Ellie Aftanas, M.A.
Senior Clinical Service Coordinator

During Ellie’s undergraduate program at Western Michigan University, she took part in an internship program at a specialization school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). After a semester in the internship, she knew that was the direction she wanted to take in her career. Ellie later received her Master of Arts Degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She then joined our JumpStart team in 2016 as a Behavior Technician and later moved onto our administrative team as a Senior Clinical Service Coordinator seamlessly coordinating and managing the critical administrative aspects of clinical service scheduling. Ellie notes, “I love how passionate everyone is at JAC in regards to making a difference in our clients lives, for not only the children, but the families.” In her spare time, Ellie enjoys working on projects in her new house, reading, snowboarding, and hiking!

Rachel Galindo, M.S.
Clinic Operations Manager
(Rio Rancho)

Rachel gained professional experience in healthcare administration, case management, and behavioral health, before obtaining her Associate of Arts degree in Human Services Management in 2015. She then went on to work with children as a New Mexico state-certified childcare provider. In 2020 Rachel earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and in early 2022 received a Master of Science degree in Psychology from the same institution. Rachel joined our JumpStart team in August 2022 and notes, “I was looking for a quality employer that allowed work in helping/supporting children, while also caring for my family”. As a Clinic Operations Manager, Rachel provides stellar customer service to children and families seeking and receiving Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services at our Rio Rancho centers by supporting the administrative coordination of care from intake through discharge. Her favorite part about her pivotal role at JumpStart is assisting families and children navigating what could be a stressful time in life. In her free time, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Stephanie James
Clinic Operations Manager

Stephanie began her career in the behavioral health field in 2017 assisting in billing and medical records coordination. Since then, she gained experience working in community-based mental health programs and city-funded grant projects working primarily with youth through community support and case management services. Stephanie joined our JumpStart team in 2023 where she supports the administrative coordination of care from the first point of contact through to discharge. She notes, “My favorite part about working at JumpStart is the high-quality care that is provided to the clientele and their families that JumpStart serves. The thoughtful and thorough training processes provided to ensure all staff are confident and supported in their role is truly unique and invaluable”. Stephanie looks forward to expanding her skills and knowledge in the “behind the scenes” operations at JumpStart while ensuring that learners and their families can access services easily and without judgment. Outside of work, you can find Stephanie reading, gaming, spending time outdoors, baking, and cuddling her two cats.

Sandi Keeton
Service Coordinator

Sandi joined our JumpStart team in 2021 bringing with her over fifteen years of high-end customer service experience. Over the course of her profession, she has earned a reputation for her ability to create a strong culture of empathy. After working as a Corporate Sales and Training Executive in Southern California, Sandi is excited for this new opportunity to bring her passion for service excellence and family support to JumpStart. Sandi plays a key role to JumpStart’s mission and goals in supporting learners and their families, and the community as the first point of contact for those seeking and receiving psychological diagnostic evaluations, consultative services, and Applied Behavioral Analysis services.

Jessica Wendzinski, B.A.
Billing Operations Manager

Jessica graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Applied Developmental Psychology. She then went on to teach middle and high school math and science in Louisiana and back home in California. Wanting to make a bigger impact on the education reform movement and confront the educational inequity experienced by marginalized communities, Jessica moved to Oklahoma where she coached 150+ STEM teachers. She reflects, “While in the classroom, I felt I was doing a disservice in supporting the academic and holistic growth of my students on an Individualized Education Plan due to a lack of knowledge about their diagnoses and their learning needs as a result. I made the tough decision to leave public education and in 2017, I started working at JumpStart. It was my hope to learn more about autism and other developmental disabilities, as well as how to best support the growth of children who have these diagnoses.” For two years, Jessica served as Office Manager at our Englewood, Colorado center. Since then, she has become our administrative secret weapon, able to handle any task that comes her way. In her role as Project Coordinator, she collaborates with our team across all departments to optimize and enhance current processes to better the overall care provided to our clients and the experiences of our staff. Since welcoming her own little one into the world on Valentine’s Day 2021, Jessica spends the majority of her time going on walks, reading pop-up books, and rediscovering the wonders of our world. She, her partner, and son also enjoy going on hikes and traveling to new places fully embodying her favorite quote by John Muir, “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

Rae Fitzpatrick-Blackmun, B.A.
Executive Assistant of Operations

Rae graduated from the University of Oregon in 2018, majoring in Family and Human Services and minoring in Japanese. During her time as an undergraduate, she had the opportunity to be a mentor for girl-identified youth on the Autism Spectrum as well as spending time as a research assistant looking into the effectiveness of mindfulness-based coping mechanisms for youth in the area. Shortly after graduating, Rae moved from Portland to Denver and was lucky enough to immediately find JumpStart! She joined our team as a Behavior Technician and later spent two years as a Clinical Trainer.  In 2021, Rae made the switch to our administrative team as our Executive Assistant of Operations where she supports all business functions including finance, human resources, operations, and office management. She notes, “I loved working directly with clients and staff, but on the administrative side I really have grown interested in everything that goes on behind the scenes that make it all happen! In the future, I want to continue to serve my community whether that is hands-on or behind the scenes and one day hope to go back to school to pursue my master’s degree.” Outside of JumpStart, Rae enjoys cooking, bouldering and watching documentaries. A fun fact is that the only food she does not like is Red Vines.

April Upplegger, MHA
Community & Engagement Specialist

April joined the JumpStart team in May 2018 bringing with her years of hospitality and customer service experience. She received a Bachelor of Science in Sport, Arts, and Entertainment Management from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before specializing in event management. After working in corporate events, conferences, and weddings, April earned an Executive Master of Hospitality Administration degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. April enjoys using her hospitality and business administration background to create unique employee engagement and wellness experiences as well as connect our JumpStart team and families to support our community. She notes, “This is my first experience working in the healthcare field and I have enjoyed seeing the amazing change that our learners make and the dedication our team has to making a difference in the field.” In her spare time April enjoys cooking, hosting events for friends and family, hiking, gardening, and traveling with her husband and two kids.

Services in Colorado

Denver, CO
(303) 284-7328

Services in New Mexico

Albuquerque , NM
Rio Rancho, NM
(505) 828-3837

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