Help. Hope. Healing

The Center for Children Team

Scott Barks, Executive Director
Scott has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, with good background knowledge in Criminal Justice, from Colorado Mesa University in 2014. After several years of working in local youth ministry, Scott joined the Center for Children staff in 2015 as a Family Support Advocate/Forensic Interviewer where he spent the next seven years of his career gaining more in-depth knowledge of the disciplines that make up the Center's multi-disciplinary team, as well as the organization's policies and procedures for the different roles that compose the child advocacy center. Scott has made networking relationships with city, county, and statewide entities emphasizing the safety and welfare of children. Scott was hired by the Center for Children's Board of Directors to serve as the organization's Executive Director in April 2022.


Tami Hunt, Operations Administrator
Tami has diverse experience in all bookkeeping and accounting functions. She has extensive computer experience in both PC and Macintosh. She is an invaluable member of the finance team at the Center for Children. Tami is our longest tenured staff member and has a vast array of historical knowledge and expertise about the Center and the community.
Tami joined the Center for Children team in October 1999.


Melissa Jefferson, Lead Family Support Advocate
Melissa has a BA in Psychology from Colorado Mesa University. She is a trained facilitator of Active Parenting and Teens in Action programs and co-author of a trauma-informed equine assisted learning curriculum. She facilitated or co-facilitated both programs as a contract provider beginning in 2010, though would eventually come on full-time in 2018. She is a core member of the Western Slope Against Trafficking Task Force and is a member of the Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Conference planning committee. She is proud to be a third generation Coloradoan.
Melissa joined the Center for Children team in January 2018.


Jaime Anderson, Forensic Interviewer/Family Support Advocate
Jaime has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and has an eclectic background that includes special education, elderly care with an emphasis in dementia care, and most recently mental health. Before coming to the Center, Jaime was the ASCENT Team case manager at Mind Springs Health where she worked with adolescents and young adults that had experienced first episode psychosis. Jaime brings with her many years of experience working with children and teens in various settings. She is a Minnesota native but has called Colorado home since 2012.
Jaime joined the Center for Children team in July of 2022.


Collbren Lang, Forensic Interviewer/MDT Coordinator
Collbren has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Colorado Mesa University. Collbren is a Colorado native and calls Grand Junction home. Prior to beginning employment at the Center, Collbren worked as a child welfare caseworker in Utah. Collbren became interested in working with children from her own experience of having adopted siblings with special needs. Collbren brings forensic interviewing experience from her time as a caseworker in Utah, as well as a surplus of knowledge related to the child welfare system. Collbren is passionate about forensic interviewing and is happy to be a part of the team at the Center.
Collbren joined the Center for Children team in August 2022.


Priscilla Perez, Bilingual Family Support Advocate
Priscilla has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Spanish-Applied Professional from Colorado Mesa University. Priscilla is a Colorado native. She is bilingual and continues education in trainings and enjoys learning. She was an intern at the Center in 2016 and translated the handbook for caregivers which is still used today. Priscilla is passionate about helping others and finding ways to support others and the community and is excited to be part of the team.
Priscilla joined the Center for Children team in March 2023.


Christal Esse, LPC, Mental Health Therapist 
Christal has a Masters of Science in Clinician Mental Health Counseling from New England College. Christal is licensed in the State of Colorado and Georgia. Her specialties include sexual trauma and problematic sexual behavior in children and adolescents. Christal has a vast variety experience with severe and persistent mental health, trauma, inpatient crisis stabilization, outpatient treatment, and adolescent residential substance use. Christal is a Western Colorado transfer from Georgia. She is excited to find ways in how to support this community for improved mental health, education about problematic sexual behaviors, and trauma informed care for children and adolescents across the Western Slope.
Christal joined the Center for Children team in March 2023.


Brynn Wright, LPCC, Mental Health Therapist 
Brynn has a Bachelor's of Science degree from Montana State university in Psychology and a focus on Child development and a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health from Adam's State University. Brynn's specialties include but are not limited to EMDR, Trauma systems, Trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as infant and early childhood mental health. Brynn is diverse in trauma informed approaches, working with early childhood and adolescent, attachment-based theories, as well as a background with neurodivergence clients. She enjoys adding art, music, and other mediums into therapy to make the therapeutic experience richer for her clients. Brynn is passionate about mental health and working with young children and families and is excited to be a part of the Center for Children and what we stand for.
Brynn joined the Center for Children team in July 2023.


Annie Lampard, Development Coordinator
Annie has a bachelor's degree in Marketing and Hospitality and Tourism management. Annie is a Colorado Native from Denver, who fell in love with the area of Grand Junction. Prior to joining the team, Annie worked in Marketing, Fundraising, and Hospitality Management. Her passion for children started while teaching youth to river raft, ski and immerse themselves in nature. Her mission when joining the Center for Children is to continue creating safe places that foster growth, hope, and justice for future generations.
Annie joined the Center for Children team in January 2024.


Ashley Edstrom & Rachael, Victim's Rights Technician/Facility Dog Handler (21st Judicial District)


Linked Mental Health Therapists: 
Catherine Smith, Sydney Elks, Elizabeth Aubert

Contracted SANE Nurses: 
Aileen Bowman
DJ Anderson
Jannice Knapp
Janet Prager
Heather Tobin
Jordan LaGree
Sheila Munch
Marsha Bagsby

CALL 970-242-1211

If you suspect child abuse - or if a child tells you about abuse - making a report is very important! You cannot get into trouble or lose your job for making a report that turns out to be unfounded if you had good intentions when you made the report.

All calls remain anonymous.
Reports of known or suspected child abuse or neglect should be made immediately to the Mesa County Department of Human Services Child Protection Hotline at (970) 242-1211 or a local law enforcement agency at 911.

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