“Being the President of FAR is an honor. I love to receive calls or emails from parents sharing success stories about their children. The stories almost always are a thank you to FAR’s therapists who made these breakthroughs possible. I am so proud and honored to be part of it all.”
Pamela has been in non-profit management for over 15 years and with FAR since 2012. As President, she is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of FAR with a focus on programs, organizational growth, grant writing and fundraising.
Pamela has received her Nonprofit Management Certificate from Oakland University, is Certified as a Protocol and Etiquette Consultant by the Protocol School of Washington, DC and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
She is the proud mother of Christian, her teenage son.
Pamela has a strong commitment to the community and is involved with:
Red Wing Alumni Association — Honorary Member
Ted Lindsay Foundation For Autism — Advisory Board Member
Orchards Children’s Services — Advisory Board Member
Project Giving B.A.C.K (Building A Classroom In Kenya) — Board Member
“I have come to appreciate how much FAR gives to the special needs community. FAR therapists are incredibly gifted and their connections with our clients are so inspiring. I am blessed to be a part of such a wonderful organization and to work with such great team members.” Barbara has 30 years experience in the field of finance and business management and has been with FAR for over 6 years.
She is responsible for all financial information, including coordination of the annual audit, government filings, and insurance. She also manages human resources, IT and offsite contracts.
Barb holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Michigan.
“Create a beautiful place inside yourself and then begin to expand outward.”
Maria has joined FAR with a passion for serving the special needs community. She has worked as a Paraprofessional, Caregiver, Behavior Technician, and Therapeutic Coordinator. Maria is excited to continue growing professionally with FAR.
“Music is a vital part of all our lives and as a therapeutic tool it promotes growth and influences positive change. Practicing at FAR and seeing firsthand the difference music therapy makes in the lives of others is a constant source of personal inspiration and professional fulfillment.”
With over 25 years of professional experience as a Board Certified Music Therapist, Patty joined the FAR team in 2008 and accepted the position of Director of Therapeutic Programming in 2011. She holds a BA in Music with a concentration in Music Therapy from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also holds degrees in Manual Communications and Deaf Studies from Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.
Patty is a member of various professional music therapy organizations including Michigan Music Therapists (MMT).
“Art surrounds us in the colors of our landscape and homes, in the music we listen to, the books we read, and even the clothing we dress ourselves in. It’s all in your perspective and willingness to take the time to see it. I believe that there is an artist within each and every one of us and Art Therapy is a way to express and explore our innermost thoughts and feelings through the creative process.
Therapeutic art making is a way to non-verbally foster self-awareness, develop social skills, lower anxiety and increase self-esteem, and more.”
Mary Beth has practiced Art Therapy for over 20 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, Macomb, and at offsite locations, providing art therapy to individuals at FAR and through FAR in local schools. Mary Beth is also FAR’s Director of Training and Compliance, working with both our administrative and therapeutic staff to ensure consistently high levels of compliance with established regulations while supporting the growth of FAR and the quality of our therapeutic service delivery now and into the future.
Mary Beth completed her Masters degree in Art Therapy at The University of Illinois – at Chicago and also has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, with a minor in Psychology, from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She is a professional member of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and the Michigan Association of Art Therapy (MAAT).
“I believe that each and every person has the ability to be musical. Within the sessions I am able to uncover the client’s music preferences and talents. Working with the clients and seeing their progress throughout the year and how their musicality develops is one of the highlights for me.”
Renae earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. She conducts Music Therapy and adaptive lessons at FAR.
“Participating in recreation and leisure can help to increase an individual’s quality of life and can often be what someone looks forward to most throughout their day. I enjoy providing the opportunity for everybody to partake in recreation, get lost in the moment, and do what they love to do!”
Kelsy completed her internship at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and started practicing as a Recreation Therapist at FAR in 2019. Kelsy currently provides recreation therapy to FAR clients at the Birmingham and offsite locations.
Kelsy received her BS in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology from Grand Valley State University. She is a member of MTRA (Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association).
“Recreational Therapy provides unique opportunities for discovery and growth. I love being able to accompany my clients through new experiences and celebrate even then smallest of victories with them”.
Becca is beginning her career at FAR. She provides Recreational Therapy to clients at the Birmingham location in addition to offsite schools.
Becca received herBS in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. She is a member of the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association.
“I take great pride in my work as a therapist and appreciate the holistic approach Therapeutic Recreation provides students, and value the independence and fulfillment students gain through learning and implementing leisure / recreation within their lives.”
Chelsea holds over 20 years of health care experience, primarily in the areas of rehabilitation and behavioral health. She has been certified through NCTRC for 6 years as a Recreation Therapist. Chelsea provides Recreational Therapy to FAR clients at our offsite locations.
Chelsea completed her Bachelors in Therapeutic Recreation form Eastern Michigan University. Also completing her Associate in Business Health Service Management from Mott Community College. Chelsea is a Board Member of Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association (MTRA).
“Art can be an amazing tool and a rewarding personal experience. I strive to help others use art and the creative process to find their confidence, voice, and sense of empowerment. I have seen art do so much for so many and I feel honored to be a part of this journey and experience.”
Jenna has practiced Art Therapy for two years now. She serves FAR clients at our Birmingham location as well as offsite schools.
She received her Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling with Specialization in Art Therapy from Wayne State University and has a Bachelors in Fine Arts also from WSU.
Jenna is a professional member of The American Art Therapy Association and The American Counseling Association.
“A person can learn from anyone, anything, and anywhere. All one has to do is pay attention. Not just listen, but hear to gain a better understanding. This can tell a person what to do, what not to do, or what to do differently and can ultimately change the trajectory of one’s life.”
Parina comes to FAR with over 10 years experience. She serves FAR clients at our Birmingham, Macomb & Offsite Group Contracts.
She received her Masters of Counseling with a concentration in Art Therapy from Wayne State University and her Bachelors of Arts in Graphic Design from Marygrove College.
Parina has recently published her first children’s book “I Thought I Heard an Angry Bear”. She is a professional member of The American Art Therapy Association and Michigan Association of Art Therapy.
“I have a passion for providing therapeutic opportunities for people who need holistic care that accounts for their unique journey. I focus on community, personal growth, relaxation, and mental and emotional support to foster self-expression, building coping skills, and providing a sense of control, happiness, and normalcy through artmaking. My vision for my work at FAR is to promote healing, creativity, resiliency, and support for all who are being treated for their complex concerns while having fun and building connections. I also supervise student interns from Wayne State University in their graduate level internships and pass on my knowledge to the next generation of therapists.”
Mallory has been practicing Art Therapy for 5 years. Mallory serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, Macomb, and at offsite locations.
Mallory completed her Masters of Science in Art Therapy and Clinical Counseling at Mount Mary University in Wisconsin. At Alma College, Mallory received her Bachelors of Art in Fine Art and Neuropsychology with a Minor in Art History. Mallory is a Legislative Chairwoman for Michigan Association of Art Therapy. She is professionally associated with Michigan Association of Art Therapy (MAAT), American Art Therapy Association (AATA), Psi Chi Psychology Honorary Society, Kappa Pi Art Honorary Society, and Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority.
“ I use a strength-based, positive psychology approach and believe art-making creates opportunities for people to learn about themselves and to connect with others. I agree with Danny Gregory who says: “Art is here to make us feel better and be better. To remind us that we are not alone.”
Margaret comes to FAR with over 30 years of experience. She received her Masters of Education in Art Therapy from Wayne State University and her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from Center for Creative Studies. She provides Art Therapy for FAR at Vista Maria and the West Bloomfield Transition Center.
Margaret participates as a presenter at local and national conferences, she is published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association and an active participant in juried art exhibitions. She is a member of the Michigan Association of Art Therapy and the American Art Therapy Association.
Breanna received her Bachelors of Music from Western Michigan University where she majored in Music Therapy with a Psychology Minor.
“As a music therapist I am devoted to cultivating a safe and inclusive environment for clients of all ages and ability. What I love about music therapy is that it provides a space for people to grow, explore, and express themselves creatively, while having fun”.
Breanna is beginning her Music Therapy career at FAR and will serve FAR clients at several of our locations. Breanna completed her Music Therapy internship at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Breanna received her Bachelors of Music from Western Michigan University where she majored in Music Therapy with a Psychology Minor.
“I really believe in the power of music and music therapy. When a client is able to fully enter the music and have a truly authentic experience, even if only for a moment – that is something very beautiful, powerful and joyful.”
Patrick started as a Music Therapist at FAR in 2019. He serves FAR clients providing one-on-one and group Music Therapy at our Birmingham, Macomb and offsite locations.
Patrick has a B.A. in Music Education from Michigan State University and earned his Music Therapy Equivalency Distance (MTED) graduate degree from St. Mary of the Woods College.
“Music therapy provides an avenue for clients to learn, grow and express themselves, while having fun. Through music, I strive to create a positive and supportive environment to foster creativity and help others reach their full potential.”
Jordan is beginning her Music Therapy career at FAR and serves FAR clients at our Birmingham, Macomb, and offsite locations. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University. Jordan completed her Music Therapy internship at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
“I love using the adaptable nature of music to help people reach their potential. By meeting someone where they are in a musical way, the music therapist can set up an environment that is supportive and nurturing. This creates a safe place to learn and grow.”
Elizabeth has practiced Music Therapy for over 20 years and serves FAR clients in Birmingham and offsite locations, providing private music therapy, group music therapy and adapted piano lessons.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University and a Bachelor of Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. Elizabeth is board certified.
Elizabeth is a member of the Michigan Music Therapists where she has held various offices and positions including newsletter editor, clinical training liaison and president. She is also a member of Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association and the American Music Therapy Association. Elizabeth has presented at several local, regional and national music therapy conferences as well as for other local conferences and workshops.
“I believe music therapy provides an avenue for endless self-growth opportunities. I am continually amazed by the power of music to engage and motivate my clients and am humbled by the successes I observe within sessions. I am proud to say I work for FAR, an organization dedicated to providing such incredible opportunities”.
Susan has practiced Music Therapy for over 30 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, and in Detroit at Orchestra Hall, providing private and group music therapy. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Music Therapy from Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Music Therapy from Western Michigan University.
Jessica joins the FAR Team as a Dance, Movement and Yoga Specialist. She serves FAR clients at our Birmingham location as well as offsite school and group programs.
Jessica received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University. She then went on to dance professionally in a number of national dance and theatre Productions. Jessica is also a Registered Yoga Instructor- 500, Prenatal Yoga Specialist and Certified Body Confidence and Wellness Coach. Jessica has over 20 years of experience in movement and dance instruction. She has choreographed many community theatre, and school musical theatre productions. Jessica loves to help her students develop their self-esteem, confidence and sense of self through the pure joy of embodied movement.