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Ana joined the Seedling team in 2022 as a Mentor Director, following 18 years working as a school social worker. Ana has over 26 years of Social Worker experience and has been employed in a variety of social service settings, including Texas child welfare systems, hospitals, home health agencies, community courts and secondary schools. Ana has a wide range of clinical skills and attended the Texas Christian University Karyn Purvis Institute to become a TBRI practitioner (Trust Based Relational Intervention). TBRI is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. Ana is able to disarm the fear-based behaviors in children and is able to conciliate the child.
Over the last 15 years, Ana was employed with the Pflugerville ISD, in Pflugerville, TX. As a school social worker, Ana clinically supported challenging students’ issues, such as, mental health conditions, homelessness, early pregnancy, substance abuse, childhood traumas. She assisted families to navigate through the educational system and access educational supports such as Section 504 and other federal programs for disabled students. Ana has developed programs and resources designed to train educational staff on the integration of LGBTQ initiatives in secondary schools.
Ana is native of the Rio Grande Valley with strong bonds to her Mexican family heritage. She attended Texas State University as a track and field athlete. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Texas State University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a focus on Administration and Supervision. Ana met her husband in San Marcos and together raised three children in Pflugerville, TX. Ana enjoys spending time with her family traveling to the beach and camping. She also enjoys watching movies and continues to engage in sports.
Ana looks forward to making a difference each year, with the youth and adult mentors in the Seedling Mentoring program, offering her expertise around building connections and empowering students.
Karinna joined Seedling in 2022 after working with Central Texas schools and nonprofits for the past 18 years. As a school social worker, Karinna worked with students and families in crisis and helped advocate for their needs within the school system. Karinna provided short term therapy and group therapy for middle and high school students. In particular, Karinna led a group for middle school students who have an incarcerated parent and grew to understand some of the unique challenges these students face.
She has worked with CASA of Travis County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas and facilitated a middle school mentoring program while she was a school social worker. She has seen, first hand, how a mentor can impact a student and is incredibly grateful to work with mentors and mentees across Central Texas as a Mentor Director with Seedling.
Karinna earned a BS in Communication Studies, MS in Social Work and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys watching Austin FC, seeing live theater, hiking (when it’s not too hot or too cold), and spending time with her family. You may see her on stage or in a local commercial, as she has not given up on her dream of being a movie star.
After working in public education for nearly 20 years, Andrea joined the Seedling team in 2022. She received her BS degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her M.Ed in School Counseling from Texas State University. Andrea taught elementary school for five years and worked as a school counselor for 13 years. For two consecutive years, Andrea’s school counseling program was awarded the CREST award (Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas) from the Texas School Counselor Association. Additionally, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has provided mental health support in a variety of capacities including hospice support groups, schools, and private family therapy. She continues to advocate for marginalized groups including those in the LGBTQIA+ community.
For the year prior to joining Seedling, Andrea embarked on a solo trip around the globe with nothing more than a backpack and a burning desire to learn about the beautiful world we live in. Through this journey she visited 5 continents, 20 countries, and 86 cities and was gifted an endless amount of self-discovery. This unique opportunity reminded Andrea that she is never done learning. She believes that by leading with an open heart and an open mind we can heal through connection.
Sabra joined the Seedling family in 2012 as Trainer and Mentor Director. Her previous work includes over 20 years of experience in Austin non-profits, providing case management and social services to students and their families at all school levels in Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD. She has had the privilege of assisting youth in developing their leadership skills through combatting racism, enhancing empathy, and using their voice for change. Sabra also planned dropout prevention strategies for students, recruited, trained, and supported mentors; and developed her reputation as a skilled trainer for staff and volunteers alike.
Melissa Neuman joined the Seedling team in 2022, following more than 20 years of leadership, sales and nonprofit work. From church ministry to forming her own nonprofit, to serving at a national nonprofit, Melissa thrives on building stronger communities and advocating for those who are less fortunate and marginalized. Before coming on board with Seedling, she worked as a Regional Director of Donor Relations for a national nonprofit, where, during the height of the Covid pandemic, she was able to cultivate and build relationships that resulted in an 60% increase in annual giving.
Melissa’s heart and passion for the next generation grew during the 10 years she spent directly with youth and mentoring. Holding weekly events for teens with an average of 750+ attendance, and multiple annual retreats, Melissa and her team built small group programs for mentor/mentee relationships. In 2010, she co-founded a nonprofit, InsideOut, based in Fort Worth, TX, and developed an annual conference where teen girls are inspired to live their lives from the inside out.
Melissa also held leadership roles in the hospitality industry, as a corporate sales director and general manager for IHG. It was here that she had oversight of a 2.4 million dollar budget and management of up to 30 staff, from part time roles up to department heads. During her time as sales manager and design consultant for Havertys furniture, Melissa built and developed loyal client relationships through individualized attention, recognized her abilities to lead a team and help serve individuals and families.
A quote that inspires Melissa is: ‘It only takes a small match to light a great torch. May I be that match.’ She is married to Garrett, her husband and partner in life for over 22 years. She is a fun, loving mother to three children; Grant, Hayden and Stella.
Tabitha’s interests center around building enriching programming for youth and researching social and emotional learning and culturally responsive teaching.
In her free time, Tabitha enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, reading novels, listening to podcasts, and discussing tv shows with friends.