Staff and Counselors Share +
Georgia C. Ferrell
Georgia C. Ferrell is Executive Director of Coronado SAFE. She graduated from San Diego University with a degree in Public Health and was driven to a career promoting health and wellness while working with the Peace Corps in West Africa. She decided to open her own business as a Health Coach, bringing her globally-inspired ideas and heart for helping people live their best (and healthiest!) lives back to her hometown of Coronado, California.
Georgia’s life is and has always been centered in Coronado. She grew up in the community and graduated from Coronado High School, where one of her two children now attends. She has remained passionately involved as a parent within the local schools over the years, serving as the PTO President of Village Elementary, and now lending a hand where help is needed both at Coronado Middle School and Coronado High School.
At Coronado SAFE, Georgia’s goal is to create a safe, welcoming, and encouraging place for the community’s youth -- and those who are raising them -- to grow stronger, and thrive; a place that fosters good work that makes a measurable difference in the lives of the families who call Coronado home, whether they are here for just a season or for a lifetime. Georgia leads the Coronado SAFE team with the values of connection, family, and unshakeable hope guiding every venture. She takes tremendous pride in her work of bringing people together to prioritize and deepen relationships between kids, parents, and community leaders. She also loves to have fun with the Coronado SAFE staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers and appreciates doing important work alongside so many inspiring people. Georgia enjoys the slow and simple life on the island. Hiking soothes her soul and being with her kids is her favorite joy in life.
Gia Del George, LCSW
Director of Programs & Clinical Counseling
Gia Del Geroge is a native San Diegan. She graduated from the University of San Diego where she studied psychology before receiving her Masters degree in social work from the University of Denver. Gia is a believer in helping people to make connections, feel supported, and feel valued, especially when it comes to the relationships between children and their parents. She has focused much of her career on supporting foster youth, low-income families, and LGBT teens. After becoming licensed in 2014, Gia worked both in a group private practice providing psychotherapy to children, couples and families and as an MFLC (Military Family Life Counselor) in the Coronado School District.
Gia is thrilled that in her current role, she is able to work with and empower the youth and families of Coronado, strengthen the support services and programs that Coronado SAFE offers them, and cultivate the next generation of therapists and social workers. She is proud to say that receiving her license as a clinical social worker is one of her greatest life accomplishments. And in looking back on all the tremendous supervision and consultation she received in former internships and agencies, she is excited to have the opportunity now to pay it forward as a supervisor.
Gia lives in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego with her husband, Nate Batt, and their son, Austin. The whole family is obsessed with their 10 year old English bulldog, Buddy, adopted as a rescue in 2014. Gia’s passionate about disrupting privilege and educating people on the importance of being an ally -- and equipping them to be one. Outside of work, she loves spending every moment with her family, whether they’re taking Buddy to the dog park, going on family walks around their neighborhood, or finding unbelievable deals at local thrift stores.
Terri Fong, LCSW
Terri Fong was born and raised in Northern California. She moved down South to obtain her Graduate degree from San Diego State University, and decided to officially make the area her new home. After graduation, Terri worked as a Family and Youth Counselor at Ocean Beach Community Services, as a Clinical Social Worker at Mercy Hospital Mental Health Services, and as a Clinical Supervisor and Consultant for High Tech High and Middle College. She was offered faculty positions for the Social Work programs of both San Diego State University and the University of Southern California. She has been an educator and clinical supervisor for over 30 years, raising up generations of professionals who go out into the workforce ready to serve people. Today, in addition to her consulting work with Coronado SAFE, Terri holds positions in Private Practice and as a consultant with High Tech High where she specializes in mental health treatment for children and families. Terri has been married to her amazing husband for over 40 years. In her down time, she loves to make crafts, and her artistic talents are well represented in her style of therapeutic work.
Lauren Oppenheimer, MSW
Youth Program Development Specialist
Lauren Oppenheimer grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, home to the Kentucky Derby every May. She moved to San Diego to get her Masters in social work, but also to pursue adventure and new life experiences. A self-proclaimed Artist and Advocate, Lauren is motivated to help young people to enjoy meaningful, beautiful, and joyful lives. She does this by creating programs for Coronado SAFE that provide strong adult role models, supportive services, and real world, evidence-based learning experiences to help kids and teens envision great things for their futures, stay on track for those futures by making healthy and productive choices, and strengthen their belief in themselves and their capabilities. Lauren dreams of one day being able to help create legislation to better safeguard children and families. Outside of work, Lauren loves any chance she gets to be in nature or travel somewhere new.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Meet Danielle Maske, Coronado SAFE’s Community Engagement Coordinator. Danielle was born and raised in New York. She attended the University of Scranton, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications and History. Danielle has enjoyed a career in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Prior to her employment at Coronado SAFE, she spent five years coordinating and facilitating programming for the PGA Tour in Saint Augustine, Florida. Danielle and her Navy husband, Billy, have been married for 13 years and have two children who are actively involved in Coronado schools and sports: Morgan, 11 years old; and Finley, 9 years old. She is a proud Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary member.
Kenneth (Ken) Baker
HR / IT
Ken is originally from Oregan, and went to college for a degree in music. Ultimately he ended up with an MBA. Ken was stationed in San Diego, California while serving in the United States Navy, and decided with his family to stay in the area as his distinguished 26 year Navy career came to a close. After spending the next ten years working in technology management in the corporate world, Ken chose to focus his efforts on community enrichment activities. In addition to directing a local church choir and performing with the Barber Shop Society’s Pacific Coast Harmony, he puts to use his training and experience working at Coronado SAFE. Even though he left a lucrative career at a large corporation behind when he joined the small but mighty Coronado SAFE team, Ken hasn’t looked back. He comes to work inspired to be a part of an organization that truly serves people’s needs, and saves lives. Ken has three children and six grandchildren.
Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, Emilee Villar is a copywriter and marketing strategist who fell in love with storytelling while performing on stage as a child. Emilee graduated from Georgetown University with a Master's degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications and launched her professional career at a boutique branding and marketing agency based in Washington, DC. She was leading national marketing campaigns and rebrands for Fortune 100 organizations by her second year in the business. After growing her portfolio and gaining recognition for her copywriting work with the likes of Booz Allen, FedEx, McDonalds, The U.S. Army, and The World Bank, Emilee felt herself drawn back to her roots — helping small businesses with big and mighty dreams to find their voice and become well known and well loved. The smart-and-scrappy, for-the-people, built-from-the-ground-up atmosphere is what attracted her to work with Coronado SAFE. And the opportunity to use her skillset to help the organization to grow, to thrive, and to stand the test of time is what makes her excited to get to work every day. Emilee loves to equip and encourage the rising generation of leaders in communications, and has served as a guest lecturer at both Georgetown University and John Hopkins University. She and her husband Shawn are parents to their son Jaxton, and furparents to Kodi the greyhound-border collie and Ty the tabby cat. She is passionate about resourceful living, reading, and spending time playing, dreaming, and relaxing with family and friends at home.
Caroline Tamas, MSW
Caroline Tamas has a Master’s degree in social work. She launched her professional career through clinical positions with Sunset High School and the University of California San Diego’s Co-Occurring Disorders program. Caroline is well trained in trauma-informed treatment, harm reduction, alternative healing modalities, and military and veteran issues. Her work experience runs the gamut of supporting at-risk youth and adults with integrative trauma-informed care as they seek help for issues including: serious mental illness, substance use disorders, and other significant, all-consuming problems. In all she does, Caroline’s mission is to empower people with the tools and compassion they need to face, tackle, and recover from their greatest challenges -- no matter how difficult, haunting, or painful -- so they may no longer be consumed by their past or present, and take steps toward happier, healthier, and more purposeful lives. In addition to her work with Coronado SAFE, Caroline also works with Family Health Centers of San Diego in a group therapy program. When not working, she offers free story time with puppets at the local libraries. Caroline has a background in the arts and is a certified yoga instructor.
Kimberly Taylor is an MSW Intern of Coronado SAFE. Kimberly was born and raised in the Lone Star State, originally from Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with a degree in Psychology. Over the four years that followed, she joined forces with college access organizations to assist low-income and first generation students to apply and matriculate to college. The individuals whose dreams she was able to encourage were the influence for what came next. Kimberly felt inspired to join the world of social work within school systems, and she decided to move to San Diego to begin earning her Master’s in Social Work at San Diego State University. While working with Coronado SAFE, Kimberly’s passion for empowering teen students and educating their families has continued to emerge. She sees potential for great opportunity in every young person she meets, regardless of the challenges he or she is facing. In between studying for her Graduate program and working with Coronado SAFE clients, Kimberly enjoys exploring San Diego, hiking, reading at the beach, and baking.
Alexa Mendivil is an MSW Intern of Coronado SAFE. A lifelong resident of San Diego, California, Alexa received a degree in Criminal Justice from Point Loma Nazarene University and is currently working to finish her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California in December 2019. Alexa has a heart for fostering positivity in the lives of kids and teens. Prior to her internship with Coronado SAFE, she joined forces with the County of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Services Department as a Graduate student to help implement the public children’s system of care. Her upbringing was rich in values of selfless service, courage, and love for others as many of her family members have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. While her calling at this point in life has not yet led her to join the military herself, she does dream of using her gifts to embark upon a career post-graduation working with troubled youth in the juvenile justice system or with families in military communities where she can serve and protect others’ lives. Alexa absolutely loves her puppy Simba, the beach, and spending time with her family, especially when they have the opportunity to enjoy the sport of soccer together.