Pierrette Smart

Pierrette Smart / Program Assistant

Pierrette is originally from Barbados, but relocated to New Jersey in 2006, where she started her career in Education and mentorship as a Teaching Assistant and Program Coordinator for Discovery Charter School. In 2014 she made Florida her home and continued to pursue her passion for Business Management, Education and Mentorship in her full time role as Business Development Coordinator for Broward Up, an innovative expansion of Broward College delivering workforce education to enhance upward mobility for students in underserved communities. Pierrette brings her experience and love for helping young people to New Directions as a part time Program Assistant, and in her free time she enjoys the beach and the south Florida sun, as well as creating essential oil blends for her organic skin care business.
Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith / Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

Shannon has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Illinois State University. She is on track to graduate in May of 2022 with a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She worked for three years as a Registered Behavior Technician doing applied behavior analysis therapy with children on the autism spectrum. She brings her positive energy to work and encourages students to socialize and be happy. She enjoys exercising, getting schoolwork done, helping others, and cooking healthy meals.
Shannon Jeffers

Shannon Jeffers, BS / Program Assistant

Shannon Jeffers is passionate about emphasizing strengths, personal choices, and daily decision making to achieve overall wellness using an individualized approach for each of our students. Shannon earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is on track to receiving her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Outside of work, Shannon likes to hike nature trails and practice mindfulness.
Todd Dewey

Todd Dewey, BA / Program Assistant

Todd graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT, with a BA in History and a minor in Music Theory. While at SCSU, Todd was fortunate to have the opportunity to study in Vietnam, where he was able to study and travel throughout Southeast Asia. Todd has been a Fort Lauderdale resident since 2017. Todd makes a positive and meaningful contribution to the New Directions for Young Adults environment. Todd will be continuing with his academic career and will be entering a master's program in Education in the Fall of 2021. He has a great love for music and continues to play and learn guitar and piano. Todd also serves as a coach for a local youth sports league. He has also fallen in love with the uniquely beautiful South Florida skies, and spends as much time at the ocean as possible.

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. 
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.
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.
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.
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.