CLINICIANS & STAFF
Veronica Arjona, MFTi holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from her home country Colombia, and an MFT from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Veronica is an eager learner, and is trained in Family systems, Integral and Transpersonal psychology . After several years of working with underserved children and hospital settings in Colombia, Veronica decided to continue her education and immigrated to the United States for new and different ways to create therapeutic space.
Veronica received her Master in counseling psychology with a concentration on Expressive Art Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and started to work with OTTP- SF supporting the ISCS and school based program. Veronica’s approach attempts to use Gestaltic psychotherapy and Expressive Art based practices to support clients mainly in the Latino community in San Francisco. Veronica provides services in both Spanish and English.
Ellen Azevedo is an Administrative Assistant at OTTP. She is currently working on an MFA in Creative Writing at SFSU. She loves being part of the OTTP team and feels very lucky to be able to help 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 or at risk of becoming involved with the Juvenile Justice System in the School-Based and Secondary Prevention Programs.
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.
Genevieve Cyrs, MS, OTR/L received her undergraduate degree from Eastern Illinois University and her graduate degree in occupational therapy from Boston University. Genevieve has expertise in mental health and currently serves as the lead occupational therapist operating the Youth Workforce Development Program at the Juvenile Justice Center in San Francisco.
Maggie Jo Green, MS, OTR/L earned a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Marist College in New York. Maggie is passionate about the youth populations OTTP serves and values a collaborative approach that draws from strengths and interests to achieve vocational and occupational goals. Currently, Maggie works with the Vocational Rehabilitation and Family Mosaic Project teams. Maggie has taken a few improv classes for fun, enjoys drawing and using her pocket sized water color set in her teeny sketchbook. She also likes hiking with her hound dog Bobbie and snacking on cheddar whales.
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.
Michelle Lessans, MSW, ASW 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.
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. Career highlights include being a fiction editor, a web designer, a yoga teacher, discovering OT, and integrating all of her experience to advocate for youth at OTTP. Alicia is committed to an integrative approach that celebrates strengths, explores intrinsic motivation, and encourages spirit. She has presented on mindfulness in relation to neuroscience, spirit, chronic pain, and mental health.
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. 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.
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.
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. Julia serves as a lead occupational therapist at Log Cabin Ranch in La Honda working with youth involved in the Juvenile Justice Center. 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 supporting 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.