Meet Our Wonderful Staff

Evolving Minds Together, LLC was created in 2017. We are a small company but have a big desire to assist and help our families and clients.

EMT offers services in any area(s) that meets the clients’ specific needs. We focus on the individual needs of each family here in the communities of South Florida. Some of these include home, center, community outings, aftercare, and Telehealth.

Our team consists of professionals who are all diverse and knowledgeable in the field of ABA. We treat our team like family and frequently have team-building events. Meetings and training are held on a bi-weekly basis to ensure that our therapists are constantly learning and keeping up with our evolving field of ABA.

Maria Patricia Caruso, MS, BCBA

Owner/CEO

Maria Patricia Caruso is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and the owner of Evolving Minds Together and Evolving Minds Counseling. Maria Patricia’s graduated from the University of Miami where she attained a double bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Biology. She also obtained her Master degree from Nova Southeastern University as a Mental Health Counselor with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. Maria Patricia’s journey begins while working with the department of juvenile Justice where she has the opportunity to offer counseling and ABA services to adolescent and their families. As her passion for the field growth, she had the opportunity to work with children with autism and other developmental disabilities. It was her everyday experiences and passion for the field that brought her to take a step beyond and become an extra support for the families and their kids by developing a company which mission is to combine passion and dedication with an individualized treatment in order to build brighter future. Maria Patricia is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and had the opportunity to travel to different countries in Latin America to provide Applied Behavioral services to children and their families.

Renee Vassell, MS, BCBA

Clinical Director

Renee Vassell received her M.A. double Major in Mental Health Counseling and Applied Behavioral Analysis at Nova Southeastern University, June 2017. She is currently working on achieving the necessary components and requirements in order to obtain her BCBA licensure. Renee has been working with children with Autism, Mental Disability, and Developmental Delay for over 8 years. Renee has experience working in settings such as in-home, summer camp, school, and private centers. Her experience working with children with Autism ages ranges from 2-11 years old. Renee feels passionate about ABA and aiding each child to become his/her best and serving as a mentor and an advocate for the children and their families. She is delighted to be a part of the Evolving Minds Together team and is thrilled on making a difference in each child she works with life.

Nicole Hyde, MS, BCaBA

Clinical Director

Nikkie found her passion in working with children of various exceptionalities through her diverse volunteer work, particularly when she embarked on a mission trip to Mexico. Nikkie earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and Family & Child Sciences from Florida State University, working as a research assistant under prestigious professors studying cognitive development, family relationships, and academic success. She is currently working on her Master’s of Science degree in Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University. Nikkie has loved her journey in the field of ABA. Her motivation to help children and their families progress toward their goals drives her to pursue greater knowledge and experience!

Diana Rada, MS, BCBA

Staff Developer Specialist

Diana Is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She holds the title of B.A. in Clinical Psychology with foundations and training in applied behavior analysis. As well as a Master’s degree in developmental disabilities from Nova Southeastern University with a concentration in ABA and Early Intervention. She is a certified ITDS (Infant-Toddler Development Specialist) and worked with the Early Steps program from Broward County for 4 years. She has been working in the field of ABA since 2005 and, although autism spectrum disorders have been her main focus, she has experience with typically developing children, as well as various other disabilities, working hand in hand with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other related disciplines. Diana is passionate about ABA and considers it an effective and comprehensive method to approach children with and without disabilities to help them reach their potentialities and bring welfare to them and their families.

Laura Torres, MS, BCBA

Operations Specialist

Laura graduated from the University of Central Florida where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She also obtained her Master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Nova Southeastern University. She’s a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with experience working with children who are diagnosed with ASD providing direct behavioral therapy both at school and at home settings. She also has experience working with individuals who are pre- and nonverbal, while managing maladaptive behaviors and teaching replacement behaviors, and teaching them to develop strong social skills. Laura is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and is devoted to working with children of all ages and many levels of ability, alongside their family, to achieve their maximum potential.

Rita Hiatt, BCBA

Rita received her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from the Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University in 2012. She continued her education at FAU to obtain a Master’s in Psychology in 2016, majoring in Cognition. Rita then attended Western Michigan University to complete a second Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, with an emphasis on autism and organizational behavior management. She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2017 and has provided services to clients in the home, clinic, and school settings. Rita is passionate about the science, as well as the clinical and practical application of ABA in everyday life. Her favorite part of the job is watching a child demonstrate a new skill for the first time!

Melanie Gonzalez, BCaBA

Melanie graduated from the Metropolitan University in Caracas, Venezuela, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. She is currently working on earning her master’s degree. She has worked with children and adults from different backgrounds in one-to-one and group settings.

Her most recent work was as a neurofeedback therapist mainly with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, ADD, and adults with anxiety, depression, and other disorders.

Melanie is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and loves working with children. Her purpose is to help children and their families reach key goals and conquer the child’s potential.

Gabriela Paolini, RBT Lead

Gabriela graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelors's Degree in Psychology. She has 4 years of experience working in ABA. Working with children, specifically diagnosed with ASD has always been her passion. Gabriela interned at the University of Miami IBIS clinic where her love for early intervention began and was part of their research team. She then moved on to work in the field, specifically in school and home settings where she has worked with children in all age ranges (18 months to 17). Gabriela is fully bilingual in both English and Spanish and plans to pursue her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She is very excited to be part of such a wonderful team and make a difference in each of her clients’ daily lives!

Natalia Manrique, RBT Lead

Natalia graduated from Florida International University where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Natalia recently graduated and is now working on obtaining her RBT certification and further her education in the ABA field. Natalia loves to work with kids and had the opportunity to work with kids before. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Natalia feels very passionate about ABA and has a high motivation to work with children and their families, to achieve all goals.

Joyce Bencomo, RBT

Training Specialist

Joyce found her passion for educating and helping kids by acquiring a Florida Child Development Associate Equivalent Credential (CDAE) and since then have been working with children for more than 18 years. She has experience as a teacher with typically developing children, as well as various other disabilities working hand in hand with parents, caregivers, and other related children specialists. She has always loved kids and is very passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families, which leads her to continue her career as she works towards her RBT certification. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and is devoted to being part of your child’s journey towards fulfilling their potential.

Rain Valverde, RBT

Training Specialist

Rain is currently attending Florida International University where she will be obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Criminal Justice. She is a Registered Behavior Technician. Rain is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and has a tremendous passion for helping each child reach their highest potential. She loves working with children and seeing them acquire new skills. Her end goal is to obtain a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and become certified as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Gabriela Bigott, RBT

Gabriela graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and earned a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. While working at the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development, she developed and conducted a social skills curriculum for children with autism and other developmental disorders that optimized the school’s methodology, which was then incorporated as their official lesson plan to better assist the education of their students. She also co-facilitated support groups for families with children diagnosed with ASD. Gabriela has a passion for early intervention and parent training. Her fluency in both English and Spanish allows her to work with more children and families. By empowering her patients with the right set of tools, both the families and children are able to embrace independent and fulfilling lives.

Gisselle Rodriguez , RBT

Giselle has always had a love for working with children and aiding in their development. She completed her Child Development Associate (CDA) and has been working with children ages 18 months to 6 years old for the last 7 years. She has experience working with typically developing children as well as children with ASD and has a passion for helping them develop every day and learn new skills. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and hopes to make a difference every day with her role in ABA. Giselle is currently working towards furthering her education in this field.

Melanie Conteras, RBT

Melanie is currently attending Florida International University studying psychology. Throughout her teaching career, she has always had a passion for working with children and being part of their growth and development. Melanie has a creative mindset and a can-do attitude. She is always a positive thinker and is always up for new challenges. Melanie’s end goal is to achieve the BCBA certification and with love and commitment, she will strive to make a difference in every child’s life.

Katherina Hurt, RBT

Katherina Hurt holds a Summa Cum Laude Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education with a Mayor in Learning Difficulties and a Minor in Mental Disabilities. She has 23 years of experience, which combines a prolific academic and counseling activity with children and adolescents with special needs and their families, in her native country, Venezuela, and for the last 9 years as a Lead Teacher in a private school in the State of Florida. Katherina has developed, over the course of her career, a passion for children with special challenges, especially with autism, which motivated her to recently obtain her RBT license as the next step in her professional growth. She is delighted to be part of the Evolving Minds Together team, surrounded by professionals with dedication and passion for their work, and from whose experience every day she treasures new learning.

Justin McKinley, RBT

Justin graduated from FIU in 2020 with a Bachelors's Degree in Psychology with a focus in ABA along with a minor in Philosophy. He found out about ABA while at FIU and instantly fell in love with the science and practical and applicable nature of ABA. He is currently working on obtaining his RBT and soon after hopes to obtain his BCaBA. Justin finds his work quite fulfilling as he helps those acquire new and more functional skills.

Sofia Baylac, RBT

Sofia graduated from Broward College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Sofia always had a passion for helping others and when the ABA field found her she has pursued it since then. Sofia has been an RBT since 2018 and is planning on expanding in the ABA field by getting her Master’s degree and become a BCBA. Her experience ranges from helping clients ages 23 months to 12 years old and has worked in a vast variety of settings such as giving at-home therapy, private and public schools, aftercare centers, preschools, and therapy centers. She is passionate and committed to her clients and their progress is her main priority. Her goal is to help change and improve her clients’ and families’ lives through ABA, dedication, and love.

Lidiett Chirinos, RBT

Training Specialist

Lidiett is a Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT). I have been working in the children's professional field since early 2017. During this time, she has been preparing herself toward obtaining the right certification linked to child activities, lifestyle, and social skills field. Since she is raising a family, she is determined to further her studies in order to help other families. Deciding to become in Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) and getting a PECS certificate are her first steps. Her philosophy is providing love to the children, helping them to develop their feelings, and teaching others to love them. She is totally convinced that with love, patience, and perseverance children can accomplish a high grade of independence.

Bradley Mirbon, RBT

Bradley is an RBT and has been working in the field since 2019. Bradley is currently attending Florida International University studying psychology and is working towards achieving the BCBA certification with love and commitment, she will strive to make a difference in every child’s life. She has always had a passion for working with children and being part of their growth and development. Bradley is bilingual in English and Spanish and hopes to make a difference every day with her role in ABA. 

 

Marvia Dubuc,
RBT

Marvia graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Before finding her true passion her goal was to become an attorney. Now she is a Registered Behavior Technician who truly enjoys every minute of working with children with ASD, giving them  and their parents/ caregivers the tools to be able to improve their lives and for their success through ABA, with dedication, commitment and, love.  Marvia is planning on furthering her education by completing her master’s degree as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Eliana Sanchez, RBT

Eliana has always been passionate about teaching, she started working with children in 2014 and haven’t stopped since then. She was a Preschool Education student in Venezuela, and her goal is to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in the future. Eliana is bilingual, she speaks both English and Spanish. She loves working with children and helping them to become the best version of themselves. 

Phillipa Amaris, RBT

Phillipa is currently an RBT. She is 250 hours short of applying for her BCBA exam. She has over 7 years experience working with individuals ranging from ages 2- 24 with developmental delays. Her experience comes from working as a middle school and high school teacher for the special needs population. In addition, she was a job skills and transition teacher for students that aged out of high school.  In 2019, she graduated from Arizona State University with her masters in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in applied behavior analysis.  

Liron Davidoff, RBT

Liron is a certified Registered Behavior Technician, and is currently on track toward becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She recently graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Counseling with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. She has ten+ years of experience working with children, including ones who have been diagnosed with Autism-Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. Liron has always had a passion working with children of all ages, which is why she continues to push herself to learn and grow each day in the field of ABA. In the upcoming year, Liron hopes to become a BCBA and continue to provide exceptional services to both children and families.

Valeria Degaudenzi, RBT

BIO COMING SOON

Gabriela Cabanas, RBT

Gabriela is currently completing her BA in Psychology at Florida International University and will be graduating at the end of 2021. She has been working with children ages 2-12 since she was a sophomore in high school (2012) which is what inspired her to become a Kindergarten teacher. Gabriela then taught for 3 years and shortly after was introduced to the ABA field. She became an RBT at the end of 2020 and has loved it ever since! She is excited to continue learning and gaining experience in the ABA field. 

Alan Ocando, RBT

BIO COMING SOON

Stephanie Auplan, RBT

BIO COMING SOON

Billy Johnson, RBT

Billy graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mental health counseling. He has been an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) for 4 years now and has 5+ years of experience working with children across multiple settings, conditions and ages. Billy has several certifications such as AMT, CDA, CPR/AED, safety care, and more that establish his level of professionalism and expertise within the field of pediatrics. Pediatrics requires a special individual with creativity, patience, and a level of understanding; this field has allowed him to grow as a professional who receives nothing but joy when making a difference in a child’s life.

Carolina Santana, RBT

BIO COMING SOON

Elizabeth Nunes, RBT

Elizabeth graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology with a focus in ABA. She discovered her passion for working with children at a young age and has always been interested in childhood growth and development. She obtained her RBT certification in October 2020 and plans to return to school for her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis and ultimately become a BCBA. She is committed to making a positive change in her clients’ lives and helping them to reach their full potential!

Gabriella Aranaga, RBT

Gabriela has always had a passion for science and helping others. She was a Med student in Venezuela and here in USA continued her education in the healthcare field obtaining her certification as RBT on March 2020. She loves working with children and finds joy being part of their development and progress. Gabriela is bilingual in English and Spanish and her goal is to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to keep helping every client to have a better quality of life.

Open Positions

We find exceptional opportunities to bring the right people together. Are you committed to improving the lives of our children? Do you have a passion for the field, are you hard-working, optimistic, and up for a challenge? We want to add you to our fun, growing team of superheroes!

arrow&v

Thanks for submitting!