Meet The ADAPS Team
Title: Executive Director for the ADAPS organization, bringing the Board's Vision to the front line.
Debra celebrates 8 years with ADAPS in the spring of 2021. She directs the services of Indicated Prevention and Intervention, which covers a wide variety of groups, projects and collaborations. She is passionate about giving youth a powerful voice in this community. Her favourite thing to do, though, is to support youth one on one-through connection, conversation, and maybe some poutine. Debra's spare time is spent with her young daughter. When they aren't at home lost in the Marvel Universe, they can be found on the trails and playgrounds of this amazing community.
Title: Registered Clinical Counsellor – facilitating the SAIP program which serves children and youth ages 3- 18 years old.
I am an animal lover, nature lover, and sometimes musician. I love my job as a counsellor, supporting children and youth in finding their voice, as we sit together in the yuck and the wonder, and explore individual strengths. The work we do is client led, which can look many different ways: creative arts, writing and storytelling, music, play, CBT, DBT, bibliotherapy, mindfulness and movement…whatever works best to reach a young person’s goals. I am also an EMDR trained therapist and a member of EMDR International Association and BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.
Title: Youth and Family Substance Use Counsellor, working with youth ages 12-21.
I've been working with youth for the last 10 years and had the privilege to join ADAPS in 2020. I am passionate about working with youth and meeting them where they're at, everyone deserves respect and dignity. I feel strongly about destigmatizing and decriminalizing substance use and advocating for harm reduction. If I'm not at work, I'm probably outside running around in the mountains or getting a tattoo, who knows!
Title: Youth Engagement Facilitator for the Alberni Valley
Hello! My name is Jordan Higgins, and I am the Youth Engagement Facilitator for the Alberni Valley!
I am so excited to be a part of this project and cannot wait to see what we can accomplish with it. I have always had a passion for working with youth and am so grateful to be involved in an initiative that is working to influence positive impacts on youth and our community. In my free time I can be found exploring Vancouver Island or hanging out with my cat.
Stacy Neary (She/Her)
Title: Program Manager for ISE-Intensive Support and Engagement. ISE supports youth who are in and from care as they move towards independence.
I has been with ADAPS for 1 year but was a long-time community partner before making the transition to officially join the team. At ISE we value youth voice and make it a priority keep our clients at the centre of our work. I feel honoured to come to work every day and be a part of the unique story of youth who are in and from care.
When I’m not at work one of my favourite things to do is visit Tofino and wander the beaches with my friends and family.
Title: Youth Outreach Worker for the ADAPS ISE program.
I’ve worked with youth for 11 years and specifically with the ISE program since 2020. I love helping youth unearth their own potential.
I cherish all things that keep me connected to our Mother Earth. Fishing, foraging for mushrooms and harvesting cedar bark. My favourite tree is the western yew tree known for its strength and resilience.
Title: Support and Engagement Worker with the ISE program
I’ve been working with youth for 5 years and came to ADAPS in 2020. I love my job and that I get to connect with youth in such diverse ways; mountain biking, drinking coffee by the ocean, baking or doing whatever they are interested in. A main focus is on privileging youth voice, working towards goals they identify and walking alongside them. In my spare time I enjoy adventuring, gardening, making music and drinking more coffee (:
Title: Youth Wellness Counsellor, working with youth ages 10-21
I am a mixed indigenous, able bodied, middle class woman; my social location informs the work I do as a counsellor, as my privilege and collective life experience influences the way I see and understand the world. I am so excited to journey alongside youth as they navigate this funny thing we call life. Tears, laughter, frustration, and all of the messy emotions that come with being a youth are welcomed and encouraged in my office. I hope to provide a safe space for youth experience, as I work from a strength based, trauma informed, anti-oppressive lens. Did I also mention that we do art!? Art therapy is at the heart of the work I do, as I believe creativity fosters healing, resiliency, and joy. If I'm not at the ADAPs office, you can catch me exploring hiking trails with my dog Clyde, or at home trying new recipes, making a big mess of the kitchen.