Melissa Gourley, MSW, LSW
While completing her Bachelors of Arts degree at Ohio Dominican College, Melissa began her journey working with individuals with disabilities by providing direct care services for a supported living agency. After finishing her Bachelor’s degree, she returned to college to receive her Master’s degree.
During Melissa’s second year in the Master’s of Social Work program at The Ohio State University, she was offered a fellowship at the OSU Nisonger Center. During the fellowship, Melissa helped to develop programs which benefit individuals with disabilities, provided counseling, facilitated groups, and taught a graduate level course at OSU.
Melissa received her Master’s degree in Social Work in June 2003. In August 2003, Melissa co-founded UPREACH LLC, and in 2006, co-founded Learning Never Ends LLC.
Beth attended the University of Cincinnati, where she majored in Psychology. Beth started her career working in a group home in 1989. Beth relocated to Columbus in 1994 and began a career as a Support Specialist.
Beth continued to advance within the agency as she was promoted to Support Specialist Coordinator and Program Director. As a Program Director, Beth was responsible for hiring, scheduling and training support staff, coordinating medical services, overseeing and managing finances, and maintaining quality living conditions.
Beth was also a part of a Quality Assurance Team which traveled to other states to monitor the quality of services provided to individuals with disabilities. In August 2003, Beth co-founded UPREACH LLC, and in 2006, co-founded Learning Never Ends LLC.
Pat brings extensive experience from his past public and private experience in the disability field. After graduating from The Ohio State University in 1993 with a B.A. in Psychology, Pat began his professional career with a private provider of residential services for the developmentally disabled for 6 years as a Program Director and new staff trainer. Pat joined the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities in the service Coordination Department, where he served as Supported Living Service Coordinator and Placement Coordinator. Pat joined UPREACH in 2007 as Program Director.
Japera’s journey of working with individual with disabilities began during her sophomore year at Ohio State while she was pursuing a degree in Psychology. She began working as an Administrative Assistant in the Office of Disabilites at Ohio State helping students with mental, developmental, physical, and academic challenges complete their exams and homework. From there her passion grew to help individuals beyond the classroom setting. After graduating from Ohio State, she joined the Upreach team in October of 2017 as Program Manager. She now serves as a Assistant Director and also assists with Advisor issues and IT support. Japera loves her role at Upreach and being able to directly and indirectly support the advocacy and enrichment of the individuals we serve at Upreach.
After spending nearly a decade trying to figure out his calling in life, Mitch began working in the DD field in early 2016. Starting as a part-time direct support staff while attending college he quickly realized that his passion in life was advocating for and serving individuals with disabilities. His prior experience in the United States Army, as a logistics manager, and other supervisory positions lead to him being promoted to roles as a lead staff, program manager, billing administrator, training coordinator, assistant director, and ultimately his current position as Compliance Manager of Upreach, LLC.
Nate is an Ohio boy, born and bred. He spent his youth in the Ohio River Valley and then headed south to the home of the Bobcats. After receiving his BBA from Ohio University’s main campus in Athens, Nate moved to Columbus and it has been home ever since. After many years in multi-unit Restaurant Management, his love for Human Resources grew. He found himself wanting more from his career and a more meaningful path and eventually found his way to Senior Care before arriving at Upreach. Nate has a passion for people development and employee satisfaction, however after coming to Upreach shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, he has quickly strengthened his skill for policy and procedure. Nate is a dog dad to Dash and they can often be found at the dog park. They also enjoy camping, trying new restaurants/foods and long walks on the beach. Nate is so happy to have found his home at Upreach! He recently implemented the “Upreach All-Star” program and says “I want our employees to work for us forever!”
Monroe Stacy, Jr.
Monroe began working with individuals with disabilities in 1995 as a direct care support specialist at a private provider. During his extensive career, Monroe has been a pioneer for individuals with disabilities in opening and supervising numerous sites. Monroe joined the Upreach team in 2010 and was promoted to Program Manager in early 2012. He has an extraordinary ability to form strong, positive relationships with our clients and has a true passion for enhancing their lives.
Diana Slayton has served as Financial Coordinator to individuals with disabilities since 2000. She previously worked for a private provider for three years and joined the Upreach team in 2003. Services provided include assisting clients with budgets, bill paying, financial decisions and general oversight of their finances. Diana enjoys day to day interaction with our clients and assisting with all their financial needs.
Charlene attended Concord College where she pursued STNA training, while working as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher and as a nursing assistant catering to the elder population.
In 1996, Charlene began her career working at a day program, and has since held various positions in the disability field. Charlene joined our team at Upreach in 2004 as a Support Care Specialist and was promoted to Program Manager. Charlene possesses a passion for the individuals with disabilities, and strives to assist them in improving their lives.
Currently a Program Manager, Chris joined the Upreach family as a direct Care Support Specialist August 2004. With aspirations of growing with the company, Chris wanted to learn as many aspects of the job as possible. From Support Specialist he became a Site lead then tackled the task as a member of the Scheduling department. Throughout the years, Chris has obtained priceless knowledge and experiences that helped shape him into the person he is today.
In his free time he enjoys working and spending time with his family.
Tasha was introduced to the Developmental Disability field in late 2016. After reaching out to a mentor of hers for a change in career paths, it was recommended she volunteer for 3 months at Learning Never ends, LLC. After the first week of volunteering and working with individuals with disabilities, she knew she found a great love for the field. Shortly after finishing the 3 month volunteer service and position came open where Tasha was hired as a Community Engagement Specialist. After a year as a CES, Tasha was promoted to Program & Employment Coordinator at Learning Never Ends, West. During the 2 years serving in this role, she worked to encourage and promote independence and empowerment in a safe and fun learning environment. Recently Tasha was again promoted to now serving as a Program Manager at Upreach.
To me its not just a job because I truly love the individuals we serve! In my free time I enjoy eating, church, & socializing with friends & family.
Moriah grew up in a family with two siblings on the Autism Spectrum which fueled her passion to work with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Moriah started college at The Ohio State University in 2012 and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education in 2017. During her time in college Moriah worked as an ABA Therapist and direct care staff. After graduation Moriah was unsure which career path she wanted to pursue. Moriah started working for Franklin County Children’s Services in 2017, which is where she found her love for social work. After this, Moriah decided she wanted to return to working with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Moriah joined Upreach in March of 2019. Moriah loves working as a Program Manager because it perfectly combines her love of Social Work and her passion for working with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.
A recent graduate of the Social and Human Services program at Columbus State, Cate Aponte joined the Upreach team as direct support staff in May 2018, taking on the role of Program Manager in October. Cate is no stranger to the field of developmental disabilities. She began here career as a Day-Hab Specialist at Muskingum Starlight Industries in Zanesville before moving to Columbus, where she worked three years of direct care. She completed an internship at Learning Never Ends, which led her to her current position. Cate spends her free time watching superhero movies, going to concerts, and writing. She is really good at claw machines. Cate works to share her experience and passion for building positive relationships while helping to improve the lives of the individuals we serve.
Amanda graduated from Malone university with her bachelors in psychology. After graduation she worked as direct care staff at GentleBrook in Hartville, Ohio. In May of 2018 she moved to Columbus and started working at Upreach as a program manager. She loves working with individuals with developmental disabilities and it has become a true passion of hers. In Amanda’s free time she likes to work out, watch the office, and hang out with friends and family.
Taking advantage of the all-expense paid opportunity to attend DeVry University the last two years of her high school career, Taylor completed her Associates degree in Web Graphic Design two weeks after receiving her high school diploma. Soon after, Taylor enrolled at the University of Toledo and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Communications. While attending the University of Toledo Taylor was hired at Upreach as a support staff in 2014 and traveled back and forth for her weekend shifts. After discovering her lack of passion for all other pervious employments, Taylor realized her genuine attachment to the consumers Upreach serves. Two years later, Taylor assisted the Scheduling department as the Scheduling Assistant for six months before promoted to Program Manager in January 2017. Taylor quotes, “individuals with disabilities offer so much to the world and have given me more than I could ever give them”.
Abigail Santorine brings years of experience in the field of developmental disabilities to Upreach. After graduating from Otterbein University in 2012 with a BA in Psychology and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Abigail began working as direct care staff for individuals with developmental disabilities. Since then she has worked a career consultant, assisted children with autism in learning life skills and helped many people with developmental disabilities to discover and maintain minimum wage or better community employment. Abigail enjoys staying up to date on current disability issues and using that knowledge to provide the most inclusive services to anyone she serves.
In her time outside of work, Abigail has a passion for animals, especially horses and dogs, and likes to study history.
Eleanor has a bachelor degree from Ohio University in Child and Family Studies. She is currently getting my Master in Social Work at Ohio University. Before coming to Upreach she has a year’s experience with working with children with disabilities. Eleanor got hired as a Program Manager and started in August 2019. She loves working with clients with disabilities and it has became her passion to further her career so she can help as many individuals as possible. Eleanor’s passions outside of work are playing volleyball and hanging out with friends and loved ones!
Reno is an aspiring young professional who has many passions. He became a young man of faith at an early age and was a national level wrestler coming out of St. Francis DeSales High School. It was around this time in 2008 that he became involved with individuals with disabilities. He quickly developed a deeper compassion for those in need. He joined the Upreach team in July of 2019. He has a passion for his faith as well as for other people, and for being a positive influence to them. He graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. Reno has found his home here at Upreach, and thrives on the ability to positively affect individuals’ lives.
In his spare time, Reno enjoys cooking, playing games, and hanging out with friends.