Laurie Stephens, Ph.D. PSY1852
Senior Director of Autism and LGBTQ+ Programs
Dr. Laurie Stephens is a developmental psychologist who has been working with children, teens, and young adults on the autism spectrum for nearly 30 years. She currently serves as The Help Group’s Senior Director of Autism and LGBTQ+ Programs. Dr. Stephens previously served as the Director of Autism Spectrum Disorder Programs with The Help Group for 12 years. While working with her ASD clients, Dr. Stephens became extremely interested in the overlap between transgender and gender queer identifications and folks on the spectrum, as many of her clients began to share their authentic selves to her. Dr. Stephens oversees all of Kaleidoscope’s programming and events, and has been instrumental in establishing a specialized diagnostic clinic for LGBTQ+ children, teens, and young adults who may suspect they have an autism spectrum disorder.
Jay Baldwin (they/them) is currently serving as Kaleidoscope’s Program Director. Jay also works as the case manager for Kaleidoscope’s LGBTQ+ Tailored Services Program for DCFS Youth and Families. Jay and has been working with young people in the fields of education and social services for the past 7 years. Growing up as a queer kid with very few resources or community had a lasting impact on Jay, and ultimately led to their passion for serving youth in the LGBTQ+ community. Jay previously served as the co-director of a summer camp for LGBTQ+ teens, an experience which inspired them to further their education in youth development through a one-year program at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, an organization that trains professionals to bring in depth mindfulness based, trauma informed curriculum to youth. Jay is so thrilled to be part of the Kaleidoscope team and to support the well-being, growth and happiness of LGBTQ+ young adults and their families.
Leo Kirkham (they/them) obtained their B.S. degree in Public Health from the University of Washington Seattle in 2016. Leo has worked with LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults for 8 years as a youth advocate, camp counselor, and volunteer. They also have experience working with homeless youth, foster youth, and neurodivergent youth. Leo also volunteers as a mentor to community college students who are transferring to university. They are passionate about supporting vulnerable young people and giving them the skills to grow and thrive. Leo is new to Los Angeles by way of the Pacific Northwest and loves the sunshine and beaches of California. In their free time, they like to write, read, and skateboard.
Jordan Sasiela, M.A., LPA, HSP-PA, is currently a pre-doctoral intern working primarily within the Kaleidoscope Program at the Help Group. He completed his doctoral training and coursework at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where his research centered on treatments for depression, as well as motivation and goals. Clinically, Jordan has worked with a range of populations and ages, but specializes in supporting LGBTQ+ populations, providing affirming therapies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. He also specializes in working with autistic populations, providing services for children, families and young adults. His clinical training has included an emphasis on both individual and group therapies, and he has also gained specialty experience working with a pediatric GI integrated care team. He is currently working to obtain his doctorate in Clinical Psychology, under the supervision of Dr. Priscilla Barajas, PhD.
Associate Social Worker
Claira graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills with a Master’s degree in Social Work and previously graduated from University of California Irvine with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social behavior. Before that she also attained degrees in Psychology and Theatre at El Camino College. Claira has worked as a therapist for the last 4 years and discovered her love of working with LGBTQIA+ clients soon after she began her journey. She has a background in cognitive behavioral therapy and crisis intervention working with youth and adults with depression and anxiety. She grew up queer in a religiously conservative background and feels passionate about creating safe spaces for her clients with empathy, kindness, and trauma informed care.
Kaleidoscope Advisory Board, 2023
Luckie Alexander (he/him)
Luckie as a passionate advocate and founder of Invisible Men, aa organization focused on uplifting and building community among trans men and nonbinary transmasculine folks centered on people of color. Luckie is an important connector across LGBTQI community groups and organizations and a steadfast advocate for transmasculine people and trans parents. You may also know Luckie as:
- a member of Gender Justice Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Transgender Advisory Council; AND
- a proud member & Historian of Brown Boi Project; AND
- an HIV Commissioner and a community advisory board member for UCLA’s Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services ; AND
- a recipient of the Lou Sullivan Award for his work centered around transmasculine individuals in the HIV/AIDS arena; AND
- 2018 Mr. Quest, a community advocacy award with APAIT.
Luckie is a crucial voice in health education and organizing, trans justice, and the movement for black lives. In 2019, he was the Assistant Strategy Director for the historic 2019 National Trans Visibility March. In 2020, he was the designer of the “ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER” art installation on Hollywood Blvd.
Jen Gruskoff (she/her)
Jen has worked in television for over 20 years as a writer. In 2016, Jen founded the Girls Soccer Network, as a hub for fans, players, and anyone who supports girl’s soccer across the globe. As the GSN Editor in Chief, Jen provides daily original content and curated stories across social media platforms. Jen and her wife Jeje are the proud parents of a non-binary college junior.
Caroline Menjivar (she/her)
Caroline served in the United States Marine Corps for seven years where she held leadership roles in training military platoons. She holds an EMT License as well as a Masters of Social Welfare from UCLA. Caroline is now the East Valley Area Representative for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office
Jessica Oami (she/her)
Jessica is the proud parent of transgender daughter. She is also the Director of Transforming Families, a Los Angeles-based family support group creating a positive environment for children, adolescents, and their families to explore issues of gender identity.
Joseph Porter (he/him)
Joseph has worked as the LAUSD School District Magnet Coordinator since 2002. In 2018, Joseph created SAGE, the Social and Gender Equality Magnet program at Milikin Middle School in Sherman Oaks.
JR Small, AMFT (they/them)
JR is a passionate and motivated therapist committed to providing trauma-informed, strength-based, person-centered, and culturally responsive psychotherapy in Spanish and English. They are a transgender youth support leader and Program Developer at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles.
Reverend Reyna Sills Montoya (she/her)
Reyna is a Christian mystic and interfaith minister whose goal is to bring all faiths together in love and unity. She currently serves as a lay delegate at Founders Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles.