What's New

Our 2018 School Supply Drive is on!

Help us stock 200+ backpacks to disperse to kids in need throughout the Twin Cities – and help them feel confident and ready for their school year. 

You can donate via Amazon, or drop off wish list items at our Richfield or Golden Valley locations.

All donations are greatly appreciated and truly help kids start the school year off right! 

Testimonials

“Our son…cares about himself and others around him…He has regained hope and faith in life…And as a family, we have a huge increase in the positive interaction and time we share. Thank you for giving us so much.”

- Headway Client

Jennifer Gustafson, MA, LMFT

Jen Gustafson

Supervisor, 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.

Amy Riedel, BS

Amy Riedel 4.17

Plus Case Coordinator

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

Amy joined Headway in November, 2016 and has worked in the human services field since 2012.  She has previous experience in children's mental health case management, at-risk youth and families, survivors of domestic abuse, and adults with severe and persistent mental illness. As a Plus Case Coordinator, she provides advocacy and support for her clients to help them reach educational and personal goals. "I love connecting with my clients every day, and I strive to empower them in any way that I can," she says. "I feel blessed to be a part of their journey."

In her free time, Amy likes to sing and write music, travel, ride horses, and spend time with friends and family.

Cassy Jerrett, BS

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.

Clarice Lewis, MS

Clairce Lewis 2

Diversion Case Manager

Phone: 612-798-8175
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: clarice.lewis@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Clarice has worked in the human services field since 2010 and joined Headway in May, 2014. She has a keen understanding of the juvenile justice system, and also brings several years of experience working directly with youth and families. She has previous case management experience working with youth at the YWCA, and is excited to continue with case management services and help connect families with the resources they need. “I strengthen communities by ensuring that the teens and families I work with do not get lost in the justice system. I like that I work for a program that gives youth another chance to get it right in the community,” she says. “I transform lives by becoming an advocate and voice when they cannot be heard.”

When Clarice in not at work, she loves to be with her familiy and travel.

Corey Harland, MS

Corey Harland 2

Diversion Outreach Worker

Phone: 612-205-1764
Fax: 763-746-2401
Email: corey.harland@headway.org
701 Decatur Avenue North
Suite 109
Golden Valley, MN 55427 

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. 

Fundi Reed, BS

Fundi Reed

Diversion Children's Mental Health Targeted Case Manager

Phone: 763-273-7393
Fax: 612-861-3446
Email: fundi.reed@headway.org
6425 Nicollet Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423

Fundi joined Headway in May, 2016 and has worked in the human service field since 2008.  She works with adolescents and their families to help stabalize thier emotional and mental health and help them achieve sustainable success.  She specializes in chemical dependency, mental health, parenting, and working with those involved in child protection cases or within the justice system.  "I love working with different family dynamics; supporting the whole family as they progress toward healthy stabilization," she says.

Outside of work, Fundi enjoys going to the theater with her son and daughter, travelling as a family to different water and theme parks during the summer, and watching her favorite television shows on the DVR during her down time.

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.”

In her free time, Jena enjoys reading, spending time with her family, biking and playing outside with her dog.

Kia Blumenthal, BA

Kia Blumenthal 4.17

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.  

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.

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. 

In her free time, 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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