The Support Network Team
Margery JessCo-Director, Community Support and Outreach
Margery Jess, Senior Family Support Specialist, has been employed by the Support Network for the past eighteen years. She brings her own lived experience raising children with emotional concerns as well as her background in Special Education to the program. Margery was a part of the Collaborative Assessment Program, the first strength based program for children in MA. She was also a Senior Family Partner with the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative when the program was first established in 2009. Margery was employed as a Family Consultant with the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services for the Western MA Planning and Review Team working with the most complex and challenging family circumstances. During the past eighteen years, Margery has had the amazing opportunity to partner with hundreds of families whose children have mental health challenges. In her free time Margery likes to flower garden, exercise, travel, bake, tag sale, and spend time with her family (including grandchildren) and friends.
Gretchen EmondCo-Director, Training and Program Development
Gretchen Emond, a Senior Family Support Specialist, has worked for the Support Network for the past twelve years. She is also trained as a wraparound Senior Family Partner through Vroon- Vandenberg and the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative. In addition, she received training in educational advocacy by the Federation for Children with Special Needs and has attended the Georgetown Leadership Academy. Gretchen has lived experience raising two sons with mental health concerns. Gretchen has helped an immeasurable number of families become empowered throughout western Massachusetts and enjoys seeing the families and children she works with grow and succeed.
Gretchen enjoys the little things in life and is always looking for a reason to laugh. When she is not working, Gretchen enjoys spending time with her husband and children, gardening, raising chickens and ducks, watching movies with her son and reading. She believes strongly that every family has strengths and talents to lean upon when times are tough and that we all create our own pathway to recovery for a full and positive life experience.
Janice LambergFamily Support Specialist
Jan Lamberg, Family Support Specialist, is the mother of three daughters, all of whom are special in their talents, needs and relationship to the world! As a parent, Jan emphasizes supporting her children in their self-advocacy skills as well as nurturing their development of an ‘ear for the concerns of others’. She enjoys helping other parents strengthen their families and effectively navigate the many public systems of care and she is grateful to families who have shared with her their dreams, struggles and plans for a fulfilling life. Jan describes that perhaps the biggest challenge is learning how to juggle responsibilities with a unique, creative expression. Her efforts advocating for children’s and families’ mental health has been a tireless practice for Jan as she supports families on their distinctive and collective journey!
Cynthia SantiagoBilingual Family Support Specialist
Cynthia Santiago, Bilingual Family Support Specialist, brings many years and much knowledge to the Support Network team through her work with people with disabilities and through her personal experience. She is the mother of two boys and an involved aunt with her nephew and nieces, all who have emotional challenges of their own. Cindy has completed the Parent Consultant Training Institute with the Federation for Children with Special Needs and actively supports many parents/caregivers in their quest to find the best possible solutions to educational issues. Cindy is very connected to our local community service agencies and strives to bring attention to the unique needs of children with emotional challenges. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going bowling, dancing or relaxing watching movies.
AnnaMaria SebastinoFamily Support Specialist
AnnaMaria Sebastino, Family Support Specialist in Berkshire County, has worked for The Support Network since 2017. She has extensive experience in collaboration, networking, planning, case management and working with families and children. AnnaMaria has a thirst for learning and loves to work with community members and local organizations. Her experience in collaboration and networking has developed throughout several positions in which she has acted as a “broker of resources” for the families she has served. This means connecting families with local resources and helping them navigate the education system, court system and application processes for needed services.
She currently also coordinates an afterschool program. In this role, AnnaMaria plans and implements STEM based curriculum as well as college focused thinking serving at-risk students who generally have never thought of college as an option for them. She facilitates activities that challenge them to think about the future, what skills they have and the many ways to attend college even if they believe they cannot afford it. She also plans weekly outings in the community that give these students opportunities they might not usually experience.
AnnaMaria brings her own lived experience to the program by helping to raise her Godson. She loves to travel, read, attend local events and spend time with her loved ones. She is dedicated, passionate and driven about creating a wonderful quality of life for those she serves and strives to have positive and enjoyable interactions with all her connections.