Meet the Confident Kids Camp DC Metro Team
Camp Leaders

Scharfstein, Ph.D.

Camp Director, CKC- DC

Dr. Scharfstein is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Founder of the Rockville Therapy Center LLC. I am proud to bring the Confident Kids Camp for Selective Mutism to the DC metro area for the 3rd year! Our DC Metro camp motto is Using Fun to Override the Fears that children and families coping with Selective Mutism face. I offer practical, personalized, and collaborative care. Outside of work, I enjoy rocking climbing, hiking, outdoor events, and spending time with family, friends, and my dog! As you all already know, I cannot wait for camp this summer!

Adelia Sabintsev Psy.D.

Younger Classroom Teacher

Hello! I am a licensed clinical psychologist and owner of Adelia Sabintsev and Associates, LLC, a private practice in the Baltimore area. I specialize in working with children and teens with anxiety disorders (including selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias), social challenges, and ADHD. Over the past several years, I have worked in many different settings, including therapeutic schools, outpatient clinics, and community clinics. During my free time, I love to spend time with my husband and two daughters. I also enjoy pickleball, hiking, and traveling. I am so honored to be a part of of the Confident Kids Camp. It is both a joy and honor to participate in a camp where brave children blossom, have fun, and gain confidence!

Meredith Polsky,

Older Classroom Teacher

A social worker and special educator currently practicing at Arbit Counseling, I specialize in working with children and teens with Selective Mutism, a passion that emerged when my own children were diagnosed with SM as preschoolers. I am co-author of the I Have a Question children’s book series, and write short picture stores to help kids manage daily challenges. During Covid, I rediscovered an affinity for jigsaw puzzles, reading and yoga! It has long been my goal to teach at an SM camp, and I could not be more excited to join Confident Kids Camp!

Camp Volunteer Counselors 2022

Ashley Byars

Hi! My name is Ashley Byars and I am a rising senior at the University of Alabama studying Psychology and minoring in Real Estate. I am excited to further my education and am planning on attending graduate school to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. Recently, I created and implemented a new position for my sorority, Delta Gamma which involved assisting sisters with emotional regulation, support, resources, weekly stress relieving activities, and education around mental health. I have always enjoyed working with children of all ages and it is my passion to help kids grow into strong, confident young adults. I am super excited to be volunteering at the Confident Kids Camp and can’t wait to meet everyone!

Frances Cooke

When not having a blast at camp, Frances is a Clinical Research Coordinator at Children's National Hospital. Frances graduated from GW in 2019 and since then has worked with kids with chronic illness and their families. During free time, Frances loves to sing and play guitar, cook, and play with a new pet kitten. Frances was a CKC-DC Metro counselor in 2021 and can't wait to return to camp again this year!

Xinwei Dong

Xinwei is a licensed professional counselor and a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology. Xinwei specializes in working with children, adolescence, and families who have difficulties regulating emotions and behaviors. Xinwei had worked with children and adolescence struggles with anxiety, depression, and ADHD related symptoms. In my free time, I love to cook, play with my dog, and watch movies. I cannot wait to meet our campers at the Confident Kids Camp and see their growth!

Deetza Franklin

Hi! My name is Deetza Franklin. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a Masters from Seton Hall University. I worked as a school counselor for a number of years and more recently have transitioned into private practice. I work with children and their families to help develop emotional regulation skills and coping tools. Since 2020, I have been specializing in working with children with SM. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and doing photography. I am so excited to get to be part of the team at Confident Kids Camp! Can't wait to meet you!

Nisha Gilliam

Nisha Gilliam graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is a graduate student in the clinical mental health counseling master’s program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology- DC Campus. Nisha worked as a registered behavior technician with children who have developmental delays, school counselor, and currently provides in-home services to children who are at risk of out-of-home placement. During free time, Nisha enjoys cooking, running and decorating. Nisha is devoted to being an agent of change in the lives of youth and is honored to be a part of the Confident Kids Camp.

Braden Kiang

Hi! My name is Braden Kiang and I am a senior at the Washington International School. I am studying psychology, as well as biology and geography, in the higher level of the international baccalaureate program. I founded the Mental Health club at my school as well as a service
opportunity to mentor elementary students on fundamental and simple mental health concepts. I enjoy listening to music, swimming, and exploring DC! I am super excited to be able to work and grow with all the campers this summer!

Sasha LaRue

Hi! My name is Sasha and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland. I am currently studying psychology and am planning on going to medical school to become a psychiatrist. I enjoy meeting new people and exercising. I am super excited to meet everyone at Camp and to obtain new experiences.

Veronica Latorre

Hi! My name is Veronica Latorre. I graduated from UMBC with a BA in Psychology. I have recently accepted a position at Applied ABC and am in the process of obtaining my RBT certification. In the past, I volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America as a den mother for my son's den from grades 1-5. I had a great time planning activities for the scouts to acquire their badges. In my spare time I Latin dance, read, and travel. I am excited to work with the campers at Confident Kids Camp!

Chloe Levin

Hello! My name is Chloe. I am a child and family therapist at EveryMind, a non-profit that provides mental health services to children and families. Currently, I work as a therapist in an elementary school with bilingual kids and their families. I didn't grow up speaking Spanish, but I've been practicing every day! I recently moved back to the DMV after getting my Master of Social Work and Certificate in Trauma Practice in Boston. I use art therapy, play therapy, and sand tray in my work with children who are experiencing anxiety, grief/loss, trauma, ADHD, and Selective Mutism. Outside of work, I enjoy crafting, cooking, being active, and listening to music. This will be my first time at Confident Kids Camp, so if you're new, you're not alone! I'm
I'm excited to meet you!

Randi Loeb

Hello! I’m Randi Loeb, M.S. CCC SLP. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and co-director of Children’s Speech and Language Services in Lexington, MA (near Boston). At my private practice, I specialize in social communication which, along with play and humor, provides the foundation for my approach in treating kids coping with SM. I began my training in SM 8 years ago and having thoroughly enjoyed this population, it is now my focus. In my free time, I love to travel, be outside with my Golden Retrievers and spend time with my family. I’m ‘wicked’ excited to be joining CKC-DC this summer!

Miral Malik

Hi! My name is Miral. I am a rising 3rd year, doctoral candidate at The George Washington University Professional Psychology program. I received my BA in Psychology at Western University and my MA in Counseling Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. I have worked with children of diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings including schools, private practices and in community mental health centers. My goal as a clinician is to create a safe and trusting environment, while helping children process and work through challenges that may be experienced. When "off the clock" I enjoy dancing, baking and organizing game nights! I am so excited to meet all of our awesome Confident Kids and families this summer!

Armahn Rassuli

Hi! My name is Armahn Rassuli and I received my B.S. from Virginia Tech in Psychology in 2017. In 2020, I received my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and I am now a rising third year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at George Washington University. My current hobbies include playing video games, playing a variety of outdoor sports, and learning film photography! I am so excited for camp this summer and can't wait to meet you!

Ashley Rosenfield

Ashley Rosenfield is a licensed professional counselor who works both in private practice and as the Counselor at Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School in Washington DC. Ashley received a Masters from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in DC in 2016 and has been supporting children and adolescents ever since. Helping others is truly a passion and Ashley is so excited to join camp this summer! Outside of work, other passions include cooking, traveling,yoga and spending time with her family, friends and dog Vinny!

Melissa Ruiz

Hello! My name is Melissa Ruiz and I am a school psychologist in Montgomery County Public Schools. I obtained my Masters and Educational specialist degree in School Psychology from Lehigh University and I am a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. My professional interests include early intervention, positive psychology, response to intervention, and social-emotional learning. I enjoy spending time with my family, spending time outdoors, crafting, and reading. I am so excited to be part of another great summer experience and the magic that camp brings!

Emily Stephen

Emily Stephen is a rising third year Clinical Psychology doctoral student in The George Washington University Psy.D program. She received a Bachelors degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Counseling Psychology/Mental Health Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University. Emily has worked in college counseling, community mental health, and school settings. Emily enjoys spending time outdoors, having fun with a pet dog, Poppy, reading, and watching TV/movies. Emily is thrilled to be joining CKC-DC for summer 2022!

Takira Ward

Hello! My name is Takira Ward, and I am a recent graduate of George Mason University, where I received my B.A. in psychology with a concentration in developmental and clinical psychology. I am currently a research assistant at George Mason University and a crisis counselor. During my free time, I enjoy trying new recipes and cooking dishes from all over the globe and states; as well as, learning new languages so that I can communicate with individuals from different parts of the world. I am so excited to meet this year’s campers and can’t wait to witness the growth and progress that all of you will achieve!

Ashley Winch

Hi! Ashley Winch here, I am a fifth year Ph.D. student at the University of Central Florida. I currently split my clinical time between the Behavioral Health department at Nemours Children's Hospital, and UCF RESTORES, a mental health research clinic for military and first responders. When I am not performing assessments, or conducting intake screeners, I am helping with community mental health trainings for first responders across the state of Florida. Outside of work, you can find me surfing or competing in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. I look forward to lots of laughs and fun at camp this summer!

Ananya Yadav

Hi! My name is Ananya and I am a rising 2nd year in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at The George Washington University. I received my master's in Psychology from The University of Edinburgh in the UK, and have worked with individuals throughout the lifespan with diverse backgrounds in the United Arab Emirates. In particular, my work with youth includes issues concerning grief, social skills, attachment, neurodevelopment, and developmental delays. In my free time, I love to run, hike, swim and spend time in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes. I am so excited to be part of the camp, meet all the Confident Kids, and look forward to all the fun and learning it will entail!