Jack Flight, LCSW, RDDP, CSOTS
Over his career, Jack has held leadership positions in residential, group home and acute hospital settings where his passion and expertise in supporting children, adolescents, and young adults, many mental health issues could be utilized.
Jack is a graduate of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Social Work where he currently is an adjunct facility member. Jack is also an adjunct faculty member at Harper College, and has consulted for community mental health agencies. He holds state licenses as a Registered Dual Diagnosis Professional and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and is a Certified Sex Offender Treatment Specialist. Jack serves as an Advisory Board Member at Dominican University and is active on several community committees and work groups.
Virginia Jreisat, MA
Therapeutic Life Coach
Virginia approaches coaching from a collaborative perspective, working together with students to develop innovate approaches to meet their goals. While working with young adults, Virginia engages in a variety of evidenced-based techniques on their journey to become happier, healthier, and more productive individuals. Virginia’s diverse background of experience includes working with a variety of individuals and families as they navigate toward success.
Virginia is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a B.S. in Psychology and International Studies and Northwestern University with a M.A. in Counseling.
Kellen Holden, MA
Therapeutic Life Coach
Kellen’s takes a relational approach in working with students, and his passion to help others grow to discover and reach their full potential shines in his interactions with others. Kellen use of experiential interventions when coaching students assists them in altering patterns of behavior as well as developing new, healthy approaches to addressing situations. Kellen relocated from Wisconsin where he was a High School Counselor for the past two years. Prior to that role, Kellen had been a Mentor Director as well as had several leadership positions at social service agencies in the Green Bay area, and has taught psychology at Viterbo University in LaCross, Wisconsin.
Kellen possesses a Master of Arts in Counseling from Lakeland College in Sheboygan and a Bachelor’s degree in Arts Management from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Claudia Gates, Ed.D.
Dr. Claudia Gates specializes in specializes in facilitating student mastery executive functions such as time management, self-monitoring, and study skills. With a passion for teaching literacy skills to elementary, middle school, high school, and collegiate students, Dr. Gates became inspired to teach once after volunteering to help struggling readers comprehend written texts. The process helped her understand and master the ability to help students engage successfully in literacy, use effective methods to establish academic goals, and maintain personal/professional motivation.
Dr. Gates has provided support to a variety of students successfully in the field of education for more than seventeen years. An astute and enthusiastic educator who loves to read a good story, Dr. Gates uses various contemporary educational methods to help pre/post-secondary students, adult learners, international students, and teacher candidates achieve academic excellence.
Dr. Gates is a graduate of National-Louis University with a doctorate in Reading and Language. She holds Illinois state licensure in Literacy and History.
Career and Social Engagement Coordinator
With a background in improv and theater, Tara brings an exciting and energetic approach to her work with students. As EDGE’s Career and Social Engagement Coordinator, she maintains responsibility for assisting students in the development of social and vocational skills, as well as linking students to volunteer and work opportunities in the Chicago community.
Tara holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Theater from St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota.
After initially pursuing a career in hotel hospitality, Dorian applies her culinary and organizational skills at EDGE with the students as well as coordinating with the property management team. Dorian is passionate about helping students develop good habits and skills.
Dorian is a graduate of Purdue University (BS).
Jennifer Ventrelle, MS, RDN, CPT
Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer
Jennifer Ventrelle is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer consulting in the Chicagoland area with individuals and organizations interested in behavior change for healthy living. She designed and delivers the nutrition and fitness curriculum at EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community. Jennifer is on the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University Medical Center and serves as the Lead Dietitian for the MIND Center for Brain Health at Rush. She is certified in adult weight management and has expertise in the design and implementation of research, clinical, and workplace wellness programs focused on sustainable lifestyle change. Jennifer has over 15 years of research, clinical, and teaching experience in nutrition, physical activity, and mindfulness-based behavior change techniques.,
Brian McKenna, LCSW, CAADC
Parent Services Coordinator
Brian McKenna develops programs that cultivate life passions into purpose. With over 20 years in the field, he possesses extensive knowledge and experience in working in the areas of anxiety and depression, clinical supervision, organizational leadership development, parent coaching, relationship skill building, and substance abuse.
Brian is a graduate of Valparaiso University (BS) and the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago (MSW) and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor with an Adolescent Treatment Endorsement in the State of Illinois.
John Conway, LCSW, CADC
Business Development & Admissions
John has a passion assisting individuals, families, and groups in achieving their potential. John has spent significant time in the wilderness as a trip lead and wilderness therapist and as the program director of a community based wilderness therapy program. John has trained guides and therapists all over the world, as well as serving as past chair of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC) and has held several leadership roles on the Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group (TAPG) of the Association of Experiential Education (AEE).
John is a graduate of Coe College (BA) and Loyola University, Chicago (MSW) and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Alcohol and other Drug Counselor.
Mary Beth Kerf, LCPC, CADC
Mary Beth Kerf has provided therapy services in a number of settings, developed programs that impact change and progress in individuals and has served as a clinical supervisor and consultant to countless others in the field. With her strengths-based approach, Mary Beth seeks to empower young people to find pathways to their future success.
Mary Beth is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University (BA) and Eastern Illinois University (MA) and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and other Drug Counselor.
David J. Ventrelle, Psy.D.
Executive Director - EDGE Programs
Dr. Ventrelle holds a passion for innovation and advancement in the field. His belief in therapeutic intervention as a means to assist people in accomplishing and achieving their goals has fueled his work over that time. Dr. Ventrelle has been privileged to work with individuals and families in outpatient, inpatient and residential settings, as well as serving significant leadership roles in not-for-profit organizations. As a speaker, Dr. Ventrelle has a passion for assisting parents in understanding and responding to challenging behavior. Additionally, Dr. Ventrelle specializes in comprehensive psychological assessment for clients of all ages, including intellectual and personality assessment measures. As the Executive Director for EDGE Programs, Dr. Ventrelle maintains responsibility for strategic direction and oversight of EDGE Learning and Wellness as well as EDGE Counseling Solutions.
Dr. Ventrelle is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (BA) and Argosy University (Psy. D.) and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois.