Staff

David Sternburg, Executive Director
David was most recently the Director of Development and Special Projects for Commonwealth Care Alliance, a 17,000 member non-profit healthcare organization assisting vulnerable populations after he spent six years fundraising and advocating on behalf of people with disabilities as the Director of External Relations with the Boston Center for Independent Living. David was also the Executive Director of Handi Kids (now called The Bridge Center), a therapeutic recreational center for challenged children after spending years as an award-winning filmmaker. David can be reached at david@jeffsplacemetrowest.org.

Melissa Kennedy Panto, LMHC, ATR – Program Director
Melissa received her master’s degree at Lesley University and is a licensed mental health counselor and registered art therapist. She coordinates and implements all programming activities at Jeff’s Place, including volunteer facilitator trainings and supervision of clinical internships. She has spent her professional career working with children, teens and adults, both individually and in groups, who have experienced trauma. She uses art as a healing tool for others to explore, express, and empower. She can be reached at melissa@jeffsplacemetrowest.org

Aliya Kleiner- Associate Program Director
Aliya Kleiner joins our Jeff’s Place team as our Associate Program Director.  Aliya earned her Master’s Degree in Expressive Therapies and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University in 2013. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults over the past 5 years.  Aliya incorporates art, music, play, and a lot of humor in her work. She brings with her a sense of warmth, compassion, and optimism and we are so excited to have her aboard! She can be reached at aliya@jeffsplacemetrowest.org.

Jennifer Kaplan Schreiber, LICSW, Fellow in Thanatology- Founding Director
Jenny is Founding Director for Jeff’s Place Children’s Bereavement Center, Inc., and Clinical Director of Manitou Experience, a weeklong overnight camp for grieving boys. She has worked extensively with bereaved children, teens and families in various settings providing counseling, professional training and education, and crisis intervention regarding issues of grief and loss with youth. Jennifer is the author of Young Adults Coping With Death: You Are Not Alone and a Doctoral Candidate at Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston, where she teaches as Adjunct Faculty and participates on multiple research projects related to childhood health. She has presented at state and national conferences on issues related to childhood loss. In 2011, Jennifer was the recipient of the Graduate Paper Award in memory of Richard Kalish at the International Annual Conference for the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). She can be reached at jenny@jeffsplacemetrowest.org

Emily EllisGraduate Intern
Emily is pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Specialization in Art Therapy at Lesley
University. Her previous experience includes volunteering at an adult oncology art studio, and interning at the Children’s Room in Arlington, MA. Emily also facilitates open art and sensory play groups for 13 months to 3 year
olds at Hill House Inc. These experiences along with her personal experience with loss, has shaped her passion for utilizing creative expression to promote healing, growth, and connection. She can be reached at emily@jeffsplacemetrowest.org.

Cameron Burke – Graduate Intern
Cameron is a graduate student at Lesley University in his final year working towards a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy. He comes to us having worked in a variety of settings including at a Memory Support Assisted Living for individuals with late stage Alzheimer’s and dementia, at an arts-based alternative day programming collectively run by artists, for adults with developmental and physical disabilities, and teaching in after-school programming for elementary school aged children. As a longtime artist and musician, Cameron deeply values the healing properties of the creative process and hopes to use music, play, movement, poetry, and visual art to augment his work with us. He is thrilled to be joining our Jeff’s Place family and is excited for the year ahead! He can be reached at cameron@jeffsplacemetrowest.org.