Founded in 2003, PRN for Families™ is a home-based program for families who have children or teenagers who are out of control or at imminent risk of being separated from their family. Together, we serve as a dedicated team of licensed clinicians, trained mentors, and support staff — led by Charles Elias, owner and operator of the program and a licensed LCSW, MAC, LAC. Charles works directly with these clinicians and mentors to provide clinical supervision, program development and outreach, to ensure that families receive the highest quality of services.
Alyson Daniel, LCSW
Alyson Daniel, LCSW, is the Admissions Director at PRN for Families. She is a licensed clinical social worker who joined PRN’s clinical team as a Family Consultant in the spring of 2013. Her professional experiences include working in the New York City public school system with at risk youth, and providing outpatient individual, group and family therapy at St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. She also worked in private practice specializing in individual, couples, and family therapy, and presented for the NASW on incorporating Mindfulness in the school setting. Alyson earned a Master’s Degree from Columbia University School of Social Work specializing in clinical practice; and a B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education from the University of Vermont. While teaching in Vermont, she was contracted though the Dartmouth Volunteer Teacher Program to teach second grade on the remote outer island, Kili, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Alyson developed a special education curriculum in Kili that has continued to be in use for students with special needs. In her free time, Alyson enjoys deepening her yoga practice, beautiful music, hiking in the great outdoors, and skiing in fresh powder.
Mary Jo DeGrandi, M.S.
Mary Jo DeGrandi, M.S., joined PRN for Families as the Director of Outreach & Marketing in May 2015. She has more than 20 years of experience working with children and complex family systems in a variety of treatment settings, including residential, outdoor behavioral health, outpatient, and therapeutic boarding schools. Her roles have included line staff, program therapist, coordinator of parent programming, workshop facilitator, and administrator, and she has more recently focused on outreach, marketing and business development. Her fascination with all things related to child development has taken on a whole new meaning as she watches her one year old son changing before her eyes. Mary Jo’s hobbies include cooking, hiking, traveling, photography, reading and spending time with family.
Michael Geddes is a Mentor at PRN for Families. Hailing from Queens, NY, he majored in Sustainability Studies and Environmental Design while attending college at Stony Brook University. While there, he helped to start a rooftop farm which provided produce for patients with dietary restrictions. He has spent the past few years educating youth via after school programs and summer camps, and serving his community through volunteer work in community gardens and trail maintenance. He hopes these experiences translate to him one day starting his own non profit venture. Michael is QMAP certified and works with our Denver area clients.
Tonya Hessler became the Administrative Assistant for PRN for Families in the Fall of 2013. In this role, she takes care of much of the financial support required by PRN for Families, and has been a great addition to the office. Tonya received her A.A. in Accounting and is currently working toward her A.A.S. in Computer Information Systems with an emphasis in Web Development. In 2012, Tonya was accepted into the Phi Theta Honor Society. Tonya was born and raised in Nebraska but moved to Colorado in 1992. She enjoys crafting, reading and playing with her dogs in her spare time.
Kelsey Morell, MSW, comes to PRN after earning her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. Kelsey’s prior clinical experiences include working with at-risk youth and families in the New York City Public School system; with psychiatric patients and their families at Bellevue Hospital of New York City; and with incarcerated youth within the juvenile justice system. Kelsey earned her B.A in Sociology with a minor in Education from Colorado College in 2012, where she also played lacrosse. She continues to make outdoor activity and exercise a priority in her life, and is a certified teacher and practitioner of yoga. Kelsey also enjoys traveling to immerse herself in other cultures. She works with PRN clients in the Denver area.
Claire Nguyen is a Mentor with PRN for Families in the Denver area. She attended high school in Michigan, and then moved to Colorado and earned her B.S. in Biology at the University of Colorado Denver in 2011. She joined PRN in 2015, and is currently attending the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In her free time, Claire enjoys practicing yoga and baking.
Samori Pennant, MSW
Samori is a Mentor and Mental Health Technician at PRN for Families. He has worked in Social Welfare as a case manager and family intervention specialist for almost 10 years, and his experience includes work in mental health facilities, community centers, homeless shelters, and clinical agencies in the metropolitan New York area.
As a Master’s level Social Worker, and graduate of New York University’s Silberman School of Social Work, Samori is a knowledgeable professional in the area of promoting behavioral change in clients suffering with mental health disorders. He prides himself as being a very patient, creative, optimistic, and caring individual. Samori is also a strong multi-lingual therapist, speaking English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Samori has a love for all sports, and his hobbies include exercise, movies, travelling, and enjoying restaurants. Samori works with PRN clients in the New York City area.
Elizabeth Ruddy is a Mental Health Technician with PRN for Families and is QMAP certified. She has as degree in graphic design minoring in animation. She enjoys art, reading, cooking, and animals. She has been caring for people (in home or daily visiting) for almost five years. Elizabeth enjoys helping others to live a safe, healthy and productive life.
Francesco Sandolo is a Mental Health Technician with PRN for Families in the New York area. He graduated from Temple University in 2014 having earned a B.B.A. in Risk Management. He joined PRN in 2015 after spending sometime working in the insurance industry and as a high school substitute teacher. He is a life coach and personal trainer, and is passionate about health and wellness. Francesco enjoys being outdoors, playing soccer, traveling abroad and cooking.
Sheila Thornton is the Administrator at PRN for Families and began working with Charles Elias back in 2007. Her goal is to secure a strong foundation for the company as it grows and strives to support successful families. Sheila has been dedicated to supporting families and youth in need throughout her adult life, often serving as a host for young adults looking for support and love. Her greatest successes are her three grown children — a son and daughter in their 30s, and an adopted son who joined their family at the age of 17 back in 1998. Sheila recognizes that parenting is a difficult, sometimes thankless job, but it is also — always — the best, most rewarding, personally fulfilling work a person can do. In her free time, Sheila enjoys reading, music, sewing, cross-stitching, scrapbooking, enjoying the outdoors, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Jared Tonks, MC, LPC, NCC, NCSC
Jared Tonks is a family consultant with PRN, bringing many years of clinical experience working with adolescents, young adults and their families. Prior to joining the PRN team, he served as the Director of Alumni and Transition Services for the Carlbrook School in South Boston, Virginia. Jared’s other professional experiences include his tenure as the Clinical Director for SUWS of Idaho; middle and high school counselor in public schools; a clinician for the Idaho Youth Ranch; as well as a therapist for several private clinics. Jared’s credentials include licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), National Certified Counselor (NCC), and National Certified School Counselor (NCSC). He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University and a Master of Counseling degree in School Counseling from Idaho State University. He is currently completing a Doctor of Education degree in Education Leadership from Idaho State University. Jared is a married father of five who enjoys playing frisbee golf and baseball, and camping together as a family. Jared and his family live in Virginia.
Addam Vogele made the recent move to Colorado and works with PRN as one of our Mental Health Technicians, and is QMAP Certified. He graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 2008 with a B.A. in Sociology. He comes to us with over 5 years experience working in the social services field, and has worked with at-risk youth and with adults with disabilities.
Debra is the Assistant Administrator at PRN for Families. She has worked in the mental health field for many years, starting out as a youth counselor in a girls’ residential treatment center, where she facilitated art therapy and gardening therapy programs with clients. Debra transitioned from direct counseling work into the areas of Accounting and Finance, and she has enjoyed the challenges of that role for more than ten years. Deb has two small dogs, Wilson and Lily, and a cat named Redford. She is originally from Nebraska but has been in Colorado since 1982. Debra enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and reading a good book.