Interim Executive Director
Marcela first joined Children First in June 2020, as the Marketing & Development Coordinator. She previously served as a local government liaison to the agency, developing a heartfelt interest for its mission to provide quality mental health services, without regard to ability to pay. Marcela has a career background in serving nonprofits, and received a Bachelors degree from the University of North Texas at Dallas in 2015, with a large volume of coursework in Child Development and Psychology. In 2021, she received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, with an emphasis in the area of Nonprofit Management. Marcela's personal and professional passion for public service is what motivates her to ensure Children First remains a staple community resource for many years to come.
Wendy Watts, LCSW
Education: Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, Master of Social Work
Wendy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and earned her master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University in New York City. While Dallas is Wendy’s hometown, she moved to New York to pursue her first career in theatre performance. About a decade in, it was “character development” that led to her second career as a therapist, both in nonprofit agencies and private practice. For most of her career, Wendy has served survivors of trauma, particularly, survivors of domestic and family violence. In the last several years, Wendy served as a Program Director, in residential and non-residential programs. She is experienced in building a team from the ground up, and creating a positive, productive, team-oriented culture. Wendy is beyond thrilled to have joined the dynamic, dedicated Children First team in carrying out the agency’s mission. As the sign in the office says, “we are all Children First.”
As a lifelong resident of Grand Prairie, Carita is proud to be part of an organization that helps make a positive difference in so many lives in this community. After working in the Corporate World as a National Account Manager for over 25 years, she became interested in working with nonprofits when helping at a local agency in 2021. Carita joined Children First in May 2022, and has recently taken on the role of Administrative Coordinator. She feels blessed to continue to serve her hometown by giving back to those in need.
Kim Lovelace, LPC Associate
Supervised by Michael Ellison, PhD, LPC-S
Education: Tarleton State University, M.Ed. in School Counseling
Believing that the visual arts can heal, Kim has dedicated her time to being a high school art teacher, for the last 24 years in Tarrant County public education. Through humor and a no-nonsense approach, she seeks to hold a safe space for individuals as they walk through their journey, overcome their current struggles, and find their voice. Kim has extensive experience with the LGBTQ community and enjoys working with that population, especially youth. Additionally, Kim has counseled children who have lost a parent and are working through their own grief process. Using a variety of techniques and modalities, like trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy, grief work, cognitive processing therapy, and expressive arts techniques, Kim assists clients to achieve their therapeutic goals. She looks forward to getting to know you.
Carla Summers, LMSW
Education: University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Science in Social Work
Bilingual (English & Spanish) Therapist
Carla has a passion for helping individuals overcome challenging life situations. She is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Texas who has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families. Carla is experienced in the areas of autism, crisis intervention and domestic violence, and has provided treatment for behavioral management, anger, depression, anxiety, ADHD, self-esteem issues and parenting. Carla uses techniques and skills from various therapeutic modalities including Solution-Focused (SFT), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Play Therapy, Mindfulness and relaxation to empower clients and help them achieve their goals.
A Carla le apasiona ayudar a las personas a superar situaciones difíciles de la vida, brindar esperanza, y ayudar a los clientes con su bienestar. Ella ha tenido el privilegio de trabajar con diversas poblaciones y brindar servicios en inglés y español. Carla es una trabajadora social con licencia en el estado de Texas, y tiene experiencia trabajando con niños, adolescentes, adultos y familias. Carla Summers tiene capacitación en áreas de autismo, intervención en crisis, violencia doméstica, y competencia en terapia conductual cognitiva centrada en el trauma. Carla ha proporcionado tratamiento para el manejo del comportamiento, ira, depresión, ansiedad, ADHD, problemas de autoestima y educación de los padres. Carla utiliza diversas técnicas terapéuticas, incluyendo terapia centrada en soluciones (SFT), la terapia cognitivo-conductual (CBT), la terapia de juego, y la relajación para empoderar a los clientes y ayudarlos a alcanzar sus objetivos.
Kiarra Watts, LMFT Associate
Supervised by Dr. Sara Smock Jordan, PhD, LMFT-S, LMFT
Education: Texas Tech University, Master of Science in Couples, Marriage, and Family Therapy
Kiarra is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist associate. She has received training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and uses this training to help survivors heal and processes their traumatic experiences. Kiarra also has experience in the areas of anxiety, family conflict, relationship issues, anger management, child sexual abuse, trauma, and life transitions. She has provided services to children, adolescents, families, couples, and individuals.
Kiarra uses a Solution-Focused approach to help clients overcome barriers they may be experiencing. She also believes in collaborating with clients to meet their therapeutic needs.
Sylvia Williams, LPC
Education: Dallas Baptist University, Master of Arts in Counseling
Contract Counselor/BIPP Group Facilitator
Sylvia is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has received training in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Education and Prevention, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is a Certified Life Coach, Pastoral Counselor, and also a Certified Prepare Enrich Facilitator, which she uses for pre-marital counseling.
Sylvia has facilitated youth and teen groups, adult grief and parenting groups, and both Men’s and Women’s Batterer Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP) groups. She also provides direct services to individuals, couples and families. Her volunteer work as a mentor and counseling facilitator has taken her to prisons, pregnancy centers, youth clubs, and churches.
Sylvia employs a variety of techniques, depending on the needs of the client or group, such as Solution-Focused (SFT), Reality (RT), Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior (REBT) and Narrative Therapy (NT). She also enjoys using expressive therapies such as sand tray, play, and sculpting. As a person-centered and holistic counselor, Sylvia’s goal is to assist clients in moving forward to their preferred future.