Maria Patricia Caruso, MS, BCBA

Maria Patricia Caruso is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and the owner of Evolving Minds Together and Evolving Minds Counseling. Maria Patricia’s graduated from the University of Miami where she attained a double bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Biology. She also obtained her Master degree from Nova Southeastern University as a Mental Health Counselor with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. Maria Patricia’s journey begins while working with the department of juvenile Justice where she has the opportunity to offer counseling and ABA services to adolescent and their families. As her passion for the field growth, she had the opportunity to work with children with autism and other developmental disabilities. It was her everyday experiences and passion for the field that brought her to take a step beyond and become an extra support for the families and their kids by developing a company which mission is to combine passion and dedication with an individualized treatment in order to build brighter future. Maria Patricia is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and had the opportunity to travel to different countries in Latin America to provide Applied Behavioral services to children and their families.

Renee Vassell, MS, BCBA
Clinical Director

Renee Vassell received her M.A. double Major in Mental Health Counseling and Applied Behavioral Analysis at Nova Southeastern University, June 2017. She is currently working on achieving the necessary components and requirements in order to obtain her BCBA licensure. Renee has been working with children with Autism, Mental Disability and Developmental Delay for over 8 years. Renee has experience working in settings such as, in home, summer camp, school and private center. Her experience working with children with Autism ages ranges from 2-11 years old. Renee feels passionate about ABA and aiding each child to become his/her best and serving as a mentor and an advocate for the children and their families. She is delighted to be a part of the Evolving Minds Together team, and is thrilled on making a difference in each child she works with life.

Nicole Hyde, MS, BCaBA
Assistant Clinical Director

Nikkie found her passion in working with children of various exceptionalities through her diverse volunteer work, particularly when she embarked on a mission trip to Mexico. Nikkie earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and Family & Child Sciences from Florida State University, working as a research assistant under prestigious professors studying cognitive development, family relationships, and academic success. She is currently working on her Master’s of Science degree in Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University. Nikkie has loved her journey in the field of ABA. Her motivation to help children and their families progress toward their goals drives her to pursue greater knowledge and experience!

Diana Rada, MS, BCBA
Staff Developer Specialist

Diana Is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She holds the title of B.A. in Clinical Psychology with foundations and training in applied behavior analysis. As well as a Master’s degree in developmental disabilities from Nova Southeastern University with a concentration in ABA and Early Intervention. She is a certified ITDS (Infant-Toddler Development Specialist) and worked with the Early Steps program from Broward County for 4 years. She has been working in the field of ABA since 2005 and, although autism spectrum disorders have been her main focus, she has experience with typically developing children, as well as various other disabilities, working hand in hand with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other related disciplines. Diana is passionate about ABA and considers it an effective and comprehensive method to approach children with and without disabilities to help them reach their potentialities and bring welfare to them and their families.

Laura Torres, MS, BCBA
Operations Specialist

Laura graduated from the University of Central Florida where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She also obtained her Master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Nova Southeastern University. She’s a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with experience working with children who are diagnosed with ASD providing direct behavioral therapy both at school and at home settings. She also has experience working with individuals who are pre- and nonverbal, while managing maladaptive behaviors and teaching replacement behaviors, and teaching them to develop strong social skills. Laura is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and is devoted to working with children of all ages and many levels of ability, alongside their family, to achieve their maximum potential.

Rita Hiatt, BCBA

Rita received her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from the Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University in 2012. She continued her education at FAU to obtain a Master’s in Psychology in 2016, majoring in Cognition. Rita then attended Western Michigan University to complete a second Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, with an emphasis in autism and organizational behavior management. She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2017 and has provided services to clients in the home, clinic and school settings. Rita is passionate about the science, as well as the clinical and practical application of ABA in everyday life. Her favorite part of the job is watching a child demonstrate a new skill for the first time!

Gabriela Bigott, RBT

Gabriela graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and earned a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. While working at the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development, she developed and conducted a social skills curriculum for children with autism and other developmental disorders that optimized the school’s methodology, which was then incorporated as their official lesson plan to better assist the education of their students. She also co-facilitated support groups for families with children diagnosed with ASD. Gabriela has a passion for early intervention and parent training. Her fluency in both English and Spanish allows her to work with more children and families. By empowering her patients with the right set of tools, both the families and children are able to embrace independent and fulfilling lives.

Melanie Gonzalez, RBT

Melanie graduated from the Metropolitan University in Caracas, Venezuela and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and is a Registered Behavior Technician. Currently, she is working towards her Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst certification and is planning on earning her master’s degree in the future. She has worked with children and adults from different backgrounds in one-to-one and group settings.

Her most recent work was as a neurofeedback therapist mainly with children within the Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, ADD, and adults with anxiety, depression and other disorders.

Melanie is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and loves working with children. Her purpose is to help children and their families reach key goals and conquer the child’s potential.

Joyce Bencomo, RBT

Joyce found her passion for educating and helping kids by acquiring a Florida Child Development Associate Equivalent Credential (CDAE) and since then have been working with children for more than 18 years. She has experience as a teacher with typically developing children, as well as various other disabilities working hand in hand with parents, caregivers and other related children specialists. She has always loved kids and is very passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families, what leads her to continue her career as she works towards her RBT certification. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and is devoted to being part of your child’s journey towards fulfilling their potential.

Natalia Manrique, RBT

Natalia graduated from Florida International University where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Natalia recently graduated and is now working on obtaining her RBT certification and further her education in the ABA field. Natalia loves to work with kids; and had the opportunity to work with kids before. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Natalia feels very passionate about ABA, and has a high motivation to work with children and their families, to achieve all goals.

Galit Benhamu, RBT

Galit graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S in Psychology. During her studies, she gained experience working as a tutor and as a teacher for children with developmental delays. She was a volunteer for an organization that helps children that have been victims of abuse or abandonment. Galit is bilingual in both English and Spanish. Through her working experiences coupled with her studies at Northeastern, she realized that her passion is helping her students reach their highest potential. Galit is working on her RBT certification and in the future, she would like to obtain her Masters in ABA therapy.

Sandra Valencia, BA

My name is Sandra Valencia, I graduated as an interior designer from American Intercontinental University (Weston, Fl). My life path totally changed when my son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Since then I dedicated my life to take my son forward and to his full potential. He is now 12 and he has come a long way, we have overcome many obstacles together for him to be where he is right now. Our success is mainly thanks to ABA therapy, He has been receiving behavior therapy for 6 years, I’ve been so involved and learned so much from it that I was able to help my son and other kids at the same time. I became an active autism Mom, I got myself connected in everything that would help my son interact with other kids and learn. He is part of Special Olympics and we are also part of a foundation called Autism & Music for the past 5 years. We spread autism awareness and help enhance the life quality of people with autism through music interaction. This has been an awesome and crucial adventure in our life. I’ve also worked as a shadow at different schools with kids with autism. I found my passion and my mission in life through my journey with my son, which is to help parents and their kids have a successful journey as well, to help the kids be as independent as possible, to help them achieve their full potential but most importantly, to be happy. This is the reason I’m working as a Behavior Therapist with this great company, so we can join forces and knowledge to make the world aware and better for our kids.

Anahis Rueda, BA

Anahi Rueda is from Quito, Ecuador. She is currently studying early education at FAU. Anahi has over fifteen years of experience working with children of all age groups. Her passion for helping children reach their highest potential is what has lead her to work with ABA. Anahi She is currently working on her RBT certification and also bilingual in both English and Spanish. Anahi wishes to continue her education and plans to obtain her Masters in ABA.

Nicole Satt Ancheta, RBT

Nicole graduated from Lindenwood University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Before entering into the world of ABA, Nicole completed an internship working with children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, part of her job was helping with their physical and behavioral therapy. This experience lived by Nicole, led her to find her passion, which is helping children become their best self, improve their abilities and reach their maximum potential. Taking into account that Nicole is an excellent employee and student, it is important to highlight that she is currently working to achieve her RBT certification and plans to continue expanding her education in the field of ABA in the near future.

Anita Gonzalez, RBT

Anita graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services and obtained her certification as a Registered Behavior Technician in March of 2018.Her future plans are to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) and obtain her Master’s degree. Her passion to become an RBT comes from seeing the progress and change children make while receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. Anita’s goal is to provide the best-individualized behavioral service possible to children and their families.

Gabriela Paolini, RBT

Gabriela graduated from Florida International University with a bachelors in Psychology. She has 4 years of experience working in ABA. Working with children, specifically diagnosed with ASD has always been her passion. Gabriela interned at the University of Miami IBIS clinic where her love for early intervention began and was part of their research team. She then moved on to work in the field, specifically in school and home settings where she has worked with children in all age ranges (18 months to 17). Gabriela is fully bilingual in both English and Spanish and plans to pursue her Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling. She is very excited to be part of such a wonderful team and make a difference in each of her clients daily lives!

Francesca Lamare, BA

Francesca is currently attending Florida International University studying psychology. She has always had an interest in kids and their development. She has worked with kids of all ages for many years and I enjoy it! Francesca wants to pursue BCaBA certification and continue her track to complete her BCBA. She loves the field of ABA and want to continue to grow.

Melanie Conteras, RBT

Melanie is currently attending Florida International University studying psychology. Throughout her teaching career, she has always had a passion for working with children and being part of their growth and development. Melanie has a creative mindset and a can-do attitude. She is always a positive thinker and is always up for new challenges. Melanie’s end goal is to achieve the BCBA certification and with love and commitment, she will strive to make a difference in every child’s life.