauma-informed, and strengths-based approach with each client to work towards their goals. Recognizing the importance of intersectionality and different life experiences, she strives to tailor treatment to each individual’s needs and goals.

Estifani is passionate about helping others heal from trauma and is currently trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Prolonged Exposure (PE). Past clinical experiences include working with individuals living with HIV/AIDS, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, college students, and the LGBTQ+ community.

Denise – Sexual Trauma Therapist

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Denise earned her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Carlos Albizu University, Florida. She is currently a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) Intern in Florida and working towards becoming a Licensed MFT. Denise has more than 20 years of experience in the mental health field and supportive roles, including detox/residential/outpatient addiction treatment and shelters. She has implemented a vast majority of clinical approaches to assist clients through their healing process. Denise’s therapeutic approach includes Person-Centered, Solution Focused Brief (SFBT), Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), Self-Compassion, Supportive Reflection, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive techniques. Denise is passionate about helping, empowering, and defending victims of abuse. She aims to provide a supportive, authentic warmth, free from judgment and biases, holding space for her client’s healing process. She is bilingual and speaks both English and Spanish.

Christina– Therapist

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(License MH15750) received her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1987. Additionally, she received her Masters of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College in 2015. Christina is a Certified EMDR Therapist.

Christina was inspired to become a mental health counselor when life threw her challenges that were too difficult to handle with the coping skills she had at the time. It was clear that in order to find peace she needed to find meaning in her own struggles. Her own therapeutic journey brought love and harmony back into her life. From feeling more connected in personal relationships to feeling authentic in difficult situations; the tools she learned changed the way she saw and interacted with the world around her. Today, as a mental health counselor, she finds great meaning and the most fulfillment from the opportunities she gets to support others as she once was.

Christina has a passion for helping those who want to find meaning in their lives. If you have ever asked yourself, “Are my unresolved feelings from the past keeping me from happiness today? Is letting go while I grieve overwhelming me? Am I unable to love myself and feel in control of my own life?” Then Christina can help you find your voice and tell your story.

Medical & Forensics

Corrine – SANE Coordinator

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Corrine Phillips is a Sexual Assault Nurse Coordinator for the Victim Service Center of Orlando covering Orange and Osceola counties.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Central Florida and her Masters of Science in Nursing with forensic specialty from Duquesne University. Corrine has thirteen years experience being a registered nurse with the last ten years in the emergency department. She became a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner by the International Association of Forensic Nurses in 2016.  She is currently the Director at Large board member for the International Association of Forensic Nurses.  Corrine is passionate about serving the community and bringing justice to victims of sexual assault.  Her goal is to provide compassionate care while working diligently to ensure every patient receives the care they deserve. Corrine is newly married and enjoys cooking, baking, and binge watching tv shows with her husband in her free time.

Community Awareness

Libba – Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator

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Libba is VSC’s Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. Having worked with communities in different capacities throughout her life, she believes one of the best ways we can support, engage with, and find community is through volunteering. Libba is passionate about systems of support that emphasize empowerment and trauma-informed care, and actively working towards a future without violence. In her off-time, she enjoys rock climbing, nature walks, and crossword puzzles to pass the time.

 

 Robert – Accounting  & Operations Director

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Robert comes to us from Maine and has almost 20 years’ of experience as an accountant, business manager, and assistant controller. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts-Lowelland and has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. He is very enthusiastic about helping others and is a great asset to the VSC team.

Brandi  Lead Therapist

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Brandi is the Lead Therapist and Clinical Manager at the Victim Service Center of Central Florida.  Brandi holds a Master’s Degree with Honors in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College, where she earned the Outstanding Graduate Student in Counseling award.  She previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Literature, which she completed as a non-traditional student. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Qualified Supervisor in the state of Florida. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and DBT Levels 1 & 2.  Brandi incorporates systemic awareness in her work and carefully considers clients’ lived experiences as part of their healing journey. She believes in the re-empowerment process for all survivors by facilitating an empathic and authentic therapeutic alliance. Brandi supports every human’s right to peace and freedom in their lives. Brandi enjoys reading, dog walking, spontaneous dance parties, comedy, and trashy reality TV shows – although she sometimes postulates the last two are one and the same.

Laura  – Office Manager (Bilingual)

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Laura has been our Office Manager for the Victim Service Center since 2002 and has over 20 years of professional experience in office administration.  She is responsible for day-to-day office management and sexual assault program support which includes working with the advocacy, therapy, and SANE staff in Orange County and Osceola County.  She manages, coordinates, and provides the front office and the Agency support functions to ensure effective and efficient operations to support the mission of the Victim Service Center of Central Florida.

Advocacy

Nicola – Victim Advocate/Crisis Counselor

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Nicola is a Victim Advocate and Crisis Counselor with VSC and received her Master of Social Work from the University of Central Florida. During her clinical year of her master’s program, Nicola completed a graduate internship at the Victim Service Center of Central Florida and earned the MSW Clinical Student of the Year Award. Nicola is currently a Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern with the state of Florida and is working towards becoming licensed in clinical social work. Nicola is a member of the Florida Crisis Response Team (FCRT) and is trained in the NOVA Crisis Intervention Model. Nicola is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is planning on becoming trained or certified in other treatment modalities over her career. In her free time, Nicola likes to play pickleball, read, go for walks, play the piano, and spend time with her family and pets.

Karla – Victim Advocate/Crisis Counselor

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Karla received her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of ITESUS Instituto Tecnologico Superior de Sinaloa, Mazatlan, Mexico in 2011. Karla also obtained her CCEI Certification in 2014 in Early Childhood and Prenatal and continues to build upon her education and skills. Karla has 11 years of experience focusing on families, children, and the community, working with low-income populations and non-profit organizations. Karla is bilingual in English and Spanish. She is excited to serve this community!

Sophia – Victim Advocate/Crisis Counselor

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Sophia Wolf graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Master of Social Work degree and previously graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. She began her work with the Victim Service Center of Central Florida as a clinical social work intern in 2022. She working to become a licensed clinical social worker and seeks to support clients through all of life’s challenges through empowerment, accessing personal and community resources, and supporting the strength and resiliency within each person. In her free time, Sophia enjoys painting, reading, and spending time with her dog, Shadow.

 

April– Advocacy Intern

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April will graduate from Rutgers University with a Master’s in Clinical Social Work and a graduate certification in Interpersonal Violence and Trauma, in May 2024. April joined the VSC team as an intern after gaining experience in trauma-informed care as a volunteer crisis counselor for Trevor Project and an HIV Tester/Counselor at The LGBTQ Center, Orlando. April is passionate about supporting those who have experienced violence and trauma in regaining equilibrium, seeking justice, and moving towards healing. April has completed Florida’s Advocacy Core Training and is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). They are also currently working on the Transgender Mental Health Care Certification through MSTI. Prior to switching careers, April worked as an educator in both Central Florida and the San Francisco Bay Area. They have a B.A in English and M.A in World Religions from USF and a Master’s in Education from FSC. For self-care they enjoy hiking – sometimes while listening to music or podcasts-, reading all kinds of fiction and non-fiction, working out, playing guitar/piano, and spending time with their human and canine loved ones.

Mariana– Advocacy Intern

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Mariana is a masters level intern at the VSC. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, she decided to continue her education at the University of Central Florida and is currently on the track to receiving a Masters in Social Work this upcoming Spring. Mariana has previously interned counseling children and has experience in private practice. Once Mariana graduates she intends on getting licensure and continue to primarily work with woman and children. Outside of social work, Mariana enjoys yoga, going for walks, being a foodie around Orlando, and traveling!

Vladimir – Therapist (Bilingual)

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Vladimir brings over 15 years of professional experience in the fields of social services, non-profits, government agencies, and clinical residential treatment facilities.  As a bi-cultural clinician of Latino descent and a veteran of the Navy, Vladimir learned to develop a participative therapeutic style with strong analytical skills that are complemented by an innate ability to connect with others via compassion and empathy.  Vladimir obtained a B.A. in Psychology from the City University of New York with an emphasis in Bio-Psychology and a minor in Sociology.  Vladimir pursued to further his knowledge of psychology by obtaining a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology (MSCP) with a dual licensing specialization degree in Marriage Family Therapy (MFT) and Professional Clinical Counseling (PCC) from Notre Dame de Namur University in California. Vladimir developed a passion for working with clients suffering from multiple diagnoses such as complex trauma (PTSD), depressive and anxiety disorders, and substance abuse disorders, as well as victims of domestic violence, couples, and families seeking to improve and develop relationship dynamics. Vladimir has a certification as a Domestic Violence Counselor in the state of California and has specialized trauma training in EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Vladimir is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Florida.

Natalee – Therapist

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Natalee is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with the state of Florida.  She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary. She is trained in brainspotting (BSP), Sand Tray Play Therapy, and Florida State Adoption Competency, and is also couples’ Certified Prepare and Enrich Facilitator. She incorporates her previously accomplished multi-faceted professional certifications to offer distinct approaches to meet her client’s needs. She brings a diverse professional background and compassionate approach to assist individuals with trauma, mood disorders, anxiety, depression, anger management, and emotional disturbances. She has a dynamic and optimistic attitude with a genuine heart and passion for all people. She has a unique and authentic therapeutic counseling approach integrating Person-Centered, Cognitive Behavioral, Narrative, and Strength-Based therapies. Natalee specializes in Healing and Informed Care for individuals, couples, and families to assist with empowered transformation.

Tamara – Therapist

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Tamara Nelson received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Florida (UCF). She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with the state of Florida, a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) with the Yoga Alliance, and trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Tamara has experience working in residential, outpatient, telemental health, and university/college settings.

Tamara’s areas of clinical focus include trauma and abuse recovery, religious/spiritual concerns, racial trauma, depressive and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and multicultural concerns. Tamara operates from the belief that all people have the capacity for healing and personal growth. She works in collaboration with clients to help them gain insight into their concerns and to achieve their identified goals. Her therapeutic approach includes person-centered, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral. Tamara is passionate about the mental health profession and raising mental health awareness in underserved communities.

Michelle – Therapist

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Michelle holds a Master of Arts Degree from Rollins College in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Certificate in Family and Relationship Therapy. Michelle is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and Registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern with the state of Florida, passionate about serving the community in ways that promote individual healing and growth, foster fulfilling interpersonal relationships, and increase social equality. Michelle’s focus is on the liberation found in healing from trauma. Her therapeutic approach is founded on the theory that early human interactions shape a person’s worldview and view of self and that core beliefs formed in childhood shape present-day experiences. Because social relationships are key to how narratives are developed, multicultural and feminist theories are also integral aspects of her approach. Michelle utilizes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, parts work (inspired by Internal Family Systems), and a systemic perspective to help clients heal, reclaim their power, and live life to the fullest. She also volunteers as a support group facilitator at the Healing Together conference for dissociative disorders. On a personal note, Michelle enjoys reading, being in nature, and adventuring with family and friends.

Mary – Therapist

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Mary acquired her B. An in psychology from Rollins College in 2020. She has continued her education at Rollins, pursuing an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a certificate in Family and Relationship Therapy. Mary has sought additional training by completing an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, obtaining a Gottman Level I training Certificate, and pursuing training as a Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). Her clinical interests include working with individuals, families, and couples, especially concerning anxiety, depression, childhood trauma, chronic and acute trauma, and relationship dynamics. She believes that every individual holds a capacity for resilience and that those personal strengths are already within. Her integrative orientation consists of mindfulness-based, compassion-focused, multicultural, and trauma-informed theories. Mary strives to create a compassionate, non-judgmental space that honors diverse and intersecting identities and allows for a collaborative alliance. As a Latinx woman, she must be able to integrate her personal experiences and passion for advocacy into her professional work. She serves our local counseling associations as a Student Liaison for the Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida (MHCCF) and Marketing Coordinator for the Central Florida Association for Family and Marriage Therapy (CFAMFT). In her free time, she likes going to the beach, trying new restaurants, reading, and exploring community events with her partner and daughter.

Dr. KJ – VSC Medical Director, Orange County Sexual Assault Treatment Center

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Dr. Lucinda Kjerulff, MD is a board-certified OB/GYN and a Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She is a graduate of the UF College of Medicine and UF Jacksonville OBGYN Residency Program. Dr. KJ is known for her compassionate care of women, community involvement, and leadership in national organizations. She currently practices as an OB/GYN Hospitalist at AdventHealth Celebration where she specializes in the care of hospitalized women, manages obstetrical emergencies, and cares for the medically indigent population. She is passionate about patient education & safety, decreasing maternal mortality, and the equitable care of all patients.

Kaylyn– Marketing, Outreach & Communications Coordinator

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Kaylyn is VSC’s Marketing, Outreach & Communications Coordinator and she has been in the nonprofit sector for 7 years. Previously, Kaylyn worked for Keep Brevard Beautiful for 5 years as their Programs Coordinator. Following that, she was a Grant Writer at Heritage Services Corporation, and then she decided to move to the Orlando area in search of greater career opportunities. Kaylyn is a UCF Alumni, she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Nonprofit Management in December of 2021. Following graduation, she decided to take on the harrowing journey of completing her Master’s Degree; she is currently headed into the second semester. Outside of work and school responsibilities, Kaylyn is an avid reader, a writer, and a hiker accompanied by her pit bull, Bear.