Staff and Counselors Share +

Georgia Ferrell - Executive Director

Georgia C. Ferrell earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health from San Diego State University. Her passion for promoting health and wellness was the driving force behind her work with the Peace Corps in West Africa and her own successful business as a Health Coach.

In addition to her work in the field of Health and Wellness, Georgia brings to Coronado SAFE skills in business administration, development and operations. Her experience as a business owner and other related work has given her a natural ability to organize, collaborate, and lead. Georgia has a natural ability in bringing people together and bring SAFE’s mission statement to life by deepening relationships between kids, parents, and community leaders.

Georgia also has a passion for the community of Coronado. Georgia grew up here and graduated from CHS in 1985. She has remained involved over the years and was recently the PTO President at Village Elementary where her children attended. With two children, one now at CHS and the other at CMS, Georgia has lots of opportunity to practice the skills that SAFE provides to families. 

With her background in health, entrepreneurial skills, dedication to the community of Coronado, along with her vision and leadership skills, the Coronado SAFE Board of Directors is grateful to have Georgia leading the organization.

Terri Fong, LCSW, BCD - Clinical Program Director

Terri is a California native, born and raised in Northern California, and received her graduate degree from San Diego State University; Go Aztecs! Terri was hired on as faculty at both SDSU and USC in their Social Work programs and between both schools has been teaching for over 25 years. Aside from her work at SAFE, Terri is currently a Jedi in the field of Social Work holding strong positions in Private Practice and Consultant work at 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 is a fan of making crafts, and her artistic talents are well represented in her style of therapeutic work. 

Bridget Sims, MSW - Youth Program Specialist

Bridget M. Sims, MSW, was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her MA in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago. After college, she spent a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps working as an advocate for crime victims in Yakima, Washington. This experience had a huge impact on her life plans and she chose to remain in Yakima for  as an Advocate and Investigator in the Crime Victim-Witness Assistance Unit of the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. While there, she worked with victims of violent crime, both adults and children, throughout the entire law enforcement and criminal justice process. She also trained law enforcement, legal, and medical professionals in forensic interviewing of child victims. Marrying her husband Jeff, an active duty Navy officer, also had a huge and unexpected impact on her life, particularly the moves to California, Virginia, Rhode Island, Japan, Italy and back to California. While stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, she received her MSW at Norfolk State University. Bridget, Jeff, and their two children currently live in Coronado. She is thrilled to be part of the Coronado SAFE team, especially working with the students and school communities.

Ashley Kernkamp, MFT - Associate Counselor

Ashley hails from the great state of Oklahoma. After joining the Navy in 2006 and completing boot camp, Ashley was given orders to Beach Master Unit 1 on Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado. After her completion of service, she was honorably discharged and pursued her Bachelor's Degree in communications/administrative leadership. Ashley did not stay content long and realized she had a strong passion for working with teens and adults with the desire to help families through life transitions; specifically parenting within the military community. Aside from her time spent at Coronado SAFE, Ashley is a proud military spouse of three years and has a 2-year-old daughter. Ashley's strong background in drug and alcohol education, rehabilitation, and military family advocacy makes her a strong asset to the counseling team. 

Lauren Maxwell, MFT - Associate Counselor

Lauren Maxwell is originally from Dallas, Texas. After leaving Texas to pursue her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, she was called to the beautiful weather in San Diego to work on her Graduate Degree. Lauren spent the past two years working in case management specializing in substance abuse. She has a strong passion to work with youth in the community and when not working at Coronado SAFE or at school she is extremely involved in her church ministry. Lauren has two cats named Sox and Koko. 

Gino Fontana, MSW - Associate Counselor

Gino is a native San Diegan. He graduated from Grossmont High School in 1987, and the University of San Diego in 1992 earning a B.A. in Psychology. After undergrad, he became a graduate assistant football coach at USD planning to teach high school and coach football. On a whim, he interviewed at a company selling business computers for this new thing called the “internet,” and fell into a 20 year business career in the IT industry. In 2014, he decided to change careers to find more personally fulfilling work, and found a calling to social work. In May 2017, he graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work earning a M.S.W. degree. While at USC, he interned as a school social worker for two years working at Helix Charter High School in La Mesa, Otay Elementary and Chula Vista's Hills Elementary Schools, and Pioneer Elementary and Mission Middle Schools in Escondido. He recently began working towards a certificate in play therapy at the University of California, San Diego.

 

Caroline Tamas, MSW - Clinical Social Worker

Caroline has a Master’s in Social Work with focus on integrative trauma-informed care for serious mental illness, substance use disorders, and at-risk youth/adults. Her training includes trauma-informed treatment, harm reduction, alternative healing modalities and military and veteran issues.  Her previous work includes clinical positions with Sunset High School and UCSD Co-Occurring Disorders program. Caroline also currently works with Family Health Center in a group therapy program and when not working, offers free story time with puppets at the local libraries. Caroline has a background in the arts and is a certified yoga instructor.

Cayla Christensen - MFT Trainee

Cayla was born and raised in Southern California, but is new to San Diego. She received her Bachelor's in Psychology at CSU San Marcos and is currently earning her Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego. Cayla is most passionate about working with children/adolescents and sees her work at Coronado SAFE as an opportunity to impact their lives directly, as well as indirectly through school outreach and parenting programs. Her background in special education makes her a valuable asset to our counseling team. Cayla has a lifelong love for music/art and plays the guitar in her spare time.

Annette Robinson - MFT Trainee

Kimberly Taylor - MSW Intern

Kimberly is originally from Dallas, Texas. She attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas to earn her B.A. in Psychology. After graduating, Kimberly spent a few years in the world of college access, assisting low-income and first generation students apply and matriculate to college. She developed a passion for working with students and decided to move to San Diego to earn her Master's in Social Work at San Diego State University. Kimberly looks forward to going into school social work in the future.

Alexa Mendivil - MSW Intern

Alexa was born and raised in San Diego, California. She received her Bachelors in Criminal Justice from Point Loma Nazarene University and is currently earning her Master's in Social Work at the University of Southern California. Alexa's concentration is Children, Youth and Families with a sub-concentration in Military Social Work. Alexa has a background in working with troubled youth through restorative justice practices. Alexa is most passionate about working with youth and has hopes and dreams of positively impacting as many lives as possible. In the future, Alexa would love to work with military population.