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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 (541) 284-4333 ext. 101 or by email at verna@opheliasplace.net

Laura, Vice President of Programs, LPC #C3046

Laura is responsible for clinical oversight of all direct services to youth, program leadership, and supervision of staff at Ophelia’s Place. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Approved Clinical Supervisor in the state of Oregon, as well as a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC). Laura is also is a nationally certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Therapist; TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma and their parents or caregivers.

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 birth to 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 (541) 284-433 ext. 102.

Hadee, Vice President of Development

Hadee oversees fundraising initiatives and donor relationships that support the amazing work at Ophelia’s Place. Prior to joining OP, Hadee was the corporate relations manager at FOOD For Lane County. Before starting his career in the non-profit world, Hadee was a vice president and branch manager of a local retail bank. Born and raised in Eugene, Hadee earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in Economics with a minor in Business. Shortly after earning his degree, Hadee joined the Peace Corps as a rural health and sanitation volunteer in Paraguay, South America. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Springfield Education Foundation. When he is not busy raising funds for Ophelia’s Place, Hadee enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and catching a fútbol match.

He would tell his 13-year-old self to be strong enough to laugh at yourself, be bold enough to embrace your mistakes, and proud enough to know who you are.

You can reach Hadee at at 541-284-4333, ext. 107.

Nikki, Development Assistant

Nikki works with the development director to manage donor information, assist in planning fundraising events, and support the communications director in marketing planning and execution. A Utah-native, Nikki moved to Oregon to get a fresh perspective while pursuing her MBA, and to enjoy the beautiful outdoors of the PNW. After graduating from the University of Oregon in December 2019, she began looking for volunteer opportunities and discovered Ophelia’s Place, where she started working as a marketing intern in February of 2020. She has a passion for important causes and issues and as a former teenage girl, she wishes all OP services and programs were available to girls everywhere. Her goals include taking OP statewide, and then nationwide. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading, crafting, and visiting the Oregon coast with her husband and their dog Scout.

Nikki would tell her 13 year old self to enjoy being a kid while it lasts and to not be afraid to take risks and try new things.

Francia, Office Manager
Francia is the first face you’ll see when you visit our Eugene location. As our bilingual office manager and receptionist, Francia sets up appointments for new girls who wish to use the space, assists parents with questions about the programs and resources, and serves as direct contact with Spanish-speaking families. Yearning for a change from companies whose aim was to make a profit for its top executives, Francia decided to use her skills and abilities for an organization that provides services to youth. Her previous office management experience helps her organize and implement systems to keeps things running like a well-oiled machine, and assists staff on tasks and projects as needed. Francia is a notary public, and is also responsible for keeping an eye on facility issues and concerns while being in-tune with safety protocols for the Haugland Building. Finally, she is our resident dead-pan human specialist and facial expression connoisseur.

Francia would tell her 13-year-old self to always work hard and set goals, take advantage of all the resources available to you in order to become your best self, and always remember your current situation is not your permanent destination.

You can contact Francia at (541) 284-4333 ext 106.

Anna, Executive Assistant
Anna provides invaluable assistance to the executive director and the rest of the OP team as the Executive Assistant. Although she spent most of her life in Medford, she has lived all over the country including California, Florida, and Minnesota. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology from Oregon State University where she had a scientific paper published on her feral cat research. She has always had a focus in non-profit work, particularly humane societies which she has been involved in since age 11.

Anna’s advice to her 13 year-old self would be to not let anyone dull your sparkle. You are the only one who can define yourself. You can be your greatest enemy but you are also your strongest ally. Do not let the voices around you stop you from loving yourself.

You can contact Anna at (541) 284-4333 ext 116.

Teri, Communications Director
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.

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 (541) 284-4333 ext. 112.

River, Training & Outreach Coordinator
River is responsible for introducing Ophelia’s Place to new audiences and communities, and offering a range of professional development trainings to youth-serving staff. River has expertise in issues of youth advocacy, girls/women’s empowerment poverty, eating disorders, body positivity, anti-oppression work, healthy communication, and team building. In addition to these topics, she is passionate about teaching 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 and those who work with them. She has been at Ophelia’s Place since 2011 and is grateful to be surrounded by an incredible team of generous, funny, and (mostly) cat-loving people.

River would tell her 13-year-old self: there is nothing wrong with your body, bodies aren’t meant to all look the same. Don’t focus on comparing yourself to others, let your own unique self shine! You are exactly enough just as you are.

You can contact River at (541) 284-4333 ext. 104.

Abby, After and Out-of-School Program Coordinator
Abby works with OP staff, community partners, and interns/volunteers to create activities, events, and other ways for girl-identified youth to get involved at Ophelia’s Place. She knows it is a priority that the events and activities at OP are relevant, interesting, and empowering for the girls in our communities. And of course, she likes to make sure they’re fun too! After graduating from the University of Oregon in 2016 with her Bachelors Degree in Women and Gender Studies and Spanish, and spending a few years as an intern at OP, she left to gain experience working to support youth in residential treatment. During this time she worked as a skills-trainer, helping youth cope with trauma, mental illness, and other hardships. However, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to re-join Ophelia’s Place and started her position as a staff 2017. She now spends her time working with girls and supporting the After-and-Out of School Program with bad jokes, self-care tips, and fantasy book recommendations. What is most important to Abby about her work at Ophelia’s Place is that she has the opportunity to support all girls and young women in finding their strength, resilience, and confidence in who they are.

Abby would tell her 13-year-old self that everyone does embarrassing things, (and I mean, everyone) so try not to worry about it too much. Just remember that the people who care don’t really matter, and the people who matter don’t really care!

You can contact Abby at (541) 284-4333 ext. 109.

Yuki, School Program Director

Yuki oversees all school programming with our school partners all over Oregon. She creates and updates school group curriculum and classroom presentations, and oversees adult education for school staff and parents. Since 2012, Yuki has provided school-based services to students and staff. She interned at Ophelia’s Place during her junior and senior years when she began facilitating girls’ empowerment groups and classroom presentations. Yuki then graduated from the Family and Human Services program at the University of Oregon in 2014 and became an OP staff member that September. For almost the last decade Yuki has fallen more in love with the Ophelia’s Place organization and has no plans on stopping doing this work any time soon.

Yuki would tell her 13-year-old self that she is enough, and doesn’t need validated by other people. 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 (541) 284-4333 ext. 100.

Jessica, Senior Therapist and Clinical Supervisor, LPC # C5736
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; she integrates Emotionally-Focused Therapy, Family Systems Trauma Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), along with Polyvagal Theory and Mindfulness skills. Jessica graduated with her MS from the University of Oregon’s Couples and Family Therapy Program in 2015 and has since completed additional training as a clinical supervisor. In this role, she provides mentorship and guidance to registered therapist interns and student therapy interns at Ophelia’s Place. She brings with her a decade of anti-violence and trauma-response 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 541-284-4333 ext. 103.

Rikki, LMFT Intern Therapist

Rikki believes that creating a strong relationship with her clients is the most important thing in order for therapy to be successful. She offers individual therapy to girl-identified youth, and is trained in Family Systems Trauma – a family therapy model that used for families who have experienced trauma. She also uses Satir’s experiential therapy, emotion-focused, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness. Among other topics, Rikki focuses on trauma, parenting, body image, and disordered eating with her clients. Before joining staff, Rikki served as a therapy intern at Ophelia’s Place while earning and graduating with her MS from the University of Oregon’s Couples and Family Therapy Program in 2019. She also interned for the Center for Healthy Relationships where she provided therapy to families and individuals, including children and adults. She also volunteered with Courageous Kids, a non-profit that provides support to children experiencing grief due to the loss of a loved one. She is supervised by Laura Sanchez, LPC # C3046.

Rikki would tell her 13-year-old self: Don’t be afraid to be yourself; embrace what makes you unique. Having the courage to be one’s authentic self does wonders for self-worth.

You can contact Rikki at 541-972-3554.

Melissa, LMFT Intern Therapist

As an Ophelia’s Place therapist, Melissa focuses on empowering a client through their strengths. She graduated from University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2013 with a BA in Anthropology, and then from University of Oregon in June 2019 with an MS in Couples and Family Therapy. She was an intern at Ophelia’s Place before joining staff. As a therapist who utilizes Narrative and Satir therapy models, Melissa believes we can’t separate a person from the greater social, political, and cultural aspects in their lives. She is supervised by Laura Sanchez, LPC # C3046.

She would tell her 13-year-old self: Trust yourself. Surround yourself with people who appreciate your unique and odd qualities. You are not the only one who struggles, and it helps to talk about it! Stand up for yourself and others. Most importantly, remember to have fun and continue to embrace the silliness.

You can contact Melissa at 541-284-4333, ext. 111.

Ana, LMFT Intern Therapist

Listening to a client’s story allows Ana to provide therapy based on each girl’s unique context. She operates from a narrative and systemic lens to create a safe and judgment-free space for her clients. Everyone inherently has the strengths to achieve their goals, and sometimes just need a little extra support and guidance. Ana graduated with her MS in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Oregon. Ana volunteers with Courageous Kids, a non-profit that provides support to children experiencing grief due to the loss of a loved one. She also worked at Oregon Community Programs, working directly with foster youth and their families. She is supervised by Laura Sanchez, LPC # C3046.

Ana’s advice to her 13-year-old self is to set goals for yourself and go easy on yourself when your timeline to achieve those goals changes. Sometimes reaching a goal takes longer than we want – it is how we respond to that change that really matters. Remember not to compare your progress to others – we are all individuals and on our own path.

You can contact Ana at 541-284-4333 ext. 113.

Junction City Staff

Aloe, Rural School Program Coordinator

Aloe collaborates with schools within and around rural communities to provide students with knowledge and tools to navigate adolescence. She presents to classrooms on topics, including internet safety, media and body image, healthy relationships, and conflict resolution. She also facilitates girls’ empowerment groups.

Aloe graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oregon’s Family and Human Services program in 2019. As an FHS student, she interned with Ophelia’s Place for two years. Aloe has a depth of experience working with youth in various contexts, both in and out of classrooms: from creating classroom visual support materials to leading education events. Aloe is passionate about youth empowerment and education, and is excited to continue supporting youth.

Aloe would tell her 13 year old self that she’s strong, capable and enough. Be kind to yourself and believe in yourself because you’re a rockstar.

You can contact Aloe at (541) 284-4333 ext. 115.

Rachael, After and Out-of-School Program Coordinator
Rachael oversees the Ophelia’s Place online program, development of programming and content, as well as intake and orientation for all girl-identified youth accessing OP services. Rachael has experience and training in developing educational and thematic content that centers social-emotional learning, and in creating accessible spaces that support youth with neuro-divergent experiences. Rachael is a graduate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, with a Bachelor of Education specializing in creating literacy-rich environments for second language learners. She worked in several countries teaching and mentoring youth of all ages before settling in Oregon in 2012. She has been a part of the OP community since 2014, first as a community volunteer, and then joining staff as the Junction City Site Coordinator in 2019.

Rachael would tell her 13-year-old self:  You never know where life will take you, so enjoy the journey and don’t worry about too much about the destination.

Albany Staff

Yvonne, Albany School Program Coordinator
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 (541) 284-4333 ext. 209.

Jordyn, Therapist

As an Ophelia’s Place therapist, Jordyn takes a solutions-focused approach, keeping in mind everyone has the ability and resources to make change. Jordyn believes change is inevitable, happening all the time – you decide how to shape it. She also knows clients are more than an individual, they are surrounded and affected by all the people and systems in their world, making therapy about much more than just one person. Jordyn graduated with her MS in Couples and Family Therapy in 2020 from the University of Oregon after interning with Ophelia’s Place and the Center for Healthy Relationships for one year. Jordyn has experience serving individuals and families, ranging in ages. She is supervised by Laura Sanchez, LPC #C3046.

Jordyn would tell her 13-year-old self: You are not responsible for how other people feel. You get to be yourself fully and it is alright if some people don’t get it or don’t like it. Holding yourself back prevents you from getting to know yourself. Also, it is ok to change once you learn more about yourself or the world.
Thank you to the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for funding this position. 

 

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.”