Our Girls Residential Team consists of godly women who are passionately committed to serving troubled or struggling teen girls in crisis. The Shepherds Hill Academy Girls Residential Team provides safe around-the-clock care for your daughter’s daily needs including her academic, emotional, physical and spiritual development.
Every Shepherds Hill Academy team member must meet all the employment requirements, including a thorough background and criminal history check, set forth by the state of Georgia. All residential staff members are required to be trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, and Emergency Safety Intervention (ESI).
In addition, each member undergoes an intense 60 day training period. Assuring the greatest degree of care and attention in the industry, Shepherds Hill Academy uncompromisingly upholds a maximum 5 total student to staff ratio. This means your teen daughter is not out of sight of a Girls Residential Team member at any point during her stay in the Therapeutic Outdoor Program.
Girls Wilderness Program Manager
Ginelle currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling Psychology with a minor in Outdoor Leadership and Education from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. Since 2007 Ginelle has worked with youth.
She loves working with teens because their youthful energy and life offers so much to today’s culture. Ginelle wants to teach teens how to harness that energy to be put towards worthwhile things. She desires to serve the youth to equip them to go out and pour into and serve in the lives of others.
In addition, Ginelle loves photography, videography, zip-lining, road trips, coffee and camping.
Girls Wilderness Program Assistant
Alix received her Associate of Arts degree in Psychology from Gainesville State College in GA in 2009. She has also received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Georgia in 2012.
Alix had the opportunity to mentor two girls for about a year. Alix’s passion for working with youth began during high school when she realized so many of her peers were constantly seeking ways to fill the emptiness they had. She always wanted to help them see the emptiness they were trying to fill with sinful things could only be filled by God. Alix feels so honored to be able to help young girls find fulfillment and satisfaction in Christ!
Alix enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, dancing, and movie nights!
Girls Next Step Program Manager
Karla has received a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling from Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Liberty University Online. Karla is trained and holds certifications in CPR, ESI and First Aid.
Karla has worked with youth since 2007. Her experience includes working two years with Encounter Revival Ministries sharing the Gospel and spiritual renewal with young people. She spent two summers working as a full-time summer camp staff and organized several weekend youth discipleship programs. She has served the students at Shepherds Hill Academy since 2012.
Karla has always had a heart for serving teens, even when she was one herself. To her, teenagers are very important because today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s leaders, teachers, employers, entrepreneurs, etc. Therefore; she believes, investing in teens is investing in the future. Also; in today’s culture, our teenagers are susceptible and vulnerable to so much more than we realize and they require discipleship and good relational authority in their lives in order to succeed. To Karla, there is not a better life goal than to come alongside today’s teenagers and help them reach their life goals and achieve success.
Karla married Andrew Embry in the fall of 2015. When she isn’t studying or working with youth; she enjoys being active, journaling, reading, playing soccer, and riding horses.
Amber has received a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling/Psychology from Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling at Capella University. Amber has the following certification and training: First Aid AED Certified, Positive Control Systems (De-escalation Techniques), Darkness to Light (Child Abuse Prevention)Training Seminar.
Amber has worked with youth in counseling and consulting roles, as well as with another residential program since 2014. She believes early adolescence is a time for young teens to begin to discover who they are and who they want to be in a culture where we have so many negative influences and people telling them who they should be. She likes to work with teens so she can help them discover who they are in Jesus Christ.
Amber enjoys serving teens and loves seeing their lives transformed as they find peace in finding their purpose in this world. She puts forth encouragement to the students she serves to help them see themselves and others through the eyes of God. She is driven by the beauty of authenticity shining through our youth and rising up against our culture’s superficial standards. She chooses to focus on the positive aspects of this generation and believes this is a time in history where God is sending His strongest leaders. She is eager to help mold the leaders of today’s teens and help them discover ways to have a positive and lasting impact on the world.
Amber’s hobbies include: art, crafts, music, writing, party planning, playing dominoes and spades, cooking, and learning about and taking care of animals (specifically reptiles).
Diana is a married student at Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree with a major in a Counseling and Psychology and a minor in Biology.
Diana has worked with youth since 2011 at a summer camp in her home state of Ohio. She was a camp counselor, activity leader, and horsemanship assistant.
When Diana was a teen she was blessed to have godly adults in her life who helped guide her through the difficulty of teenage years and who taught her significant Spiritual and life skills. Diana is now a cultivated young woman who desires to follow God’s path for her life as He leads her to become a godly model for future generations and lead by example.
Diana enjoys being outdoors and spending downtime with her friends and husband. She enjoys reading novels and learning new things. Diana enjoys hard work and good company and the reward of a difficult task done well and to completion.
Emily is currently pursuing her degree with a double major in Counseling Psychology and Outdoor Leadership and Education at Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is also Wilderness First Responder Certified, which includes a CPR certification.
Emily has worked with youth at her home church since 2009. He has served in various ministries involving youth, such as Vacation Bible School (VBS) and small groups. She has discipleship and leadership skills by working at summer camps gaining youth ministry experience as a cabin leader.
She has a passion for discipleship and investing in the lives of students. Emily knows God has called us to make disciples, and He has laid it strongly on her heart to serve in whatever capacity He places her in. She believes students need older people in their lives who will speak hard truths and encourage them to be all that God has called them to be. It is her desire to be a willing servant whom the Lord can use in this way.
Emily is very passionate about the outdoors and discipleship. She loves how these two combined create a rich environment for growth and transformation. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking, rock climbing, and swing dancing.
Gennesis has an Associate degree in Science with a focus in Chemistry from Gainesville State College in GA and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. She has certifications in First aid and CPR.
She has three years of experience working with elementary school age children.
Gennesis feels that the world is the hardest to live in as a teenager. She can remember her teen years and what it felt like to be confused in a world that was made for everyone but you. Teenagers are also at the point where they can still be changed for the better. She wants to be a role model for them, but she also wants to show them that they are not alone. Gennesis wants them to know that we have all been there, no matter how hard we try to deny it!
Jeimy is a high school graduate of Johnson High School in Georgia, and is currently (2017) enrolled in her third year of theological studies of Church Ministry at the Theological Institute in Gainesville, Georgia. Her goal is to become a better minister of the Gospel and to serve the Lord in whatever way He calls her to serve.
Jeimy and her husband have been mentoring young men in the Royal Ranger Ministry since 2014. In 2017, they were elected youth group leaders where they minister to 12-18 year olds through the Scriptures. She loves to have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of today’s youth. She believes it is essential to help draw them closer to God.
Jeimy has been married since 2009, and she is the mother of two boys ages three and eight. In her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, spending time with her family and attending church.
Kaylee is pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree at Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is working to graduate with a double major, one in Outdoor Leadership Education and the other in Counseling Psychology.
She has extensive experience in working with our youth. She served helping her youth group for two years, youth camp for three years, Vacation Bible school (VBS) for two years, and the Special Olympics for a year.
Kaylee has a huge passion to see adolescents achieve their highest potential, and believes this is attainable with the right influence. She likes the idea that SHA uses the outdoors as a therapeutic tool, and she considers it the best way to make a breakthrough in the life of a troubled teen. The Lord calls us to serve, and her heart is to serve adolescents.
Kaylee considers herself blessed to be married to her wonderful husband. She enjoys kayaking, white water rafting and rock climbing.
She finds it peaceful to hike to waterfalls. Kaylee is a dancer of 18 years, and loves to dance. Her ensemble of dance performances include tap, jazz, technique, lyrical and pointe.
Sarah carries a Bachelor of Science degree in Cross-Cultural Studies with minors in Counseling, Bible and Theology from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. She has worked with youth since 2007, and served in various leadership roles for her church youth trips, discipleship relationships, and mentoring college freshmen.
Sarah’s first priority is to serve the Lord and to be obedient to His persuasions and callings. She considers her best quality to be her adaptability, and is committed to serving the Lord and to love His people. Sarah loves to serve the students at SHA by being able to eat, work and wake up in the early morning alongside the students, and refers to it as “simply live life with the students.”
Sarah is interested in health care, traveling and exploring. She desires to teach health education as a missionary over-seas. She enjoys hiking, camping, and being outdoors. She also likes aquatic sports, including swimming and water skiing. Some of her favorite things are chocolate and the color orange.
Victoria received her Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University, in Atlanta, GA. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia, in Athens, GA. She is a certified Yoga instructor, and has a certification as a Trauma-Sensitive instructor obtained by YogaFaith.
Her previous experience working with youth included providing therapy for children and teenagers in a wellness center/private practice for almost two years. Victoria also served as a counseling intern for a year and a half at Emmanuel College, in Franklin Springs, GA.
Victoria carries a huge passion for working with young women and girls, because adolescence involves several tremendous transitions. Being able to help teen girls navigate through the waters, trials, and choices of this time is truly what she believes is part of her purpose. Learning to live well, love well, heal, restore, and connect through the power of the Holy Spirit and grace of God are what she desires to share with the precious students at SHA.
She is married, and loves spending quality time with her husband and family. Victoria’s interests include: yoga, dancing, waterfall hikes, and having deep and meaningful conversations with friends.