Our Staff

Administration

Lynn Lynn Willard, MA, MSW, LCPC, LCSW, LSOE, LSOTP
Executive Director
Lynn Willard earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Illinois State University in 1974 and 1975 respectively. She completed her Master of Social Work in 1992 at the University of Illinois. She has worked in child welfare for nearly 25 years, and has done clinical work in sexual abuse since 1990. Lynn started ABC Counseling and Family Services in 1992 to meet the needs for child sexual abuse assessment and treatment.
Laura Laura Jennings-Mitchell, LCSW, LSOE, LSOTP
Assistant Executive Director/Clinical Director
Laura Jennings-Mitchell earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Knox College in 2001, and completed her Master of Social Work degree at Illinois State University in 2003. She first interned at ABC, and was hired to the full time staff immediately after. Laura is also a Licensed Sex Offender Evaluator and Treatment Provider.
  
 
Scott Scott Nafziger
Accountant

Scott is a graduate of Illinois State University. He has been working at ABC since 2005. Scott takes care of the accounting function in the office.
amanda-b  Amanda Black, BA
Development and Marketing Director
Amanda earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 2002. She worked as the Adoption Supervisor at ABC from 2004-2014, as well as the Director of Fundraising and Public Relations for several of those years. Returning in 2016, Amanda now works as the part-time Development and Marketing Director. She coordinates ABC’s Gifts from the Heart fundraising event.

Counselors & Interns

Picture4 Stephanie Adams, MA
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Springfield
Stephanie Adams earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology from Benedictine University in 2010, and completed her Master’s degree in Human Development Counseling at University of Illinois in Springfield in 2016. Stephanie started at ABC as an intern and was hired as a sexual abuse therapist.
Amber Amber Allen, MSW
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Champaign
Amber graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2013 with her undergraduate degree, majoring in psychology. Amber has experience working with a wide range of clients, including youth on probation, youths in residential and individuals in need of crisis intervention. Amber started at ABC as an intern in 2014 and was hired on as a sexual abuse therapist upon her graduation with her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign in May 2015.

Kathleen Kathleen Bautista, LCSW
Clinical Supervisor, Springfield
Kathleen earned her Bachelors Degree from Illinois State University in 1994 and Masters Degree from Illinois State University School of Social Work in 2009, with a concentration in Child and Family Practice.   She received her Clinical License in Social Work in 2011.   Kathleen brings over 21 years of experience working with children and and their families, in the areas of abuse, neglect, trauma, behavior disorders, developmental disorders, and transition.
Melissa Melissa Box, MSW
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Normal
Melissa graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011 with a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Human and Community Development. She completed two internships with ABC, in 2010 and 2011, and was hired immediately after. Melissa earned her Bachelors of Science in Child Development and Human & Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University in 2007, and has worked in early childhood education as both a teacher and an administrator. Melissa has experience working in ABC’s adoption program, and is working toward a certification in Play Therapy. Melissa works in the Normal office and is also responsible for Medicaid compliance and billing.
meganf Megan Fitzsimmons, MSW
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Champaign and DecaturMegan Fitzsimmons earned her Bachelors in Social Work from Illinois State University in 2013. After graduating, she worked for 3 years as a foster care family worker. Although she enjoyed her work with foster families, she sought to work more specifically with children. Megan obtained her Master’s in Social Work in 2016 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Megan completed her internship with ABC Counseling in August 2016 and began working for the agency after obtaining her degree. Megan works in our Champaign and Decatur offices.
Tom Tom Jenkins, MA, LPC
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Normal
Thomas (Tom) Jenkins earned an Associates Degree from Illinois Central College in 1985, followed by a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University in 1987. He earned 15 hours of graduate credit from Illinois State University before transferring to Liberty University, earning his Master of Arts in Counseling in 2002. Tom brings over 27 years of experience working with abused and behavioral disordered children to ABC. He has worked at ABC’s Normal office for 12 years.
 Kyle  Kyle Kovski, LCSW
Sexual Abuse Therapist & Office Manager, Decatur & Springfield
Kyle earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2006. Kyle completed his graduate studies in Social Work at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2013. Prior to coming to ABC, Kyle worked with youth who were runaways or involved in the legal system at two different local child welfare agencies. His experience has allowed him to transition into working closely with clients in similar situations. Kyle started out as an intern for ABC Counseling and Family Services in the Decatur and Bloomington offices in 2012 and was employed thereafter.
Picture4 Sister Sarah Roy, MSW
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Springfield                                                                           Sr. Sarah received her Masters of Social Work degree with a concentration in School Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2002.  She spent her undergraduate years at the University of Illinois where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development and Family Studies in 2000.  She previously worked as a school social worker for rural schools in Champaign County.  Sr. Sarah has also worked as a retreat director and spiritual counselor for college students at the University of Illinois.  Most recently, she has worked as an addiction therapist at a women’s residential treatment center offering both individual and group therapy.   She began as a Sexual Abuse Therapist in the ABC Springfield office in 2016.
Kait Kaitlin Schaber, LCSW
Clinical Supervisor, Normal
Kaitlin earned her Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Illinois State University in 2010 and her Master of Social Work degree, with a concentration in child and family practice, from Illinois State University in 2012. Kaitlin began an internship at ABC in August 2011 and was employed in May 2012.
 bree Bree Leathers, BS
Adoption Specialist, Normal
Bree graduated from Illinois State University in 2016 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Human Development/Family Resources. She was the Adoption Services Intern at ABC during her last semester at ISU and hired immediately after. Bree has worked directly with children and families for over 5 years and has a passion for helping families in their adoption journey.
 Picture4 Cathy Lewellen, MSW
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Peoria
Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice in 2011 from University of Illinois, Springfield and her Master of Social Work with concentration in Child and Family from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2014. She previously worked for a child welfare agency, first as a Caseworker for Foster Care and Intact Families, and then spent the last year there as a Therapist for the Supervised Independent Living program working with teenage boys. She began as a Sexual Abuse Therapist in the ABC Peoria office in 2016.
Julia Julia Mendez, BSW
Director of Adoption Services
Julia Mendez, a Bloomington, Illinois native, earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Texas State University in San Marcos.  She served as an AmeriCorps member, working with young mothers living within the Texas foster care system, and worked with a school-based social service agency partnering with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin.  Julia is thrilled to back in Central Illinois, along with her husband, Marcos, and three children.  She is honored to be working with all members of the adoption triad; offering support and tools to birth and adoptive families as they move through the adoption process.
Megan Megan Murphy, MSW
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Champaign
Megan received her Masters of Social Work degree with a concentration in Mental Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May of 2014. She started as an intern at ABC during 2013 and completed this in May of 2014. Megan spent her undergraduate years at Eastern Illinois University where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and minor in Sociology. She previously worked as a Residential Associate for 3 group homes in the Charleston-Mattoon area which housed individuals with chronic and severe mental illness; their ages ranged from 18-75 years old. Megan also completed an internship during her undergraduate career as a Psycho-Social Rehabilitation therapist intern in which she facilitated multiple group therapies for individuals with chronic and severe mental illness.
Karen Karen Tobias, MSW
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Pekin
Karen Tobias received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy & Religion from Illinois College in 2001. She spent over 2 years working with at-risk youth on aggression replacement training skills before moving into a child welfare position. She was a child welfare specialist for over 8 years working with youth and families involved in the Illinois child welfare system. Karen received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California in 2014. Karen’s program required her to complete 16 months of clinical internship, the last 8 months was as a therapist in ABC’s Pekin and Peoria offices. She was hired at ABC shortly after her internship ended.
 Emily Emily Wenger, MA
Sexual Abuse Therapist, Normal
Emily Wenger received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Illinois State University. She graduated with her Master’s of Arts in Counseling from Lincoln Christian University in May of 2016. Emily’s previous work experience is with geriatric clients and an internship at a school system working with children from early childhood through high school. She began her internship with ABC Counseling in August of 2015, and was hired in February of 2016 as a Sexual Abuse Therapist.

A special thank you to Therapist and Photographer, Kyle Kovski, for the beautiful employee photographs. Check out his Facebook page, KyMar Photography.