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AWARE Ink Newsletter

  • AWARE

CSCT Staff Highlights

Updated: Sep 7, 2023



Name

Celeste Willis , CSCT Clinician


How long have you been with the AWARE?  CSCT?  Which school(s)?

I have been with AWARE for six years. My first year was spent at the Missoula main office as a child and family therapist, and I moved on to be a CSCT therapist at Bonner School (in Bonner just a few miles outside of Missoula) in March 2018 to present.


What is your favorite part of working for AWARE/CSCT? 

My favorite part of the work I do is seeing growth and resiliency and helping kiddos build a sense of self to prepare them for life's challenges in and out of school.


Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today? 

I was drawn to social work for many reasons but have always had interest in working directly with kids in a school-based setting. My grandmother had schizophrenia, and I was introduced to world of mental health with those experiences. I was a victim of bullying throughout primary school and that drove me to want to help kids build self-esteem and strong values. My mother passed just as I started earning my social work master’s degree at Walla Walla when I was 24, and I'm so thankful I had the strength to keep going.


How do you like to spend your free time?

Today I enjoy spending time with my daughters, husband and friends. Summer is my favorite season, and I’ve enjoyed it by playing in the water, camping with my blue heeler and seeing live music. Thank you for thinking of me! 

 

Name

Carol Demaray, CSCT Clinician


How long have you been with the AWARE?  CSCT?  Which school(s)?

I will begin year 13 with AWARE in the CSCT program on August 15, 2023, and have worked at Ponderosa Elementary in Billings since beginning.  I have to admit that there are some employees who have been at Ponderosa longer than I have, but I think I am in the top 5, or at least the top 10.


What is your favorite part of working for AWARE/CSCT? 

My favorite part of working in the CSCT program is the relationships that are developed working with the same kiddos/families year after year!  I have received notes from families/kiddos who are now graduated from High School and that is so encouraging to think that what we have done in elementary school has made a difference in the maturing and growth of some of the kiddos we get a chance to work with.


Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today? 

My own children were the ones who inspired me to become a Therapist, noting the hardships in their life, I wanted to be able to make a difference in other kids' lives.  I went back to school to get my Masters and to work when older than most.  A coworker with a previous employer recommended AWARE CSCT to me (she was the Therapist for the pilot CSCT Program here at Ponderosa), and I was hired and have worked here ever since.


How do you like to spend your free time?

Spending my free time with my family is my highlight!  I have a pretty big family:  My dad, siblings, children and grandchildren; so love it when I can spend time with any/all of them.  I love being outside and going home to "the ranch," but seem to spend a lot of my free time working at my private practice as well.

 

Name

Erika Linjanen, Treatment Service Specialist


How long have you been with the AWARE?  CSCT?  Which school(s)?

In December 2008, I began my CSCT career at CR Anderson Middle School in Helena. I loved all 14 years that I worked at this middle school.  The kids were challenging; however, it was amazing to watch them grow and successfully move to the next level.  In the summer of 2022, I was presented with the opportunity to continue with CSCT at Prickly Pear elementary school in East Helena.


What is your favorite part of working for AWARE/CSCT? 

I enjoy all that CSCT offers; it is a position that enables me to think outside of the box and work as part of a team.  The job is very rewarding.  My favorite part of the job is watching the kids grow while being part of a team that helps them make positive choices to be successful at school and hopefully at home.  


Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today? 

It was a volunteer trip involving work with kids and families with challenging circumstances that inspired me to work with kids.  I was hooked and knew that this was the work that I wanted to do while also being a part of my home community.  


How do you like to spend your free time?

In my free time, I love to travel and experience new things with my husband and son.  I love all things outdoors, skiing, camping, floating, biking, gardening, and watching live music.

 

Name

Shelby Beck, LCPC, NCC, CSCT Clinician


How long have you been with the AWARE?  CSCT?  Which school(s)? I’ve worked with AWARE since 2014. I’ve been with CSCT since 2015. I’ve been blessed to work at Lincoln Elementary School for my entire time with CSCT.  


Positions held? When I started my employment with AWARE, I started in the Home Support Service Program as a Child and Family Specialist. I later transferred into the CSCT program as a Treatment Service Specialist. I held that position until I graduated with my Masters in Counseling and then I was offered a CSCT Clinician position which I have held since 2018.  

What is your favorite part of working for AWARE/CSCT? 

There are many things that I love about working for AWARE but one of the things that I really love the most is that AWARE strives to provide the highest quality of care to our clients and that they believe families are our most important resource.  AWARE truly cares about our clients and that is what is most important to me. I also really appreciate that AWARE cares about their employees as well. I am thankful for AWARE giving me internship opportunities and continued support/education throughout graduate school as well as job placement after my graduation. I am grateful for AWARE helping me grow professionally. One thing I really appreciate about CSCT specifically is the access to care that it provides for clients/families; It helps eliminate barriers that can cause limitations and allows clients to be able to receive mental health services within the school setting. My favorite part of working in CSCT is working with the youth; I love being able to be creative with them and getting to be more involved with them in all the different settings that CSCT gets access to. I love that is not always a traditional setting and that it can be individualized for the client/family needs.  I really enjoy being able to have in the moment opportunities to provide emotional/behavioral support on a daily basis. Working in CSCT is very rewarding and I love my position.  


Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today?  I had two teachers when I was in middle school who showed up for me, encouraged me, met me where I was at, and provided me with unconditional love/support. They made a huge difference in my life. These teachers inspired me to pursue my dreams and supported me in my journey in becoming a counselor.  These teachers left a life-long impact and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am forever grateful for them.  


How do you like to spend your free time? I like spending my free time with my family and my friends. I enjoy being outdoors, attending concerts, cuddling my pets, and cooking. I also really enjoy community outreach opportunities.


3 things on your bucket list?

First and foremost, create a bucket list.  

 

Name

Amanda Wallace, LCPC, CSCT Clinician

How long have you been with the AWARE?  CSCT?  Which school(s)?

I’ve been with Aware for 9 years total. I started CSCT at Valley View Elementary in May, 2016 and worked there for 5 ½ years. I’ve been at Lewis and Clark Elementary for a year about to start the second school year here. I’ve spent about 7 years in CSCT total.


Positions held?

Throughout my Aware career, I started as a group home direct staff worker, then did youth case management, and then I was an HSS worker where I got my hours during grad school for my license. When I graduated in May of 2016, I took on the role of clinician in CSCT. I have also held the lead clinician position in the SDMI waiver.


What is your favorite part of working for AWARE/CSCT?

I enjoy working for Aware because I’ve had an amazing supervisor for most of my career who was promoted to running the whole CSCT program and gave me the support and space to grow as a clinician especially fresh out of grad school. If I had not had that, I’m not sure what kind of clinician I would be. Aware has also provided me the opportunities to be a leader within my team in my school and within the company at Corporate Congress. The staff I have had the opportunity to work with throughout the years have been incredible. I love working in the CSCT program because each kiddo I work with really holds a place in my heart. I call them “my kids”. I look forward to helping each child grow and be successful. I also love that I get to advocate for them with their families and within the school setting. In CSCT, you really get to see how the child grows and have a bigger picture of their well-being because we spend so much time with them in many settings such as school, home, and community. I take great pride in my job and the work that I do but the kids make it worth it. The hardest part is not seeing them past 6th grade after we’ve spent so much time with them.


Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

My high school history/English teacher was the one who sparked my interest in psychology. I’ve had great mentors throughout my education along the way, but the drive to pursue this course of career was ultimately my own as most of my family were teachers and carpenters so it was a new career within my family. My own childhood and background has pushed me to help children in any way to prevent trauma and emotional hardships early on in their life. Sometimes, a child needs a lot of supports to wraparound them to help them reach success and sometimes, a child simply needs someone to give them all of their attention for a few minutes a day so they know they matter. I’m there for the kids I serve either way.


How do you like to spend your free time?

In my free time, I don’t like to do anything without my two chocolate labs, Padfoot and Willow, and my husband. I like to cozy up with a good book or tv show, craft and sell items (earrings, resin, laser cutting, shadow boxes, personalized gifts, etc), eat sushi, play board games with friends, and take trips.


3 things on your bucket list?

I want to write a book, visit Ireland, and go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. 😊

 

Name

Milisa Mossett , CSCT Clinician


How long have you been with the AWARE?  CSCT?  Which school(s)? I have been with Aware Inc. since March 9th 2009.  I have worked in the community for 6 years in HSS. I'm now currently working in CSCT as a therapist. 


What is your favorite part of working for AWARE/CSCT? 

My favorite part of working with Aware Inc. is working with youth and helping them better understand the importance of mental health. 


Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today? 

I have had many people inspire me throughout my life who have also worked with youth in other areas such as education, clubs, sports, etc.


How do you like to spend your free time?

I spend my free time with my family and friends outdoors and traveling. 

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