Stephanie was born to a humble beginning in a small Midwest town (750 people) located a couple of hours from Chicago. She was in the Girl scouts, her brother was a Boy scout, and her parents were troop leaders. With those groups, she helped in lots of service work. She and her brother witnessed her dad help an elderly lady maintain her house for many years. She did volunteer work through her participation in high school clubs. Because of the influences of these formative years, she has had an on-going involvement in service throughout her life. Abundance Retreats is one of her current ways to serve.
During a college fair at the age of sixteen, she was inspired to pursue a career as an art therapist. That next year, she started college while finishing her final year of high school in 1996. In 1999, she completed a bachelor’s in psychology with minors in art and Spanish from the University of South Dakota. Two years later, she obtained masters degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University. She holds a license as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She board certified as an art therapist. Over the last fifteen years of her career, she took numerous opportunities that expanded the original goal at age sixteen to be an art therapist to a more dynamic provider in her community. She is currently operating a thriving mental health private practice in Salem, Oregon.
A Life of Abundance
Since a few days after her eighteenth birthday, she has used her passport to travel throughout Europe, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. She served and successfully completed two years of Peace Corps service in youth, family, and community development in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Her primary project was to engage young children in schooling to prevent participation in the sex industry and teen pregnancy.
She is fluent in Spanish from school studies, Peace Corps service, and study abroad in Costa Rica. She began studying Salsa dancing in Costa Rica in 2004 and continues to enjoy opportunities to learn more. She is a certified group exercise teacher that teaches yoga, body building, strength conditioning, and P90X. She organizes an active MeetUp in Salem, Oregon for newcomers to the city.
She is a single mother of three Dominican-American children who are five, four, and two years old. She is raising them to be bi-cultural and bilingual. She takes pride in raising her children to be citizens of the world. They travel often and no matter how exotic the location, the kids are most excited about being able to ride outside a car seat in shuttle buses.
Her creation of these retreats has been a result of a fifteen year process to gain the knowledge and experience to manage these trips. She directs her efforts so participants are equipped with the tools to make their own abundant life.