Turning Point staff has a long history of working with troubled teens in foster homes and through residential care. This rich and varied experience lends to a nurturing environment with opportunities to grow.
Joe Kealamakia is our Program Director. Prior to moving to Utah in 1992 he worked for the State of Hawaii Corrections Division for nine years. In 1992 he started working with youth at a private troubled youth ranch in Cedar City as a line staff. In 1993 he became the Program Director. In 1995 Southwest Center Mental Health introduced there first Juvenile Sex Offender Program (Eagle Quest). Here is where he gained his experience working with juvenile sex offenders. The program offered a therapeutic environment where youth received psychological, psychiatric and psychosocial assessments; individualized schooling was also provided there along with recreational activities. In 1999 he became Program Coordinator, some of his responsibilities were hiring of all staff and training, and making sure all clients were current on all court obligations as well as coordinating transportation for all court appointments. This position provided him the opportunity to increase his experience with the administrative aspects of the program, working directly with caseworkers and those responsible for licensing and auditing the program.
Rick first began working with youth in 1996 in the capacity of a line staff at Eagle Quest, which dealt with youth who sexually acted out. The 5 years at Eagle Quest provided Rick with the opportunity to understand and relate with the youth on an individual level. This experience has helped him as a therapist to understand what the youth go through on a daily basis. He quickly realized that he wanted to work with youth for a career and decided to obtain his Masters in Social Work at the University of Utah. After graduating, he worked in a wilderness program that focused on helping youth overcome substance abuse addiction. Although he really enjoyed working in the substance abuse field, he realized that his interest lied in working with youth who have sexual behavioral issues. Rick has been part of the team at Turning Point Family Care for over 5 years and is the Clinical Director over the foster care program.
Outside of work Rick enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. They enjoy going camping and participating in sports with his children. He also volunteers at a local high school; coaching wrestling.
Brent has worked with troubled youth since 1981. From 1981-1987 he served with the Division of Youth and Family Services as a youth services worker. This position provided individual and family therapy for young men and women who were beyond the control of their families, the school system or the juvenile court.
In 1987 Brent had the opportunity of going to the Division of Youth Corrections as a supervisor over a secure care unit. The youth in this program had been placed there by the court system. They were there for serious acts of criminal behavior. It was in this program that Brent first started working with adolescent sexual offenders. This program eventually became the first secure unit in the State of Utah to house 100% sexual offenders. At about the same time as part of his private counseling practice he became the Clinical Director of two adult units of the Intermountain Sexual Abuse Treatment Center. In this setting he had the opportunity of increasing his experience by treating adults who had these same sexual issues and who were housed in a satellite unit of the Utah State prison.
In addition to his work with adolescent and adult offenders Brent has had a private counseling practice in Cedar City for 25 years. In this environment he has the opportunity of working with all ages of clients and with a variety of family and individual problems. He is especially skilled in working with depressive and anxiety disorders. Brent believes the family is the key to many problems young men may face especially in their placement at Turning Point and he welcomes as much family involvement with the youth as possible.
Rashell first began working with adolescents in 2004 as a staff member in the Detention and Secure Care Units under The Department of Juvenile Justice Services in the State of Utah. Rashell enjoyed this time working for DJJS. From that experience she knew that she wanted to work with adolescents. Rashell obtained her Master of Counseling in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix to become a counselor in 2008. She has worked as a therapist for Turning Point Family Care since 2008. She loves the opportunity to work with youth and their families to see the challenges they overcome and the changes that they make.
Rashell is a NOJOS (Network on Juveniles Offending Sexually) certified therapist along with a National Certified Counselor (NCC) Certification.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children.
Rashell volunteers at her children's school and is very active in the PTA.
Larry coordinates and manages maintenance of building, all line staff, and supervisor, assist with work schedule. Other responsibilities will include daily operations with teachers, therapists and the program client’s. Larry was born in Honolulu Hawaii. He attended Brigham Young University – Hawaii, he earned a dual bachelors in Hawaiian Family Studies and Pacific Island History with an Associates in Public Communication. Larry Co-Chaired and directed the West Hawaii Fatherhood Initiative for 14 years. The purpose of the program is to provide fathers with education, new methods of parenting and the important role of a father. Larry worked as an Outreach coordinator for North Hawaii Family Coalition. He introduced the coalition in 2006 “A Healthy Community makes Healthy families.” These programs are still in progress and striving within the communities of Hawaii today.
Ashlee completed her graduate work at Utah State University with a Master’s in Social Work in 2014. Prior to graduate school, she attended Southern Utah University and earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Family Life and Human Development. Ashlee completed her graduate internship at Utah State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services providing individual and group counseling to college students struggling with a variety of issues. Ashlee’s areas of professional interest include: eating disorders, depression, stress and anxiety management, trauma, sex specific treatment, and self-esteem development. Ashlee is passionate about working with young people and believes the relationship is the most important element of therapy.
The ladies adore their coworkers and all aspects of their job. They like to welcome all the clients with warm friendly smiles. Their favorite part of the job is being part of a team that makes a difference in people's lives.
Photo: (from left) Lori Dennett, Chantelle Pete, Beth Bosshardt, Erin Sawyer
In addition to our clinical director we currently have three other master level therapists who are licensed in the State of Utah to practice in this field. All of these therapists have years of experience in the helping profession. Their experience is rich in a diversity of issues and they are all well qualified to do individual, group and family therapy. Youth who come to our program will be assigned the therapist for their individual therapy who we believe will be the most beneficial for them.