Our ABA Team

Clinical Director of ABA/ Board Certified Behavior Analyst : Yisrael Dahvid is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst currently providing ABA services in Houston, TX. She graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Psychology from The University of Saint Thomas. She is a member of the Aquinas Honor Society, founded the Disability Awareness Club, and completed numerous volunteer projects for the local community and surrounding areas. She also served as Concertmaster of the UST Orchestra 2012-2015 and led several chamber groups on campus. She received her Masters in Education from Penn State University with emphasis in ABA and is a Licensed Behavior Analyst now  working on several academic publications supporting ABA research.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst :Amber Goforth, BCBA is from Lafayette, Louisiana. She attended her undergraduate at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La where she received a dual major in Psychology and Addiction Studies. She attended her Graduate program at McNeese State university in Lake Charles, La where she worked as a graduate assistant and intern at the McNeese Autism Program. She graduated with a masters in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. Her experience with kids has been with varying ages, stages, and degrees of the spectrum. She is very passionate about Functional Communication and want to receive a Certification from the PECs USA. She recently moved from Louisiana, where she began her career as an Licensed BCBA, to Friendswood, TX to expand her experience and growth in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. she wants to get her PHD in child psychology in the future. She is also working towards pursuing her second masters in clinical social work where she hopes to expand more with children in the system with autism as well as use her addiction studies background to better help families and children suffering from addiction.
She also wants to attend a course in SOS feeding where she can become certified in working with children with different feeding disabilities. 

Board Certified Behavior Analyst: Jessica Nguyen is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Houston at their main campus with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Health. Jessica discovered her passion of working in the field of ABA through her time in undergrad. Jessica completed a graduate program at Arizona State University, while gaining experience with various individuals on the spectrum to gain her credentials as a BCBA. Jessica enjoys working on increasing verbal skills and functional life skills in children with autism. She has experience working with a multitude of behaviors and is safety care trained. Jessica is devoted to the field and to promoting growth for any children on the spectrum. 

Board Certified Behavior Analyst : Dr. Xin (Cynthia) Dong is from China. She has lived in College Station, Texas for 8 years with her family. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a doctoral degree in Special Education. Her research interest is in social skills interventions for children with or at risk of behavioral problems. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a great passion for bringing the research findings into practice and making positive impacts in the life of children with special needs. She is devoted to helping children to reach the maximum of their potential and succeed in their life.

Clinical Manager/ Senior Lead Therapist: Maria Perez is our Lead Therapist at Rise with ABA. She has over twenty years’ experience working with a diverse population of clients with special needs. She began working in this field as a paraprofessional in the severe and profound CAC 20 unit at F.B.I.S.D. While working there she seen firsthand the importance of ABA and the effect it had on the students. From there she went on to pursue her career in ABA. She has gained her experience by working at several ABA centers such as; Texana, MHMRA, and ABA Therapy of Houston. She has a passion for all children of special needs and believes that all children can become successful with the proper help. She looks forward to demonstrating her ability to teach, by motivating children to learn through positive reinforcement. She enjoys making learning fun and has a creative way of doing so. She is currently attending UHD and is in her final year. She is working on obtaining her degree so she can become certified as a BCaBA and then continue her education in grad school. Maria is very thankful to be part of such an amazing team and doing what she loves.

Program coordinator/Lead Therapist: Sofia Guerra was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. After graduating from Texas A&M with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, she moved to Houston, Texas. During her university years, she was involved with extensive social and educational research studies. She explored different career paths including Human Resources, accounting and consulting, until she came across her niche, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).  ABA allowed her to focus on two of her most esteemed passions, nurturance and psychology. She has enjoyed working with children on spectrum for 2 years now, and she is most motivated by the progress and results she can help achieve. She is now on the Master’s of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis to become a Board Certificated Behavior Analyst.

Administrative Clinical Manager/ Lead Therapist: Amanda Arends grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved to Houston for college. After graduating from University of Houston in 2018, she found her passion for helping kids reach their full potential and became an RBT in September 2018. Ever since, she has loved working with kids on the spectrum every day, making sure to use compassion and understanding to help them overcome challenges.  She wants to see how kids grow and progress with her in Rise.

Program Coordinator: Karolina was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Houston on December 2019 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in biology. Her goal is to attain her masters in clinical psychology so that she can better help disadvantaged children and their families. Working here at Rise has been a wonderful opportunity to work with kids, and has further reinforced her desires to continue on this path. She looks forward to continue growing with the children and Rise team. . She is now in the Master Program of Applied Behavior Analysis to become a Board Certificated Behavior Analyst.

Kick-start Riser (Clinic 1) Manager: Darian Enriquez is from Houston, Texas. She is currently a student at the University of Houston-Downtown pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, she plans on going back to school for her Masters in Child Psychology and continue working with children. She loves working with children and hopes to be a middle school counselor. She is very excited to be apart of the Rise with ABA team.

Riser Core Manager (Clinic 3): Casey Nikolich is a student at the University of Houston pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in  Psychology with a minor in Laws, Values, and Policies. She plans to specialize in behaviors and continue work towards helping those at a disadvantage. She loves working with children on the spectrum particularly because they are such bright and unique individuals, that simply require a unique teaching style to learn. Doing ABA and seeing the kiddos grow, brings her so much joy, because they deserve this opportunity. She is excited to help them receive this opportunity with RISE!!

Media Team Lead/Registered Behavior Technician: Monic Cano was born in Alton, TX but raised in Green Bay, WI and have now followed her family back down here after 2 years of being apart from them. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee this past May with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Her other concentrations were Women and Gender studies and Child and Adolescent studies. During her years in college, her passion for psychology grew, as well as her love for learning more about the little humans that run around in this world. It amazes her how every child is so unique. Every day is different when you are working with children, you really do learn something new every day and she think that it’s definitely one of the biggest reasons why she love to work with them. She looks forward to continue to gain knowledge and experience with the rest of the RISE team. It brings her so much joy to be part of these children’s lives and so much excitement to see the progress and results that we can all help achieve!

Program Coodinator: Aisling moved to Texas in 2005 from New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a recent graduate from University of Houston-Clear Lake, where she earned her BS in Psychology. Working with children has always been a passion of hers and is why she is continuing her education and will be pursuing an MS in Child Life; after that, her goal is to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. Aisling is so grateful and excited to be apart of the RISE team; she is excited to see the progress and relationships she builds with the children.