Our Team

Working together with you to build a community in which all women and girls thrive

Joycelyn Abury

Girls Circle Facilitator

Learn More About Joycelyn

Joycelyn Albury is originally from Miami, Florida. She is a current doctoral student in the Combined School and Counseling Psychology program at Florida State University and has experience working with various client populations including those struggling with eating disorders, inmate populations, crisis intervention, as well as within community mental health agencies supporting both children and adolescents. She believes that by empowering others and by emphasizing each of our unique strengths, that we all have the capability to achieve our personal definitions of success. 

Sarah Bonning

Summer Intern

Learn More About Sarah

Sarah Bonning is a senior pursuing her bachelor’s degree in social work at Florida State University. Sarah is passionate about social issues regarding feminism, mental health, substance abuse, and people experiencing homelessness. She has experience working as an afterschool counselor for children with special needs. Sarah will be graduating with a BSW degree this summer and will be taking a gap year before pursuing an MSW degree at FSU. 

Amanda Cohen

Summer Intern

Learn More About Amanda

Amanda Cohen is a summer intern at the Oasis Center for Women & Girls. She is a senior at Florida State University and is studying social work with a minor in psychology. Amanda is ecstatic to join the Oasis team and hopes to continue her education at FSU to obtain her Master of Social Work degree in the fall. 

Mary Deschler

Special Projects Coordinator

Learn More About Mary

Mary is the Special Projects Coordinator for The Oasis Center. She recently graduated from Florida State University and double majored in Family & Child Sciences and Psychology. She believes the best way to improve your community is by empowering others to reach their dreams. Mary is looking forward to learning and growing through this opportunity!

Saskiya Fagan

Girls Circle Facilitator

Learn More About Saskiya

Saskiya is passionate about building community-centered alternatives to the carceral system and the current ways we address things such as crime, poverty and mental health crises. With experience working with youth and adults who have experienced various degrees of trauma, she is deeply committed to Nonviolent Communication and Transformative Justice both as our response when harm occurs as well as the foundation for how we take care of one another. She is grateful to be working with an organization invested in the empowerment of people who deserve to be seen, heard and valued. 

Helen Fessahaye

Summer Intern

Learn More About Helen

Helen is a first-year clinical social work student at Florida State University and an intern for The Oasis Center this summer. Helen received her BA in Sociology with a minor in African American studies from the University of Florida. She has a passion for exploring and addressing the ways in which the intersection of gender and race impact mental and emotional wellbeing, particularly in African American women and girls. She believes in the importance of highlighting the strengths of individuals and empowering women and girls to practice self-determination, advocacy, as well as self and community care.

Jackie Herrera

Summer Intern

Learn More About Jackie

Jackie is a Clinical MSW student in her last semester at FSU, where she also received her BSW. Jackie is passionate about equal access to quality education, indigenous land rights, and environmentalism, and hopes to become a School Social Worker in the future. She is an intern for Oasis this summer and looks forward to learning more ways to advocate for the well-being of women and girls, as well as helping Oasis build a community of strong women that support and uplift each other.

Kristina Jean-Baptiste

Research Intern

Learn More About Kristina

Kristina Jean-Baptiste is the research intern for the CSWG. She is currently a masters student at Florida A&M University studying community psychology. She has completed research on women’s issues surrounding body image, racial identity and self esteem. With hopes to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology in the future. Kristina is excited to contribute and be a part of the Oasis Center.

Jae Littles

Women's Empowerment Coordinator

Learn More About Jae

Jae received her BA Degree in Sociology and Communication with a Gender Studies minor from Florida Gulf Coast University and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Florida State University.  Jae incorporates self care, fun, growth, and more into her practice. She is passionate about helping humans to thrive, gain confidence, learn coping skills, assist with life transitions, and handle family and relationship troubles.Jae serves in the specializes in anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders/life transitions, and  PTSD/trauma  (intimate partner violence, racial trauma, complex trauma).

Melissa Melnicoff

Girls Empowerment Coordinator

Learn More About Melissa

Melissa is the Girls Empowerment Coordinator at Oasis, organizing the Girls Circle program. She earned her BA at The University of Central Florida, and MA at Florida State University, majoring in education. She is a former high school teacher who has a passion for working with youth. She feels that the best way to empower the future generation is to help embrace what makes each person unique and help them grow to be the best, authentic version of themselves. She is very excited to be a part of the Oasis team and honored to be serving the women and girls of our community.

Kelly Otte

Interim Executive Director

Learn More About Kelly

Kelly has been working to make the world a better place for women and children for 35 years, 25 here in Leon County.  She is the Founder of the Oasis Center for Women & Girls and is currently serving as its Interim Executive Director. Kelly was formerly the Executive Director of Pace Center for Girls/Leon and Refuge House, Tallahassee’s domestic and sexual violence program. She has worked in domestic violence centers, rape crisis programs and women’s centers in Carson City, Nevada, Norfolk, Virginia, Jacksonville, Florida & Tallahassee. In addition to her work with women and girls, Kelly has a passion for the nonprofit sector. She co-writes a column “Notes on Nonprofits” for The Tallahassee Democrat and was the first Executive Director of United Partners for Human Services, a coalition serving 90 human service organizations in Tallahassee.  Kelly has been an Adjunct Professor at FSU in both the Askew School of Public Administration and the College of Social Work and formerly taught at the University of North Florida. She holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Florida.

Catherine Register

Staff Liaison to the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls

Learn More About Catherine

Catherine is the Coordinator for the Tallahassee-Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CSWG) at the Oasis Center for Women and Girls. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia and has completed graduate coursework in Social Work with an emphasis on Community Organization. Catherine’s experience as both an entrepreneur and a human service provider has deeply informed her work as a policy advocate. Her lifelong commitment to empowering vulnerable people is fueled by her role as the mother of three young girls. The responsibility of raising empowered and confident women has motivated her to remain committed to both personal and professional growth. She works in and out of the office to assess needs in the community and target resources to direct to those requiring support. 

Trent Smith

Special Projects Coordinator

Learn More About Trent

Trent has been a part of multiple circles since moving to Tallahassee in 2012. He graduated from Florida State University in 2016 and has made impacts in Real Estate, Property Management, and the Non-Profit arena.

Trent works with all corners of The Oasis Center, helping bridge Special Projects that move the organization forward.