Stacy Anders, BCBA

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Stacy Anders joined the Hope Reach staff in October 2017.  She has more than five years of experience designing, implementing, and training therapists and families on the implementation of protocols used to increase language, social, and adaptive living skills for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities ranging from ages 24 months to 93 years. 
 
Stacy graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2010. She completed the Assistant Level Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate Program through Penn State University in 2011 and in 2012 became a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. In 2014 she received her Masters of Arts degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University and became a fully Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 
 
She began her career in Applied Behavior Analysis working as a line therapist providing ABA therapy to children in the home, school and community settings. Since then she has worked as a lead therapist, senior therapist, and clinic supervisor for children and adolescents participating in home and clinic based ABA programs. For the last two years she worked as the Director of Behavior Support Services at Babcock Center. She managed and oversaw the behavior department, provided supervision for the staff, and provided oversight and monitorship for approximately 200 adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities residing in Supervised Living Programs (SLPs), Community Training Homes (CTH I and CTH II), Community Residential Care Facilities (CRCFs), and Intermediate Care Facilities/Intellectual Disability Residences (ICF/IDs). Additional responsibilities she held included coordinating the Human Rights Committee and Psychotropic Drug Review meetings, serving on the quality assurance committee, people choice committee, and risk management committee, and conducting training on Positive Behavior Supports for new hire and new manager orientations and on a as needed basis for all staff employed by Babcock Center. 
 
Stacy enjoys working with a variety of learners and ages on the autism spectrum and is a strong believer in providing supports for individuals across their life span. She finds being a part of making meaningful differences in individuals lives rewarding and is excited to bring her experience to Hope Reach!

Les Burgess, BCBA

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Les has been working with Hope Reach since October 2012. Prior to coming to Hope, he spent time working with high school students in the public school system. His experience with ABA has come from working with Hope Reach.

Les’s favorite part of working with Hope is getting to witness meaningful change for both the children and their families. He says “every day spent working with Hope Reach is an extremely fulfilling experience; there is no better feeling than seeing a child get excited to see you each day and knowing that you are there to make a difference in that child’s life.”

Degrees: B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina
M.A.T. in Secondary Social Studies from Converse College and currently pursuing his BCBA from Florida Institute of Technology.

Hobbies: spending time with friends, trivia games, and proudly cheering on his beloved Gamecocks.

Meg Foster, BCBA

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Meg Foster joined the Hope Reach staff in May 2009. Her experience with ABA has come through Hope Reach. Prior to joining the Hope Reach team, Meg worked as a preschool teacher/administrator.

Meg's favorite parts of her job are working with families and getting to see her kids grow and learn.

Degrees: B.M., Vocal Performance, Converse College, 2006; M.A., Professional Behavior Analysis, 2015

Hobbies: When she isn't at work, you can probably find Meg performing in a local musical, reading, or hanging out with family and friends.

 

Joanna Haynes, BCBA

Joanna has been with Hope Reach since July 2009. Her experience with ABA has come through working at Hope Reach, but she has always loved working with and being around children.

Joanna feels privileged to be a member of such an amazing organization. She loves being apart of the lives of the children she works with as well as their families. “There is nothing more exciting than watching a child take pride in their accomplishments and no better feeling than receiving an unexpected smile or hug during a session.” She has worn several hats throughout her time at Project Hope Foundation including: line therapist, senior therapist, BTG preschool teacher, PDD Consultant, and is now thrilled to be a case supervisor and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)!  Joanna is Co-Coordinator of the BTG Program.

Degrees: B.A. in Psychology, minor in music from Converse College, 2012

M.A in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology, 2015

Joanna is actively involved at the Spartanburg Little Theatre and also enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Andrea Hudspeth, BCBA

Andrea began working for Hope Reach in July of 2008.  Her first experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum was in high school through a peer mentorship program, but she continued to work with both typically developing and special needs children through college.  Andrea joined the Hope Reach team as Line Therapist, working both in one-on-one and classroom settings.  She transitioned into a Senior Therapist position in December of 2010.  Andrea received a B.A. in Pschyology from Furman University in 2008, and a M.A. in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology in September 2015.

In addition to working with Hope Reach clients, Andrea serves as Coordinator for the Bridging the Gap (BTG) program.  In June of 2011 Andrea, along with Alaric Gwynn, launched the first BTG classroom as a summer pilot.  She taught with Alaric for the first 3 years of the program before moving to the BTG Coordinator position.  BTG now has 6 classrooms ranging from preschool to middle school.  As BTG Coordinator, Andrea works with Hope Academy to oversee the admissions process as well as training and development of BTG teachers.  She is highly involved in the development of classroom curriculums and setup, working closely with the teachers to maintain positive and productive classrooms.

Andrea enjoys working with children and staff to make positive and functional changes in the lives of Hope families.  She also enjoys working on special Hope events because they bring together staff, families, and friends to further community awareness about autism.

Marley Olejnik

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Marley Olejnik joined the Hope Reach staff in June of 2010. Her experience with ABA has come through Hope Reach.

Marley’s favorite part of her job is seeing her children learn new skills and the improvement in the family’s home life with the child’s new skills. Marley finds something special in every child and loves to watch the children blossom.

Degree: B.A. in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University, M.A. in Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology

Hobbies: Traveling, shopping, live music and spending times with friends and family.

Niki Porter, BCBA

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Niki began working with hope in January of 2012 as a line therapist, after graduating from Clemson in December of 2011. In April of 2013, Niki became a lead therapist. In the summer of 2014, Niki taught the K5/1st grade Bridging the Gap program. 

Before coming to Hope, Niki had an internship in Colombia, South America at a school for children and adolescents with Autism, Down Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy which is what truly sparked my interest for working in this field. Niki has completed the FIT program and received a Masters in Professional Behavior Analysis in 2015. 

Niki enjoys working not only with our children, but also their families and other caregivers involved in their lives and seeing the impact that the training they receive has on their entire family's everyday life.

Katie Pyhala, BCBA

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Katie has been with Hope Reach since January 2011. She gained her experience in ABA through Hope Reach.

Katie finds it rewarding to work with families, and to help them overcome the everyday obstacles that they face. She loves working with children and helping them to reach their full potential. She enjoys teaching them how to play and interact with others.

Degree: B.S. in Psychology from North Greenville University

M.A. in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology in September 2015

 

Amanda Rafkah, BCBA

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Amanda Rafkah joined Project HOPE as a line therapist in May 2010; her passion for autism and ABA has continued to grow through her years at Hope Reach. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Psychology and Christian Studies from North Greenville University in 2011. By 2015 Amanda had completed her master's degree in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Amanda moved to Charleston, SC in July 2015 to expand Hope Reach's services to families in the coastal region. Amanda has experience working in the school systems, in homes, in clinics, and providing ABA training to various individuals. She loves her job and gets excited every day to see the progress in her clients and to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals with autism.

When she isn't at work, Amanda enjoys to travel, drink coffee, and explore Charleston's beaches.

Jon Todd, BCBA

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Jon joined the Hope Reach Staff in February 2010. His ABA experience has come throughout his time at Hope Reach. Prior to joining Hope Reach, Jonathan has worked as a counselor at special needs camps in South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Jonathan’s favorite part of his job is working one-on-one with the kids and watching them grow on a daily basis. Having a parent tell you about the positive changes they see in their kids is what makes this job the best.

Degree: B.M., Psychology, University of South Carolina Upstate, 2012 and pursuing a masters in ABA from Florida Institute of Technology.

Hobbies: Traveling, road trips, and watching the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Gamecocks win!

Shannon Thompson, BCBA

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Shannon began working at Hope Reach in June of 2012. After being introduced to Applied Behavior Analysis through a college course, she has pursued further experience in ABA at Hope Reach. 

Her favorite part of working at Hope is the opportunity to learn each child's individual personality and sense of humor. She also enjoys being able to see the children take pride in their accomplishments. 

Degree: BS in Psychology from North Greenville University
Degree:: Masters in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology 

Hobbies: Spending time at the lake and beach, reading, cooking, hiking, and being active.