Terry Allen, MA, has four beautiful grown daughters, and two grandchildren. Terry and husband, Mark Allen, have lived in Batavia since 1991. Terry grew up in Dixon, Illinois, where her father was a pediatrician and her mother was a Registered Nurse. Terry has worked as a counselor with children and families since childhood. Recently, she worked as a facilitator for Changing Children's Worlds Foundation, with groups at Hesed House in Aurora, and Northwestern DelNor Hospital in St. Charles. Terry has worked with the YWCA of Elgin as Program Director of the Big Sisters of Kane County, and with St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin with adolescents and adults in the acute care psychiatric unit. Terry also worked as a Counselor at the Community Crisis Center in Elgin, and with children and adolescents at the Lee County Youth Service Bureau. She has been a volunteer for health care issues and housing affordability with the League of Women Voters of Central Kane County. Terry believes every person is essentially part of a family and community, and that we all need to learn how to be joyful members of those systems.
Jovia Marcela Calderon
Diane comes to CCWF after 32 years in public education. She has been a teacher, Instructional coordinator, Vocational Director, Dean of Students and most recently and for the last 12 years, Assistant Principal for Student Services and Special Education at Kaneland High School, District #302. Diane received her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Illinois State University and her Masters in Educational Leadership from Aurora University. Her post-graduate studies have earned her credentials for Special Education Directorship. Besides her career in education, she has spent over 40 years in the world of theatre as an actor, singer, producer, and director. She currently serves as the Artistic Director for the Kaneland Arts Initiative and oversees its season of theatrical performances. Diane is married and has three artistic and creative young adult children.
Angela D. Edger, MA, LPC
Angela has over 25 years of experience working in various settings (eg. schools, courts and behavioral
health agencies), providing support and services to children, parents and their families. Angela currently
works on a team providing clinical, case management and counseling services to a multi-cultural senior
population. Angela understands the importance of allowing clients to share their experiences and
creates a space built on mutual trust and respect. Angela empowers families to see the potential and
power they have within themselves, as they navigate the challenges they are facing, with the goal of
developing strategies to enhance and strengthen their lives. Angela currently facilitates Life transition
and Caregiver groups and is currently facilitating the Best Start for Families program to grandparents at
Originally from Minnesota and a mother of one daughter, Kassia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Luther College. Kassia has worked in a variety of contexts including: as a Child Development Specialist with pregnant mothers, doing home visits and play groups with children 0-3 years for Two Rivers Head Start Agency; as a Community Systems Developer at Kane County Health Department where she aided in tripling the number of programs for birth-3 programs; as an Organizer and Trainer with COFI (Community Organizing and Family Issues) working with parents on personal, family and community goal in leadership training and as a Workshop Facilitator for Latino Policy Forum’s Promotores de Imigracion (Immigration Promoters) program on topics such as parent involvement, self-esteem, communication and stress relief.
In addition to facilitating English and Spanish workshops for Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation, currently Kassia works at SPARK (Strong Prepared and Ready for Kindergarten) in Aurora as a Family Resource Specialist. At SPARK, Kassia works to connect with families in the area to help enroll their birth to 5-year-olds into quality early childhood programs. Kassia has also been a bilingual Parent Café Facilitator and Trainer with Be Strong Families for over 5 years. There she is the secretary on the board of directors and represents the voice of the parents on the board.
Andrea Johnson, MAML
Andrea is a graduate of Judson University. She has been a Group Facilitator for CCWF since 2015. Andrea has an extensive background in working with children and adults alike who find themselves in need of community support and resources as well as group facilitation. She is trained in the ICDP, PAT and World Cafe' models and curriculum.
Andrea has efficient qualities which include the ability to communicate effectively, lead in crisis intervention, and is trained in trauma informed care. She possesses a unique ability to convey a message where each person that is listening walks away with an understanding of the presented material. Andrea enjoys singing and finding the humor in any situation.
She is a married mother of 4 children and is the lead Pastor at Community Center Christian Ministries.
Mark Payleitner has directed teams up to 140 and managed operational and capital budgets totaling $20M, but always enjoyed his time on either side of the classroom desk most. He grew up in the Fox Valley, where much of his extended family still live. He attended Eastern Illinois University and taught Middle and High School Math and Computers for several years, including 2 in Evanston. A career change brought 7 years with Arthur Andersen, including a 20 month development project in Paris, where Mark and his wife Chris welcomed their first daughter - followed 2 years later by daughter #2 back in the U.S. Mark then spent 4 years with Baxter Healthcare, where he directed teams including Internal and Customer Helpdesks, Documentation & Training, and Data Center; and welcomed daughter #3. Returning to Arthur Andersen for 9 years, he directed networks, telecom, technology support & purchasing and several helpdesks. Then followed work in small business, where he provided management, accounting, operational and purchasing services over 9 years. Upon “retirement” Mark spent 9 years teaching college level accounting, business and Microsoft Office at Computer Systems Institute and St. Augustine College. He revels in his ongoing role of grampa to two grandsons.
I am originally from Aurora and have lived here most of my life. When I was a young child I moved to Mexico with my family for about five years. There, I became fluent in Spanish and was able to experience life from a different perspective. I learned to appreciate diversity, the effects of good education, and parent involvement. I now live in Aurora with my wife and three children.
I earned a double major in Early Childhood Education and Spanish at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. During my studies I traveled to Latin America to visit schools and to continue learning about different cultures. After graduating, I taught bilingual preschool for 6 years before transitioning to work in family engagement.
Throughout my career I have facilitated different parenting groups. I have also started several programs in the districts I have worked in which focus on engaging parents and strengthening the school and home connection. I am most passionate about seeking programs and opportunities for fathers to engage in their child's development. I work with Changing Children's Worlds Foundation in order to meet my goal of promoting parental involvement in education and supporting parents as they advocate for their children.
Ricky Rodgers, youth advocate, author, trainer and teacher.
A native of Wilson City, Mo. Ricky is a professional educator with degrees in elementary and special education from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. He has served as a Special Education Teacher for Aurora Middle School Academy and Pathways Academy in School District 131.
In 1999 he helped found the nonprofit African American Men of Unity organization and is currently its executive director.
Under his leadership, in 2014, their Rites of passage program was featured in the Beacon News as a "mentoring model for the country" and recipient of the "Cultural Champion" award in 2016 from the Roots of Aurora for their heritage celebrations "Juneteenth and Kwanzaa."
Dahlia Roman, M.S.W., LCSW, LSW, CADC
Dahlia has over 20 years’ experience in social services and with a variety of needs. Dahlia has worked with diverse populations, persons with intellectual disabilities, child welfare experience, mental health and substance abuse needs. Dahlia provides Spanish speaking and culturally responsive services for individuals and families. She works with and as a team, building upon personal strengths in your journey to a healthier self and family. She can also help parents better understand how normal child/adolescent development, coupled with any complex traumas and experiences can impact their sense of self and family functioning.
With her experience working with substance related issues, in combination with her knowledge treating mental health needs, she is adept at understanding the ways in which each can impact the other. These skills further enhance her ability to create a plan for treatment that will assist with the greatest empowerment and life improvement.
Individual, family/parenting, couples/relationship, self-esteem, grief, adjustment/transition, communication, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, trauma, anger, stress management.