florida

Shannon

Shannon H. Cash, Ed.S.  / Program Assistant

Shannon is a Mentor and Tutor at New Directions for Young Adults in FL. He joined the Program in 2015. He brings with him 33 years of experience in Higher Education Administration in the areas of Career Services, Cooperative Education and Internships, and Student Testing. He is a Vietnam Veteran that served from 1962 to 1965. He has been a small business owner and enjoys activities such as distance bicycle riding, camping, RV traveling, sky diving, and spending time with his five kids and six grandkids. 
Christina Headley

Christina Headley  / Program Assistant

Christina was born on the beautiful island country of Jamaica. She graduated from Palm Beach State College with her Associates Degree and looks forward to continuing her education to complete her Bachelors in Psychology. She has spent the last 7 years working with special needs adults, at risk youths, and individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues. Knowing that she has the ability to impact the lives of others in a positive way is the driving force behind her love of the social services field. Her favorite things include reading, spending time with loved ones and all things Disney.    
Jennifer Babian

Jennifer Babian  / Program Assistant

Jennifer went to Broward College to study Childhood Education. Her passion is helping others, working with children, and mentoring young adults with disabilities. Over the past 20 years she has spent her time in different after school programs as well as being private children’s tutor. In Jennifer's more recent years her mission and passion has been working with young adults. Since March of 2016 Jennifer has been a mentor at New Directions where she helps with life skills, education, and making an overall difference in each young adult's life. Jennifer's hobbies are drawing, traveling, zip-lining, camping, bird watching, and horseback riding. 
Victoria Harne

Victoria Harne, Ms.Ed., LMFT / Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, FL

Victoria Harne is from a small town in Maryland called Mount Airy. She later moved to Florida and was raised in Fort Myers, Florida. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and continued her education at the University of Miami where she received her Master of Science Degree in Education with a major in Marriage and Family Therapy. She now practices therapy as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has a wide variety of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. In the past, Victoria has worked with children in foster care, the Cancer Support Community of Greater Miami, and adolescents in the Department of Juvenile Justice System providing evidence-based Functional Family Therapy. Victoria enjoys spending her free time going to the beach, practicing yoga, and spending time with family, friends, and pets.  
Michael Kellen, Ph.D.

Michael Kellen, Ph.D. / Clinical Director, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, FL & CA

Dr. Michael Kellen received his clinical and neuropsychological training at The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medical Center, and at the Children's Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. He has extensive training and clinical experience working in multidisciplinary settings. Dr. Kellen’s areas of expertise include:
  • Anxiety/Depressive disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Executive functioning deficits
  • Behavioral clinical interventions
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Neuropsychological Assessment
Dr. Kellen has numerous publications in professional and academic journals in the field, and he has co-authored several book chapters. He has presented his research findings throughout the United States and internationally, with invitations to present coming from the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Dr. Kellen is originally from South Africa and received a portion of his doctoral training under the supervision of the renowned psychologist Nathan Azrin, Ph.D.
Aron Tendler, M.D. C.BSM.

Aron Tendler, M.D. C.BSM. / Licensed Psychiatrist, FL

Dr. Aron Tendler met and trained with Dr. Rubin at Tulane University’s Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, and Louisiana State University’s Health Science Center. Dr. Tendler has experience in:
  • Adult And Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Addiction
  • Insight-Oriented Psychotherapy for Personality Disorders, PTSD, and Couples
He is considered an expert in behavioral sleep medicine for all ages, and is fluent in both English and Hebrew. Dr. Tendler’s credentials include:
  • Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology in General Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine
  • Certified by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine in Behavioral Sleep Medicine Insight-Oriented Therapy for Adults and Geriatrics
  • Lecturer on TMS, MAOI’s, Addiction, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Behavioral Sleep Medicine
Liza Rudd

Liza Rudd, BS / Program Assistant

Liza is a native Floridian and graduate from the University of Central Florida in Orlando where she majored in Health Sciences and managed a group home for people with Autism for 10 years. She returned from the Peace Corps in 2018 after three years abroad working with organizations for people with disabilities. Prior to her service overseas she was also a Literacy Tutor with AmeriCorps. She is passionate about helping others and looks forward to becoming a nurse. Her favorite pastimes include reading, cafes, watching stand-up comedians, and enjoying non-dairy ice cream.
Darcy Miholer

Darcy Miholer, BA / Program Coordinator

Darcy, along with her husband and four children relocated to South Florida in 2013 from the small town of Three Rivers, Michigan. She studied Business Administration at Lee University in TN, received her Human Services degree from Kellogg College in MI, and is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology with a focus on Addictions and Recovery from Liberty University. It was Darcy’s humanitarian involvement that led her to New Directions in 2018. Having a life long passion to help others inspired her to participate and orchestrate relief projects all over the world. Some of these include providing Tsunami relief in Sri Lanka in 2004, and more recently leading group of volunteers in an orphanage restoration project in Pierre Payen, Haiti in 2015. These, among countless other experiences led her to leave the corporate world in 2017 to settle into a career that would allow her to make a difference in the world on a more local level. In her free time, Darcy coaches and plays volleyball, and enjoys reading, writing and cooking.
Erica Rubin

Erica Rubin, BA / Director of the International Society for Autism

Erica French is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she obtained a degree in education. After a year of teaching, she decided to join the United States Peace Corps. It was a fellow Peace Corps volunteer who inspired Erica to move to Miami after her service in Niger. Together they expanded and invigorated Educate Tomorrow, a non-profit that provides support and mentoring for youth aging out of the foster care system. She developed Educate Tomorrow’s holistic approach to mentoring foster youth over the six years in which she worked for the organization. Also, through a partnership with Entertainment Benefits Group, Erica helped develop a mentoring program for their employees to give back to the community. Now, as Director of The International Society for Autism, a not-for-profit scholarship, research, and development program, she works with clients to obtain volunteer and employment opportunities. She is currently working on a master’s degree in community psychology at the University of Miami. In her free time, she enjoys making and performing music. Her dream is to pursue her love of music professionally after all of the world’s children have been saved.
Tom Williams

Tom Williams, BS / MORs Coordinator

Prior to moving to Florida, Tom practiced real estate for nearly 15 years in Connecticut, and brings over 20 years of management experience to New Directions. He attended Michigan State University and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he first met Dr. Rubin, who according to him, has had, a profound influence on his life. Tom strongly believes that every individual has something to teach and add to the world. He enjoys working with young adults to help develop the skills necessary for responsible independent living. In his free time, Tom enjoys biking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, camping, kayaking and spending time with friends and family. His lifelong dream is to leave the world a better place than he found it by helping young adults realize their goals and dreams, and navigating the opportunities and obstacles that life presents.
Tari Calow

Tari Calow / Program Resident Assistant

Tari Calow is the Resident Advisor for the female residence at New Directions for Young Adults. She works closely with individual students on location at “A Place of Peace,” a local farm with horses and stables, where she teaches students the importance of trust and responsibility. Tari believes in the healing effects that animals can have on people and loves having the opportunity to help others by sharing this passion.
Carolyn Schramm

Carolyn Schramm / Personal Trainer

Carolyn Schramm is a native of Brooklyn, NY, but lived most of her life in Chicago. She graduated from DePaul University with a BFA in Acting. For 28 years, Carolyn has been involved in Fitness, from teaching group exercise classes, to personal training, to management. In 1996, Carolyn spent a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, living in a palace and personal training Royal Princesses! She worked at Canyon Ranch Health Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ, as well. She has kept up her acting skills, performing in Chicago theater over the years, most recently in "Sister B's Bingo Bonanza."  Carolyn just moved to Florida and is excited to be working with the students at NDFYA.
Suzanne Moore

Suzanne Moore / Receptionist

Raised in South Florida, Suzanne loves to spend time with her family traveling, boating, going to music concerts, the Florida Keys and taking her family and friends to Disney World. She is always waiting to greet new and returning guests with a friendly smile and conversation, and facilitates many different activities.
Paula Katz, BA

Paula Katz, BA / Director of Vocational Services

Paula Breen is originally from Savannah, NY, which is just an hour outside of Syracuse. She moved to Florida in 1997. After attending college at Florida Atlantic University, she received a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She is also a Certified Behavior Health Technician by the State of Florida. Paula counseled at a shelter for at-risk youth for eight years, has 10 years of experience in various administrative positions, and was a member of Big Brothers & Big Sisters for five years. She met Dr. Rubin while working at College Living Experience.
Bobby Jividen

Bobby Jividen, BA, BS / Academic Director

Bobby was born in California and grew up in Ohio before moving to South Florida at age 13. He attended Palm Beach Community College where he worked as a supplemental instructor of macroeconomics. In 2009, Bobby graduated summa cum laude from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and interdisciplinary studies. He plans on continuing his education with a graduate degree in international relations or international political economy. Bobby enjoys cooking, reading and making music. He spends much of his free time finding new recipes; discovering new writers, artists and musicians; and researching chord progressions in popular music.
Melanie Silver

Melanie Silver, MA / Compliance Officer

Melanie Silver attained her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Psychology from The New School for Social Research in 2013 and 2014, respectively. During her schooling, Melanie studied a diverse range of cognitive and behavioral therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Processing Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Harm Reduction strategies. She interned at Bellevue Hospital, researching Post-Traumatic Stress at the World Trade Center Mental Health Program, as well as at TARA, a New York City-based national helpline for Borderline Personality Disorder. Melanie has a passion for helping others. She is thrilled to be joining New Directions and to be working with such an impressive interdisciplinary team. While at school, Melanie wrote her thesis on the significant influence of Therapeutic Alliances between clinician and patient, and values the opportunity to form one-on-one relationships with each student. In her free time, Melanie enjoys reading fiction, singing, going to the movies, and spending time with her friends and family.
Lori Rubin

Lori Rubin / Program Assistant

Lori Rubin was educated at Hofstra University where she studied Gerontology and Psychology. She was born in Queens NY and grew up in Rockland County NY. She has 2 teenage boys 19 and 16 and loves spending time with her family. Her hobbies include flea market shopping, swimming, going to beach listening to music and and being around people. She have a passion for helping people and working with young adults with disabilities.
Bill Jones

Bill Jones / Chief Financial Officer

Bill comes from a thirty plus year career in Investment Banking operations. In fact, it was at Bankers Trust Futures back in the early nineties where he first met Dr. Rubin; prior to obtaining his PHD, Dr. Rubin entertained the idea of a career in financial services. Though he and Bill ultimately took different career paths over the ensuing two decades, they remained friends. Bill’s interests include writing (he is a self-published author of three fiction novels), music, various sports including golf and bowling. Granted he is admittedly an awful golfer, but formerly a highly competitive bowler. He has several perfect games (he is extremely proud of) to prove it.
Danielle Ott

Danielle Ott, BA / Scheduling Coordinator

Danielle was born and raised in South Florida and graduated from Cypress Bay High School in 2011. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University as an English Literature Major. Prior to choosing this field of study she was a Psychology major, with an interest in social work. She enjoys traveling, playing video games, and watching movies in her spare time. She is extremely passionate about a variety of different things such as fiction writing, writing and editing screenplays, critical film analysis, and studying psychology and sociology.
Carley Hilburn

Carley Hilburn / Program Director

Carley Hilburn is from a small town in Pennsylvania. She relocate to South Florida for a change of pace and job opportunities. Carley is currently enrolled at Liberty University in Lynchburg Virginia working to earn a bachelors degree in psychology and wants to eventually obtain a masters or PhD and work in the substance abuse field. She was accepted into the national society of collegiate scholars and through the society attends leadership summits to work on becoming a better leader for those around her. She has worked with many populations including the elderly, children with disabilities, substance abuse and mental health. Also, she has a passion for helping people and watching people grow and succeed. She loves outdoor activities, trying new thing and her work. Carley enjoys helping people find happiness and success. Knowing that you can make a difference and help change someone's life for the better is the best part of the job. She believes that even though she helps teach clients how to be independent and thrive the clients help teach her.
Ben Almog

Ben Almog / Financial Advisor

Ben Almog lived in Israel, prior to moving to the United States in 1989. He also served in the Israeli Air Force. He received formal training at the Tadmor Culinary School in Hertzelia, Israel. In 2008, Ben took several professional development courses at La Cordon Bleu. Ben's entire life he has had a passion to cook and teach others! Ben pursued his passion for being a professional cook working for the Miami Dolphin's in the VIP kitchen, along with his own company Food for Thought Catering as the Owner and Head Chef.  In Ben's spare time he enjoys cooking, entertaining, reading, meditations, and helping others.
Caitlin DeFlaun

Caitlin DeFlaun, BA / Director of Admissions

Caitlin DeFlaun is a Connecticut native who has spent time in the past 10 years living in Richmond, VA, Chicago, IL and ultimately landed in South Florida two years ago. Caitlin received her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology, with a minor of Anthropology, from Miami University of Ohio in 2008. She went to school originally for Education but realized along the way it was in her best interest to broaden her scope into studying and working with others more closely. Her appreciation for studying other societies, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture, stems from her love to travel. Caitlin went abroad for 6 months in the midst of continuing her studies in Australia, New Zealand and other islands in the Southern Hemisphere. Caitlin has worked with children and adults with Intellectual Disabilities over the course of many years; she has worked as a Special Ed. Para Educator, one-on-one with high school students and also worked as an Employment Specialist to help others achieve, train and maintain their jobs. Her daily goal is to do one thing better than she did the day before by helping others. She enjoys living near the beach, taking time to read, traveling, keeping in constant contact with friends and family located all over the country. Caitlin is excited to be a part of the New Direction's team and plans to continue to work in this field and further her education by going back to school for her Master's Degree in Psychology.