EvoLibri was started in 2007 by a former tech guru who saw the future – kids like hers would struggle once they got out of high school if they didn’t have services that met their needs. Long before terms like ‘transition’ and ‘neurodivergency’ were in the common lexicon, Jan Johnston-Tyler was in grad school, transforming her career and the landscape of services for the neurodivergent population – those with ADHD, autism, learning differences and mood challenges.
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 and other providers and entities such as schools, the Department of Rehab, and employers. Help clients – and their families – navigate these waters into independence.
Make EvoLibri an ally organization – not a group of experts who tell neurodivergent people how to be, but help them find their possibilities. Teach clients how to do for themselves, have agency, and have a voice, and make life work on their terms.
Jan Johnston-Tyler, MA (She/Her)
Founder and C.E.O., Business and Program Development; Career, Transitional, Executive Functioning Assessment & Counseling
For her third career in as many decades, Jan Johnston-Tyler earned her M.A. in Counseling from Santa Clara University in 2007 and founded EvoLibri Consulting, intending to bring 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 her clients. Finally, as the mother of two young adults with a variety of diagnoses, she knows firsthand what support can do for neurodivergent populations and how exceptional these people are. In her free time, Jan loves to cook beautiful food, write, garden in their suburban food forest, spend downtime with her partner and children, and rescue Dachshund, two adolescent Tabby kittens, nine chickens, two bunnies and one parakeet. 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 blessed in finding a genuinely top-notch group of people – spanning the spectrum of gender, gender identity, neurodiversity, and ethnicity – 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 working with children with neurodiversity in an elementary school and in-home setting as a behavioral interventionist for the past ten years. While she enjoys working with children, she 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 assisting individuals in meeting their goals, we are delighted 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.
Andrew Arredondo – Employment Services
It’s come full circle! Andrew Arredondo’s first introduction to Evolibri was as a client in 2013, and now he is officially part of the team. Andrew is on the Autism spectrum and has spent several years working on his professional development while furthering his education and professional development at San Jose State University (SJSU).
While part of the San Jose State community, Andrew participated in Braven to facilitate his professional development and Generation of Aspirational Leaders (GOAL) to aid his leadership and communication skills. In addition to presenting on these programs, He has been called upon several times to give talks at SJSU classes about his experiences living with Autism and how it has informed his roles as a student and professional.
A life-long San Jose native, Andrew loves drinking plain sparkling water and is addicted to Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. He prefers Diet Coke because it is not as sweet as Diet Pepsi.
Contact Andrew by clicking here.
Angelique Bagley, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 37081) – Director of Therapy & Behavior Services (She/Her)
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 has also helped create the California licensing exams for marriage and family therapists for many years. She loves supervising the next generation of therapists. We are so happy to have such a dynamic and experienced therapist on the EvoLibri team!
Contact Angelique by clicking here.
Ashley Marshall – Paraprofessional/Employment Services (She/Her)
Ashley graduated from Chico State University with a B.A. in Journalism specializing in News- Editorial. She is also a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach™ and Holistic Health Coach. Ashley combines her writing and editing skills with compassion and empathy to support clients.
In her free time, she loves to study Astrology, write, hike with her terrier James, and hit up Farmers’ Markets on the weekends. Ashley is currently writing a book on the mother-daughter bond that she hopes to publish in the next year.
Contact Ashley clicking here.
Bhavita Patel – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT (LMFT 88800) – Therapy Services (She/Her)
Bhavita (AKA “B”) earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University. She initially started her career working with SARC clients, which broadened her understanding of the mind and her curiosity to dive deeper into therapy. She has experience in working with clients who are in crisis and need additional support and has a background working individually with clients, in groups, and both outpatient and inpatient treatment. She currently works in an inpatient setting and looking forward to seeing clients thrive in their own environment.
When not working, she spends time with her family and kids playing games, cuddling on the couch watching movies, having tent nights with s’mores and trying to squeeze in a workout!
Contact Bhavita clicking here.
Charlene Mahabali, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 84057) – Therapy Services (She/Her)
Charlene is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). She earned her masters degree in counseling psychology from Jfk and has been license since 2014. Her clinical experience ranges from inpatient settings, outpatient, community, mental health, school-based counseling, as well as seeing clients in private practice. She enjoys working with clients and working with them to achieve their goal.
Charlene‘s interest outside of work is spending time with her family, discovering new food, listening to music and traveling.
Contact Charlene by clicking here.
Cynthia Haartman, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 53835) – Therapy & Case Management Services (She/Her)
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 individually with clients, in 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. 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 outside with her husband, in a yoga studio, or playing games with her family. And if all else fails, she will be watching old reruns of comedy sitcoms, on the couch, with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Non-Dairy ice cream (that pesky dairy allergy!) We are happy to have her aboard! She loves games; her grandfather taught her to play poker as soon as she could count and hold a hand of cards independently.
Contact Cynthia by clicking here.
Helen Vallaeys – Coaching and Therapy Services MFT Trainee (She/Her)
Originally from Austria, Helen moved to the United States in 2009 after spending the better part of her college and early professional years working and studying across France, Belgium, Thailand, Ireland and Australia. The same curiosity that led her to explore the world also brought her to the field of counseling. After spending the first 15 years of her career in the corporate and non-profit fields, she decided to turn her curiosity about the human psychology into a profession. She earned her Masters in Psychology from Harvard University in 2022 and is currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Counseling at Palo Alto University.
Over the years Helen had to learn (and still learns!) how to navigate neurodiversity and mental health challenges in her family and she is excited to join the EvoLibri team to support and empower individuals and their families. She believes in a strength-based approach to mental health that fosters acceptance and compassion and provides individuals with the support and tools they need to thrive.
In her free time, if she doesn’t have her nose in a non-fiction book about mental health, you’ll find her out and about with her three young children, enjoying a short hike with a friend, or being crafty with a hammer or needle in hand.
Contact Helen by clicking here.
Ileana Gomez – Program Director / Therapy Services (AMFT141808) (She/Her)
Silly, quirky, coffee addict, Halloween- and Disney-lover—these are 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 B.A. in Criminology with a concentration in Forensic Science and a minor in Psychology with an emphasis in Human Development from Holy Names University. She recently received a dual Masters in Counseling and Forensic Psychology.
Ileana was in the process of joining the S.J.P.D. as a detective until she chose a slight career change. After working with children and young adults for over 12 years as a teacher’s assistant in the Oakland and Fremont Unified High School Districts and being a peer mentor in college for incoming first-year students, she realized her love for working with our youth. Aside from being a Trainee therapist under the supervision of Angelique Bagley, L.M.F.T. (MFC 37081), Ileana enjoys hosting Coffee Hour, EvoClub, as well as facilitating P.V.S.A., C.E.O. of Self and SpringBoard.
Contact Ileana by clicking here.
Jasmine Wong – Paraprofessional (She/Her)
Jasmine graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with her B.A. in Gender studies. As a member of the UCLA Pre-Law Society, she enjoyed studying Disability Rights and Labor Law. Jasmine spent time as the Resident Advisor for the “Sustainable Living Learning Community” floor where she gained experience equipping college freshmen with the support, tools, and knowledge to thrive in their personal, social, academic, and career pursuits.
She has navigated through the complex systems of obtaining her own ADA accommodations throughout college and the workplace to succeed in reaching her goals. This experience drives her passion to advocate for and assist others through this process to make life accessible.
In addition to her work at EvoLibri, Jasmine is a relief Veterinary Technician for urgent care and emergency hospitals around the Bay Area. Pursuing multiple passions is important to her in this dynamic world. She is a strong social justice advocate who is deeply passionate about serving the community, caring for animals, and protecting the environment.
During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, hiking, yoga, traveling, and trying new cultural foods!
Contact Jasmine by clicking here.
Liz Weissman – Special Education/Transition Specialist, M.Ed. (She/Her)
Liz is a credentialed Special Education Teacher who earned her BA in Psychology at ASU, and Masters in Education at CSU Monterey Bay. She taught in a nonpublic school for 8 years, working primarily with transition-aged students with autism, ADHD, and other diagnoses.
After seeing the glaring need for better family support during her time as a teacher, in 2021 Liz began her own parent coaching practice. For the last several years she has helped many parents feel more confident, positive, and better prepared to navigate challenges within their family.
Despite the shift towards supporting families through parent education, Liz truly loves working with children and young adults – she currently runs an outdoor education program at a local farm teaching her students how to ride and care for horses, while also incorporating academic and social-emotional content into her programming.
When Liz isn’t doing any of those things, she can probably be found chasing around her two toddlers and Rhodesian ridgeback dog (an oversized toddler in canine form, really) in the Santa Cruz Mountains, enjoying the outdoors and soaking up the beautiful chaos that comes with raising a family.
Contact Liz by clicking here.
Lyka Ferry – Employment Services (She/Her)
As a professional keynote speaker/writer with a digital marketing background, Lyka Ferry has trained hundreds of students in public speaking. She has worked with neurodiverse youth from K-12, women in corporate, entrepreneurs, and engineers who work behind the scenes of well-known companies such as Facebook. Lyka is also a service-disabled Army veteran and performed her duties as a Public Affairs Mass Communications Specialist during her 6 years of service.
Lyka also believes in the importance of advocating for mental health and neurodivergence, especially as an Asian-American female. A passion project of hers is hosting events such as summits and panels to provide a platform for others to share their stories.
She’s currently studying at Washington State University for her BA in Integrated Strategic Communications. When Lyka isn’t hosting a podcast, voice-acting, or writing, she’s at her local CrossFit gym or eating dessert on her travels.
Contact Lyka by clicking here.
Mackensie Hesperia – Employment Services Case Manager (She/Her)
Mackensie graduated from C.S.U. East Bay with her B.A. in Human Development, specializing in Child Development. She has excellent 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 A.D.H.D. Her wife has an emotional support animal trained 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 (He/Him)
Theorizing that one could time travel within his lifetime, Matt Newton stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished…” Well, not exactly. While Matt is not Dr. Sam Becket, he feels blessed to have jumped through several rewarding life experiences, including enjoying prior careers as a U.S. Army linguist, an advertising “madman”, and a marketing coordinator for a multi-global corporation.
With a degree in Psychology from San Jose State, Matt brings his multi-faceted background to EvoLibri as a jack-of-all-trades, overseeing program direction, increasing business outreach efforts, and working 1:1 with clients in job coaching, ILS and social skills support, etc. In addition to richly varied work life, Matt’s personal life also runs the gamut, as he enjoys martial arts, surfing, golfing, reading, movies, traveling, and, most importantly, being a husband to a fantastic high-school teacher and father to three beautiful children.
Contact Matt by clicking here.
Megan Knight – Administrator / Keeper of All Knowledge / Job Developer (She/Her)
Megan Knight has a Master’s in Psychology and serves EvoLibri in dual roles: as a job developer (specifically for our Southern California clients) and as our outstanding 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, that we sometimes forget that she lives all the way in Temecula!
Contact Megan by clicking here.
Merry Tremaine – Paraprofessional (She/Her)
Merry was born and raised in San Jose, and is a hobby-homesteader who raises goats, rabbits, chickens, and ducks. When she’s not canning and preserving the produce from her garden, she can often be found outdoors exploring National Parks, or indoors studying the science of lacto-fermentation with her artisan sourdough and homemade, holistic foods.
Having spent many years as a mental-health Mentor, Coach, and Support Group Facilitator in the nonprofit-sector, Merry is thrilled to be able to bring her skills to Evolibri to advocate, empower and support her fellow neurodiverse community. As a late-diagnosed autistic woman, herself, she has an innate passion and desire to support other autistic individuals as they make and meet their individual and unique goals.
While raising bunnies and searching for hidden clutches of eggs brings Merry immense joy, empowering others to achieve their own definition of success is her true calling.
Contact Merry by clicking here.
Peg Monaghan – Employment Services
Peg Monaghan is the Employment Advisor for the Drexel University Autism Support Program (DASP). Her focus is on supporting students as they pursue their interests, skills, and talents to find, get and keep meaningful co-ops as students and career roles as graduates and alumni. Peg is a founding member of the Neurodiversity Employment Network – Philadelphia whose mission is to connect job seekers, employers, educators, and service providers to enable neurodivergent individuals gain meaningful employment.
In her role as job coach for those who have found meaningful employment, she supports employees as they find success in their roles and plan their job development for the future. Before joining DASP Peg was the Program Consultant for the SAP Autism at Work Program. She participated with the program since its inception in 2014 as a buddy and mentor. She co-developed and facilitated the Enterprise Readiness Academy to help candidates continue to develop their teamwork, communication, and collaboration skills.
Peg has many years of IT experience working before moving on to her full-time work in neurodiverse employment. Peg has a BA and MBA in Computer Science and Information Technology from LaSalle University and MS in Virtual Team Management from Brandeis University. Additionally, she has 8 years of experience as an Adjunct faculty member teaching Computer Science.
Contact Peg by clicking here.
Reid Davis – Paraprofessional (He/They)
We swear it isn’t a pre-requisite here, but it just so happens that our next counselor also loves coffee!! And good humor! 🙂
Hey Pioneers!! Reid came to EvoLibri in the summer of 2021, having a professional background in music and movies and an educational background in psychology. A graduate student of Palo Alto University’s Masters in Counseling cohort, an artist, and a single father, Reid sees the intersectionality of family life, public life, and personal life and takes a creative and intellectual approach to the client’s and the family’s needs. Reid has an A.A. in Psychology from the College of Alameda and a B.A. in Psychology from California State University, East Bay.
Reid grew up in four with a sibling who has special needs. Living in California for the majority of their life, Reid has firsthand experience of mapping out a plan on the wide spectrum of ability is like in this state. Having a special needs sibling created in Reid a natural drive to be an ally for Americans with disabilities rights, and to learn the state and federal government systems that can offer assistance to help individuals and families with different concerns. In 2016, Reid overcame cancer resulting in a permanent physical disability. This gave Reid the opportunity to further experience the systems in place which offer assistance, such as working with the Department of Rehabilitation. In addition, Reid’s compassion and empathy are never ending when it comes to helping and understanding others.
We’re proud to welcome Reid, an awesome addition to our EvoLibri independent living skills team of counselors!
Contact Reid by clicking here.
Rina Davis, M.S.W., Registered Associate Social Worker #104032 – Employment, Coaching and Therapy Services – (She/Her)
Rina is an East Coast transplant, with a master’s degree in social work from New York University and a background in community mental health. As a coach at Evolibri, she helps people find and retain meaningful work in the face of the unique obstacles and opportunities that come with being neurodivergent. Rina is a registered Associate Social Worker and also provides therapy under the supervision of Angelique Bagley, L.M.F.T. (MFC 37081), as well as running the “Parenting Beyond 18” support group.
As the parent of a gloriously neurodiverse child, she deeply understands the challenges our clients face in navigating the education and employment worlds and is passionate about helping them reach their full potential.
In her spare time, she enjoys looking at and creating art, visiting the beaches of Northern California and spending time with friends and family.
Contact Rina by clicking here.
Samantha Chau, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (B.C.B.A. #1-20-46215) – Collaborating Behavioral Strategist (She/Her)
As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Samantha has worked with a variety of clients with the goal of building individual autonomy and developing meaningful relationships. One of her areas of specialization is social skills training with an age range of toddlers to older adults. Samantha is licensed in facilitating the PEERS® social skills training and the concurrent parent training program. She is constantly doing field research in trying to understand human connection, most likely in popular ramen shops. Her passions are eating overhyped trendy foods (i.e. MOCHI DONUTS), riding on the Onewheel, obsessing over her cats, among other stereotypical Bay Area hobbies.
Contact Samantha by clicking here.
Scott Haartman, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 77097) – Therapy Services (He/Him)
Scott is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (M.F.T.). He earned his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from J.F.K. University in 2009. His clinical experience ranges from working in community mental health, school-based Counseling, on a hospital I.O.P. team, and in private practice. He enjoys working with clients of all ages and of any identity. He describes his clinical style as relaxed, collaborative, non-judgmental, yet direct. “A primary goal of mine is to understand my client’s struggles from the perspective of the client. Helping my clients break down and understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are often key tenants of how I work. Earning the trust of my clients and joining with them in their goals is my bottom line.”
Scott has a diverse range of interests outside the therapy room. A resident of the Lake Tahoe basin, Scott enjoys time in the forest and hiking. He is an avid reader and is currently writing a historical adventure novel. He also enjoys learning and performing sleight-of-hand magic.
Contact Scott by clicking here.
Stephanie Lo – Paraprofessional / Employment Services (she/her)
Born and raised in the Bay, Stephanie’s passion for helping others began at a young age. She became interested in psychology as a way to help serve people after witnessing her dad change career paths and become a clinical therapist. Graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Psychology, Stephanie came back to her home turf to pursue a Master’s in Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University.
She comes equipped with multiple skills and experiences, including 1:1 and group experience in the PEERS Clinic for two of their programs (PEERS for Careers and PEERS for Dating), training in CBT, and how to file her taxes. After an incredibly positive experience in the PEERS Clinic and working with the neurodivergent population, Stephanie is excited to be a part of EvoLibri. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and friends over meals, video games, TV shows, and basketball. She also enjoys going hiking (Point Lobos and Half Moon Bay are her favorites!), reading, swimming, and folding origami.
Contact Stephanie 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, M.F.T. 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 truly 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
Best Tricks: Wait, a high-five (for treats, of course)
Favorite Places: Butcher Park dog park, the car, dinner at Brown Chicken/Brown Cow, mom’s bed
Loves to be pet: behind the ears, under the collar, chest rubs