Soyong has more than 20+ years of experience as a human resources Executive working across a diverse range of industries that include companies such as AIA, JP Morgan Chase, MTV and Samsung. She brings expertise in talent management, culture and leadership development. She been an active member of the POETIC Board of Directors for three years.
HaeSung Han is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist and board-certified art therapist. She co-founded POETIC in 2017 with Jennifer Tinker after building the treatment program and serving as the first clinical director of Letot Girls Residential Center within the Dallas County Juvenile Department. Han saw that an in-community, bottom-up approach to addressing vulnerability of youth was needed to stop the cycle of re-victimization that leads to the exploitation and trafficking of youth in Dallas.
Han received her doctoral and master’s degree in clinical psychology from George Washington University and second master’s degrees in art therapy from New York University. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at Audrey Hepburn Children’s House, Hackensack University Medical Center, in the field of child maltreatment. She completed two post-graduate certificate programs: one in international trauma studies from Columbia University and the other in civil and criminal forensic psychology from Montclair State University.
Han has extensive experience working with individuals exposed to complex trauma including domestic violence, child maltreatment and commercial sexual exploitation/sex trafficking. She has worked in forensic, hospital, outpatient and school settings in NY, NJ, VA, DC, MA and TX. She is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). She has also received training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and DBT-PE (Prolonged Exposure for the treatment of PTSD) and offers both comprehensive DBT and DBT-PE to youth and adult clients.
Han trains nationally on various topics related to the assessment, intervention and prevention of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC) and domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST). She also provides consultation to anti-trafficking agencies on developing and implementing trauma-informed systems of care, programming and culture.
Dr. Kirsten Byrnes is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist who specializes in serious and persistent mental illness, trauma, risk assessment, family violence and child maltreatment. Dr. Byrnes is a graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University’s C. W. Post Campus, with a concentration in serious and persistent mental illness. She completed her pre-doctoral internship within the forensic track at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University). She also has a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Additional certifications include postgraduate certificates in Criminal Forensic Psychology and Family/Civil Forensic Psychology from Montclair State University. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional [levels I and II]. She provides consultation, supervision, evaluation, and therapy in private practice.
In addition to her previous clinical work at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House at Hackensack University Medical Center, Dr. Byrnes served as the Psychology Education Coordinator, where she supervised, managed, and delivered APPIC and ABPP approved training for psychology fellows. She serves as an assistant professor at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and has taught at several colleges and universities in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, delivering coursework ranging from the undergraduate to doctoral level instruction. She has also conducted research in the field of child maltreatment, commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, trauma, assessment, and grooming, presenting findings at regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Byrnes is the author of a chapter pertaining to forensic considerations relative to youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder who may have experienced sexual touch or abuse. She has also co-authored an article on the use of the MACI in child abuse assessments.
Chelsea serves as Director of Education and Internships for the POETIC School for Girls and POETIC Design Co. She received her degree from Texas A&M University and has been an active member of the educational community for over 20 years. She began her career in HPISD supporting students with emotional/behavioral challenges, was a teaching member of the Plano Family Literacy Program founded by the Barbara Bush Foundation Literacy Initiative, and taught for several years at an International college preparatory school in the Dominican Republic.
As a POETIC educator, Chelsea works to help POETIC youth obtain an individualized and equitable education. In addition to teaching, she has collaborated in developing the POETIC Internship Program focused on providing youth interns with the skills, experience and interpersonal network needed to gain and maintain employment and wealth. She has been a member of the POETIC team since 2018.
Stephenie Davis is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor (in the state of Texas) who has experience working with adolescents, families and adults navigating the challenges of commercial sexual exploitation, juvenile justice involvement, complex trauma, amongst other issues. Stephenie specializes in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, in addition to being TF-CBT certified and EMDR trained. Additionally, Stephenie has received training in Motivational Interviewing, CSEC 101 and the My Life My Choice curriculum for the prevention of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Stephenie serves at POETIC as the Juvenile Justice Coordinator & DBT Trainer and is passionate about joining with and empowering clients in identifying and obtaining their “Life Worth Living” goals.
Nina joined the POETIC team after 21 years at the at Dallas County Juvenile Department where she serves as Intake Probation Officer and Residential Administrator. She has extensive experience working within institutions that support trauma-exposed youth. At POETIC, she coordinates with fellow community partners to ensure that every POETIC youth has access to three meals a day, emergent supplies and can navigate our confidential location safely.
As Clinical and Career Case Manager Coordinator at POETIC, Sharita ensures that every youth referred to POETIC can access government identification and assistance, health insurance, medical, dental and psychiatric appointments, and career opportunities that align with strengths and interests. She is trained in risk prevention groups, such as My Life My Choice, and facilitates these groups within the Juvenile Department and the Dallas community.
Sharita has a long history working with pre- and post-adjudicated trauma-exposed adolescents and prior to coming to POETIC, worked as a Juvenile Supervision Officer (JSO) at the Dallas County Juvenile Department. She was also a founding JSO, working with Dr. Han at Letot Girls Residential Treatment Center (RTC), in building the first RTC for post-adjudicated girls in Dallas.
Sharita is a beloved staff and community member, and tirelessly works to fight for the rights of every POETIC girl to have equitable access to medical and educational services and career development.
Cindy is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in the state of Texas. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University and her master’s in Counseling and Development with an emphasis on Clinical Mental Health from Texas Woman’s University.
Cindy's previous experience working within the education system and community mental health has given her the skills to work with adults, adolescents, children, and support systems, navigating challenges of sexual abuse, complex trauma, life transitions, women’s issues, identity development, self-esteem concerns, intellectual and developmental disabilities and multicultural experiences amongst other presenting issues. Cindy’s therapeutic approach is informed by a collaborative and strengths-based lens prioritizing supporting her client’s overall well-being. Cindy intertwines various modalities and theories utilizing techniques from mindfulness-based skills, Existentialism, Motivational Interviewing, Expressive Arts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Angel Guerrero serves as POETIC’s Development Director. He comes from a nonprofit development background holding positions at the American Cancer Society and other nonprofits, while serving on the board of directors of local nonprofits in Dallas. He will oversee fundraising initiatives and foster external relations. Angel holds a BA in Political Science, Economics and Sociology from Southern Methodist University and various certifications in nonprofit development and project management. Angel is an avid singer; mixed martial artist and he enjoys learning about different cultures.
Blanca Rodriguez serves as a caseworker at POETIC and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley formally known as University of Texas – Brownsville in Brownsville, TX. Blanca’s childhood experiences led her to develop a passion for serving and working with underserved and underrepresented populations. Blanca has experience working in diverse settings including mental and behavioral health, special education and with victims of trauma and abuse/neglect. Blanca’s past work experience has given her the capacity to serve adults and youth with empathy and a non-judgmental approach. Blanca’s case management experience has prepared her to adequately assess crisis situations and have given her the skillset necessary to evaluate client’s individual needs, create the most appropriate care plan and coordinate the support of other professionals, family members and agencies. Blanca is bilingual and can build connections with English and Spanish speaking clients and their families.