The Village Staff Share Their Expertise

July 10, 2018

It’s always busy at The Village! Over the past few months, several of our team members were invited to present at various conferences around the state and country.

On May 2, Barbara Vita (director, Alfred E. Burr Community School) and Trisila Tirado (director, ACT Academy) presented at the Community Schools National Forum in Baltimore, Maryland. Barbara and Trisila presented a workshop entitled “Toxic Stress: Understanding Causes, and Creating Hope” to 79 agency directors, principals and direct-care workers.



Toral Sanghavi (senior director for process management and analytics) attended the Listen for Good Grantee Gathering in Houston, Texas from May 21-23. In addition to having a featured poster during the event, Toral took part in a panel to talk about how The Village has worked to lift clients’ voices throughout our programs.



On May 23, Yvette Young (project director, Human Anti-trafficking Response Team) collaborated with the Connecticut Children’s Alliance to hold their 3rd annual Response to Recovery: A Child Abuse Conference. With over 400 attendees, the day was filled with powerful discussion about awareness, prevention and healing.



Yvette also spoke on a panel for Connecticut Leadership Role in Eradicating Human Trafficking alongside Karen Chesley, one of the attorneys representing sex trafficking victims in litigation, and all four candidates for Connecticut’s Attorney General position.




Several of our staff presented at the Healing Connecticut’s Children Conference on June 6. Amanda Hemmelgarn (senior director, Outpatient Services), Jennifer Jaffe (clinical manager), Melissa Aiello (clinician) and Jason Tartt (outpatient clinician) presented “EMDR: Healing Wounds and Building Resilience,” a session about The Village’s innovative use of EMDR with children who have endured trauma. In addition, Nicole Cyr (licensed clinician) and Vanessa Ortiz (clinical supervisor) presented “Reconnecting the Mind and Body: Strategies to Address Trauma’s Impact on the Body in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,” covering how different disciplines and theories define trauma’s impact on the brain and body.


Aldwin Allen (senior director, community programs), Toral Sanghavi (senior director, process management) and Yvette Young (project director, Human Anti-trafficking Response Team) served as mentors for the Hartford CitiCare Hackathon Challenge, where community members came together to create new, innovative solutions to help Hartford children heal from the emotional trauma that results from exposure to gun violence.



Amanda Hemmelgarn (senior director, outpatient services) and Aldwin Allen (senior director, community programs) were interviewed on the Community Connections radio show on WTIC News Talk 1080 about Mental Health Awareness Month and raising awareness surrounding emotional, psychological and social well-being.

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