Through Her Eyes 2019 -Workshop Descriptions

AM Workshops

Rachael Eramo and Jane Chevalier, Hampden County District Attorney’s Office

Commercial Sexual Exploitation is a public health crisis; it does exist in Hampden County and across the state. This workshop will take you through the investigative steps that begin the moment a concerned individual files a 51A report of suspected individual at risk to a mock interview of a victim. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of how to ensure victim safety, how to be part of a team that ensures a solid investigation and the importance of communication among all MDT members.

All Audiences

Nikki Bell, Living In Freedom Together (LIFT)

Nikki Bell

Often in work to end commercial sexual exploitation the terms “Survivor-led” and “Survivor informed” are used as a stamp of approval without actually evaluating what these terms mean and without defined standards to evaluate if they are accurately describing engagement with survivors.  In this workshop we will delve into what survivor leadership looks like and how to encourage participation of young women and girls in their exit planning and community organizing.

All Audiences

Melissa Hughes, LMHC, Therapist for Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Melissa Hughes

The presentation will provide an overview of the four core modules in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills training including mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation and distress tolerance. This model of therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thinking patterns, by encouraging positive behavioral changes. DBT may be used to treat suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors and typically includes individual and group therapy, plus crisis management.

All Audiences

Kasey Corsello, Integrative Coaching

Kasey Corsello

In this mindfulness workshop, you will learn to be the creator of peace and calm within so that you can hold that space for the clients you serve. When things are chaotic and seem to be out of control, learn tools to help you find peace in the noise. You can be the generator of peace by finding it first within yourself. Learn to move from a loving intention and see how you can shift things around you. This is an experiential process where you will be learning tools to respond from a calm place instead of react. Just because things are spinning on the outside doesn’t mean they have the spin on the inside. As you learn and practice in your own life, you can then teach it to your clients.

All Audiences

James Shultis, Safe Schools Program – MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth

James Shultis

Join us for an interactive workshop to equip yourself with better ways to support trans, gender nonconforming, and non-binary youth in our community. By exploring a variety of resources as well as tried and true best practices; you’ll be able to update your toolbox with some common language/ terms, some advocacy items, and a refreshed perspective on the experiences of trans young people.

All Audiences

Deborah Becerra, Center for Human Development

Deborah Becerra

At least one in three girls and 20 percent of adult women report experiencing at least one episode of sexual abuse. And while this is the reported number, the actually percentage is quite higher. In order to provide these already traumatized girls and women with the most appropriate treatment, it is essential to find out “what happened to them” rather than focusing exclusively on the distressing symptoms and disruptive behaviors that lead them to counseling. The presentation will focus on a strength-based model of counseling that destigmatizes symptoms of trauma.

All Audiences

Lisa Zarcone, Self-Employed Author & Public Speaker

Lisa Zarcone

This workshop will cover the author’s book and work with NAASCA. She will give a brief overview of how she became an author, advocate and pubic speaker. She will share her story and bring the audience into the child’s world dealing with loss, trauma, abuse, vulnerability and resilience. She will discuss the healing process, the power of validation and a strong voice. Finally, she will discuss her mother’s battle with mental illness and how it affected her life.

All Audiences

Kathy Picard and Michael Fitzgerald, Sexual Abuse Prevention Advocates, Authors & Speakers

Kathy Picard

Sexual Abuse Survivors Kathy Picard and Michael Fitzgerald present to you their childhood experiences. What they did to make positive changes in their lives to have a Happy, Healthier and Safer adulthood. Kathy’s Award-Winning Book, Life with My Idiot Family A True Story of Survival, Courage and Justice over Childhood Sexual Abuse will be available to purchase! Handouts will be provided.

All Audiences

Brittany Gordon, YWCA of Western MA

Brittany Gordon

We will explore media messages around body acceptance, rape culture, and objectification directed toward young women in our society. These messages are damaging and harmful, and make it difficult for young women to cultivate healthy self-esteem and live violence free lives.

All Audiences

Dr. Audrey Murph-Brown and Tracy Yolanda Sasanecki, Springfield School Systems

Dr. Audrey Murph-Brown

Tracy Yolanda Sasanecki

There is a clear connection between mental health and academic performance. Trauma- exposed girls, and students diagnosed with mental illnesses may demonstrate academic inconsistencies. It is not unusual to see a student’s cognitive and emotional state fluctuate between extreme highs and debilitating lows. Mental health providers are valuable participants in supporting educators to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to support the academic and behavior success of female students.

All Audiences

PM Workshops

Jacqueline Bearce, Cambridge College

Jacqueline Bearce

This is an experiential workshop with opportunities to dialogue about early learning about one’s own race and the races of others and the impact of this learning on self-esteem and interpersonal relationships.

All Audiences

Katrina Eberly and Kelsey Worline, Victims Rights Law Center

Learn about legal advocacy as a critical component to the remedies and rights available to minor sexual assault survivors during the criminal justice process in areas such as privacy, safety and education.



Nneanata Amaechi and Tynicha Drummonds, Fire Red Hearts INC

Nneanata Amaechi

Tynicha Drummonds

Trying to live up to society’s standards, social media popularity, and the change in employment and technology can be extremely intimidating. How do we manifest our dreams and desires? How are we liberated from our fears? This presentation explores ways to discover and express our unique gifts and interests. Participants will learn how their thoughts have become their beliefs and how these beliefs have become their reality. Too often, we unconsciously sabotage success and resist change at all costs. Activities and discussion will help individuals identify and challenge personal scripts that they have accepted about themselves. Envisioning and believing in our specific dreams and desires is a powerful process.

All Audiences

Robin Slavin, LMHC, Center for Human Development and Private Practice

Robin Slavin, LMHC

The Opioid Crisis has been deemed an epidemic and the impact on young people has been devastating. This workshop will explore the origins of the epidemic, how it spread, and current policies. Discussion will include prevention, treatment options, and a view through a social justice lens.

All Audiences

Yoshi Bird, Aisha Pizarro, and Dalila Cardona, YWCA

Yoshi Bird

This workshop will provide an overview of current strategies and challenges in developing programming for adult survivors of commercial sexual exploitation within a framework of domestic violence-oriented services. Presenters will discuss collaborations among law enforcement, social workers, and human services. The workshop will contextualize the work within national frameworks and identify strategies to bridge the divide between survivors and providers.

Intermediate Audience

Kellie Beaulieu and Irene Woods, Northwestern District Attorney’s Office

Kellie Beaulieu

Irene Woods

This workshop will educate service providers on how to recognize the signs of child physical and sexual abuse and exploitation. Participants will learn about the disclosure process, as well as how to respond to disclosures of abuse.

All Audiences

Karen Silberstein, psychotherapist and Sarah Cavanaugh, a 20-year-old woman with cerebral palsy and autism

Karen Zilberstein

Sarah Cavanaugh

“I am not stupid, I am just different” Children and adolescents with disabilities experience much higher rates of bullying and abuse than typically developing children, but at the same time are less likely to receive the services and supports they need. A veteran psychotherapist and you women with physical and cognitive disabilities will discuss what professionals do that either help or hurt. Sarah will share her experiences and that of her twin sister, who is severely disabled. The presentation will include the research-based program components necessary to help children with disabilities thrive in school, psychotherapy and their communities.

Intermediate Audiences

Dr. Cheryl Green, Southern Connecticut State University

Dr. Cheryl Green

The journey to fearless can be uncomplicated when tools for overcoming obstacles are presented first to young women rather than barriers. Empowering, while embracing the dreams of girls, teaches them to have a vision that supercedes their past.

Intermediate Audiences

Melissa Orazio and Valerie Kinglsey, Hillcrest Educational Centers

Melissa Orazio

Valerie Kingsley

This workshop will provide an overview of one agency’s experience developing a gender responsive residential program for high risk adolescent girls. The unique, and often challenging, needs of this population and common barriers to effective service provision will be addressed. The use of the youth’s perspective in program development, implementation and staff training will be highlighted.

Intermediate Audiences

Maureen Ross Gemme, MS Ed, Emerge Leadership Academy, LLC

Maureen Ross Gemme, MS Ed

What you think and believe is crucial to the rate of your personal and professional growth as well as to any area of your life where you may feel stuck or unhappy. With a few small shifts of self-awareness you can experience a transformation and teach others how to do it too. It all starts with your beliefs. In this workshop you will learn how to identify the beliefs that may be holding you back and learn how to change them to make a bigger impact in every area of your life. This enables you to not only create a life you design and love, it enables you to help others do the same so everyone has a voice and can make an impact at the table.

All Audiences

Samantha Theobald, Damsel in Defense, Independent Damsel PRO

Samantha Theobald

Equip your daughters/students/clients with the tools they need to protect their bodies and their hearts. Empowered with education and communication, they will less likely become a statistic. And empower them to keep themselves safe.

Please note, this will be an active workshop – please dress appropriately!

All Audiences