Meet Our Interns!

Aniya Bess-Rosa

Impact of Immigration Reform on the Mental Health of Children and Families
Aniya Bess-Rosa is a graduate student at the University of South Florida studying Children and Adolescent Behavioral Health with a focus on Youth and Behavioral Health. Aniya’s background includes working with children of all ages and in different capacities. Through her previous work experience in schools and shelters, Aniya discovered her passion for working with disadvantaged youth. Aniya is currently assessing the impact of recent immigration reform efforts on the mental health of children, youth, and families. When she is not doing research, Aniya spends her free time reading, playing sports, or entertaining her nieces and nephews.


Rachel Lettieri

Improving Quality Standards in Residential Care
Rachel Lettieri is in the Masters of Science program in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health at the University of South Florida. Rachel is passionate about influencing change and advocating for policy decisions in favor of children’s mental health. During her internship with the Children’s Mental Health Network, Rachel will be conducting a 50-state scan of existing and proposed legislation designed to strengthen quality standards for residential care programs. In addition, Rachel will be assisting the Children’s Mental Health Network in building an online platform where families in crisis can receive appropriate and pertinent information that will help guide their decision-making about treatment options for their child.


Melissa V. Sirola

How Mindfulness Impacts Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children
Melissa V. Sirola is a registered nurse with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. Melissa has worked as a staff nurse, a nurse administrator, and an educator, teaching nursing leadership at several local universities. Melissa is currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership and Health Care Innovations at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing. She is researching the effects of Mindfulness on behavioral and mental health issues with children in rural primary school settings. Melissa is excited for the opportunity to work with the Children’s Mental Health Network to research, explore, and report on innovative Mindfulness programs that exist in various parts of the country and around the world.