Tressa believes her passion to become a social worker began as a child as she grew up with a family member who experienced mental health and developmental difficulties. She attended Bridgewater State College with a dual major in Sociology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Psychology. As part of her studies, she interned with the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office as a victim witness advocate for the Domestic Violence Unit. Following graduation, Tressa began working for an adolescent group home for consumers of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families who required short term assessment, stabilization and rapid reunification with their family and community. While working for the program she was promoted from direct care to residential supervisor. Tressa realized during her service that she wanted to expand her clinical knowledge and further her ability to provide care to consumers and enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at Boston University.
After completing her MSW, Tressa began working as the Intake Coordinator for an outpatient therapy clinic, completing initial diagnostic evaluations, treatment plans and making clinically indicated referrals to providers within the clinic. Additionally, she maintained a small case load of clients for psychotherapy and facilitated group therapy for the Intensive Recovery Program for consumers in early substance abuse recovery. For the past five years, Tressa has been working as a Crisis intervention Specialist for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Tressa specializes in risk assessments, harm reduction, early trauma recovery and stabilization of consumers within the community and least restrictive setting. Tressa prides herself in her ability to think outside the box and achieve problem resolution with consumers. In addition to working for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Tressa also provides per-diem psychiatric consultation for a community hospital’s Emergency Department.
Tressa is excited to be part of the SBS community and has been impressed by the individualism and philosophy of SBS services. Tressa provides valuable clinical support to SBS providers and consumers.
Allyson initially joined SBS in 2007 on a part-time basis bringing her more than twenty years of experience and expertise in the human service field. In 2010 she became a full-time SBS case manager.
Allyson has worked in a variety of direct care and administrative roles, predominantly in residential based programs. Allyson broadened her expertise with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, by working as a Residential Director at the League School of Greater Boston, and acting as part of an intensive residential support team for an individual with Autism.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Bridgewater State College and received a Master Degree in Theological Studies in Pastoral Counseling from Boston University. Whether supporting clients with daily living tasks or providing therapeutic programming, Allyson has enjoyed the close client relationships that the SBS environment fosters. More recently Allyson has taken on the role of Community & Provider Liaison, again using her experience and familiarity with all programs to help new clients and families transition into SBS.
Nicole graduated from the University of New Hampshire with her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Justice Studies. She has worked in the mental health field for over 10 years in a variety of settings and populations including homeless shelters, the juvenile court clinic and residential settings. Upon receiving her Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University Nicole accepted the position as Residential Program director and soon after was promoted to Clinical Director. Nicole has helped to solidify the clinical programming at SBS by incorporating evidence based practices and providing clinical supervision to staff and graduate-level interns. Nicole values the incorporation of clinical work in social work education and is a part-time advisor to graduate students at Boston University’s School of Social work. She currently oversees both the residential and community based programs and is always looking for ways to improve the delivery and types of services SBS offers.
Originally from New York, Katie graduated from SUNY Cortland with a dual degree in English and Psychology. Following her graduation, she stayed in Central New York and spent time working as a caregiver for older adults at Home Instead Senior Care in Syracuse, New York as well as with adolescents with developmental disabilities at the Franziska Racker Center where she assisted individuals in learning to meet their own physical and household needs.
Through this work, Katie realized that she wanted to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work and began the MSW program at Boston College in the fall of 2014. While at BC, she gained a wide array of clinical experience interning in a guardianship department, a local senior center, and an independent living facility for older adults.
As Program Director for SBS’s Community Based Clients, Katie combines her cheerful, energetic personality with her clinical experience in creating innovative supports for the SBS clients living in the community. When she isn’t working, Katie spends much of her time outdoors and loves to hike. She also enjoys running and has completed several half-marathons and recently ran her first full marathon.
Amanda earned her Bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College of MA in 2009 majoring in psychology and studio Art. During her years in undergrad, she developed an interest in psychopathology, human behavior, and exploring various ways in which the arts serve as ways to connect to self and others. Following her graduation, Amanda spent time traveling throughout the southwestern states, completing a year of service as an Americorps NCCC corps member and working at a day treatment center for individuals with developmental disabilities in Denver, Colorado.
Eventually heading back to her New England roots, Amanda enrolled in a clinical counseling program at Lesley University to further her education in the field. Her graduate field training included community-based therapy at a nonprofit for at-risk youth, as well as working as a clinical coordinator within a partial hospitalization program in Brookline, MA for adults with persistent mental illness and dual-diagnoses. While in graduate school, Amanda also worked part-time as a mental health counselor at a residential treatment facility for women with eating disorders and other co-morbidities. Ultimately, these experiences helped Amanda develop her therapeutic lens while strengthening her skillset, which includes individual work, group therapy, practicing DBT and healthy thinking, addressing addictive behaviors, urge management, and utilization of expressive therapies.
She received her master’s degree for Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy from Lesley University in 2017. Amanda employs a strengths-based, person-centered approach throughout her practice with clients and continues to promote alternative modes for self-expression. She plans to obtain her LMHC and AT-R licensure in the near future.
Anna Katia Zbikowski joined the Step by Step team in June of 2016. Originally from Chicago, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania. Before coming to Step by Step, Anna Katia worked as a tutor at a middle school in Boston where she also gained experience as a teacher’s aide in special education. She subsequently worked at a community center in East Cambridge creating educational programs around urban gardening and co-facilitating a middle school after-school program. After these enriching experiences Anna Katia returned to school to receive her Master’s degree in Social Work from Simmons College. During this time she interned first with adolescents at a high school in Dorchester and then with HealthCare Associates at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital as an adult outpatient therapist. In her spare time Anna Katia enjoys taking walks, blogging, playing her ukulele and spending time exploring Boston with friends.
Sathaporn, better known as Apple to everyone at Step By Step was born in Bangkok, Thailand. There, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1999. She decided to continue her education in the United States earning her MBA in 2005 and her MS in accounting in 2014. A certified payroll professional and member of the American Payroll Association, she is proficient in Quick Books, ADP and Microsoft Office. Apple brought her extensive experience in finance administration, contract design/implementation, accounts payables and payroll to SBS in March of 2015 and has proven to be a versatile, high-performing professional who creates trust and confidence in both colleagues and clients. She feels strongly about the SBS mission and has quickly become an important part of the organization.
Originally from Arizona, Faith received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State. During and after her course of study, she gained experience in the social services field working one on one with children on the autism spectrum and with teens aging out of the foster care system. She next moved to Boston to attend Boston University to pursue her masters in social work with a focus in group work. While attending BU, she completed her first clinical internship at Step by Step and her second at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, which further solidified her interests in mental health, substance abuse, and group work. Since her internship, Faith has stayed with SBS and held a variety of roles including Case Manager, Senior Case Manager, and her current role of Residential Program Director. When she isn't working, Faith enjoys live music, writing and poetry, photography, and staying active. As Residential Program Director, Faith has been the driving force behind the enhancement of the residential program that now better meets the more varied needs of SBS’s clients.