Meet Our Interns!

Heather Groves

Addressing Substance Use Issues with  Transition Age Youth

Heather Groves is pursuing a Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health at the University of South Florida. Heather is concentrating on Youth & Behavioral Health. Heather currently works for the Florida Department of Vocational Rehabilitation as a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, she helps individuals with physical and mental disabilities prepare for employment, maintain employment, and enhance their independence. Heather’s targeted population is transition aged youth, and her focus is on providing job exploration services. Through her internship with the Children’s Mental Health Network, she hopes to research substance abuse issues in the transition aged youth population.

Katelind Halldorsson

Understanding the Impact of Juvenile Justice Involvement on Young Adult Mental Health

Katelind Halldorsson is pursuing a Master’s of Science in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health at the University of South Florida, with a focus in leadership. Her research interests lie in the intersection of children’s mental health and juvenile justice, as the literature provides evidence that many youth involved in the justice system have underlying behavioral health problems. Through her internship at the Children’s Mental Health Network, she hopes to dive deeper into this topic. Katelind also works full-time as the Assistant Program Director at the Criminal Justice, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Technical Assistance Center (CJMHSA TAC) at USF. At the CJMHSA TAC, she delivers training and technical assistance related to best practices in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and behavioral health to grantees across the State of Florida. Through existing partnerships in the field, Katelind hopes to bring value to the CMHN and broaden her knowledge on children’s behavioral health outside of Florida with guidance and mentorship through this unique and exciting internship opportunity.

Jennifer Urtecho

Researching Latino Immigrants’ Mental Health Services and How COVID-19 Has Impacted K-12 Students’ Education for Limited English Proficient Families

Jennifer Urtecho is pursuing a Master of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health at the University of South Florida. Jennifer is concentrating on the Leadership Track and also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Children’s Mental Health. Jennifer currently works as a Lead Program Development Specialist supporting out-of-school time providers through South Florida as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program managed by the Florida Department of Education. Through her work supporting K-12 students, Jennifer has found inspiration to continue to work to better students’ lives through academic programs and behavioral supports. As such, Jennifer has developed a passion for mental health advocacy among minorities, especially Hispanics in the United States. As part of her work with the Children’s Mental Health Network, Jennifer will research Latino immigrants’ mental health services and how COVID-19 has impacted K-12 students’ education for limited English proficient families. The goal is to use research to understand challenges in providing behavioral services for Latino families and identify potential solutions to improve service delivery. Jennifer is grateful for the opportunity to receive mentorship through this program and dedicate time to this topic that is so close to her heart as a Latina who migrated to the U.S. as a young girl.