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Join us July 29 for the Transforming Lives Golf Open, a fun day on the green with golf, games, and prizes.

All ticket proceeds go directly to our programs, helping us provide greater access to emotional and mental health care throughout the Twin Cities metro area.

Join us for a fun day that helps us take better care of our community!

Register to golf

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Testimonials

“I have been living with mental illnesses since I was 13... hospitalized more than 10 times since I was 19. After being in therapy for the last six months, I feel more stable than I have in my whole life... I love what they have done for me.” 

- Headway Client

Jennifer Gustafson, MA, LMFT

Jen Gustafson

Supervisor II, Children's Mental Health Case Management, Truancy and Diversion Services

Phone: 612-798-8167
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: jen.gustafson@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Jennifer has held various positions since joining Headway in 2000. She became a licensed therapist in 2006, and now works to keep our services accessible to youth through community partnerships, and helps youth who are at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system make better decisions for their future. “I feel privileged to support our amazing staff and to help build community relationships that make our services more accessible through schools and our communities,” she says.

Melissa Thoms, BS

Melissa Thoms

Supervisor, Plus Program

Coordinator, Community Services

Phone: 612-481-6227
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: melissa.thoms@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423 

Melissa has been in human services since 2007 and at Headway since 2011. From 2011 to August, 2014, she worked directly with clients as an ALC Plus Case Coordinator at SECA, and transitioned into a supportive staff position working directly with her colleagues.  Since 2014 she has worked as Coordinator for the Truancy, Children's Mental Health Case Management, and Diversion programs.  In 2018, she accepted the Plus Program Supervisor position in addition to her Community Services role.  "I am eager to work with the Plus Program staff and support them with all of the wonderful work they do for their clients," she says.    

When not at work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family.   

Alisha Hayes, BA

Alicia Hayes

Diversion Case Manager

Phone: 612-798-8161
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: alisha.hayes@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Alisha joined Headway in October, 2014 and has worked in the human services field since 2006. She works with youth and their families to address first time delinquent acts that they have committed and how they can learn from their decisions and be given the chance to make healthier choices in the future. “I will give youth guidance and confidence to confirm for them that they are a contributing member of society and that their actions will impacts their lives and the lives of all those around them,” she says.

When Alisha is not working, she enjoys relaxing with family and friends, sitting around campfires and listening to music, watching and playing sports, and going out to dinner and to the movies.

Allyson Pinkus, BA

Ally Pinkus 8.25

Plus Case Coordinator

Phone: 763-245-2640
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: allyson.pinkus@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Allyson joined Headway in April, 2017 and has worked in the human services field since 2011.  She has experience working with children, adolescents, and families who have special needs and mental health disorders.  She has had training in working with children and adolescents on the Autism spectrum, those with chemical dependency issues, and those with Emotional Behavior Disorder and learning disabilities.  "I love working with children, teens, schools, and families to better lives, enhance living and academic situations, and help instill a positive outlook," she says.

When Allyson is not at work, she enjoys traveling, going to concerts, working out, writing in a journal, singing, and spending time with family and friends.

Cassy Jerrett, BS

Cassy Jerrett 3.8

Plus Case Coordinator

Phone: 612-644-2892
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: cassy.jerrett@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Cassy has been with Headway since August, 2018 and has worked in human services since 2014. She has past experience in politics lobbying for changes in policies concerning youth and youth engagement. She has also worked as a Trauma Support Specialist, Legal Advocate Intern, and served on the Minneapolis Youth Congress Health Committee. As Plus Case Coordinator, she works with children and adolescents and their families in an educational setting, and has competencies in DBT, victim services, trauma-informed care, working with LGBTQ victims, youth facilitation and development, psychological first aid, and crisis management. She says, \"I want youth to feel heard and understood. Often young people are not brought to the table to solve the problem that they are facing, and I am excited to help to do that with my clients. Being brought to the table makes people feel empowered, and that is something that will inherently strengthen the community that youth belong to.\"

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, watching TV, and hiking with her dog. She also volunteers with some nonprofit organizations.

Corey Harland, MS

Corey Harland 2

Diversion Outreach Worker

Phone: 612-205-1764
Fax: 763-569-5201
Email: corey.harland@headway.org
5910 Shingle Creek Parkway
Suite 150
Brooklyn Center, MN 55430

Corey joined Headway in June, 2016 and has worked in the human services and criminal justice fields since 2008.  He worked previously at Headway for two years in 2014 and 2015, and took time off to explore working in federal and non-profit work in Atlanta and Washington DC.  He previously worked as a children's mental health targeted case manager and support staff for Headway. He is excited to be working as a diversion outreach worker to assist youth in completing their diversion contracts, avoiding criminal records, and connecting them with other resources.

When Corey is not at work, he loves to travel, be outdoors, go to the gym, build furniture, and sketch. 

Jena Bates, BA

Jena Bates 2

Truancy Case Manager

Phone: 612-798-8205
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: jena.bates@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Jena has been in human services since 1997, starting out her career as a school transition case manager. She joined Headway in 2010 where she works with students who have been referred to us through the be@school program to encourage regular school attendance and overcome barriers that may be preventing them from daily attendance. “I offer support to parents with teens who are struggling academically and bridge communication between them and schools,” she says. “When students attend school and value their education they often maintain high expectations for themselves and feel that they are capable, successful people.”

When she is not working, Jena enjoys reading, spending time with her family, biking and playing outside with her dog.

Kia Blumenthal, BA

Kia Blumenthal 3.8

Truancy Case Manager

Phone: 612-798-8177
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: kia.blumenthal@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Kia has worked with youth since 1994 and has been a Headway employee since 2006. She ensures children and adolescents who are having difficulty with attendance make it to school and their classes each day. She also helps their families connect with school staff and the school system. “I support kids at school and find the outside resources they need to succeed academically,” she says. “I recently worked with student whose mother died a few months prior to us working together. Through my support and the support of his school counselor and teachers, he was able to graduate from high school.”

Kia enjoys travelling to national and local parks and watching her children’s sporting events in her spare time.

Max Hunter, BA

Max Hunter 8.25

Bilingual Truancy Case Manager

Phone: 763-377-3914
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: max.hunter@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423 

Max joined Headway in June, 2015 as an Operations Support professional, and began working as a Case Manager in the spring of 2016.  He has worked in the human services field since 2010.  Prior to working for Headway, he worked as a paraprofessional at an elementary school and has experience working with children and families.  "I'm most excited to communicate with people all day, especially when I get to utilize my Spanish," he says.

Outside of work, Max likes to play with his puppy, go swimming, travel, be outdoors and volunteer with MN OutFront.

Mayra Lala, BA

Mayra Lala

Bilingual Truancy Case Manager

Phone: 612-481-0643
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: mayra.lala@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Mayra joined Headway in March, 2015 and has worked in human services since 2014. She works closely with children and adolescents, along with their families, to help them remove the barriers that are contributing to attendance and academic issues. “I plan to establish a relationship with both the student and their family, evaluate their barriers and help the student get back on track with their school attendance,” she says.

In her spare time, Mayra enjoys reading, going for runs and playing soccer, rollerblading, camping with her family and traveling.

Natasha Garcia, BA

Natasha Garcia 4.17

Truancy Case Manager

Phone: 763-227-3651
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: natasha.garcia@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Natasha joined Headway in May, 2016 and has worked in the human services field since 2000.  She has a background in criminal justice and has previous experience working in community corrections with Hennepin County.  She is excited to work with a team and help children and families connect with resources to reduce truancy and increase school success.  "I plan to listen and learn from my clients," she says.  "I look forward to being able to be a part of a community that focuses on the why of a problem and recognizes the necessity of family and understanding and healing."

When Natasha is not working, she really enjoys spending time with her family.  She also enjoys exploring, volunteering at school functions and as block captain, recreating food dishes from food network with her husband, reading and amateur writing, and completing crossword and jigsaw puzzles.  

Ophelia Addo, MA

Ophelia Addo

Therapist, Plus Program

Phone: 763-313-8125
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: ophelia.addo@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Ophelia joined Headway in September, 2019, and has worked in human services for over 10 years. She has competencies in addiction, CBT, and DBT. As a therapist in the Plus program, she works with children, adolescents, adults, and families providing therapy, intervention, and support services to students whose learning has been impacted by mental health issues. "I hope to help as many students as possible, and help improve the collective thinking of the school around mental health and addiction," she says.

When she is not working, Ophelia enjoys cooking, baking, painting, crocheting and knitting, sewing, reading, and writing.

Sherri Deem, MA

Sherri Deem 3

Mental Health Therapist
Bloomington BCCA Plus

Phone: 763-291-5915
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: sherri.deem@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Sherri has worked in the human services field for more than 20 years and joined Headway in March, 2016.  During the 2016-2017 school year, she worked exclusively as a Headway Vision Mental Health Specialist, and beginning in the 2017-2018 year will be working both in the Vision program and as a therapist for the Bloomington Plus program.  She has an extensive background in education and counseling, including working as a Educational Coordinator and Instructor, an EBD Para Professional at a high school and as a vocational counselor and case manager for at-risk youth.  

When Sherri is not working, she enjoys running, biking, traveling and spending time with family.  She is also a foster parent for Golden Retrievers until they find their forever homes.

Trey Fails, BA

Trey Fail 8.23

Diversion Case Manager

Phone: 952-200-3291
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: trey.fails@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Trey joined Headway in August, 2019.  He has a degree in criminal justice, and has experience as a diversion program engagement leader at the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. As a Diversion Case Manager, he works with youth and their families or significant adults in their lives who are eligible for the diversion program. "I try to be a welcoming presence for the families with whom I come in contact, being a person they can trust and depend on to have their best interest in mind at all times," he says.

When he is not working, Trey is an avid outdoorsman who loves fishing, hunting, and being in or doing anything outdoors. He also enjoys spending time with friends, taking long drives, and spending time with his cat, Arrow.

Vanessa Alvarado, BA

Vanessa Alvarado

Bilingual Truancy Case Manager

Phone: 612-798-8162
Fax: 763-746-2401
Email: vanessa.alvarado@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Vanessa has worked in the human services field since 2007 and joined Headway in 2011. She works with the families of children who are having trouble attending school. ”I try to define the problem then ensure that children and their families are supported and have access to resources to help them through any obstacle in their lives,” she says. 

Outside of work, Vanessa loves to dance, bake desserts, and be with her family, boyfriend and friends. She also works as an interpreter for home care nurses and as relief staff for Casa de Esperanza.

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