CLINICIANS & STAFF
Ellen Azevedo, Administrative Assistant, has an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She loves being a part of the OTTP team and feels very lucky to be able to support staff in the wonderful work they do!
Janelle Buccat, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, grew up in San Francisco and has a passion for serving at-risk youth. After obtaining her B.A. in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz, she served as a volunteer at OTTP prior to pursuing her Master's of Science in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. She provides group therapy for youth in the juvenile justice system and services for youth ages 5-24 years old in the community and school-based settings. Janelle also has experience in behavioral therapy and inpatient rehabilitation. Some of her most valued interests include urban culture, art, and music that she likes to incorporate into her client-centered interventions.
Rita Chawla, M.Ed., OTR/L, has a Bachelors in Occupational Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University and a Masters in Education from Eastern University. In addition to her background in OT, she has several years of experience as an elementary school teacher, youth programs director, and behavioral therapist. She currently serves youth in need of mental health services in the School-Based and Secondary Prevention Programs in San Francisco. She also serves children and youth in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties through her work at Covenant House, Seneca, and San Leandro Unified School District.
Edwin Cheuk, Accounting Manager, received a BA in Finance and an MBA from San Francisco State University. Edwin spent most of his earlier career years in Retail Management in the San Francisco Bay Area. Edwin joined OTTP in 2008 and is currently managing the billing/accounting services and cost reporting.
Christine Haworth, MA, OTR/L, first became passionate about working with disenfranchised urban youth while in the occupational therapy program at the University of Southern California. After graduating, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, during which she worked to further encourage social development within juvenile detention facilities, community awareness of disabilities, and the development of programs for female empowerment. Christine is a proud co-author of the Double OT assessment.
Alina Lareybi, MOT, OTR/L, Vocational Specialist, earned a Master's of Occupational Therapy from Samuel Merritt University and a Bachelors of Science in Human Development from UC Davis. Alina is currently working at OTTP in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to help connect youth to jobs in the community. When she is not at work, she enjoys going to music and art shows, reading, and spending time at Lake Merritt.
Michelle Lessans, LCSW received her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and her graduate degree in social work with a focus on at-risk youth from the University of Denver. She has been working with youth since 2005, and has been with OTTP since 2012. Michelle is a clinical case manager and social worker in the ISCS program, supporting at/in-risk youth in San Francisco through community-based supportive services.
Carolyn Liu, bio coming soon!
Victoria Luby, MS, OTR/L, holds a MS in Occupational Therapy from San José State University and a BA in Early Childhood Education from UNC-Wilmington. Victoria serves on the team of occupational therapists at Civic Center Secondary School in San Francisco. Victoria's long-term commitment to facilitating growth in the youth population has informed her clinical inspirations, which utilize play, therapeutic relationship, empowerment, growth and possibilities. Her interests include sensory integration, bridging nature into youth experiences, and social learning. Victoria likes to be on hiking trails in Oakland as many days as she can, wishes she were better at ceramics, and has a lifelong goal to bake the perfect loaf of bread. When she's not at work, she enjoys riding her bike, reading cookbooks, and eating tortilla chips.
Nikki Mathews, MS, OTR/L, Vocational Specialist, received her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy and Bachelors Degree in Health Science at Dominican University of CA. Nikki is currently working on the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, where she helps transitional aged youth find jobs that embrace their strengths. Ever since she can remember Nikki has been passionate about helping people find what gives them meaning in life. When she is not out in the community or in the office she can be found working with the elderly, hiking, doing yoga, and making greeting cards. Nikki's main motto in life is "safety never takes a holiday".
Alicia Lofgren Maness, MS, OTR/L, RYT, is a San Francisco native. She obtained a BA in English Literature at Barnard College and an M.S. in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. Combining studies in neuroscience and yoga psychology, Alicia is committed to an integrative approach that celebrates strengths, explores intrinsic motivation, and encourages spirit. Alicia currently works on the Covenant House, Berkeley HS, ISCS and FMP programs.
Abby McGill, bio coming soon!
Colleen McNeil, MS, OTR/L, b.c.a.b.a, is a Bay Area native who received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from San Francisco State University and her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State. In addition to her background in OT, she has 10 years of experience as a behavioral therapist. Currently at OTTP, Colleen provides occupational therapy services to youth with probation status, those with significant mental health challenges, as well as children and youth on the Seneca and San Leandro Unified school district contract. She presented a poster, “Concurrent Validity of the Adult Sensory Processing Scale and the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile”, at OTAC and AOTA conferences. In her free time, she enjoys watching roller derby, hiking, reading, drawing, and dog sitting.
Teresa Ricado, OTR/L, originally from Mexico, received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at Texas Woman’s University. She worked on research investigating molecular basis of innate fear at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She now provides English and Spanish services to at risk youth ages 5-24 years old in the community, school-based settings and in the vocational rehabilitation program. She is an avid biker, painter and enjoys to explore contemporary flavor pairings during baking.
Lauren Simas, AMFT received her B.S. in Biology from Santa Clara University and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Palo Alto University. She works on the School Based Services team as a bilingual community based mental health therapist serving youth ages 6-20 years old. Lauren is passionate about serving the Latino community of San Francisco and spends most of her time in the Mission District.
Jordan Song, bio coming soon!
Joe Spring, MS, OTR/L, Vocational Specialist, recently moved here from Spokane, WA and is enjoying trying to learn his way around the city. He graduated from Eastern Washington University with his graduate degree in occupational therapy and also holds a BA in History. He has worked as a firefighter, commercial fisherman and most recently as a school-based occupational therapist. He can be found in the community or the office working alongside his dog in the Vocational Rehabilitation and Youth Workforce Development programs. In his spare time he enjoys watching submarine movies, reading Kurt Vonnegut novels, gardening, and playing rugby.
Giselle Staffaroni, MS, OTR/L, holds a MS in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University and a BS from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She provides OT services in English and Spanish and currently works with the school-based and Civic Center programs. Giselle supports youth in achieving their goals by honoring their strengths, building connection, and encouraging engagement in activities that bring meaning and joy. Her interests include mindfulness, sensory integration and the influence of culture on occupation. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafting and exploring the outdoors.
Jadine Ong Veluya, Administrative Assistant, grew up in San Jose and recently moved to San Francisco to pursue her B.S. in Speech-Language Hearing Sciences at SFSU in hopes to have a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. The OTTP team is a huge inspiration to her and she loves being able to help them in any way that she can!
Julia Wong, MS, OTR/L, received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at Dominican University of California and holds a Bachelor of Science from UC Santa Cruz. She is currently working with at- risk youth in the Family Mosaic Project, as well as in OTTP's school based and clinic contracts. She has presented her thesis at The First Year Experience Annual Conference on her special interest in the transition to college of first generation students.
Debra Wong, Data Entry Verifier-Operator, received a BA in Psychology from San Francisco State University. She has a background working in legal, accounting, and IT support. She is currently working on getting her Nutrition Assistant certificate at City College of San Francisco. She works at OTTP to support accounting services.
Helen Xie, bio coming soon!