MEET THE TEAM
JENNIFER RAPP was born in Rhode Island. Her family found their way to Miami when she was only one year old. Since then Miami has been home. With a background in Early Childhood Education, her career began at a local private day school teaching Early Childhood. Her absolute favorite- two year olds! As life would have it, a very special student introduced her into the world of Autism. From that day on, she knew what she needed to do. Under the guidance and training of The Lovaas Institute, Jennifer spent 10 plus years working privately providing Applied Behavior Analysis therapy to private clients, all while continuing her career in Education. As a director of an Early Childhood school in Miami Beach, Jennifer was able to share her skills as a leader and administrator. The Missing Peace has always been a dream of Jennifer’s. Today, The Missing Peace, is who we are because of the incredible team we have built. Each and everyone of us, give everything we can to helping each client reach their full potential. Our mission is quality- we strive to be the best. When Jennifer isn’t working (which is never!) you can find her spending time with her family and friends, and traveling.
NATALIE ABKARIAN MOT/L, INPP is a bilingual pediatric occupational therapist, a proud mother of 2, and a native South Floridian. She completed undergraduate studies at Florida International University and received her master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University. She was chosen as the sole recipient in her graduating class of the distinguished Chancellors Award for “the student who best exemplifies the characteristics of scholarship, leadership, integrity, humanity, and loyalty to the profession”. After graduating, she continued to pursue a specialized certification in neurodevelopment and reflex integration. Natalie has practiced in a variety of clinical settings and has a wealth of pediatric experience. Most recently she has practiced as a concierge therapist providing one on one intervention to children across Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Passionate about child development and the importance of play, Natalie uses a gentle child-led therapy style to build authentic relationships with her clients and their families. She also strongly believes in building a multi- disciplinary team in order to guarantee a whole child approach to intervention. She has formed professional relationships with some of the best clinicians in the community and is known to engage the expertise of doctors and therapists of different specialties to meet the unique goals of her clients. Natalie’s vision in joining The Missing Peace team is to provide multi-faceted, in depth developmental evaluating and treatment of underlying developmental areas such as reflex maturation, gross/fine motor development, sensory integration, vestibular processing, and visual motor skills in order to provide children with the foundational skills necessary for them to reach their best potential.
Making a difference one 'peace' at a time.
SARAH ERDMAN is a Florida state licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Pennsylvania State University, then went on to receive her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Miami University of Ohio. She moved to Miami, Florida to begin her professional career as an SLP. Sarah has experience working in the public schools within Broward and Miami-Dade County with students who have a variety of speech and language needs. She has worked with and supported students in Pre-Kindergarten programs all the way through high school aged students. Sarah has a passion for helping children grow in their communicative abilities. Sarah is excited to bring her positivity and passion for speech and language to the clients, families, and the team at The Missing Peace!
KARINA VALLARINO is a BCaBA (Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst) who was born in New Jersey and raised in Miami, FL. She began working with children at the young age of 14, when she entered her high school’s Early Childhood Education program. Upon graduation, she received her Child Development Associate certificate and became the lead VPK teacher at a local preschool, while attending school at Florida International University. During her undergraduate career, she discovered the world of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and knew from that moment, this is what she was meant to do. From then on, she interned at two ABA companies, and in 2017 graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis. Karina has always had a niche for helping those in need and has an inexplicable passion for her work. She has had the pleasure of working with children of all ages, including typically developing, on the Autism spectrum, and with other developmental disorders. In her most recent experience, she has focused on Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention and Social Skills Development. She has a deep belief in inclusion for all and dedicates herself to ensure each of her clients reach their full potential. The Missing Peace found Karina at the perfect time in her career. She is looking forward to collaborating with the team and pursuing their mission with every individual they meet. When she is not working (or brainstorming on ideas for work), you can find her anywhere outdoors, or caring for her pet tortoise, Clarice.
JAMIE ASKEN was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelors degree in Education from Westchester University and taught in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. She came to the Miami area with her husband and was thrilled to become part of The Missing Peace team. After three years in sunny Florida, she moved to Illinois where she still has the opportunity to enjoy working with wonderful students in Miami via Skype. She loves to see their progress and help them to use their strengths to guide their learning. On the weekends she likes going to Bears games and cherishes time spent with family and friends.
JOSE CHANG was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to Miami, Florida in 1994. He speaks fluent English/Spanish and some French. Fueled by his natural curiosity and passion for science, he earned a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at FIU. His journey in research science has taken him from working on a cure for Smallpox, to studying how to overcome antibiotic-resistant Tuberculosis, to understanding how Florida Red Tide affects marine wildlife and human health. Dr. Chang was deeply involved in FIU’s flourishing STEM community and taught students within the Peer-Led Team Learning program. PLTL trained him in pedagogy, active learning, and modern teaching approaches which sparked another passion: helping students succeed! Since 2016, Dr. Chang tutors nearly all academic subjects from 5th-12th grade; several college-level courses; and the SAT, PSAT, ACT, SSAT and HSPT, to name a few. Dr. Chang’s teaching philosophy goes beyond traditional tutoring. He is committed to teaching students from all walks of life how to become disciplined, confident, and independent learners by fostering a growth mindset. His unique experiences navigating academia all the way up to the PhD level enable him to impart highly useful study/organizational skills, leadership traits, lifestyle habits, communication skills, and valuable resources. When he isn’t working (which is rare!), Dr. Chang loves spending time with his pup Mason, learning more about investing, and traveling. The Missing Peace is home, and Dr. Chang’s clients are his family, where he gets to live the dream of making a difference every day!
MELISSA COOPER was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Georgia State University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education. Melissa has classroom experience both as a general education teacher and a special education teacher. She is trained in Orton Gillingham having taken both the beginner and intermediate level courses. She moved to Miami with her husband in 2010 and joined The Missing Peace in 2013. After deciding to expand their family, they moved back to Atlanta to be close to family. After taking some time to be home full time with her son, Melissa is thrilled to be back with The Missing Peace. During her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her three-and a half year old son and husband.
MEGAN EINBINDER was born and raised in Miami. She earned her B.A. degree in film from the University of Central Florida and is currently working on her master’s degree in occupational therapy. Megan has always loved working with children and caring for others. She also enjoys boating and water activities, obstacle course racing, traveling the world, and dogs. She is excited to be at The Missing Peace doing what she loves, working with children!
was born in Brooklyn, New York, grew up in Far Rockaway and went to high school in Rockville Centre on Long Island. She lived in San Miguel de Allende for two years and taught English to locals. Family brought Jill to Miami and she completed her degree at FIU – Secondary English Education with a minor in English Literature. Her first position was teaching in a center for struggling students with Broward County Schools. After seven years – “the best job I ever had” – Jill went on to become a literacy coach and professional development coach for Broward County Schools where she serviced eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. She proved to be very successful with each of her schools showing growth in literacy. The teachers she worked with, many of them veterans, learned how to step outside their comfort zones and incorporate new strategies that proved to be successful in all subject areas.
Jill earned her Master of Science in K-12 Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Jill believes that EVERY child CAN learn. Her motto is, “Say I Can, and You Will!” Jill has joined the Missing Peace and looks forward to working with students individually and at whatever capacity is needed. When she’s not working, she’s traveling, going to the beach, and taking care of her two dogs – Trixie the Great Dane Mastiff and Boulder, the Black and Tan Bloodhound.
NICOLE FLORES was born in Hollywood, Florida. Although initially her education and skillset were in the field of Communications and Marketing (a B.S. in Communications and MBA), with over 10 years in the corporate workforce, her love for children has always been at the forefront of her long term life goals. She was an Early Childhood teacher and dance teacher throughout college and has volunteered with the Kids department at her church for several years. In 2019, Nicole lived and taught English in a reform school in Bogota, Colombia, where she made the final decision to make working with children her full-time career. Since her return to the States in 2020, she has become a certified teacher, worked with special needs, ELL, and remedial students across the county and been a full-time teacher. She recently received her Master’s in School Psychology from Barry University and is now working towards her Specialist in School Psychology. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her family, friends, and going to the beach. Nicole is looking forward to bringing her expertise to The Missing Peace.
TIFFANY GONZALEZ MOT, OTR is a bilingual occupational therapist born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy from Florida International University and her Masters in occupational therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. She is adept at employing therapeutic use of self to foster collaborative rapport with clients, families, caregivers, and coworkers. Tiffany has over eight years of experience treating a diverse population with varying diagnoses: autism, developmental delay, attention deficit disorder, developmental dyspraxia, and sensory processing disorder. Tiffany is experienced in providing treatment for toddlers and children to improve upon fine motor, visual motor, sensory processing (tactile, visual, auditory, vestibular, proprioceptive), sensory modulation, bilateral coordination, balance, and gross motor skills. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys kayaking, cooking, attending the Miami Dolphins games, and relaxing with her dog Romeo. She is overjoyed to be apart of The Missing Peace.
JESSICCA JONES received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Auburn University. She then completed her Master's Degree in Instructional Technology from University of West Georgia. As a certified teacher, Jessicca taught grades 3, 4, and 5 for a collective 8 years in Atlanta, Georgia and Miami, Florida. While teaching, Jessicca received extensive training in Singapore Math, Writing and Reading Workshop and Flexible Learning. Her love for children and education led her to start her own family in the summer of 2016. Jessicca's love of athletics, technology, and college/NFL football allows her to connect and teach children in a variety of ways.
CODY GUILBEAUX Born and raised in Louisiana. She has received her bachelors in Recreational Therapy from Florida International University. Cody has had many years of experience in settings such as a camp leader for kids diagnosed with ASD, ADD, and ADHD, recreational therapist in school and center settings; as well as a behavior specialist in centers, classrooms and home settings. Cody is obtaining her masters through Nicholls State University in teaching and behavioral therapy. In her free time she serves as a team lead for VOUS Buddies that specializes in supporting children with unique needs. Her passion is inclusion and independence, she believes that everyone is unique and has a purpose in life and it’s our job to cultivate that purpose! Cody is excited to bring her passion to The Missing Peace.
MEYRAV KANEl is a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA/L) and received her degree from Keiser University. In addition, she received a bachelor’s degree from Touro University in Jewish Studies as well as a minor in Education. Meyrav has experience working with pediatrics in daycares, private schools, clinics and homes. She is certified in Early Steps Program for children between ages of 0 to 3 years but enjoys working with various age groups. Before her COTA career path, she worked in early childhood and Pre-K classrooms as a teacher. As a result, Meyrav became a COTA to challenge her career to work with children one-on-one and has experience working with children with autism, developmental delays, ADHD, and down syndrome. She always had a passion of working with children and uses a therapeutic approach that is tailored to each child with their end goal of becoming independent. In her spare time Meyrav enjoys cooking traditional Italian and middle eastern dishes as well as doing yoga. Meyrav is excited to join the Missing Peace team and bring her experiences to work.
ANNA LOMBARD is a graduate of Dominican College in New York, where she received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. Since graduating, Anna has been working as a pediatric OT to support development of skills in infants through young adults. Anna has experience working with many children with cerebral palsy, autism, sensory processing disorder, pediatric mental health disorders, feeding delays and restrictive eaters in private clinics and early intervention. Anna enjoys supporting children in their feeding journeys with her training as a Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S.) Feeding Therapist. She is passionate about working with and advocating for kids of all ages and diagnoses to ensure optimal independence in all meaningful tasks. Anna recently moved to Miami and is excited to bring her skills to support the children and their families here at The Missing Peace.
DEBBIE MAYA was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She has a Cuban background and is fluent in both English and Spanish. Debbie completed a Bachelor's degree in Exceptional Student Education, grades K-12 from Florida International University, and received a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, birth-2nd grade from Brooklyn College. As a motivated special educator, Debbie is always seeking the opportunity to improve the education of students with differences by assisting, and accommodating their specific needs. Currently, as an Educational Specialist for The Missing Peace, Debbie works with children inside and outside the classroom where she looks forward everyday to enhancing their academic skills and helping them face their challenges. Her goal is to help the students feel accomplished and to help them feel accepted and comfortable in their community environment. Debbie will always encourage them to work hard, to keep going, and inspire them to do well with positive reinforcement.
MEGAN MECSERY is a RBT (Registered Behavior Technician). She was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Megan has experience working with children with ASD, ADD/ADHD, and other developmental delays. Megan also has experience in Early Childhood Education. When she was introduced to a child on the spectrum she decided to look into ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and that is when she knew she wanted to pursue that as a career. Megan has experience in working with children at their homes, schools, and learning centers. Megan has gained a plethora of knowledge over the years and is excited to continue learning. Megan loves watching children grow and become their best self. She is excited to be a part of The Missing Peace and is looking forward to working with such amazing children. When Megan is not working she is traveling or hanging out at home with her dog.
GENESIS MERINO is a Behavioral Specialist from Miami, Florida. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology with a focus on Applied Behavior Analysis. She has experience in working with children diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, as well as Intellectual Disabilities. It brings her the utmost joy to see a child grow and develop academically and socially. She is excited to be a part of The Missing Peace and is looking forward to inspiring your child to reach success. Overall, Genesis enjoys traveling and road cycling, and absolutely loves the mountains.
JESS OLSON has over 11 years of teaching experience in private elementary schools and has been trained in multiple teaching approaches, including Singapore Math and Orton Gillingham. She enjoys providing a nurturing, creative and differentiated environment that best suits all of her students’ individual needs. Jess was born in Vermont and left the cold weather as soon as possible. She spent her gap year as a nanny and children’s swim instructor in Grand Cayman, before pursuing her B.A. in Studio Arts from Rollins College in Orlando, Florida. In college, Jess began working in the classroom as part of several internships. She later moved to Los Angeles to begin her career as an educator. While teaching, she received her Elementary Teaching Credentials and Masters in Elementary Education from Antioch University. Seeking new teaching opportunities, Jess moved to Puerto Rico for two years and then back to Florida. At her last school in North Miami, she became a mentor to new teachers. In 2015, Jess took some time off to have her two daughters and has been tutoring elementary-aged students in math, reading, test-taking skills, and organization. This led her to The Missing Peace where she is excited to support each student as they progress in their learning. In her spare time, Jess enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, gardening, and going to the beach.
PAMELA PHILLIPS MS, OTR/L received her bachelors degree in Psychology from Florida International University and completed her Master’s degrees in Occupational Therapy from Barry University. Pamela spent 8 years assisting children of all ages discover their fullest potential as an occupational therapist in the San Diego school district. In addition to providing therapy in an educational environment, Pamela integrates a wide range of therapeutic approaches in both the home environment and clinical settings. Throughout her career she has been treating children of all ages and diagnoses. She is a master of play and incorporates a well planned and designed therapy approach that is tailored to each child so that they may reach their goals and fullest potential. In her spare time, Pamela enjoys paddle boarding, sailing, and traveling. Pamela is excited to become a part of the Missing Peace team to collaborate with other therapists and to share her expertise and experience.
BRITTNEY PORTUONDO is a Miami native and devoted professional who is currently pursuing her post-graduate degree after attending Florida International University. She has a passion for working with children diagnosed with ASD and other developmental delays and has dedicated her career to bringing a holistic approach to her work. She brings a positive attitude, creativity, and a caring heart to her sessions every day. When Brittney is not hitting the books, you’ll likely find her soaking up the sun at the beach or practicing yoga. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places, trying new foods, and spending time with her loved ones. With her experience and education, Brittney is a valuable asset to any team she works with and is proud to collaborate and make a positive impact at The Missing Peace!
LILY RENNHOFF born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is excited to join The Missing Peace. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Louisiana State University. After getting married to her high-school sweetheart in August 2022, Lily moved to Miami to begin her professional career as a CF-SLP. Lily has clinical experience assessing cleft-palate, trialling AAC devices, and working with children with a variety of speech and language needs. Lily is thrilled to be surrounded by a passionate, knowledgeable team, as well as to bring her own devotion for communication to The Missing Peace; all with a goal to learn and grow from each child by giving them a voice.
NICOLE ROESSET grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Marist College where she studied Communications and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Pace University in New York City. A certified and licensed teacher, Nicole taught 2nd and 3rd grades in the New York City Public School system, before teaching 4 th grade for eight years at Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey. After living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for 11 years, Nicole and her husband moved to Miami in 2008, where their son Nicholas was born two months later. After staying at home to raise Nicholas, Nicole decided to go back to the profession she enjoys most – teaching! While most of her previous experience has been as a lead teacher in a classroom, Nicole has always enjoyed working with students in a one-on-one manner. It is in this setting that she feels she can have the most impact. Nicole is very excited to be a part of such an impressive team as The Missing Peace. She is looking forward to helping students feel successful and confident in school, and, more importantly, in life.
AMY RUDMAN grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa before moving to Boca Raton, FL in her elementary years. Amy has always worked with children- at summer camps, or tutoring, babysitting, and teaching dance classes, so it was only natural that she would become a teacher. She earned a bachelors and masters degree in Elementary Education, and graduated from the ProTeach Program at the University of Florida in 2011. Amy also earned a minor in Spanish, and went on to teach VPK, 1st grade, 4th grade and 5th grade for over 10 years in South Florida. She has a passion for teaching reading, history, writing, technology and math, and helping students find their voice through Student Government. Amy has worked as a tutor for students from Pre-K to high school, ranging from teaching letter sounds, to preparing students for end of course exams. Amy is certified in special education, English for Speakers of other Languages, and gifted education. Amy is thrilled to bring years of classroom experience, knowledge of instructional methods, and a passion for the learning process to The Missing Peace. When Amy is not working with students, you can find her teaching indoor cycling classes, training for a half marathon, planning her next travel adventure, watching Jeopardy reruns, or teaching new tricks to JP (aka Jean Pierre), her French Bulldog.
is from Tennessee and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Middle Tennessee State University. She then moved to Birmingham and obtained her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Samford University. MaKayla has obtained a variety of clinical experiences in the elementary school, preschool, private practice, early-intervention, and hospital setting. MaKayla has experience treating and assessing a wide range of speech and language disorders from birth to palliative care. When MaKayla is not working, she enjoys fitness classes, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. MaKayla has a passion for giving children a voice and empowering their caregivers to continue their speech and language growth outside of the therapy room. She is excited to bring this passion to The Missing Peace and join the incredible team of specialists.