When registering, you will pick Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, Track 4, Track 5, Track 6, Track 7, or Track 8. 

See the schedule below to see which Workshops are in each Track.

P.E.A.C.E. Summit Adult Program

The P.E.A.C.E Summit Adult Program has eight tracks to chose from for adult participants.
You can see the schedule, workshops, and register below.  

Programming & Leadership 

Workshop 1

Introduction to ACEs & Intention Setting 

Join embrella for an introduction to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), positive childhood experiences (PCEs) and the importance of consciously taking time to create joy and wellness in your life. Michele Rodriguez and Lisa Johnson are ACE Interface certified presenters that will combine knowledge with intention in this one-hour PEACE Summit introduction. 

Takeaway: ACEs handout and event swag

Presented by Michele Rodriguez of embrella and Lisa Johnson, Life Coach 

Workshop 2, 3, & 4 Choices


Be the Change You Want to See in Your Community – ACEs Self-Healing Communities

This is a double session workshopWorkshops 3 & 4

Have you ever thought that if something changed in your community it would make life better for you and others in that community? This interactive, two-part workshop walks you through the ACEs inspired community capacity building model that was created based upon the successful work accomplished in Washington State. Bring your ideas and let us help you figure out how to make those ideas a reality for your community.  

Presented by Michele Rodriguez of embrella and Carlissa Snowden-Gause of embrella 

Takeaway: Participants will receive one hardcopy of the book What Happened to You by Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey. The books were generously donated by Macmillan Publishing. 

Drumming Circle Sound Journey 

Group drumming has been scientifically shown to boost the immune system, decrease anxiety & stress, increase focus, foster a positive mood, and create a feeling of positive connection with others. Think you have no rhythm? Not so… We all have an internal beat. You will surprise yourself with how much rhythm you have. No musical experience is necessary. It’s just fun! Drums & other percussion instruments will be available to share. 

Presented by Cindy Kresch, Director of A Hum Music & Guy Darienzo, Professional Drummer, Teacher, and Rhythm Coach 

Takeaway: Rhythm and wellbeing 

Movement as Meditation

Participants will begin class with gentle movement paired with breathwork (pranayama). Students will then transition into a few Yin Yoga (passive stretching) postures which are typically held for 3-5 minutes. Class will end with a restorative shavasana (final resting pose). No previous yoga experience is necessary to participate. 

Presented by Sarah Nickelson, Registered Yoga Teacher 

Takeaway: Participants will receive a yoga mat to use during the workshop and take home with them. 

Nature & Wellness 

In a world that often feels monopolized by technology, email, and unforgiving schedules, we often do not set aside intentional time to connect with nature. However, time with nature has been a healing element since the dawn of time.  If you are feeling disconnected, overwhelmed, unfocused, and exhausted, this course is for you!  This course will cover the basic elements of nature-based informed interventions including, mindfulness, resiliency, guided relaxation, breathing techniques, body awareness, connection, and more. We will explore the ways these experiences can be incorporated into group and family settings, individual and personal practices, or in a therapeutic milieu. We will also journey into the basic elements of Animal Assisted Therapy and strategies to connect this specialized practice with other nature-based interventions. This course provides real life case examples as well as introductory exercises that you will feel comfortable incorporating into your own daily personal routine to increase overall wellness, connection, and awareness. 

Presented by Dr. Alexis Walsh, LCSW, ADHD-CCSP & Lisa Johnson, Life Coach

Takeaway: Participants will be painting a terracotta planter during the presentation and then planting a succulent in the planter to take home with them.

Paint & Sip

Bring your imagination and create something magical! Participants will take part in a unique artistic experience that includes 45 minutes of basic painting instruction. All of the materials you will need to create your personal work of art will be provided. Your only job is to show up, relax, sip on bubbly non-alcoholic beverages, and have a great time! Our talented instructor will guide even the most artfully challenged painter to create a masterpiece.

Presented by Princis of Art & Soul Design Studio, LLC

Takeaway: Participants will receive their painting to take home with them.

Resilience Trumps ACEs 

In this presentation, participants will explore the ways in which our relationships and connections with others create a healing and even preventative effect against adversity and trauma. We will use activities and discussion to exchange resilience-building strategies that promote positive impacts on individuals and communities. 

Presented by Victoria Spera-Ballesteros of Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey 

Takeaway: Resilience Trumps ACEs Card Deck, a game to reinforce the workshop learning at home. 

See It, Believe It, Achieve It! 

Move forward through vision. A vision board visually represents a particular concept using images, illustrations, and/or words. This is an individualized experience. This exercise aims to help you creatively increase your self-care and self-compassion while manifesting your personal goals. 

Presented by Tasia St. Louis of embrella 

Bring with You: Images or Magazines you’d like to include in your vision board.

Takeaway: Participants will receive their vision board to take home with them. 

The Power of Journaling

Studies have shown that journaling can have a positive impact on our well-being – releasing stress while strengthening coping skills and building self-awareness, confidence, and resilience. During this workshop, we invite you into the storytelling mindset with the help of guided journaling prompts. We also share strategies for starting or deepening a journaling practice. Give yourself dedicated time and space to write, reflect, and reconnect with what really matters to you. No writing experience necessary. 

Presented by Jennifer Chauhan of Project Write Now

Takeaway: Participants will receive a journal to take home with them. 

What Happened to You? 

A workshop that provides activities and education based upon Dr. Perry and Oprah Winfrey’s book, What Happened to You: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing.  Caregivers will participate in a mindfulness activity to put into practice techniques that are intended to nourish self-empathy and understanding while also learning the science behind why this works to help end intergenerational adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and promotes positive childhood experiences (PCEs). 

Presented by Michele Rodriguez of embrella and Carlissa Snowden-Gause of embrella 

Takeaway: Participants will receive one hardcopy of the book What Happened to You by Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey. The books were generously donated by Macmillan Publishing. 

When registering, you will pick Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, Track 4, Track 5, Track 6, Track 7, or Track 8. 

See the schedule above to see which Workshops are in each Track.

Workshop Leaders

Jennifer Chauhan  

Project Write Now 

Jennifer is an entrepreneur, writer, and educator. A former journalist and public-school teacher, she is co-founder and executive director of Project Write Now, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit transforming individuals, organizations, and communities through writing. Her passion is giving people of all ages and backgrounds supportive spaces to explore their authentic selves through writing and sharing their stories. Jennifer has an M.A. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in English and French from Villanova University. She enjoys reading a poem upon waking every day, walking among trees, and being a part of any live performance (whether on stage or in the audience). 

Lisa Johnson 

Wellness Coach 

Lisa Johnson worked for embrella as a trainer and family support advocate. She has over 14 years of experience developing, presenting, and facilitating educational courses and workshops for human service providers and professionals. She is a certified well-being and positive psychology coach through the College of Executive Coaching and a certified health and wellness coach through the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches. Lisa specializes in teaching stress management, domestic violence awareness, nutrition, mindfulness, and self-care. She is a certified Adverse Childhood Experiences presenter and an Advanced Nurtured Heart Approach trainer. Lisa is a diplomate member of the American Institute of Stress. She has provided advocacy for New Jersey licensed resource parents and domestic violence survivors. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in Management Information Systems from the University of Delaware. She enjoys walking, biking, and nature.  

Cindy Kresch and Guy Darienzon 

A Hum Music 

Cindy Kresch grew up playing many instruments, with cello and piano being her primary passions. She is the owner of A Hum Music and a Health Rhythms Facilitator. HEALTH RHYTHMS is a research-based group protocol using percussion instruments of all shapes and sizes as tools for communication, personal expression, and healing of the mind, body, and spirit. She and professional percussionist, Guy Darienzon, lead drum and rhythm circles for children through senior citizens in a fun, inviting, and participatory way. Guy Darienzo is a professional drummer, teacher, and rhythm coach.

Sarah Nickelson, RYT 

License Number: 227892 

As a teenager, Sarah was prescribed asana and meditation as a way to cope with her lifelong struggle with mental health and was soon fascinated by the ancient South Asian Philosophies which underpinned her practice. Because she reaped such transformational benefits, Sarah has immersed herself in a well-rounded lifestyle practice facilitated by the technology of Yoga. She has been teaching since 2017. Sarah’s teaching strives to hold space for all types of bodies to practice in an authentic, safe, and personalized way. She does this by offering many options within each posture and sequence, by offering the creative use of props, by anatomically informed instruction, and by encouraging students to constantly question and address their own individual needs. Sarah holds the designation, E-RYT500 and has completed special trainings for Yin, Restorative, and Accessible Yoga, human anatomy, and for Yoga as Social Justice, Equity, and Anti-Oppression. 


Art & Soul 

Princis has been creating beautiful art for over 40 years. She is masterful in arts & crafts and the designer of many other creative pieces of art. She, along with her husband Tony, decided to host a fun place for friends, couples, families, and organizations to literally create memories with the stroke of a brush, add some laughs, all while having a PAINTING good time!

Princis created Art & Soul as not only a gathering place for the community, but also as a family business that provides a positive and fun environment to appreciate the wonderful world of art. Their creativeness has trickled down to their five children; a rapper and performer, a dancer and actress, a graphic designer and painter… just to name a few of their long list of talents!

Michele Rodriguez 

Program Coordinator, embrella 

Michele is currently the Program Coordinator at embrella and an advanced standing Master of Social Work student at Cappella University. Prior to Capella, Michele graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Social Work in 2017 from Rutgers University where she was part of the Baccalaureate Child Welfare Education Program. Before deciding to become a social worker, Michele spent years working within non-profit and program development and founded and ran a youth volunteer organization to promote empathy and compassion through action. Michele has worked in advocacy roles at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) where she helped launch a youth transitions initiative, she has served on the Monmouth County Youth Service Commission and was a caseworker for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF), Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P).  While in these roles, Michele received the honors of Court Appointed Special Advocate of the Year for Monmouth County and the DCF Special Commissioner’s Award. Michele is a certified Nurtured Heart Approach and ACE Interface trainer.    

Carlissa Snowden-Gause 

Family Support Advocate Bergen & Hudson Counties, embrella 

Carlissa Snowden-Gause is a Family Support Advocate at embrella. Carlissa is also the biological, foster, and adoptive parent of 9 children. Carlissa previously volunteered at embrella as a Heart to Heart Mentor and Connecting Families Coordinator. Carlissa has a passion for children and families, and a desire to provide positive support and guidance to those in need. Her joy is the joy of our children and families. 

Victoria Spera-Ballesteros 

Prevent Child Abuse – New Jersey (PCANJ) 

Victoria Spera-Ballesteros works with Prevent Child Abuse – New Jersey as the Program Manager for Community Education. Her role focuses on providing education, training, and technical assistance related to youth resilience programming to youth- and family- serving professionals and community organizations. Victoria has over 10 years of experience in trauma prevention and awareness, social justice education, community development, and public policy. She is also an experienced trainer on topics including Adverse Childhood Experiences, child abuse and neglect prevention, trauma-informed communities, youth empowerment, and community wellness and resiliency.  

Tasia St. Louis 

Family Support Advocate Middlesex & Union Counties, embrella 

Tasia St. Louis is a Family Support Advocate at embrella and a proud New Jersian. She was born in Newark, NJ and raised in Elizabeth, NJ. Tasia has an educational background is in Psychology and over 10 years of experience serving the community in different capacities. Her work at embrella is near and dear to her heart on a personal level. She enjoys helping others and being a guiding light to those who need it most.   

Dr. Alexis Walsh, LCSW, ADHD-CCSP 

Owner of Constanta Wellness & Healing, LLC  

Dr. Walsh has over a decade of experience in the mental health field. She has worked in the community as a youth/family therapist and worked in various school settings, including serving on a Child Study Team, developing individual plans for student success.  She has vast specialized training in Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI), which includes over 20 years of hands-on experience with animals, and formal training through the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work – Institute for Human-Animal Interactions. She has designed and implemented two previous AAI programs; one at an alternative school, and the other in an outpatient setting working with children and families. She also managed a vocational skills program for youth aging out of foster care at an animal shelter in Pennsylvania under Hand2Paw.   

Additionally, she completed her Doctorate in Clinical Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research was specifically focused on AAI. Dr. Walsh also worked to earn her Certified Clinical Practitioner certification in ADHD treatment.   

Dr. Walsh then created and operated an Animal Therapy Program at a South Jersey middle school. This program provides students with a safe, calm space where they can focus on developing enhanced emotional regulation and life skills through relationships with animals and elements of nature.  

Constanta Wellness & Healing was founded by Dr. Walsh to incorporate her vast skill set, the evidence-based practices of animal assisted interventions, a nod to care farming techniques, and nature-based wellness experiences to offer a dynamic counseling opportunity to the community. 


When registering, you will pick Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, Track 4, Track 5, Track 6, Track 7, or Track 8. 

See the schedule above to see which Workshops are in each Track.