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Project Community Pride is staffed by Master's level therapists who are licensed to practice clinical social work in the State of New Jersey. All therapists have strong backgrounds in the field of mental health, particularly in working with children, adolescents, and families.
Brigitte Kelly, LCSW, Director
Brigitte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been working with Project Community Pride since 2006. She received her Masters of Social Work from Fordham University in 1996 and has over 17 years experience working in the mental health field with children and adolescents. Before joining Project Pride, Brigitte worked as a primary therapist for children hospitalized in the psychiatric unit at Elizabeth General Medical Center Children’s Crisis Intervention Service. While at EGMC, she developed and implemented a specialized program for children who were affected by trauma. She participated in a one year training on sexual abuse sponsored by the New Jersey Task Force on Abuse and Neglect. Brigitte also spent three years at the Institute for Behavioral Health Services at Hackensack University Medical Center, primarily working in the Adolescent Partial Hospital Program with teens in crisis. She has worked for the Elizabeth Board of Education in the Early Childhood Program and as a consultant at Morristown High School with “at risk” teens. In addition to her duties as Director of Project Community Pride, Brigitte works with a caseload of families and runs a Spanish-speaking group for parents.
Lara Shaljian, LCSW, Program Specialist
Lara is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been with Project Pride since 2005. She received her Masters of Social Work from Columbia University. In addition to her years working with Project Pride, Lara has also been employed as a therapist for the Mental Health Association of Essex County, where she provided in-community services to patients with chronic mental illness and developmental disabilities. As a Program Specialist for the Hudson County Child Abuse Prevention Center, she practiced individual and group therapy and became a trained facilitator of a nationally recognized model of parenting classes. Lara also has experience working with eating disorder patients through the Essex and Bergen County chapters of the American Anorexia and Bulimia Association. She has focused her work on adolescents and families, and has a special interest in the prevention of child abuse and promoting healthy self-esteem and behavior in young women. At Project Community Pride, Lara works with a caseload of families and also runs the Divorce Support Group and Adolescent Girls' Group.