Project Empower is a community-based collaboration between the William and Mary School of Education and local schools that places graduate students from the Counselor Education and School Psychology programs in designated school sites to provide counseling services.
The staff of Project Empower includes student counselors, co-directors, and a designated faculty director. Student counselors and co-directors are selected based on their interest in school-based counseling services and effective counseling approaches for working with children and adolescents, as well as a commitment to supporting the educational, social and emotional outcomes for the students and schools they serve.
Katharine Sperandino, M.Ed., NCC
Katharine is a first year doctoral student (Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision). She earned her master’s degree at William & Mary in 2014. While in the master’s program, she interned at the New Leaf Clinic as well as Williamsburg Place. Upon graduating, she worked with individuals in the criminal justice system for several months. She then moved to Philadelphia and worked in methadone maintenance treatment where she has been providing individual and group therapy to clients addicted to opiates.
Betsy is a first year Ed.S. student in the School Psychology program. She is a 2015 graduate of Bucknell University with a double major in psychology and education. While attending Bucknell as a Division 1 runner, she volunteered at a local pre-school and community center, interned with an elementary school psychologist, and captained her cross country and track teams. Additional experience includes camp counseling at a camp for children with autism, assistant directing a children’s theater program, and leading a summer arts camp. She served for a year as an AmeriCorps Literacy Lab tutor working with K-3 students to develop their literacy skills in southeast Washington, D.C. Betsy is interested in Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and implementing Response to Intervention (RtI) practices in schools. She hopes to always be an advocate for children.
Brittany is a first year Ed.S. student in the School Psychology program. She graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in psychology from Brigham Young University-Hawaii. During her time as an undergraduate she interned in her university’s counseling center working with students on academic probation, and gained a love and passion for helping students in educational settings. After graduation she worked as a mental health associate at a residential treatment facility in a unit with 12-18 year old boys, and later worked as an academic advisor at her alma mater. Brittany is excited to be a part of the program at William & Mary, and to be a part of Project Empower. Her interests in the field include secondary transition services and supports as well as Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS).
Charis is a first-year school counseling master’s student. She earned her B.S. at Regent University in psychology. During her undergraduate studies, she was fascinated by the various developmental and cognitive theories surrounding behavior, and through those and other, learning experiences, decided to continue learning and practically apply the knowledge gained as a school counselor. She enjoys Motivational Interviewing, Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Her interests include prevention and intervention work in schools, especially as it relates to family involvement.