Staff

Verna, Ophelia Place’s Executive Director
In Verna’s words, “I do everything I can to make sure systems, resources, equipment and technology is in place so all of Ophelia’s Place staff can do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible.” Verna has a Liberal Arts degree in Economics from Willamette University and an MBA from Oregon State University. Before coming to Ophelia’s Place, Verna had experience in retail management, industrial sales, and working with school administrators both in the K-12 system and at the university level. Verna loves the challenge of organizing the staff and work at Ophelia’s Place to best serve, girls, families and schools. She is most excited about introducing and growing Ophelia’s Place in other communities.

Verna would tell her 13-year-old self to do whatever you do with love in your heart and good things will follow.

You can contact Verna at verna@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 101.

Laura, Program Director
Laura is responsible for clinical oversight of all direct services to youth and supervision of staff. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Approved Supervisor in the state of Oregon, as well as a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC). Laura is also one of two therapists in the city of Eugene who is a nationally certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Therapist.

After graduating from Webster University with an MA in Counseling, Laura was a prevention specialist in the field of domestic and sexual violence prevention before working as a mental health therapist specializing in the treatment of trauma of youth, ages 0-18. She has been with Ophelia’s Place since 2012, and in 2016 she was recognized for her work as a “20 Under 40” Rising Business Star in Eugene-Springfield.

Laura would tell her 13-year-old self to do the things you like rather than the things you think others will, be kind to everyone, help others, and learn about the importance of saving money early.

You can contact Laura at laura@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-433 ext. 102.

Sarah, Development Director
As Ophelia’s Place’s development director, Sarah connects donors and funders to our programs that empower girls and their peers. A scientist by training, Sarah studied biology at UC Davis and the University of Oregon. After graduate school, she worked in the Advancement Office at the UO with both donors and private funders on projects large and small. It was here that Sarah first met Rosaria Haugland, and later joined the board of Ophelia’s Place. Outside of OP Sarah serves on the boards of the Eugene Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN), and Unity School.

Sarah would tell her 13-year-old self that the world needs all kinds of people to make it whole – it is ok to have different interests. Keep heading in the direction that captures your imagination!

You can contact Sarah at sarah@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 107.

Sofie, Bilingual Office Manager
Sofie is one of the first faces you’ll see when you visit Ophelia’s Place in Eugene. As the office manager, Sofie directs visitors and girls into our space, assists with appointments, and helps answer initial questions over the phone. She graduated from Long Beach City College and worked with in a dermatologist’s office in Marina Del Rey shortly thereafter. When she moved to Oregon in 2013, she fell in love with everything the state has to offer – even the snow. One of her long-term goals is to own her own business one day, and is currently enrolled at as a part-time student at Lane Community College to get there. She recently had a baby girl, “who is the best thing that could have happened to me.”

She would tell her 13-year-old self to work very hard and don’t stop until you are where you want to be.

You can contact Sophie at sophie@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 500.

 

Teri, Communications Coordinator
Teri works with local media and targeted online marketing avenues to give the community a glimpse of the greatness inside the colorful, welcoming, safe space Ophelia’s Place hold for our girls. After graduating from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, she was a daily newspaper reporter in Pendleton. She transitioned into marketing on the California Central Coast, where she worked at public relations and marketing firms. It was there where she honed her specialization in digital marketing strategy. Now that she’s back home in Eugene, she splits her time between Ophelia’s Place and a downtown Eugene marketing agency.

Teri would tell her 13-year-old self to not be afraid to chase the things that inspire her. Because they’re pretty amazing.

You can contact Teri at teri@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 112.

River, Site Coordinator
As Site Coordinator, River trains and supervises OP’s interns and volunteers, provides orientations to new girls, oversees the After and Out of School Program, and offers resources and referrals to girls and families. River has expertise in issues of poverty, eating disorders, body positivity, anti-oppression work, youth advocacy, and girls/women’s empowerment. In addition to these topics, she also trains students and professionals in self-care practices as a core component of providing quality care. River is committed to approaching every person she works with from a human-centered, compassionate, and respectful viewpoint and feels especially fortunate to be able to support adolescents in her daily work. She has taught at the University of Oregon for the Family and Human Services program and is on their Advisory Board. She has also been a guest teacher for the Couples and Families Therapy Master’s program at UO and Pacific University’s Master of Social Work program. Prior to OP, River worked at Options Counseling Services and First Place Family Center.

River would tell her 13-year-old self that there is nothing wrong with your body. Don’t focus on comparing yourself to others. And don’t worry about being “good enough”-you are exactly enough as you are.

You can contact River at river@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 104.

Abby, Youth Activities Coordinator
Abby works with our partners in the community to create the exciting events that go on during our After and Out of School Program. She first joined Ophelia’s Place as an intern and volunteer. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Women and Gender Studies and Spanish, she left Eugene in order to pursue her career in working with youth. While practicing as a skills trainer in a residential treatment facility for kids, she worked to facilitate engaging, educational, and enjoyable activities that would allow space for youth to connect with each other and rest of the community. However, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to re-join Ophelia’s Place, and now spends her time working with the girls at OP to expand program and brainstorm activities that are irresistible!

Abby would tell her 13-year-old self to be as goofy as possible, because there are too many serious people already.

You can contact Abby at abby@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 109.

Yuki, School Program Coordinator
Yuki works with schools in the 4J, Springfield and Bethel districts to provide girls empowerment groups and classroom presentations to students in our community. Presentation topics include Conflict Resolution, Digital Decisions, Internet Safety, Media and Body Image, Healthy Relationships and our anti-bullying presentation titled, Peers as Allies. For the last several years, Yuki has been dedicated to providing school-based services to students statewide. Yuki graduated from the Family and Human Services program at the University of Oregon in 2014. Yuki interned at Ophelia’s Place during her junior and senior years when she began facilitating girls’ empowerment groups and classroom presentations. She hasn’t stopped since.

Yuki would tell her 13-year-old self that she is enough, exactly as she is. So often girls are taught that they’re not pretty enough, smart enough, competent enough or qualified enough to do certain things or pursue what matters to them. But ultimately, girls are immensely powerful and perfectly enough and are going to change the world.

You can contact Yuki at yuki@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 100.

Kyra, Training & Education Coordinator
Kyra works with educators, youth-serving professionals, and community members to share and incorporate OP’s expertise into trainings for the many different adults who care about youth. She also helps coordinate “Parents’ Night In” events, where mothers can gather in private homes to discuss topics relevant to raising teen girls. Kyra has worked with teens and girls in particular for more than 20 years. Prior to working at OP, she helped direct the Camp Avalon Safe Passages for Girls Program, facilitated empowerment-based afterschool groups through Girls, Inc., and worked with homeless and runaway youth through Looking Glass Youth & Family Services. She holds degrees in Community & Human Service and Social & Behavioral Science, and is presently completing her MSW.

She would tell her 13-year old self to make new friends and stay connected to the good ones, share her feelings with the people who really care, and keep an open mind.

You can contact Kyra at kyra@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 105.

Yvonne, School Program Assistant
Yvonne spends her time at Ophelia’s Place empowering and educating students all over Oregon in a classroom setting. She presents on topics such as media and body image, healthy relationships, conflict resolution, and being an ally. Yvonne started interning at Ophelia’s Place in 2014 and continued until she graduated with a degree in Family and Human Service from the University of Oregon in 2016. During Yvonne’s time as an intern, she found a passion for our services offered in school programs. Once out of college, Yvonne spent time practicing her skills learned as an intern at OP while working as a social service assistant at an all-girls residential treatment facility. Yvonne joined the OP team in Fall 2017. Yvonne’s passion for empowering young women has her excited for a career supporting OP’s mission of empowering, educating, and supporting young women to make healthy life choices.

Yvonne’s advice to her 13-year-old self would be, “You are worth it. Continue to practice using your voice and advocating for yourself and others. Never lose your ambition and continue to value compassion.”

You can contact Yvonne at yvonne@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 209.

Parisa, Therapist
In therapy, Parisa joins with girls and families as they develop their strengths and spark momentum toward positive change. Therapy with Parisa is girl-led, goal-focused and trauma-informed, and incorporates aspects of mindfulness practice. Parisa earned her MS in Couples and Family Therapy at the University of Oregon, where she took on a narrative therapy approach that highlights the meaningful stories people hold about their lives. Prior to becoming a therapist, Parisa worked in early childhood education and child and family studies research. She is experienced and interested in serving diverse communities, including LGBTQIA youth and youth with disabilities and chronic illness.

Her advice to her 13-year-old self: Life will be the most beautiful, messy, and exciting when you let go of expectations and follow your own path. Your voice, feelings, thoughts, and experiences matter.

You can contact Parisa at parisa@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 111.

Jessica, Therapist
As an intersectional feminist who is deeply committed to social justice, Jessica is keenly aware of the cultural, social, and political factors that are often connected to the problems people bring to therapy. Her approach to therapy is empowerment-focused and trauma-informed, and she primarily utilizes a combination of feminist family and emotionally-focused therapies. She incorporates Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) when appropriate. Jessica graduated with her MS from the University of Oregon’s Couples and Family Therapy Program. She brings with her a decade of anti-violence work experience from her past positions with Sexual Assault Support Services, the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, and Sexual Violence Prevention and Education services at the University of Oregon.

Jessica’s advice to her 13-year old self: You don’t have to waste any more time comparing yourself to others. Be brave and bold and trust yourself. All the things that make you different, all the things that set you apart – these are the best and most interesting parts of you. Embrace your inner weirdo because she’s awesome.

You can contact Jessica at jessica@opheliasplace.net or 541-284-4333 ext. 103.

 

Junction City Staff

Anuhea, Junction City Program Coordinator
Anuhea oversees the Junction City programs by coordinating school services in the Tri-County area and managing the Junction City site. Anuhea was born and raised in Kealakekua, HI and moved to Oregon in 2011 to attend Pacific University. In her final year of graduate school, she accepted a position at Ophelia’s Place as a master’s level Social Work Intern where she built upon her previous direct service experience through individual strengths-based therapy and girls’ empowerment group facilitation. She graduated from Pacific’s Master of Social Work program in 2017 before joining Ophelia’s Place in her current position. She feels extremely grateful and fulfilled to work for an organization that gives so many young girls opportunities to learn and grow in an empowering environment.

Anuhea would tell her 13-year-old self that you don’t have to be perfect! It’s okay to fail, in fact some of the most valuable learning comes from failing.

You can contact Anuhea at anuhea@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 115.

Shea, Junction City Youth Activities Coordinator
Shea organizes events for the after and out of school program in Junction City, as well as participates in school services within the tri-county area. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a liberal arts degree, Shea moved to Spain and became a teaching assistant in bilingual public schools through the Spanish government. She held a variety of positions during the off-season, one of which being an assistant manager at a youth hostel in Austin, TX. However, it was in her work in the Dominican Republic with a local community where her passion with languages was sparked, and she became dedicated to learning Spanish and using it within her professional life. Shea hopes that by being able to speak Spanish, her work in Junction City will be more inclusive and available for marginalized groups.

She would tell her 13-year-old self to celebrate herself, keep making art in any form, and that it does get better.

You can contact Shea at shea@opheliasplace.net or (541) 284-4333 ext. 215.

 

Albany Staff

Celeste, Albany School Program Coordinator
Celeste is dedicated to providing Girls’ Empowerment Groups and classroom presentations to middle and high schools in Albany. She is continuing to grow Ophelia’s Place programs in Albany. Celeste holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oregon. After participating in a fundraiser for Ophelia’s Place in 2012, Celeste promptly applied for an internship with the agency. Since she was hired as staff in 2015, she’s experienced various roles at Ophelia’s Place – from coordinating youth activities to leading marketing and communications efforts, and working directly with girls.

She would tell her 13-year-old self to be bold, take the lead, and to not let her inner critic or other people hold her back from pursuing her dreams.

You can contact Celeste at celeste@opheliasplace.net or (541) 730-4356.

 

Rosaria P. Haugland, Founder and Benefactor
Rosaria was born in Italy, as one of six children and has lived in Eugene for more than 30 years. Latin, literature and exposure to opera were early inspirations for Rosaria in what would be a lifetime of learning. Rosaria was the first in her family to graduate from college, and then went on to earn advanced degrees in microbiology and biochemistry. Merging marriage and science, Rosaria and Dick Haugland formed Molecular Probes in 1975 where their pioneering work led to the development of florescent probes which are used to label and detect cell functions and activities. During this time she raised two children. Since retiring from her work in science, Rosaria has been involved in volunteer leadership in many community organizations. Rosaria’s commitment to strong healthy girls is the foundation of Ophelia’s Place.

Rosaria would tell 13-year-old self, “Enjoy learning. The knowledge that you will accumulate will stay with you and help you for life. Nobody can take it from you. Do not forget that you have responsibilities to yourself, your loved ones, people and your environment. This will make you self-assured and at least content when not happy.”