These are the faces of a dedicated team of professionals who guide the daily operations of Community Interface Services.
Ali Berendsen, Coordinator/Respite Supervisor
Ali began working for CIS in 2010 after receiving a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada Reno. Starting as a Resource Counselor in the Community Integration Training program, she is currently the Supervisor of the Respite Program, and a Coordinator in the Supported Living Program. Ali says, “I am proud to be part of an organization that is dedicated to helping people reach their goals and maintain independence. It is a great joy to help someone fulfill a dream”
Dianne began with CIS as an Independent Living, Supported Employment, and Day Your Way Resource Counselor in 2013 after graduating from California State University Long Beach. The children she worked with at an after-school program in Long Beach inspired her to continue serving populations that are underrepresented in the community. Dianne is eager to help people find their voice and believes in CIS’s mission wholeheartedly. As a Coordinator for the IL/SE/DYW programs, Dianne is intent on helping new Resource Counselors promote the agency’s philosophy and provide great, quality service.
Diego Montoya, Coordinator
Diego graduated from National University in Colombia with a degree in history. In 2006, he worked as a high school teacher at a private school in his native city of Medellin. After being chosen by the students as best teacher of the year in 2007, Diego decided to embark on a new challenge and moved to New York City in 2009. Thanks to a friend's recommendation, Diego came across AHRC-NYC, an agency which provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities. He started working for them and fell in love with this field. Diego, as part of a team, helped to develop a program called "Day Habilitation Without Walls," which is a community-based program. With great support from the management, Diego was able to use his creativity to find resources in the city and create activities such as music therapy and personal growth classes. In 2015, Diego's and his wife relocated to San Diego, CA, where he found Community Interface Services. Grateful for the opportunity of growing professionally as a Coordinator, Diego will continue to help the people we serve to reach their goals of being active members in their communities.
Carmen Stoll, Coordinator
Carmen began her career at CIS in 2012 as a resource counselor in the Community Integration Training (CIT) program. New to this industry, she enjoyed every moment of working with the clients. She was then promoted to Program Assistant in 2013. In this position she supported the resource counselors and admin team in continuing to provide excellent services to our clients. In 2015, Carmen became a CIT coordinator. She is very excited to work alongside CIS staff to assist clients in reaching their highest potential. Carmen is frequently overheard saying “I love this job so much!”
Fergal Cullen, Coordinator
Fergal began working with CIS in 2016. Fergal has a Bachelors in Health Promotion from Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Fergal supported adults with autism in Ireland and Australia in supported living, day service and outreach settings. Fergal says "I am very excited to be beginning my new life in America helping people to realize their goals and dreams through CIS".
Itzel Calderon, Coordinator
Itzel Calderon first joined Community Interface Services as an Independent Living Resource Counselor and Supported Employment Job Coach. Before joining CIS, she graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology. Within the first year of supporting clients in reaching their goals, she was promoted to program assistant and a year later was promoted to a coordinator in ILL/SE/DWY programs where she continues to enjoy assisting people in learning new skills. “The part I enjoy the most about my job is that it keeps me on my toes, and every day is different. I enjoy seeing people succeed and making a difference in people’s lives.”
Jasmine Morrow, Coordinator
Jasmine started with CIS in 2013 as a part-time Vocational Substitute. After some on-the-job training with the vocational program, she took on a caseload that included clients supported by the Day Your Way, Independent Living, Supported Employment, and Supported Living programs. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development with an emphasis in Counseling from Cal State University San Marcos, Jasmine transitioned to full time work in the IL/SE/ DYW programs and was quickly promoted to Coordinator in Supported Living. Jasmine says, “I enjoy working for an agency that is filled with positive energy. It is rewarding to be able to help so many people reach the goals they have set for themselves.”
Kirsten Cassidy, Coordinator
Kirsten joined Community Interface Services as a Program Assistant for the Community Integration Training (CIT) program in 2015. Shortly after, Kirsten was promoted to Day Your Way Coordinator where she provides each client with services tailored to the individual’s unique needs. Kirsten graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology emphasis in Public Health from Cal State University, San Marcos. In college, Kirsten was involved with organizations such as Autism Speaks and the Multiple Sclerosis Society where she would raise public awareness and volunteer in fundraising events. Prior to joining CIS, Kirsten worked on the Quality Assessment Project where she performed QA interviews and identified essential changes necessary to improve the quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities. As a coordinator, Kirsten is proud to be a part of such a hard working team that continues to help clients reach their individual goals.
Lora Juarez, Coordinator
Lora joined CIS in 2007 as a resource counselor in the Community Integration Training (CIT) department before being promoted to CIT Coordinator in 2013. During her time in the field, she worked closely with several individuals with behavioral needs, helping them to become vital members of their communities. Lora continuously strives to deepen her understanding of the CIS philosophy by upholding its standard in all facets of her job. Lora says, "I feel like I get to be part of a puzzle where each piece is so different yet we come together to make one beautiful picture. We come together as a team to truly make a difference in people's lives."
Vicki Driscoll, Coordinator
Vicki is a recent transplant to Southern California having recently moved from Upstate New York. She has her BA in Psychology and has worked in Human Services her entire career, with most of that time spent working with individuals with developmental disabilities. She has worked direct care, case management, mid-management and program administration, but is very happy to be capping off her career working with the Community Interface Family. While she has enjoyed each and every role she has experienced in the work environment, her most rewarding role has been that of “Mom” to her two adult children.
In 2013 shortly after earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from Cal State San Marcos, Yvette Scarcella joined the Community Interface Services team as a Resource Counselor in the Community Integration Training (CIT) department. During this time, she learned how much she enjoys building relationships, making a positive impact, and helping those to meet their personal goals. Yvette was promoted to CIT Coordinator in 2016. As Coordinator she is able to tackle new challenges all while still working with the individuals she loves. Yvette thoroughly believes in the mission of CIS and aims to apply it to her daily interactions.