Our Clinical Team

Angelika Danek, LCSW, CRADC

Senior Social Worker

Angelika Danek, is a seasoned clinician with a background in clinical psychology and social work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Addiction Counselor in the state of Illinois. Her areas of expertise include mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence. She specializes in treating depression, anxiety, substance abuse, codependence, and marital problems. She works with individuals, couples and families but is especially passionate about serving the elderly. She has been trained in a range of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Client-centered and Imago Relationship therapies. She also works with survivors of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using the most advanced, evidenced-based approaches such as Brainspotting (BPS) and EMDR. Angelika speaks fluently Polish and Russian. She has two cats, and she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and traveling. 

 

 

Brian K. Thompson Jr., LCSW

Crisis Response Worker

Brian K. Thompson Jr. is a Chicago native and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He has filled a number of clinical roles in varying settings, including the emergency department, inpatient behavioral health, and public housing. He has spent much of his career responding to acute mental health crises and has also worked as an independent therapist. Brian is a weekend crisis response worker for the Village of Niles – Family Services.  In addition to crisis response, Brian has established himself in education by building restorative, collaborative, and responsive mental health structures. He has spent the last five years with Chicago Public Schools where he's worked for the District's Crisis Response Unit, helped establish a first-of-its-kind K-12 office that responds to allegations of sexual misconduct, served as the Manager of Behavioral Health Supports for the District, and has recently returned to the Office of Student Protections, Title IX and Equal Opportunity Compliance as the Director of Student Protections. In his current role, he oversees the unit responsible for receiving and responding to all allegations of sexual misconduct across the District.

 

 

Dana Friedman-Graham, LCSW

Financial Wellness Program Coordinator

Dana Friedman-Graham is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who joined NFS in October of 2018.  Dana’s primary responsibilities focus on the financial wellness services, providing case management to NFS clients and consult to NFS clinical staff.  Prior to working at NFS, Dana worked in the Employee Assistance/ Work Life and Wellness industry, helping companies and organizations promote employee wellbeing, productivity and engagement.  In addition, Dana is certified in CIR response and has additional training in financial literacy and financial social work.  Dana can often be seen “working” with her four legged partner, Maggie a certified therapy dog.

 

 

Darren Brown, LCSW

Director

 

Darren received his Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois in Urbana. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Policy from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Darren has a wealth of experience working with youth/families with a special emphasis on children with special needs and history of trauma, as well as crisis intervention and management. Darren also brings strong background in policy and program evaluation to his work at Niles.

 

 

Julene Lavelli RN, LCSW, CADC

Social Worker

Julene Lavelli has had many years of experience as an inpatient Psychiatric Nurse certified in mental health, Social Worker and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She has also experienced being a Nurse Manager of several psychiatric inpatient units. Julene has for many years used her expertise as an outpatient Licensed Clinical Social Worker working for the Village of Niles as a therapist/counselor. During her work with psychiatry and mental health she has worked with clients as young as 10 and as old as 98.  These clients were diagnosed as having very mild issues hampering their everyday lives to those with psychotic issues.  Her client come from all walks of life from homeless to CEO of companies and from all races and sexual orientations. 

 

 

Kathy O’Grady, LCSW

Assistant Director

Kathy O’Grady, is an experienced medical social worker who also has a specialized focus on seniors, especially when dealing with memory loss.   Kathy completed her Master’s program at Loyola University and during her second year internship, worked as an intern at Niles Family Services.  In 2014, Kathy was brought back to Niles Family Services in the newly created position of on call crisis worker.  Currently, Kathy is in the position of the Assistant Director of Niles Family Services helping to coordinate the staff, programming and services focused on seniors.

 

 

Marcos Perez-Bonfil, MSW

Social Worker

Marcos graduated from Jane Addams College of Social Work at University of Illinois at Chicago. Marcos is extremely caring, compassionate, and understanding of people’s thought and emotions. He really loves his profession as a mental health, social justice and a domestic violence ally and advocate.   Marcos is a proud father and he enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, traveling, festivals and concerts with his son. Marcos loves aviation, and is an avid “Plane spotter”.

 

 

Maria E. Escobar, MSW, ABD

Clinical Case Coordinator

Maria E. Escobar, is a Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Social Work with a specialization in Gerontology. She has over 7 years’ experience working with children, families, and the community as a social worker. Her professional life includes the knowledge of the scientific study on the process of aging, a commitment to serving the needs of all populations in the field of social work, and she has studied many modalities to bring healing to those in need. Maria is a lifelong learner inspired by the abundance of opportunities available to broaden and enrich the lives of the populations she serves in the community of Niles.

 

 

Marty Cook

Engage Program Specialist

Marty Cook is a respected leader in the recovery community with 20 years of experience building and leading community programs that connect residents with substance abuse and mental health services. He is the founder of The Recovery Connection an award winning program designed to connect young adults with peers and provide support and social events. He has appeared on WBEZ radio, Daily Herald, and Chicago Magazine. 

 

 

Sharon Rosman, LCSW

Senior Social Worker

Sharon Rosman specializes in Gerontology, Grief and Loss, and Wellness/Self-Care.  In addition to being a licensed clinical social worker, Sharon is a certified Health/Wellness Coach, a certified Nutrition Educator, a certified Qigong Instructor, and a certified Meditation and Mindfulness teacher.  She holds an advanced certification in Grief Counseling, a certificate in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and a certificate in Gerontology.  Sharon is also a free-lance writer and has 14 published articles in the areas of health and wellness. 


Stacy Subida, LCSW

Crisis Response Worker

Stacy Subida is the Weekend On-Call Crisis Worker for Niles Family Services. Stacy has a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience working with older adults in the aging network.

 

 

Stephanie Gielniewski-Zawadzki, MA, LCPC

Billing & Credentialing Coordinator/Counselor

Stephanie Gielniewski-Zawadzki has worked at the Village of Niles Family Services since June 2018.  In her time here she has served the role of a clinical counselor, performance management data administrator, billing and credentialing for the department.  Stephanie has held temporary roles as intern support, and keeping the Niles Teen Center open during a time of transition in 2019. Stephanie is fluent in Polish, and English languages, as well as conversation Spanish. She started her career in 2009 as a family advocate working with Polish Immigrant families navigating school, child care, and social service systems in Chicago. Stephanie went on to graduate with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013, and then received her M.A. in Community Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University in 2016.  Upon completing her graduate studies, Stephanie, held a professional license as a Licensed Professional Counselor. In 2019 she received her Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor license. Stephanie has a gift when it comes to working with teens, young adults, and families in crisis and moving toward better communication and relational cohesion.

 

 

Xavier "Xavy" Ramirez, LCSW

Social Worker

Xavy has experience in crisis mental health, hospital social work, medical case management, and in providing therapy services. At NFS, he has worked mostly with Spanish speaking youth and families. He is currently pursuing his PhD with a focus on perinatal mental health.

 

 

Yesenia Nunez, LCSW

School Social Worker

Yesenia Nunez, is the School Based Social Worker for the Village of Niles Family Services and East Maine School District 63. Her position is to provide social and emotional support for the faculty/staff, families/parents, and students. Yesenia facilitates workshops and collaborates with East Maine District 63 staff to enhance student’s overall well-being. She provides counseling and case management services to individuals, youth and families.  Her psychoeducation workshops are offered in English and Spanish at The Family Resource Center to empower youth and their families with techniques to reduce life stressors. Furthermore, Yesenia is the liaison to Village of Niles Adjudication court, where she aids in coordinating the referral process of court cases, follow up for evaluation services and/or external agency referrals.