Advance LA is proud to have a such a dedicated and experienced multidisciplinary leadership team.
Rachel L. Round, M.A.
Rachel earned her Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology, from Chapman University. She’s continuing her studies to earn an Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology. Before pursuing school psychology, Rachel received her teaching credential in Special Education from CSUN while working as a teaching assistant at Village Glen School. Rachel has since worked as a Middle School teacher where she taught students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, dual exceptionalities and other social and communicative deficits. Rachel is excited to lead the Advance LA team as we continue to grow our programs and services! She has the reputation around Advance LA headquarters of being pretty nerdy and gets excited about math, data, and spreadsheets, but Rachel also loves to travel the world, try new restaurants, and hang out with her (equally nerdy) husband and (very quirky) dachshund, Frank.
Jennifer White, M.S.W.
Jennifer J. White is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCS 28839), she holds a Master of Social Work degree from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Jennifer worked as a high school social worker in the Chicago area, a milieu clinician with The Help Group’s Stepping Stones therapeutic pre-school, and most recently as a school based therapist at The Help Group’s North Hills Prep (previously Pacific Schools) which serves adolescents and young adults with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Jennifer’s approach to working with teens and young adults is to assist them in identifying their strengths, always pushing them just beyond where they are, so that they may achieve gradual, consistent success. In addition to her work in educational settings, Jennifer has five years of experience as an adoption social worker providing home study services, pre-adoption education, and post-adoption support for international and domestic infant adoptive families. The culmination of her work with children, young adults, and families, has provided Jennifer with invaluable insight into the joys and challenges of parenting, particularly parenting individuals who may need additional support.
Jennifer is excited to provide leadership to Advance L. A.’s amazing team while they assist clients and families in navigating the challenges of transitioning into the “real world.”
Michelle Hagen, M.A.
Live Advance LA Program Director
Michelle completed her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology at Argosy University with emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Additionally, she worked as a Residential Administrator and Operations Supervisor at a 68- bed facility for adults living with severe emotional and behavioral challenges. Michelle is, also, experienced in developing Residential Homes for the Elderly and Adults who are transitioning into the community. In addition, she has provided individual, group, and family therapy to clients in an acute psychiatric unit. Her extensive experience in working with varying client populations in different settings has provided her the critical knowledge and experience from which she draws in her daily work.
With her passion for guiding people in achieving a better quality of life and imparting unequivocal support in order to achieve each person’s utmost potential, Michelle is delighted to work with our dynamic residential counselors, amazing residents, and their dedicated families. She enjoys facilitating the growth process and providing support to these young adults as they transition toward self-sufficient adulthood.
Whenever opportunity arises, Michelle loves to travel to different countries with her husband, dive in exotic locations, bake some sweets, spend quality time with family and their two lovable dogs Ashley and Howie.
Lee Chernotsky, MBA
Director of Community Partnerships
With over a decade of experience in working with young adults with special needs, Lee has worked in a variety of roles including program development and administration, leading invaluable travel experiences such as two Birthright Foundation Trips to Israel, teaching, grant writing and resource development. In addition to working with Advance LA, Lee oversees the residential homes for adults with developmental disabilities at The Help Group. In previous work with other organizations he was vital in the development of enriching and “outside the box” programming opportunities that focused on enhancing social, vocational and independent living skills for clients. It is here with Advance LA that Lee brings his expertise and enthusiasm to connecting with families and creating a strong presence in the community. When he is not at home with his wife chasing after their toddler or on a basketball court, he sits on the advisory boards of the Friendship Circle Los Angeles and The Dream Plan Scholarship Fund. Lee holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management from the American Jewish University where he also completed his undergraduate work in Business and Abnormal Psychology.