PCLG is comprised of parents and caregivers of children with diagnosed mental health conditions in Hennepin County
See our bios below:
See our bios below:
Triasia Givens is a mental health practitioner and co-owner of Healing & Restoration Consulting LLC, as well as the newly established non-profit: Parenting Beyond Abilities. She currently serves as the co chair for the Black Parents Advisory Council and is a dual graduate student in the Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership and Co-Occurring Disorders Programs at Metropolitan State University. She is a certified Family Peer Specialist who has experience and certifications in Domestic and Sexual Violence, Positive Discipline Parenting, and Youth Mental Health First Aid. She is also a recent alumna of the Wilder Community Equity Program. When Triasia is not serving families or studying, she is raising her 10 year old son.
Melanie is a parent of 3 children, two of who struggle with mental health issues and one who also has autism. She has worked as a special ed para in elementary and middle school settings. She has found parent support groups a great source of information and help. Melanie enjoys outdoor activities with her family, such as camping and gardening.
Karen Malka is a parent of two daughters living with mental health challenges and a teacher. Karen’s 18 years of advocacy for her daughters in the areas of education, medication, county services and the mental health system, have allowed her to share her lived experiences and knowledge with other families. In addition to her personal experiences, Karen has been very involved in the area of children’s mental health. She is a Co-chair of the Parent Catalyst Leadership Group, facilitator for its monthly parent support group, and also sits on the Governance committee of the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative. Karen has served on the board of the Minnesota Disability Law Center and the Statewide Family Network. She has received both state and national certification as a Certified Family Peer Specialist, and has had the opportunity to share her experiences with students studying medicine and special education at the University of Minnesota and Augsburg University. She has participated in Children’s Psych Consult protocols for Bipolar Disorder at the DHS. Karen feels that, in addition to the learning gained by attending many workshops, conferences and trainings over the years, the opportunity to come together with other parents who “get it” has been one of the best gifts, and that connection is what has kept her going both personally and as a volunteer in the community to reduce stigma, build awareness, break down the walls of isolation for families and bring about positive change for our kids.
Cathy Moen is the parent to one child and is employed at Nestlé Health Science. As a member of the Parent Catalyst Leadership Group and a parent who has actively engaged in mental health conferences and workshops, she has learned that advocating for your child is where you will find the best success. She has personal experience in dealing with school mental health issues and sits on the School Based Mental Health Committee of the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative. She enjoys spending time with her family & friends, traveling, shopping, decorating and organizing.
Margaret Sullivan serves as the Coordinator for PCLG. As a parent learning to navigate the tangled web of special education and mental health services for her own children, she became inspired to become an advocate for system reform and pursued an MPA at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She has long been committed to fair representation and improving outcomes for less advantaged community members by promoting their active participation on governing councils for schools cities, counties, and nonprofits. She has served in leadership positions at the Minneapolis Special Education Advisory Council, Minneapolis Interagency Early Intervention Committee, the HPDL Neighborhood Organization, the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, and the Lyra Baroque Orchestra Board of Directors.
Sarah Vinueza is mother of two children and works as Resident Services Lead at Assisted Living. She has received her Senior Living Culinary Management certification. She was in the Early Childhood Education Magnet in high school where she received specialized classes on early education and volunteered in a child care center preschool room and kindergarten classroom for 3 years. Sarah takes part in the PTO and site councils at her children‘s schools, is Co-chair of the Minneapolis Public Schools Special Education Advisory Council, and serves on the District Advisory Council for MPS, as well as the Early Childhood Special Education Shared Leadership Team and the Hennepin County Parent Catalyst Leadership Group. She co-facilitates a monthly Parent to Parent workshop for Eastside Neighborhood Service and has taken part in the PPE/parent participatory evaluation program and EDIA as an American Indian Parent evaluator. Sarah enjoys spending time at The Lower Sioux Indian Community, where her mother lives and her family is from. Sarah has also spent a lot of time traveling in Ecuador where she visits her children’s family.