Winter Friday Forum 2014 – Productive Occupations for the Well-Being of At-Risk Youth in San Francisco

POTAC and OTTP present

Productive Occupations for the Well-Being of At-Risk Youth in San Francisco

with Colleen Devine, MS, OTR/L, Katie Gordon, MS, OTR/L, Genevieve Cyrs, MS, OTR/L, Christine Haworth, MA, OTR/L, Cathy Nañez, MS, OTR/L, Nancy Jackson, MS, OTR/L,Natalie Pfeister Crittendon, MS, OTR/L, Diana Lin, MA, OTR/L, & Rita Chawla, M.Ed., OTR/L

Friday, February 28, 2014

Registration 12:30 PM
Presentation 1:00 – 4:00 PM


Department of Children, Youth & Families

Fox Plaza, 1390 Market Street, Suite 900, the Mint Room, San Francisco, CA 94102

Program Description

This session provides an overview of the Occupational Therapy Training Program of San Francisco (OTTP-SF), a non-profit program that has served at-risk youth ages 5–21 in San Francisco since 1999. Four of OTTP’s unique programs will be highlighted to review specific assessments and occupation-based interventions that are used to promote health and well-being of at-risk youth who experience multiple barriers and traumas.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify occupational therapists’ role in serving at-risk youth
  2. Identify strength-based, client centered assessment methods used in occupation-based intervention for at-risk youth
  3. Demonstrate understanding of a variety of client-centered, evidence-based intervention strategies for at-risk youth
  4. Determine how occupational therapists assist youth with transitioning to vocational and educational opportunities

Presenters’ Bios

Colleen Devine, MS, OTR/L, received her undergraduate degree in occupational therapy from the University of New Hampshire and her Master’s from SJSU. Colleenhas worked in the field of adolescent community mental health for twenty years and expanded OTTP from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1999. She has succeeded in building capacity to currently serve over 400 youth annually in San Francisco.

Nancy Jackson, MS, OTR/L, has her degree in occupational therapy from the University of Kansas, at KU Medical Center and an MS Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from San Francisco State University. She has worked for 12 years in OTTP’s Family Mosaic Project, providing client-centered and occupation-based mental health OT interventions to youth age 12-18. She has been instrumental in creation of a trauma-informed youth job program, proving FMP youth with access to paid work that is consistent with their mental health needs and goals.

Katie Gordon, MS, OTR/L, received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from San José State University in 2010 and holds a Bachelor of Arts from UC Davis.  She has been practicing occupational therapy in the community-based mental health setting at OTTP-SF for the past 3 years and works with youth who are currently involved or at risk of being involved with the Juvenile Justice System, in foster care and/or at risk of being removed from their home.

Genevieve Cyrs, MS, OTR/L, received her undergraduate degree from Eastern Illinois University and her graduate degree in occupational therapy from Boston University. Genevieve has expertise in mental health and currently serves as the lead occupational therapist operating the Youth Workforce Development Program at the Juvenile Justice Center in San Francisco.

Rita Chawla, M.Ed., OTR/L, has a Bachelor’s in Occupational Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University and a Master’s in Education from Eastern University. In addition to her background in OT, she has several years of experience as an elementary school teacher, youth programs director, and behavioral therapist.

Diana Lin, MA, OTR/L, studied Social Science with an emphasis on Public and Community Service at University of California, Irvine before she earned her graduate degree in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California. She specializes in community-based mental health and has been serving urban youth in this capacity for the past four years.

Christine Haworth, MA, OTR/L, received her occupational therapy degree at the University of Southern California. Christine spent time in Paraguay where she fine-tuned her fluency in Spanish and worked with underserved populations. She is most passionate about serving youth on probation, and is currently co-leading the Youth Workforce Development Program at the San Francisco Community Assessment and Services Center (CASC).

Natalie Pfeister Crittendon, MS, OTR/L, graduated with a BFA from Hofstra University in theater performance and modern dance and an MS in occupational therapy from San José State University.  Natalie is the lead OT on the Career Awareness Program at Civic Center Secondary School as well as the girls’ group at the Juvenile Justice Center, and a team OT for OTTP’s contract with the Family Mosaic Project.

Cathy Nañez, MS, OTR/L, graduated from SJSU with a masters in occupational therapy. Cathy has been serving youth on probation at OTTP for four years and is passionate about promoting social justice and assisting her youth with achieving their potential. Cathy is the lead OT for OTTP’s Detention Project and currently conducts workshops with youth at the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center and serves as the lead OT at Log Cabin Ranch. Cathy co-leads the Youth Workforce Development Program at the San Francisco Community Assessment and Services Center (CASC).

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