Our team of dedicated, enthusiastic, warm, and highly capable people makes us stand out! We are committed to providing training and continuous professional development for each of our coaches. We work closely together to provide quality services to our clients, and our team-based approach allows clients to access a multi-disciplinary team to address any concerns or needs.
Kelda earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. She has previously worked with children, adolescents and young adults in a variety of capacities, including as a school mental health counselor with Providence Center for Community Health Improvement; as an instructor at Marlborough School; as a childhood and parenting educator at Claris Health Pregnancy Clinic; and as an English teacher at a home for orphaned children and adolescents in Vietnam. Kelda also had a previous career in the entertainment industry, working in film and television. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California with a major in Communication and a minor in Cinema/Television. Kelda enjoys traveling, playing music, and spending time with friends and family.
Nathaniel graduated from California State University, Northridge with a B.A. in Psychology in 2016. He is currently in a Master’s program at Pepperdine University studying Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy with Latina/o communities. Throughout his undergraduate career, he has worked in Student Affairs as a New Student Orientation coordinator, where he supervised the student mentor program and helped incoming students transition to university life and achieve personal development goals. He also worked on a crisis helpline for two years, providing crisis intervention and other therapeutic services. Nathaniel remains active in the community by providing bilingual psychoeducation and workshops throughout the San Fernando Valley. He is excited to bring his coaching and mentoring skills to Advance LA and helping others find their strengths to achieve their goals. In his free time, Nathaniel enjoys hiking, archery, exploring the city and cheering on his favorite sports teams.
Joanne received her Masters of Science Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Mindfulness training from Phillips Graduate Institute’s MFT program, after earning her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from California State Northridge. She has worked at the Corporation for Supportive Housing and has coached the chronically homeless, helping her clients reclaim their voices and share their stories. She has over 20 years experience working with adolescents and adultsin community settings with histories of trauma, abuse, bullying, food and substance abuse struggles, and she is excited to bring her coaching skills to Advance LA. Joanne is the proud mother of two teenagers. She is committed to a healthy lifestyle and loves to share her knowledge about nutrition. When she has free time, she enjoys designing jewelry and traveling.
Krist earned his Bachelors of Arts degrees in Psychology and Social Work from Rutgers University. While attending university, he worked as a research assistant at The John Abela Institute for Research, screening youth for mood and anxiety disorders. Krist comes to Advance LA with numerous related work experiences. He worked in a Workforce Development Program, where he helped individuals develop job skills and assisted them in obtaining gainful employment. Krist also worked in the Chafee Life Skills Program, contracted by New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families. While there, he assisted youth develop independent living skills as well as achieve their higher education, career, and housing goals. For fun, Krist enjoys photography, music, and cheering on his NFL, NBA, and fantasy teams.
Matthew Hilburn is a Masters student of Counseling in the Marriage and Family Therapist track at California State University, Northridge. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Houston, Clear Lake in 2011. Following his undergraduate career, he began working as a Behavioral Therapist for REACH with the Help Group. Currently, he continues his work with the Help Group as a Life Skills Coach in conjunction with Advance LA. Matthew also works at Strength United as a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee with domestic violence and sexual assault survivors struggling with trauma, depression anxiety and parenting dilemmas.
Hugo has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Child & Adolescent Development from California State University, Northridge. He recently completed a Master of Science degree in Counseling Marriage and Family Therapy at California State University Long Beach. Hugo has worked with young people of divergent ages, ethnic/psychosocial backgrounds, and unique needs (gifted, abuse history, developmental disabilities) in both private and public settings as a teacher, coach, tutor, and behavioral/family therapist utilizing evidence-based practices. Hugo is passionate about facilitating inner strength and hope with youth and their families. Hugo enjoys hiking, basketball, music (hip hop to classic rock), and swimming.
Ben graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. Since graduating, Ben worked for Youth Progress, an organization that serves some of Oregon’s highest-risk young adult populations. While at this non- profit, Ben provided coaching for healthy independent community living and job skills for his clients. He then served in Portland’s public school system as an Education Assistant in a class for young adults affected by a range of developmental disorders. Ben is looking forward to continuing coaching with Advance LA, helping people find their strengths and move forward with their unique life goals. Along with coaching, Ben is a gigging jazz musician and loves spending time cooking and eating adventurous foods.
Courtney graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and is currently attending Chapman University's School Psychology program where she is completing her M.A. and Ed.S. degrees in Educational Psychology, with an additional emphasis as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She has four years experience working with children and young adults with developmental disabilities in school and after-school program settings. In addition to her work with Advance LA, she is also working as a school psychology practicum student for Los Alamitos Unified School District. Her hobbies include hiking, shopping, singing, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.