Team

Our Amazing Team

Our team is trained in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®), Transtheoretical Model of Change, Motivational Interviewing®, Trauma-Focus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and has been certified to conduct the Commercial Sexual Exploitation Identification Tool (CSE-IT®).

ADRIANA MCKINNON: M.S. L.P.C.-A., N.C.C., L.C.C.A – President & C.E.O.

As we enter into the next phase of our program vision, we are honored to have Ms. McKinnon lead the way. A cross-cultural, bilingual program director and licensed counselor, Ms. McKinnon is committed to providing all victims and survivors a life in a society that can grant justice, equity, and dignity by ensuring that the field of victim’s services is inclusive, accessible, and culturally and structurally competent for all individuals.

Experience

Ms. McKinnon’s extensive experience providing leadership, management, and financial expansion to programs providing services to victims will support the Youth Center of Texas’s long-term mission and sustainability. Among her many years of experience providing advocacy, crisis intervention, case management, and clinical services to victims of child abuse and sex trafficking, Ms. McKinnon has served as the Program Director for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health in Victoria, Texas, an unaccompanied Children’s Services Program and emergency shelter funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). It was here that she managed the day-to-day programmatic, administrative, financial, and operational systems of 64 beds for unaccompanied, refugee, migrant children. Ms. McKinnon has also served as the Outreach Services Director for the Domestic Violence Women’s Shelter of South Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she developed and executed the shelter’s outreach programming within 12 counties in rural South Texas, and successfully executed the marketing, communications, funding, and budgeting plans for the program. Ms. McKinnon comes prepared to expand the Youth Center’s funding sources, having prepared, secured, and managed a multitude of funding opportunities from private foundations and public sources such as VOCA, VAWA, and SAPCS.

Ms. McKinnon understands the importance of holistic treatment for victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and sex trafficking. As a Licensed Professional Counselor – Associate, she utilizes evidence-based treatments to include Trauma Focus-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and incorporates a victim’s Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) to improve health care access and community well-being by understanding that where each victim lives, learns, works, and plays affects a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes.

Ms. McKinnon will begin her leadership role on August 1, 2021. Welcome to the Youth Center team and the Bexar County region of community partners, Adriana!

Alexandria Guillen: Chief  Program Officer

Alexandria has worked with our program since its inception in October 2017.  She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M at Corpus Christi and is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Our Lady of the Lake University.

Alex has extensive experience working with survivors of trauma.  Her experience as a Common Thread advocate has provided the Youth Center staff with invaluable insight and knowledge about the CSEY victim, including the Stages of Change (Prochaska et al. 1992), which identifies how survivors of sexual assault and exploitation change, both in treatment and on their own.  Her studies towards a Masters in Social Work provide the skills and insights needed to effectively run the day-to-day operations of the Youth Center of Texas.

Kayla Russell: Director of Case Management

Kayla obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is currently studying to obtain her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  Kayla is a former Rape Crisis Center advocate and has several years of experience working with survivors of sexual exploitation.

Kayla is responsible for ensuring that the Youth Center of Texas case management and advocacy services are carried out in an effective, results-driven, and survivor-inclusive manner.

Margarita Lerma: Case Manager

Margarita obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Texas A&M University in College Station and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Houston. Margarita has experience working with various populations ranging from parents with children with disabilities to immigrant populations navigating the legal system to gain assistance with asylum and citizenship. Margarita gained her experience in intensive case management working with survivors of Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking while working as an advocate with the Rape Crisis Center.

Taylor Johnson-Pearson: Case Manager

Taylor has a robust amount of experience working with youth who have experienced extreme trauma.  She is skilled at building strong relationships with victims and is able to utilize the trust-based relationship to meet our clients’ needs.

Taylor is a Certified Yoga Instructor and able to implement yoga programming into the Youth Center of Texas model as a mode of de-escalation.

Tiffany Saunders: Case Manager

Tiffany brings a unique set of skills to Youth Center that is much needed by our survivors. As a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, Tiffany is able to teach our pregnant and new moms the skills and patience needed to ensure the baby is healthy and bonding with mom.

She has worked for Mission Road Ministries, Seton Home, and Communicare Wic providing these invaluable lessons.  The Youth Center of Texas and our momma survivors benefit greatly from having Tiffany as a part of our team.

Monse G. Sanchez: Case Worker

Monse obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Texas A&M San Antonio and is currently working towards obtaining her Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Texas-San Antonio.  Monse brings an invaluable set of skills, which were obtained from her volunteer and internship work at The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department’s Restore Hope Unit for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation.

Anna Arevalo: Case Manager

Anna obtained her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Anna has experience working with victims of domestic violence from her time at Family Violence Prevention Services as a case manager.

Anna worked to provide referrals to women to initiate self-sufficiency, such as those to education, counseling, legal, and employment. Anna also gained experience in assisting a multitude of families and survivors in achieving long-term housing.

D’Antwonique Watson-Walton: Overnight Case Worker

D’Antwonique is a native from Jackson, MS. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2020 from Jackson State University and is currently studying to be a clinical licensed Social Worker. D’Antwonique brings a well-rounded experience to the center where she has worked with youth, adults, and the criminal justice system throughout her career where she gained experience in sexual exploitation, abuse, immigration, and mental health advocacy.

Jessica Wright: Overnight Case Worker

Jessica obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Auburn University and her master’s degree in Human Services from Capella University. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Social Work from Baylor University. Jessica proudly served as a Supervisor in the U.S. Army for eight years and has extensive experience working in residential treatment settings with at-risk youth.

Are you passionate about helping young people in need?  

We are always accepting applications for Case Managers and Case Workers!