Rosa Parks House
Rosa Parks – Crusader
A Crusader is one who stands up for what she knows to be right and does not back down even in the face of adversity. Rosa Parks fought against the twin evils of segregation and racism. We honor Rosa Parks and strive to adopt her steady courage and her indignation in the face of oppression into our own lives.
Rosa Parks House Staff
Shara F. Preston, LPC, LCMHC
Clinical Director – Rosa Parks House
Shara came to New Haven well-seasoned with extensive experience in the mental health field. She began working with youth early in life in various volunteer and employment positions, such as lifeguard, swim instructor, camp youth leader, and tutor. These experiences and opportunities helped her develop a passion for helping people, and she chose to earn her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Southern Nazerene University to develop her passion into her career.
Since 2005, Shara has worked with youth professionally in a variety of therapeutic contexts. This ranged from working with clients in inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization settings. She is passionate about New Haven's systemic and relationship based approach to healing and has experience with several modalities of therapy including: DBT, CBT, Narrative, and Solution-Focused. Shara is dedicated to helping others through trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other challenges. Shara enjoys helping others discover new strengths within themselves, as well as helping others develop stronger and healthier relationships. Within minutes of being around Shara you will feel a sense of comfort in knowing that she is a caring, passionate, and kind person with a lot to give. She brings great strength to the New Haven team and we are grateful to have her.
Shara has strong ties in Oklahoma and she enjoys watching the Oklahoma City Thunder. Family is very important to Shara and she spends time with her two adult daughters as often as possible. She is also a strong believer in having new experiences, and cherishes what she learns from them.
Claire was born and raised in South Jordan, Utah, as the youngest of three girls. She joined our team in 2011 and quickly recognized her passion for connecting with and healing families. Claire's early experiences while working with our students as a residential staff have led her to develop a strong belief in New Haven's approach, and a passion for our mission and vision. Claire recognizes relationships as the most influential agent of change, and she uses her natural ability to connect with the girls to nurture their strengths and challenge them to grow.
Claire values learning and loves to teach others. One of her favorite aspects of being a residential director is training the residential team. She loves helping others understand the powerful personal influence they have in each student's journey. Claire is intentional in her work and she invites those with whom she works to utilize their training and coaching to be purposeful in their efforts, as well. In keeping with her value of learning, Claire has earned her bachelor's degree in behavioral science with an emphasis in psychology from Utah Valley University. She is currently attending California Southern University to earn a master's degree in marriage and family therapy.
Outside of work, you will find Claire in pursuit of adventure and thrill. She enjoys activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping, and rock climbing--to name a few. She also enjoys spending time with the people she loves and traveling to see her sisters in Arizona and Mississippi.
Austin Davenport, CMHC
Austin is a passionate therapist who has been working with adolescents and their families for several years. Originally from Texas, Austin relocated to Utah when he was married and joined New Haven’s family. Austin finds fulfillment as he is able to watch families transform through the therapeutic process.
Austin attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and later a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. While working on his master's degree, Austin was a member of Chi Sigma Iota, a counseling, academic and professional honor society. Austin is also an associate member of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGLA), an international nonprofit association for professionals using equine therapy to address mental health and human development needs.
Austin is a musician and often spends time creating, playing and mixing music. In his free time, Austin also love to play team sports such as Ultimate Frisbee or volleyball. He often finds that his hobbies and interests help him relate to the students at New Haven.
Aimee Johansen, CTRS
Aimee grew up in a home where the word "bored" was not allowed. Consequently, she became a master at creating her own fun and developing unique activities to catch the imagination. A Utah native, she grew up running the trails throughout Utah Valley and knows the area well. She has interests in a wide variety of experiences that are available close by including storytelling, kayaking, glass blowing, mountain biking, and bronze work.
Aimee graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA degree in recreation therapy. Prior to working at New Haven, she did administration work at Philmont high adventure backpacking camp where she mastered teaching technical skills. She has also spent time working with teenage boys who have autism at Daniel's Academy which increased her ability to connect with others.
Fluent in Chinese, Aimee's interest in the emotions of other people deepened as she lived and studied for over 2 years in China, Taiwan, and Indonesia. She has a particular knack for seeing and understanding the viewpoint of others and feels strongly about connection. She believes the relational approach of New Haven is particularly effective as we work towards developing strong family systems. She loves being a part of the New Haven team and enjoys helping guide families through their healing journey.
Tiffany Van Blerkom
Residential Director – Parks House
Tiffany started at New Haven at the Sacagawea house in January of 2015. Since then she has had the opportunity to work at four out of the seven houses at New Haven as a Health Care Assistant, Assistant Supervisor, and Shift Supervisor before becoming the Residential Director of the Rosa Parks house. While working at New Haven Tiffany has discovered her passion for working with adolescent girls and their families. Her favorite part of working with families is the ability to watch them from the beginning to the end of their journey at New Haven and see the lasting changes they are able to make.
Tiffany has a vibrant, bold personality that allows her to connect with her students from the very first meeting. She treasures every time she gets to spend one-on-one time with a student. Her ability to love unconditionally has been invaluable when working with the students at New Haven.
Tiffany was born and raised in California. She is the youngest of four with two older brothers and one older sister. Tiffany moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University where she majored in Family Studies, with an emphasis in Human Development. Tiffany loves traveling, skiing, and spending time with her family and friends.