Advisory Board

Ann Friedman, PhD
Ann is a psychologist who has studied mindfulness intensively with various national teachers since 2007. She received a Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation from the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) of the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine at UCLA. Ann has also completed courses for teaching mindfulness to children and teens through Mindful Schools, Sitting Like a Frog and A Still Quiet Place.

Ann teaches mindfulness classes for adults, teens, and school districts, often in collaboration with Mental Health America of Greater Houston. She also presents at corporations. In 2018 Ann was sent by UNICEF to teach Mindfulness in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Ann previously served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Counseling Psychology Graduate Program for over ten years. She holds both a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston. She completed her Residency in Clinical Psychology at U.T. Medical School and her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Ginger Gates, PhD
Dr. Ginger Gates retired in 2019 as the Director of Special Education at Region 4 Education Service Center in Houston, TX. As a school psychologist in both Texas and Louisiana, she has dedicated her career, of over 37 years, to expanding opportunities for students with disabilities. Dr. Gates also has served her profession through volunteer roles with professional organizations. In addition to being a founding member and Past President of the Texas Association of School Psychologists (TASP), she previously has been elected to serve as President to the Gulf Coast Administrators of Special Education, as Director of the School Psychology Division of the Texas Psychological Association, and as a member of the Advisory Board to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Association of Texas. In 2019, Dr. Gates was the recipient of the TASP Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the profession of School Psychology and the field of Special Education.
DeJuana Jernigan MSW, LCPAA
DeJuana is an avid child and family advocate who is committed to the work that she does to ensure that children are safe and families are supported to care for them. DeJuana worked with the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services — Child Protective Services Division — for 10 years, where her last position was as a Regional Program Administrator in the Greater Houston Area. DeJuana joined DePelchin Children’s Center in 2006 as the Adoption/Post Adoption Program Coordinator, where she remained until being promoted to Foster Care Program Manager, then to her role as the Director of Child Welfare Services (Foster Care, Adoption, & Post Adoption) in 2008. In 2012, her role expanded to include oversight for Residential Treatment Services and, more recently expanded to include oversight for DePelchin’s integrated child welfare/mental health team — Family Integrated Relational Services Treatment (FIRST) Program. DeJuana currently acts as DePelchin’s Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator (LCPAA) and is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Educator. She also serves as the President for the Texas Foster Care Association.