Patti Bryce – Director of Community Programs
Christina Downing, Psy.D. – Director 1of the YMCA YFS Montgomery County Wraparound program
Kimberly Nimmons, LCPC – Director of Regional Youth Services/CORE Counseling
Elena dos Reis – Asst. Director of Linkages to Learning
Kirsten Sidell, LMFT – Director of Linkages to Learning
Meredith Smith – Director of Youth Development
Patti Bryce is the Youth & Family Services Director of Community Programs. Patti is responsible for programs that serve youth and their families in schools and community centers in Silver Spring neighborhoods from Wheaton to Langley Park.
Patti has ten years of experience working with YMCAs, the first six as part of the YMCA of the Triangle in Raleigh, North Carolina and four with the Metro DC Association at YFS. She came to the Y with a background in literacy mentoring for underperforming grade school students and is committed to ensuring that all YMCA program participants attain the essential tool of fluent literacy. In her current position, she oversees programs that serve students Kindergarten through high school. She has an abiding interest in education policy and served as a US House of Representatives staff member. She received degrees in political science and journalism.
Christina Downing, Psy.D.
Christina Downing is the Youth & Family Services Director of the YMCA YFS Montgomery County Wraparound program. Christina is responsible for direct clinical supervision of Wraparound staff and day to day operation of the Wraparound program.
Christina has 7 years of experience working with children, teens, and families dealing with various behavioral and emotional challenges. She has worked in schools, outpatient clinics, residential treatment, and day treatment programs. Christina’s areas of interest are working with youth/families that have experienced trauma, youth/families with limited access to mental health care, and psychological testing. Christina is a member of the Montgomery County Local Care Team. Christina has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Regent University and is a Licensed Psychologist in Maryland. When she’s not helping impact the lives of youth and families in Montgomery County, Christina likes to bake, spend time with family and friends, and travel as much as possible.
Kimberly Nimmons, LCPC
Kimberly Nimmons is the Youth & Family Services Director of Regional Youth Services/CORE Counseling. She is r esponsible for providing administrative and clinical direction to RYS/CORE and managing mental health staff and interns providing early intervention and prevention treatment services to youth and their families.
Kimberly has 16 years of clinical experience providing mental health services to youth and families in a variety of capacities and settings including non-profit, community health clinic, faith-based, detention and corrections, school-based, and inpatient. Her areas of expertise are working with dysfunctional families, youth with behavioral and emotional issues, delinquent youth and clinical supervision. Kimberly participates in the Maryland Association of Youth Services Bureaus (MAYSB). Kimberly is a long time resident of Montgomery County and holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Board Approved Supervisor.
Elena dos Reis
Elena dos Reis is the Youth & Family Services Director of Linkages to Learning Community Outreach. Linkages to Learning is a community school partnership with an integrated focus on health, social services, community development and engagement to support student learning, strong families and healthy communities. Elena is responsible for overseeing the case management and community outreach efforts within the Linkages to Learning program.
Elena has 11 years of experience building communities, supporting families, and removing barriers to education, providing services in both English and Spanish. She began at YFS as a Family Case Manager working one-on-one with families before transitioning to Community School Coordinator, focusing on community outreach. She has been in her current position for 8 years and now oversees both the Family Case Managers and the Community School Coordinators. She uses her hand’s-on knowledge and experience to support her team in the amazing work they do every day. Elena’s areas of expertise are parent engagement and parent empowerment. She also participates in Montgomery County Latino Advocacy Coalition (MCLAC) meetings and is a member of the Latino Student Achievement Action Group (LSAAG). She received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and did her internship with the Linkages to Learning program 12 years ago!
Kirsten Sidell, LMFT
Kirsten Sidell is the Youth & Family Services Director of Linkages to Learning. Kirsten is responsible for the administration of the Linkages to Learning program: a community school partnership with an integrated focus on health, social services, community development and engagement to support student learning, strong families and healthy communities. In her role, Kirsten manages the budget, oversees staff development, provides clinical supervision for the Marriage and Family Therapists on staff, assures staff compliance with required regulations for clinical practice, recruits, interviews, and trains qualified staff, and implements systems for third party billing.
Kirsten has 8 years of experience working in the mental health field with families and youth. She specializes in systems theory and adolescent mental health issues. Kirsten worked as a Child and Family Therapist in the Linkages to Learning program and a Couple and Family Therapist in private practice, providing services in English and Spanish. She has experience administering culturally competent therapeutic services for adolescents and their families around issues of trauma, family conflict, grief, acculturation, anxiety, and depression in a school based and community based setting. She also facilitated therapeutic groups for adolescents and has extensive experience in collaborating with the MCPS school system.
Kirsten received a Master of Science in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland and was honored with the Jennifer Becker Carswell Award for her excellence in clinical work. She graduated manga cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington. She is a Clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and holds a license in Marriage and Family Therapy in Maryland.
Meredith Smith is the Youth & Family Services Director of Youth Development Programs. Meredith is responsible for oversight of the: Horizons Therapeutic Outdoor Adventure Program, Youth Links Mentoring Program, Benchmarks After School Program, and the HOME (Hope and Opportunity in a Multicultural Environment) Family and Youth Development Program
Director of Youth Development Programs, Meredith Smith, began working with YMCA Youth & Family Services (formerly known as, YMCA Bethesda Youth Services) in 2001 as an Outdoor Adventure Specialist, leading groups for the Horizons Therapeutic Outdoor Adventure Program. In 2009, after 8 years of experience developing and implementing therapeutic youth development programs for elementary, middle, and high school students, using the outdoors as a classroom, she was promoted to Program Coordinator of the Horizons program, providing staff and program oversite, while continuing to provide direct service around positive youth development. In 2011 Meredith was once again promoted to Assistant Director of youth Development Programs, overseeing the youth development department. In 2016, Meredith was promoted to Director of the Youth Development Department, where she has the opportunity to hire, train, and lead a new generation of positive youth development staff. Meredith continues to have a hand in training outdoor adventure staff, holding the following certifications in: ACA Canoe Instructor, Top Rope Climbing Instructor, High Ropes Instructor Trainer, as well as certifications in cave rescue and Wilderness First Aid. She has also completed: Advancing Youth Development Training, Non Profit Management, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training. She holds a BS in Kinesiology with a focus in Outdoor Education, with a minor in Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire.