MEET OUR STAFF
PRESIDENT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Kendee began her service to youth and families over 30 years ago and spent 26 years with the YMCA. She joined the Reach For Youth team in 2015 and believes in the powerful mission - Providing youth second chances through prevention, intervention and counseling. She has previous experience in both annual and capital fundraising, operations, developing board and staff teams and programming. Kendee is a graduate of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Melissa joined the Reach For Youth family in 2018 as our Director of Operations. Her responsibilities include marketing, fundraising, billing, scheduling, and the day to day operations of our offices. She has over 15 years’ experience in fundraising, recruitment, and annual planning with both organizations – Boy Scouts of America and the American Cancer Society. She believes that fundraising is event planning with a purpose.
Melissa graduated from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; with a Bachelor of Arts in Photography and Art History.
"In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun."
CLINICAL STAFF TEAM
Dr. Dianne Martin
LMHC DIRECTOR OF MENTAL HEALTH AND CLINICAL SERVICES
Denise Senter, MFT, LMHC
Denise Senter serves as Director of Mental Health and Clinical Services in support of Reach For Youth’s programs and operations. Denise joined Reach For Youth In December, 2013.
Denise is a licensed clinician trained in Marriage and Family Therapy with nearly 30 years of extensiveexperience serving families and children in private practice.
Some areas of specialization include mood disorders; behavioral problems in home and/or school; trauma, including domestic violence, sexual abuse and physical abuse; attachment difficulties in children and adults, and cultural awareness and cross-cultural competency. Denise has served as a trainer and consultant to several organizations throughout Indiana, as well as to professional athletes.
Denise is a published author dealing with mental health and currently serves on the Board of Directors with Infancy Onward (formerly, Indiana Association of Infant and Toddler Mental Health).
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”
Shanae Kelley, MSW LSW
Shanae Kelley graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Sociology, a combined major. She continued her education at IUPUI, completing her Master's degree in Social Work, and has worked in the field of social work since 2007.
Shanae has worked with children and families in various capacities since 2004. She also served the Indianapolis community by organizing community events.
At Reach For Youth, she continues her passion in working with youth and families, particularly the Alternative to Expulsion program. "I feel it is an honor to be able to work with families, even in their most difficult times."
“Never quit trying."
Lindsey Southwick, MSW, MLSW
Lindsey Southwick graduated from the University of Illinois with her Masters in Social Work and with a dual specialization in Mental Health and School Counseling. She attended Marian University for a Masters in Special Education and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Indiana State University.
Lindsey has worked in mental health serving residential, outpatient, home base, and international populations since 2002. She is a proficient clinician who has worked with behavioral issues and all mental health diagnoses. Lindsey Southwick has 14 years of experience with trauma victims from sexual abuse to war or gang ridden countries with adults and children. At Reach For Youth, Lindsey continues her interests in working with immigrant families on trauma and other mental health needs. Lindsey works with families with a systemic approach from policy, community, family, and the individual.
Lindsey is engaged in important and influential work such as developing policy for human rights and environmental needs among Indiana legislators. She is on the Sierra Club Indiana State board and the Heartland Sierra Club and acts as lobbyist for social issues, environmental issues on behalf of the Sierra Club. Lindsey is currently on the Excom committee and chair of the conservation committee.
Lindsey has experience working at refugee resettlement’s and other agencies providing mental health care and case management for Latino, African, CHIN, Burmese, and Bosnia countries.
"The Earth is her Country. Humankind her people"
-Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas
Audra Richert, LCSW
Audra Richert is a licensed clinical social worker working at both our Central and Greenwood locations. Audra started working in the mental health field as a full time night shift technician at Pine Rest Christian hospital in 1993 while studying psychology during the day at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. After graduating in 1995, Audra moved to inner city Hartford, Connecticut fulfilling a volunteer year providing outreach and running support groups for high school and college age mothers and their children. Audra eventually enrolled in the University of Connecticut where she obtained her masters in social work with an emphasis in casework and geriatrics.
During her time at UConn and after graduating in 1998, Audra was on staff at The Institute of Living in Hartford as an inpatient therapist obtaining her LCSW in 2000. Throughout her career, Audra has worked and interned in various hospital settings including the Connecticut VA, St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Community Health Network, and Riley Hospital for Children. Audra has also worked in home based therapy services with at risk families and at Healthy Families Connecticut as an assessment specialist. Audra also spent spent nine years at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in their neuroscience division learning and educating health care providers in Connecticut, Michigan, and Indiana about the appropriate use of psychotropic and migraine medication for various conditions. Audra considers herself a humanistic therapist with an emphasis in DBT and family work.
An adoptive, foster, and biological mother herself, Audra has a passion for working with kids and families to break generational cycles of trauma and maladaptive communication patterns while also destigmatizing youth and parental mental illness through education and support. Audra enjoys working with teens of all ages and their families as they navigate the transition to adulthood.
Martie Lipman, LMHC-A
Martie Lipman is a therapist working at our Greenwood and Central Office locations. Martie was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to Florida when she was about 3 or 4 years old. Since 2015, Martie has resided in Indianapolis where she attended University of Indianapolis and received her MA in Mental Health & Addictions Counseling.
Martie first realized she wanted to work with trauma and systems when she volunteered at a crisis center during her time as an undergraduate student. While working with persons who experienced trauma, during her graduate program her passion grew to working with adolescents when working at the St Vincent Anderson Center Residential Program for Adolescents. In addition to these, Martie has worked at Volunteers of America with mothers struggling with substance use addiction, as well as the PARC Program with Eskenazi Health with individuals in the early stages of psychosis. These experiences demonstrated not just the prevalence of trauma, but also the multitude of ways trauma can impact families and individuals. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to the kind of impact that experiencing trauma may have.
Martie is bilingual and works with many of our Hispanic or Latino families. She loves and appreciates the immigrant population and experiences, and having immigrated to the USA as a child herself she feels it is important for her to be an ally for the families at Reach for Youth. Martie states she wants to ensure she takes part in building a healthy and supportive community.
Scott Giddens, MS, LMHC, LMFT, LCAC
Scott has been a therapist for families and individuals for 30 years in Indiana. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in 1989 in history and psychology. He then moved here to Indiana in 1990. Scott continued his education and graduated with a master's degree in marriage and family therapy from Indiana State University in 1992.
Scott has worked in community mental health, working in IOPs for drug and alcohol counseling, in addition to providing individual, family, and youth counseling. Scott spent 8 years working in residential youth and family therapy, 5 years working with incarcerated individuals at both Marion County Jail II as mental health coordinator and at Plainfield RDC assessing inmates for Indiana DOC. Scott's joys are is four grown children and two stepchildren as well as his two grandchildren.
Scott is currently working for Reach For Youth in our greenwood office.
Akua Miller Gaylor, MSW
Akua Miller Gaylor earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in clinical rehabilitation through Purdue University. Akua then followed through with her education by obtaining her Masters of Social Work through Indiana University with a focus on working in schools.
She is a compassionate, culturally competent leader backed by over ten years of professional experience with integrated skills that include group counseling, case management, program development, family engagement, and special education in diverse settings, such as schools, skilled nursing facilities, substance abuse centers, and mental health clinics. She is very passionate about improving outcomes for youth, their families, and the surrounding community by building working relationships to encourage personal growth and development.
I am not what happened to me. I am what I chose to become.
John Polstra, LCSW, CSAYC
TEEN COURT TEAM
DIRECTOR OF PREVENTION SERVICES
With over 5 years of experience working with youth and families, Aaron received his Bachelors of Social Work degree from Ball State University.
Aaron began his work with youth and families as a Case Manager in the Indiana Department of Child Services, and continued this work as Peace Corp Volunteer in the Philippines. Aaron is a graduate of Leadership United through United Way of Central Indiana. Aaron gives back to the community through his Board involvement with Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center. Aaron is currently completing his Masters of Public Affairs degree requirements through the IUPUI School of Environmental and Public Affairs.
Aaron's focus is carrying out the mission of Reach For Youth by constantly seeking new and innovative ways to increase capacity and serve more families.
TEEN COURT DIRECTOR
Chris graduated from Manchester University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Criminal Justice.
After gaining experience working with youth and families at Youth Connections as the Program Assistant, he joined the Reach For Youth team in 2003.
As the Teen Court Director, he also facilitates workshops on topics including shoplifting, conflict resolution, peer pressure and teen dating violence. The Teen Court program allows him to combine his passion for working with youth and supporting them in turning mistakes into opportunities for growth and personal development, while helping youth avoid the negative consequences of being an adjudicated delinquent in an official juvenile court.
TEEN COURT COORDINATOR
Lindsey graduated from IUPUI with a Bachelors of Social Work. She is currently enrolled for the Masters of Social Work program at IUPUI.
Starting as an intern at Reach For Youth in her senior year, she was hired on after graduating in May of 2018. She also has previous experience working with youth at the Juvenile Justice Center. Her previous experience working with youth in the criminal justice system encouraged her to seek restorative justice practices.
While working as the Teen Court Coordinator, her focus is devoted to all volunteer efforts in the Teen Court program. She also sees to our community outreach to local schools and probation offices to educate them on social justice and prevention efforts.