Maria Patricia Caruso, MS, BCBA
Renee Vassell, MS, BCBA
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
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
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.
Shannon Mathew, BA
Shannon graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is currently working on her Masters in Counseling with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is also currently getting supervised hours toward BCBA certification. Shannon has had previous work experience working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities, between the ages of 3-18, at an after school program and summer camp. She loves working with children and wants to help them reach their potential. Shannon is caring, patient, and understanding. She wants to continue to expand her knowledge and experiences in ABA.
Marilyn Taylor, RBT
Marilyn is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. Marilyn has years of previous experience working with children with special needs in a multitude of settings prior to working at Evolving Minds. Marilyn worked as a rehabilitation aide at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital assisting a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists. She also worked at Nova Southeastern University’s Mailman Segal Center for Human Development as a behavior technician in the Kapila Family Foundation Feeding Disorders Clinic. At Mailman, she also assisted in the Pediatric Dental Clinic for Children with Special Needs. There she provided behavioral support for the dental faculty, residents, and students in the forms of creating behavior plans for each patient and implementing behavioral interventions during appointments. She is passionate about working with the pediatric population, and is excited to join the Evolving Minds team. Marilyn is also a registered yoga teacher and has a certificate in plant based nutrition from Cornell. She is in the process of obtaining her RBT certification. Marilyn is fluent in English and Spanish.
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.
Katherine Ben-David, RBT
Katherine graduated with her MS in Psychology from Purdue University and is currently enrolled in coursework to obtain her Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certification. Katherine’s experience is working with children with Autism, Rhett Syndrome, behavioral and other developmental disorders. She has worked with children between the ages of 2 and 17 years of age. Katherine found her passion working with children when she volunteered at several daycare centers for children with developmental disabilities and juvenile detention centers. Katherine is going back to school to get her Doctorate in Psychology.