EvoLibri was started in 2007 by a former tech guru who saw the future – kids like her son were going to struggle once they got out of high school if they didn’t have services that met their needs. Long before terms like ‘transition’ and
‘autism at work’ were in the common lexicon, Jan Johnston-Tyler was in grad school transforming her career, and the landscape of services for the neurodiverse population.
Today, EvoLibri provides a broad range of services in a unique model – follow the client through adolescence and adulthood, providing what they need, when they need it, and be there in the future. Build relationships with clients and their families, as well as with other providers and entities such as schools and Department of Rehab and employers. Help families – and clients – navigate these waters into independence.
Make EvoLibri an ally organization – not a group of experts who tell neurodiverse people how to be, but help them find their own possibility. Teach clients how to do for themselves, how to have agency, how to have a voice. How to Make Life Work – on their terms.
Jan Johnston-Tyler, MA
For her third career in as many decades, Jan Johnston-Tyler earned her MA in Counseling from Santa Clara University in 2007, and founded EvoLibri Consulting with the goal of bringing services to those who are ‘too high-functioning’ for regional centers, but who still have barriers that stand in the way of success.
Drawing on her previous experience in Silicon Valley tech management (technical communication, instructional design, and customer support) she has authored four books — The Mom’s Guide to Aspergers Syndrome, The CEO of Self: An Executive Functioning Workbook, LifeLaunch and Workplace Adaptability and her work appears in peer-reviewed journals (most recently, in Career Planning and Adult Development Journal Volume 31, Number 4, Winter 2015-2016). Jan also has written the vast majority of EvoLibri’s proprietary curricula and assessment tools, and still insists on mucking about in Illustrator and InDesign from time to time.
With her extensive corporate experience, Jan brings energy, creativity, and vision to her work. As a counselor and coach, she brings practical and empathetic solutions to all of her clients. Finally, as the mother of a young professional with Aspergers Syndrome and a high schooler with ADHD, she knows first hand what interventions can do for neurodiverse populations, and how exceptional these people are. In her free time, Jan loves to travel, bake sourdough bread, cook beautiful food, write, garden in their suburban homestead and spend down time with her partner and children and their rescue Dachshund, aging tabby cat, six chickens and three parakeets. She also loves gaming — both board and electronic.
Contact Jan by clicking here.
About EvoLibri’s Staff
One of the great joys of running EvoLibri is the amazing people we get to work with. We have been absolutely blessed in finding a truly top-notch group of people to help provide services to our clients, and we’re proud to sing their praises. We know you will be, too, once you get to know them!
Amber Jackson – Paraprofessional / Employment Services
Amber earned her undergraduate degree in 2010 at California State University East Bay majoring in Speech – Language Pathology and Audiology. She has enjoyed the past 10 years working with children with neurodiversity in an elementary school and in-home setting as a behavioral interventionist. While she enjoys working with children, she also enjoys working with adults, helping them find their way back to a happier lifestyle and nutrition through her Health Coaching practice. With a great love for coaching and helping individuals meet their goals, we are happy to have her as a part of our EvoLibri team! Some examples of Amber’s great joys include: shopping for vintage clothing, reading, trips to the ocean, holistic health, CrossFit, yoga (hot yoga is her favorite), and daily walks.
Contact Amber by clicking here.
Angelique Bagley, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 37081) – Director of Therapy & Behavior Services
Angelique is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has extensive experience working with all different types of clients and specializes in working with children, adolescents and young adults. Her experiences include working in school settings, private practice, agencies specializing in children and adolescents, and an outpatient hospital. She loves supervising the next generation of therapists. For many years, she has also helped to create the California licensing exams for marriage and family therapists. We are excited to have her on the EvoLibri team!
Contact Angelique by clicking here.
Cynthia Haartman, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 53835) – Therapy & Case Management Services
Coffee addict, comedy movie junkie, lousy recipe-follower, and named “jump rope queen” in first grade! – in case any of that becomes relevant. Cynthia’s passion for helping others began at a young age, and blossomed while earning her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University. She has a background working 1:1 with clients, group settings, in residential care, and teaching Independent Living Skills. She also has a private practice and has trained her stubborn little pug, Taz, to work alongside her as a registered therapy dog. All of these experiences helped deepen the passion and enrich the quality of work she provides in her therapy and case management care today at EvoLibri.
When not working, she can be found with her pug at the dog park, grilling MEAT outside with the hubs, in a sweaty Bikram yoga studio, or playing games with her family. She loves games; her grandfather taught her to play poker as soon as she could count and hold a hand of cards on her own. And if all else fails, she will be watching old reruns of comedy sitcoms, on the couch, with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s P.B. & Cookies Non-Dairy ice cream (that pesky dairy allergy!) We are happy to have her aboard!
Contact Cynthia by clicking here.
Ileana Gomez – Paraprofessional
Silly, quirky, coffee addict, Halloween- and Disney-lover—these are just a few things that describe Ileana.
Growing up in a traditional Mexican household with her four brothers, Ileana has always been a hard-working gal. Ileana is the first in her family to graduate from college, receiving a BA in Criminology with a concentration in Forensic Science and a minor in Psychology with an emphasis in Human Development from Holy Names University. She will be continuing her education at Holy Names in the dual Counseling and Forensic Psychology program with the goal of working with at-risk youth in the juvenile system to help them get back on the right path for a successful future. Ileana was in the process of joining the SJPD as a detective until she chose a career change. After working with children and young adults for over 10 years as a teacher’s assistant in the Oakland and Fremont Unified High School Districts as well as being a peer mentor in college for incoming freshman, she realized her love for working with children. Upon completing college, she started working as a Behavioral Therapist using ABA with children with Autism.
During her free time, Ileana enjoys spending time with her family and her Pomeranian, Poochi, as well as going on adventures to new places—especially the beach. When alone, she enjoys reading, drawing and binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix. She also enjoys listening to music and going to concerts with her bother. Aside from pursuing a career with at-risk youth, Ileana wants to eventually open up a small coffee shop to show off her baking skills.
Contact Ileana by clicking here.
Kris Garcia-Siddall – Paraprofessional / Employment Services
Kris graduated from San Jose State with her BSW specializing in an Eco-Systems analysis and a focus on child welfare. She has worked for the County of San Mateo, Health and Human Services as an Emergency/ Extra Help Worker. She received further training through the CSUS Gerontology graduate program, where she studied LGBTQ Seniors and how laws and policies affected Later Life/End of Life choices for the LGBTQ community.
Kris is a passionate advocate for neurodiversity acceptance. She believes that everyone should be treated with respect and dignity. Kris believes in the potential in people. She looks forward to working with a diverse population of clients and is inspired by their success.
Kris loves black coffee, laughing and the smell right after it rains. She has three kids and a loud cluttered house.
Contact Kris by clicking here.
Mackensie Hesperia – Employment Services Case Manager
Mackensie graduated from CSU East Bay with her BA in Human Development, specializing in Child Development. She has great experience as a caregiver and educator who truly enjoys helping others in any capacity. Her extensive work with children with neurodiversity has transpired into a greater level of empathy for parents and teachers.
She has also supported her wife through an adult diagnosis of ADHD. Her wife has an emotional support animal who they are training to become a therapy dog in schools and hospitals.
Mackensie loves holistic health and enjoys learning about nutrition and healing through food. Some other hobbies include live music, acrobatic gymnastics, trapeze, kickboxing and the thrill of autocross, or anything outdoors with her wife and velvet hippos. One of her lifelong goals is to open an animal sanctuary to rescue more dogs and farm animals.
Contact Mackensie by clicking here.
Matt Newton – Director of Operations / Paraprofessional / Employment Services
Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Matt Newton stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished…” Well, not exactly. While Matt is not Dr. Sam Becket, he does feel as though he is blessed to have jumped through several rewarding life experiences, including enjoying careers as a U.S. Army linguist, an advertising executive, a marketing coordinator for a multi-global corporation, and a behavioral interventionist.
Recently graduating with a degree in Psychology from San Jose State, Matt brings his multi-faceted background to EvoLibri as a jack-of-all-trades, producing the newsletter, working with clients, and strategizing on marketing endeavors. In addition to a richly varied work life, Matt’s personal life also runs the gamut, as he enjoys martial arts, surfing, reading, movies, traveling, and, most importantly, being a husband to an amazing high-school teacher and father to three wonderful children.
Contact Matt by clicking here.
Megan Knight – Administrator and Keeper of All Knowledge
Megan Knight has a Master’s in Psychology and serves EvoLibri as our wonderful administrative assistant — meaning, if anyone knows what is going on, she does! As the mother of two kids on the Spectrum, Megan knows only too well the struggles that parents and clients face, and she brings her no-nonsense, pragmatic attitude to all she does. Megan is such an integral part of EvoLibri, we sometimes forget that she lives in Temecula!
Contact Megan by clicking here.
Milynne Farrales, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 86173)- Therapy Services
Milynne (pronounced my-leen) is from San Jose, CA (born and raised – Go Sharks / 49ers / Warriors!) She received her Psychology undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University and received her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Milynne has always had a passion for helping others and started working in the field as a paraeducator/behavior coach prior to graduate school and eventually transitioned to providing therapeutic/counseling services to individuals, couples, and families. Most of her clinical experience has been in the educational setting, specifically working with individuals on the ASD spectrum, ED (emotional disturbance) classification, and other individuals within Special Education at various public primary and secondary schools. During her free time, Milynne can be found singing and going to live music concerts, quoting lines from F.R.I.E.N.D.S., playing volleyball, yoga, and grabbing BOBA!
Contact Milynne by clicking here.
Rebecca Ochoa, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 109340)- Therapy Services / Professional Job Coach
Rebecca Ochoa is a California transplant, coming here from the Midwest to attend her Master’s program. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Purdue University in Indiana, then earned her Master’s in Holistic Counseling at JFK University in San Jose, California in 2013. She completed her hours of practice and was licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in 2018. During her years in school and as an intern, she worked primarily with children and young adults. She also gained a focus during that time with children of all ages on the autism spectrum. She has enjoyed co-facilitating the PEERS class and leading the parent component of PEERS at EvoLibri.
Rebecca appreciates an eclectic approach to therapy and working with each individual based on the perspective that human beings are a mind, body, spirit collective. Her preferred tools include a mix of expressive arts, somatic awareness, psychodynamic therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), narrative therapy, process therapy and mindfulness. She has additional training in Buddhist psychology, Depth psychology and the Process Model. Additionally, she has a certification in iRest® meditative practice and Soul Collage® expressive arts practice. Her joy is watching individuals or families work to gain confidence and self-esteem to practice new skills and face their unique challenges in life. While therapy can be intimidating and difficult at times, Rebecca believes the rewards of understanding oneself are vital to living life to its fullest.
Rebecca’s loves are being next to turquoise water, traveling to new places and time spent with friends and family celebrating anything! She also has a strong focus on health and wellness in her life including a love for strength training and yoga, as well as cultivating creativity through food, art and spirituality.
Contact Rebecca by clicking here.
Rina Davis, MSW – Employment Services
Rina hails from the East Coast and earned a BA in Sociology from Boston University and a Master’s Degree of Social Work from New York University. Her background includes community outreach, counseling, and special education advocacy, as well as workshop facilitation for children and adults. She is personally familiar with the ins and outs of both homeschooling and traditional education for neurodivergent children, and appreciates the value of both.
Her life perspective has been shaped by living and working in various far-flung parts of the country and the world. She has resided on islands both fast (NYC) and slow (Hawaii). She has worked in Denali National Park, hiked the European Alps, swam in the seas of Israel, been bombarded by the sights and sounds of Bangkok and hypnotized by all three continents along the Mediterranean.
Nowadays she enjoys time with her highly creative, neurodivergent husband, her enigmatic teenager, and Mr. Popples, the family’s coddled but confident cat. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, refurbishing old furniture, and playing Bananagrams.
Rina would like to see every young person, neurodivergent or not, find their people and their place in the world. She hopes to play her part in that through her work at Evolibri.
Contact Rina by clicking here.
Taz – World’s #1 Therapy Pug
Please welcome Taz to the EvoLibri team! In the spring of 2015, Central Coast Pug Rescue found this handsome gent living on the streets of Fresno and was soon adopted by our very own Cynthia Haartman, MFT. His foster mom at Central Coast Pug Rescue named him Taz after the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character, and after a few minutes of hearing him “talk”, you’ll soon understand why! (He believes in letting us all know exactly what he’s thinking!)
Taz became a registered therapy animal in 2016 and passes on his good fortune by helping others. A true gentle soul, Taz loves to cuddle and be pet. Give him a gentle scratch, a treat, or play him some Christmas music, and you’ve got a friend for life!
Favorite Treats: Chicken, cheese, and anything peanut butter
Utana Baxter, Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT 120180) – Therapy Services / Program Manager
Utana joined EvoLibri in 2016 as a paraprofessional providing our clients with support in academics, independent living skills and job training. She recently earned her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University and is now a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. Utana provides individual therapy services and co-facilitates our PEERS® social skills training and our Self & Sexuality program at EvoLibri under the supervision of Angelique Bagley, LMFT (MFC 37081). She also has experience providing school-based therapy, and has many years of experience working with children and families in academic, sport, and childcare settings throughout the Bay Area. Utana values a holistic and collaborative approach in working with clients and aims to support clients in developing healthy and fulfilling lives. Utana enjoys learning about and exploring cultures, is fluent in French, has lived abroad in France and South Korea, and has traveled to over 20 countries. As a 4th-degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, Utana has managed and instructed martial arts programs for children and has trained in a variety of martial art styles. She also enjoys hiking, cycling, rock climbing and yoga, and she loves being out in nature!
Contact Utana by clicking here.