Xenia Barnes

Xenia Barnes, Chief Executive Officer at Gold Mind Thoughts LLC, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the field of mental health services.

Since 2008, Ms. Barnes has utilized her expertise as an effective life coach, motivational speaker, and facilitator at Gold Mind Thoughts LLC, where she touches the lives of many as the founder, educational leadership consultant, and chief executive officer. A Brooklyn-based organization, Gold Mind Thoughts offers professional development and wellness services to its wide range of clients; among its many areas of focus, the organization caters to individuals who have been impacted by trauma—be it gun violence or domestic abuse. Determined to target each client’s specific needs and help them conquer their struggles in order to reach their fullest potential, Ms. Barnes has pulled from her own life experiences to become a renowned figure in her field.

Ms. Barnes gravitated toward her profession by overcoming many personal and physical obstacles, such as losing her only nephew and becoming extremely ill. In navigating her way out of this darkness, and developing a desire to let other people realize they are not alone, she established Gold Mind Thoughts, creating a space that would allow people to feel less isolated and less inclined to turn to deep depression, drugs, or suicide, among other outcomes. She says she wanted people “to know that it’s okay not to be okay and to just ask for help,” a service she noted was sorely lacking, especially in Black and brown communities. In addition to her primary role there, she has served as chief executive officer of Beauty of the Soul Consultant LLC from 2011 to 2021; dean of students at Explore Schools from 2016 to 2021; and chief executive officer of Beauty of the Soul Firm from 2014 to 2022.

Ms. Barnes is also the co-founder and chief communication officer for the Melquain Jatelle Anderson Foundation, a nonprofit community service organization made in honor of a young man who was shot and killed that provides services and support to victims of gun violence and their families. Because Anderson, a Brooklynite and Ms. Barnes’ nephew, was determined to help those in his community become educated, the group’s outreach includes memorials, events, and a major scholarship that helps in the education of undergraduate students at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. On top of contributing articles to publications such as Today’s Purpose Woman, Ms. Barnes authored a workbook titled “Loving Yourself Through the Trauma” and has been the organizer of several workshops within her field of life coaching and has been a public speaker and minister for others. She is a proud member of several organizations, including the New York State Peace Coalition for Gun Violence, International Society of Professional Women, Healing Hearts Chaplaincy Ministries, Inc., and Sisterhood of Empowering Women.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Barnes has been recognized with citations from New York City Borough President and current mayor Eric Adams, featured among the “Inspirational Up and Coming African Entrepreneurs” by the International Society of Women and an article by Voyage ATL magazine, and numerous academic awards. Equipped with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Monroe College and a Master of Education in early childhood education from Pace University, she looks forward to maintaining the success of her company as well as going back to school to earn her Doctor of Philosophy. She wants to continue researching how trauma left behind can impact an entire community.

Gold Mind Thoughts

Melquain Jatelle Anderson Foundation Scholarship

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Katelynn Miller-Sweet MSED, LMHCA

Title: Residential Therapist

Company: Paddock View Residential Center

Location: Peru, IN

Education: MS in Education, Indiana University Fort Wayne (2020)

Career History: Residential Therapist, Paddock View Residential Center (2020-Present);

Caseworker;

Direct Care, Residential Facility

Katelynn Miller-Sweet, Residential Therapist at Paddock View Residential Center, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the field of therapy.

A trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapist, Ms. Miller-Sweet lends her expertise in the field to those at Paddock View Residential Center, an Indiana-based treatment and alternative education facility for troubled youth aged 10 to 18. Since 2020, she has worked with teenagers with behavioral problems due to Expat Child Syndrome, or ECS, probation, and other traumatic situations—generally three to five a day through individual, group, and family therapy sessions. In the midst of her myriad responsibilities, she is also involved in developing trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy training for others.

Prior to her appointment, she was active as a caseworker and in other related roles—all while studying for seven years obtaining a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University Fort Wayne, which she achieved in 2020, and becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate. She gravitated toward her line of work after experiencing her own trauma in her youth; when she was young, her sister was diagnosed with cancer and she saw firsthand the effects it had on her family and others at the hospital, which made her want to pursue therapy in order to help kids and teens struggling emotionally. Attributing her success to motivation, she strives to return to school and earn a PhD to become more involved in trauma therapy, wanting to “hone in on mindfulness and how it helps the central nervous system decrease responses due to trauma.” She would also like to implement yoga and meditation practices in her own residential facility someday.

Outside of her primary endeavors, Ms. Miller-Sweet is a dedicated member of the American Counselors Association and enjoys taking part in outdoor activities, such as camping and kayaking.

Emily Watson, LCMHC, LCAS, CTP, NCC

Title: Licensed Clinician

Company: Carolina Psychology Group, PLLC

Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Education: Internship, Insight Human Resources (2019-2021);

MEd in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NC State University Graduate School (2018);

BS in Psychology, Meredith College (2013)

Career History: Clinical Mental Health Therapist, Carolina Psychology Group LLC (2021-Present);

SACOT Clinician for Outpatient Services, Insight Human Resources (2020-2021);

Outpatient Clinician & Intensive Outpatient, Insight Human Resources (2019-2021)

Emily Watson, Licensed Physician at Carolina Psychology Group, PLLC, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the field of mental health.

Drawing on her own abilities to persevere through a mountain of struggles, Ms. Watson has worked hard to transform these obstacles into gifts and has since dedicated her career to helping others in need of psychological guidance. Since 2021, she has excelled as a clinical mental health therapist at Carolina Psychology Group, where she provides individual psychotherapy in a comprehensive setting, coordinates with any medical providers her clients may have, and offers both general mental health services as well as extensive help for those dealing with alcohol or drug addiction.

Ms. Watson prepared for her professional journey by first earning a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Meredith College in 2013 and then a Master of Education in clinical mental health counseling from the Graduate School at North Carolina State University in 2018. Between degrees, she served as an assistant kindergarten teacher and subsequently became a Certified Trauma Professional, National Certified Counselor, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist. From 2019 to 2021, she was active as an outpatient clinician and clinician for Substance Abuse Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment (SACOT) at Insight Human Resources before joining Carolina Psychology Group. In addition to her main responsibilities, she is a panel member and speaker regarding mental health and the pandemic in the city of Winston-Salem, and a board member for Echelon of Winston-Salem, which provides young adults with opportunities to engage with the Salvation Army.

Upon reflection on her success so far, Ms. Watson attributes much of it to her perseverance through difficult circumstances throughout her life. During these times, she relied heavily on hope as well as a strong support system and educational background, most predominantly her mentor, Marguerite Kyle, her supervisor for a year and a half. In the future, she hopes to link community resources with education and help the homeless population with vocational skills. She aims to not only provide the impoverished with a hot meal and a place to stay but also the training and assistance they need to be self-sufficient and productive members of society.

Carolina Psychology Group

 

 

 

 

Jorgonne M. Ellis

Jorgonne Ellis

Title: Program Director

Company: Transitional Services for New York, Inc. (TSINY, Inc.)

Location: New York

Education: Pursuing MS in Clinical Social Work, Touro College (Present); BS in Social Work & Psychology, Queens College, Summa Cum Laude with Presidential Honors; AA, Queensborough College

Career History: Program Director, Transitional Services for New York, Inc. (TSINY, Inc.) (2022-Present); Assistant Program Director, Transitional Services for New York, Inc. (TSINY, Inc.) (2018-2022); With, Martin de Porres Group Home (Five Years); Paralegal, Law Office of Michael Cohen (Two Years); Mental Health Professional, SCO Family of Services (Five Years)

Jorgonne M. Ellis, Program Director at Transitional Services for New York, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for her contributions and achievements in the fields of counseling and mental health.

Born and raised in Haiti, Ms. Ellis gravitated toward her professional path at a young age when she saw how people in her country suffered violently due to mental illnesses, having experienced it firsthand as her own aunt was physically beaten because of her mental health struggles. In her eyes, she believed that they needed a voice to advocate for them. She was also greatly inspired by her mother, who went through a lot and worked hard in order to support her four children. At 13 years old, Ms. Ellis immigrated to the United States determined to study and work hard in order to pursue a career in mental health, so she could achieve her goal of being a clinical social worker and make her mother proud.

Ms. Ellis took her first step toward making a difference by receiving an Associate in Arts from Queensborough College before earning a Bachelor of Science in social work and psychology from Queens College, where she graduated summa cum laude with presidential honors; she had obtained the highest honors. She entered the field as a mental health professional at SCO Family of Services for five years and then worked for the Martin de Porres Group Home for another five years. She also spent two years as a paralegal at the Law Office of Michael Cohen. She subsequently joined Transitional Services for New York, Inc.—a community-based mental health group geared toward helping those recover from mental illness and transition to independence—as an assistant director, a role she held from 2018 to 2022. In January of this year, she was promoted as program director of the organization. Among her myriad responsibilities, Ms. Ellis provides crisis intervention and manages incidents; trains, guides, and supports members of the program staff and those within the program; ensures that program services are effective in helping individuals maintain their current housing; and monitors program performance, among several other duties.

Looking toward the future, Ms. Ellis endeavors to have her own practice and open a home for women and children suffering from domestic violence. She has remained passionate about her community efforts and has, since 2014, found success as co-sponsor, along with her cousin, a priest, of a children’s orphanage in Haiti called “An Ede Ti Moun Yo,” which translates to “Let’s help the children.” Driven by her motto to “never stop learning,” she recently earned a scholarship to Touro College, where she is currently pursuing a Master of Science in clinical social work.

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