Life Skills & Academic Success Team
Emily Gendron Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
Emily is a Maine native, born and raised in Aroostook county. Emily is a trained life coach and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from the University of Maine in Fort Kent. During her personal time, Emily can be found outside with her dog Roxie, spending time with friends and family, and doing a wide variety of crafting projects. Emily recently started learning about Kundalini yoga practices and hopes to learn how to play the ukulele in the future.
Rory Nickerson Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
Rory studied Psychology and Studio Art at the University of Maine in Orono. Since completing her degree, Rory has worked in a diverse array of clinical settings, with a focus on supporting young adults who faced barriers to independent living. For over a decade, Rory worked at Long Creek Youth Development Center where she oversaw the employment program. She also worked for many years at the Youth Services for Workforce Solutions, which covers the six coastal counties of Maine. Rory brings creativity, joy, enthusiasm, determination and humor to her work every day. When she’s not working, Rory can be found crafting and having dance parties with her daughter.
James Dionne-Dellea Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
James come to Cornerstones with five years of health care experience, in a wide variety of roles and settings. Perhaps his most relevant experience has been in the National Guard where he has been able to mentor and provide emotional support to fellow lower-enlisted soldiers, who are mostly 18- 20. They tend to see James as someone they can turn to when they don’t want to talk to someone in their chain of command, but still need the perspective of someone with a little more life experience. When James isn’t working or pretending to be Captain America, he enjoys spending time with his beautiful family, working in his garden, or playing music.
Lisa Dafoe Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
Lisa has over ten years of experience working in the mental health and residential field with both adults and adolescents. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Wyoming and is a passionate advocate for dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Lisa enjoys working with young adults and providing them with guidance and support to achieve their individual goals and passions. She is a Wyoming native and continues to volunteer virtually with a Wyoming based organization, Uplift, where she meets with clients and their families to provide emotional support. Outside of work, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and exploring New England.
Grace Snyder Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
Grace is from Hanover, Pennsylvania near the Gettysburg area. She graduated in May of 2023 from the University of New England earning a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with double minors in Art Therapy and Mental Health Rehabilitation. She enjoys the outdoors and loves to spend her free time under the sun hiking and camping. When she’s not soaking up the sun or spending time with her beloved Great Dane, she can be found pursuing one of her many hobbies including reading, painting, cooking, gardening, and a newfound passion for ceramics. Grace hopes to use shared interests to connect with clients in her role as a Life Skills Coach.
Lindsey Collier Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
Lindsey grew up in New Hampshire and obtained dual bachelor’s degrees from Ithaca College in Psychology and French & Francophone Studies. She taught ESL in France for two years, before moving on to teach French in private schools, both in New York and Maine. After years of teaching in a school setting, she began her own tutoring business working with students of all ages, one-on-one and in small groups. She spent a year as a Portland domestic violence survivor advocate before coming to Cornerstones to return to academics, while also being able to more fully apply her degree in Psychology. She is excited to empower young adults to work to achieve their goals toward independence and follow the academic or vocational pathways that inspire them. In her spare time, she enjoys getting out to explore Maine, doing yoga, cooking, and crafting.
Megan McCue Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
Megan comes to Cornerstones with vast knowledge and experience in alternative education and mental health. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of New England and has a longstanding love of learning. Megan is passionate about inspiring others to love learning, whether that is in the classroom or in a vocational setting. Megan spent the last several years working as an advocate for Survivors of Domestic Violence, but had always had her eye on getting back into the realm of education and supporting youth and young adults. Megan worked as an AmeriCorps with some of Maine’s most at-risk youth and was recognized by the state as being the most outstanding national service member in the state of Maine in 2017 for her work. Megan takes a comprehensive and creative approach to supporting students to achieve the goals they set for themselves. She enjoys helping individuals recognize that success comes in many forms. In her spare time, Megan is an avid equestrian and enjoys spending time at the barn and adventuring with her dog, Rocco.
Dillon McDonald Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
Dillon graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in French. Dillon also played on the men’s varsity tennis team at SUNY. He has a background working with youth in foster care at a trauma-informed agency in New York. During his time at this agency, he moved into a Safety and Wellness Specialist position. In his free time, Dillon enjoys drawing, playing video games, going to concerts, and trying new food at new restaurants.
Ryan O'Donnell Life Skills & Academic Success Coach
Ryan is originally from the seacoast area of New Hampshire, where she learned to love the outdoors and all that New England has to offer. Hiking in the White Mountains, surfing at Rye Beach, and skiing at Sunday River are some of her most cherished memories. She credits these experiences to her interest in the connection between mental health and outdoor experiences. Ryan has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and since then has worked with adolescents and young adults in a variety of settings including wilderness family therapy programs and high school special services departments. At Cornerstones, Ryan aspires to support her clients with curiosity and care as well as outdoor engagement opportunities. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys traveling, backpacking, skiing, and enjoying Portland’s amazing restaurant and music scene.
Leslie Ouellette Registered Dietitian
Leslie is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in Maine, holding Master’s Degrees in both Human Nutrition and Public Health. Cornerstone of Maine contracts with Leslie to provide group nutrition education and hands-on culinary programming. In addition, Leslie provides nutrition assessments to new residents to ensure all nutritional needs are met while in the program. She is available to residents who need additional support with developing healthy relationships with food and their bodies. The last part of Leslie’s role with Cornerstones is to develop whole-food based menus for the houses. As a licensed practitioner, Leslie works in tandem with our Life Skills team by teaching “hard skills” like food preparation. She also works closely with our Clinical team to help residents develop positive relationships with food and their bodies and ensure continuity of care.
Leslie has a diverse background and education that drives her approach to nutrition. In addition to running a private practice with multiple dietitians, Leslie is also adjunct faculty at the University of Maine, teaching clinical nutrition to graduate dietetic students. In her spare time, she and her husband work on major renovation projects at their camp on Sebago. One day, when she finds nutrition to be boring, she will become a kitchen designer.
Ryanne Haskell, RD, LD Registered Dietitian
Ryanne is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nutrition-Dietetics from the University of New Hampshire. Ryanne has worked in a variety of settings within the nutrition field, such as nutrition research, food service, clinical, outpatient nutrition counseling and private practice. Ryanne works with Leslie as a team to meet the nutritional needs of the residents at Cornerstones of Maine. Ryanne provides residents with weekly group nutrition classes, hands-on culinary instruction, menu planning, intake nutrition assessments and one-on-one nutrition counseling when residents need additional support. Ryanne enjoys working with residents to provide nutrition education and counseling around how nutrition plays an important role in their overall health and wellness. When Ryanne is not working, you may find her walking or hiking with her dog “Buddy,” boating in the summer and skiing in the winter, exploring the city and the best food in Portland, and spending time with friends and family.