Our Team

Diane Menzel: Through Groups, Individuals Thrive

Diane Menzel

Diane Menzel, in over 15 years with The Child Center, has often utilized her teaching background to better serve clients. At the South Jamaica Clinic, she recognized two challenges: 1) many children facing behavioral health problems have difficulty making friends, and 2) when they are out of school, kids may not otherwise have opportunities to engage with peers. Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Controller Cheryl Moody

Cheryl Moody is The Child Center’s new Vice President, Controller.

What brought you to The Child Center of NY?

This agency particularly impressed me with the level of service it provides its clients, and especially with its leadership team. In my 20-plus years in the nonprofit sector, I have come to the realization that my heart and passion is here, rather than in the for-profit world. During my initial meeting with Steve and Jaime, I learned that the organization not only had an excellent leadership team, but that the staff also pride themselves in providing the much-needed support to our clients and administrative support throughout the agency. This was later confirmed as I have begun to know my colleagues better, and I’m extremely proud to be among them. I already feel deeply embedded in The Child Center of NY and in ensuring its continued success. Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Tabatha Ferrer, School-Based Clinical Supervisor 

In the seven years she’s been at The Child Center of NY, Tabatha Ferrer, LMSW, has been a volunteer, group leader, activity specialist, program coordinator, program director, and now a school-based clinical supervisor, splitting her time between Queens United Middle School and Edward Bleeker J.H.S. 185.

Tell us a little about yourself — your childhood, your interests as a child…

I grew up in Queens with both parents and a younger sister. I am the second youngest out of five. As a child, I was active and outgoing. I did dance in and out of school, attended afterschool, and participated in many more activities. I loved playing outside, whether it was jumping rope, playing tag, or going to the park. I thought I would be an actress or lawyer.

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Robert Cizma Heads Up New Child Center Program Area

Staff Spotlight:  Robert Cizma, Vice President of Health Homes and Integrated Care


Robert Cizma

“My philosophy has always been ‘it takes a village.’  We want to help families so they get to the point where they don’t need us.  In other words, we want to be that village.”

Robert Cizma is all about comprehensive services and wraparound treatment, having had the opportunities over his 30-year+ career to view client needs at every level.  His extensive experience in behavioral health services, as a line worker on up to his current position as Vice President of Health Homes and Integrated Care for The Child Center of NY, has provided him with a unique perspective. The new position, initiated with Robert’s hiring, creates a fifth program area for the agency.

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A Chat with COO Jaime Angarita

dsc_0002Q:  What brought you to the not-for-profit world and The Child Center of NY?

Many of the words used to describe our clients have been familiar to me throughout my life, because they could have described my own family’s situation: Poor. Immigrant. Shared family-housing. Uneducated. My mother didn’t graduate high school. She was young when she had me and worked a series of odd jobs to put food on the table. Both my wife and I have biological fathers lost to drugs or incarceration. The familiarity of these “descriptors” is what attracted me to the not-for-profit industry.

I see them as just that — descriptors. Continue reading

Yessenia Rodriguez: Coming Full Circle in The Child Center Family

At The Child Center of NY, adversity is often transformed into success, and individual talents DSC_0007 (2)contribute to powerful teams. Young people who benefit from our programs as children grow up to become driven staff, old friends are recruited to help on projects, and, as exemplified by Yessenia Rodriguez, parents take on roles in their children’s school programs and end up “on the other side,” helping Child Center families as staff themselves. Continue reading

Staff Profile: Ashley Colletti, LCSW, Intake Coordinator, South Jamaica Clinic

AshleyCollettiWhat brought you to The Child Center of NY?

When thinking about my career path, I had always felt called to work with young people because of their capacity to change and grow, as well as the joy I get out of connecting with them and their families. I was also drawn to working in a clinical capacity, empowering others to enhance their mental health and wellness. I had previously been enjoying doing social work with older adults, but when my friend who was working for The Child Center of NY recommended I apply to be a therapist, I pursued the opportunity. I am grateful for that push that led me here. Continue reading

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