About 

Meet the team

At Pure Abilities, recreational and music therapists create enjoyable intervention techniques that help build healthy client-to-therapist relationships. All of our therapist are certified professionals, continuously staying engaged and educated. This is reflective in our treatment plans created for each client to help reach his/her goals. We hope to inspire everyone through our premium therapy services.

 


Main Office

Staff

 

Nicole Bardel, Office Manager

Nicole Bardel graduated from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minors in Business and Spanish In June 2017. After studying abroad in the Dominican Republic Nicole began pursuing a master’s degree in professional counseling at Central Michigan University. Throughout school Nicole has worked in many administrative roles and has a passion and heart for working with children and within the mental health field.

 


Northeast Indiana

Recreational Therapists

Lesley Rohrbaugh, MA, CTRS

Lesley Rohrbaugh obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy and a Master’s degree in Recreation Administration from the University of Toledo. Since receiving her CTRS certification in 2010, Lesley has worked in many different clinical settings, serving from psychiatric to geriatric populations. During this time, she has held several supervisory rolls including a director of program services and mental health administrator. She’s planned, organized, developed, and directed the overall operation of the activity department and facilitated many therapeutic groups for individualized and group therapies. With her diverse background using Recreational Therapy and Administration, she is looking forward to delivering outstanding results to the healthcare, city, and community organizations.

Shanna Fortney, CTRS

Shanna Fortney graduated from Indiana University with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Recreation. She has been practicing since 2006 as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Shanna has primarily worked in the aquatics setting providing services to people of all ages with a wide variety of physical and cognitive needs to assist them in improving their overall well-being. Her passion is to see her clients enjoy their time as they work toward meeting their goals. Shanna looks forward to working together with her clients to help them develop and implement a plan to improve their overall quality of life using a variation of recreation and leisure tools.

Chris Fitzgerald, CTRS

Chris Fitzgerald graduated from Illinois State University in 2017 with a Bachelors degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Following graduation, he completed a Recreational Therapy internship at the St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois working with stroke, traumatic injury, and amputee patients. Shortly after completing his internship, he received his certification as a Recreational Therapist. Throughout college, Chris worked in the Special Olympics department coaching swimming, basketball, soccer, and track for SOAR—a community Therapeutic Recreation program serving individuals with disabilities. Chris is looking forward to using the skills he has gained from past experiences and applying them towards his clients to improve their quality of life.

Christopher Byrd, CTRS

Christopher Byrd graduate of Eastern Michigan University in April 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Therapeutic Recreation. He completed his internship at Michigan Medicine in the setting of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation where he worked with survivors of stroke and individuals of spinal cord, traumatic brain injuries and other physical disabilities. Shortly after completing his internship, he obtained his certification to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS). He has led individual and group treatment sessions utilizing recreational activities, community outings and leisure education to improve the quality of life patients. Through his experiences, Chris brings the excitement and skills essential to maximizing the quality of life in his clients.

 

Haley Merz, CTRS

Haley Merz graduated from Indiana Tech in May of 2018 with her Bachelors of Science in Recreational Therapy. Throughout college she has worked in many different settings focused on serving individuals with disabilities. In the summer of 2017, she completed her Practicum working as a summer camp counselor at Camp Red Cedar. She is also a Certified lifeguard at Turnstone Center For Children and Adults with Disabilities. Haley has a strong background in competitive swimming and has coached all age swimmers for many years. She is an active volunteer with Summit Equestrian Center and loves involving clients in Equine Facilitated Therapy/ Hippotherapy.

Haley has recently completed her internship with Pure Abilities working alongside the owner, Ethan Pickett and his clients. She has recently acquired her certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS). Being from the Fort Wayne area she hopes to use her community connections to bring awareness and inclusion to individuals with disabilities. Haley is passionate about the values of recreational therapy and wants to help engage her clients in challenging their potential in positive leisure activities.

Kolten Wince, CTRS

Kolten Wince graduated from the University of Toledo in 2018 receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Therapeutic Recreation. Following graduation, he received his certification to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Kolten completed his internship at the Laurels of Toledo where he worked with the physical rehab and geriatric populations. Throughout his college experience, Kolten worked at Sunshine Communities in Maumee, OH as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). Kolten Served individuals of all ages with a wide variety of cognitive, social, and physical needs to improve their quality of life while working at Sunshine Communities. Kolten looks forward to working together with his clients to implement recreation and leisure to achieve their goals, promote healthy leisure and improve their quality of life.

Pete Reyes, CTRS

Peter Reyes graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation. During his time at IU, he volunteered at Stone Belt (Disability services and support organization), volunteered at Kid's Play Gym (sensory stimulation gym for children), and worked at the Middle Way House Youth Program (after school care and support group for at-risk youth) while being a member of the Indiana National Guard. Peter completed his internship at Pure Abilities where he shadowed owner Ethan Pickett and Chris Fitzgerald. During his internship, he excelled in learning how to interact with and improve the overall health of the individuals he worked with. Shortly after completing his internship and his degree, Peter received his certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Peter's passion for helping other's continuously improve their overall well-being is reflected in the work that he does. He possesses great work-ethic, drive, loyalty, and shows dedication for all those he works for. He will always put other's needs before his own and will make every effort to assist individuals on reaching their goals through recreation and leisure.

Deanna Kleman, CTRS

Deanna Kleman graduated from the University of Toledo receiving a Bachelor's of Science in Recreation Therapy in 2018, and became nationally certified as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) at the completion of her degree. She completed her internship at Mercy Health St. Rita's on the Behavioral Health unit working with adults in the psychiatric population. She has gone on to complete her Master's of Arts: Recreation Administration in 2019 at the University of Toledo. She has spent time in a variety of settings, creating and implementing recreational activities for clients, as well as taught undergraduate students to do the same to improve the quality of life of all those that they serve throughout her Master's program. Deanna loves to see the progress that is being made by her clients and pushing them to be the best they can be. She strives to reach those goals that they didn't think they could reach and allowing them to see all the abilities and potential that they have within.

 

Kayla Strumberger, CTRS

Kayla obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Grand Valley State University in 2017. During school Kayla completed her fieldwork at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the inpatient Recreational Therapy team working with patients who had undergone brain injuries, strokes, and amputations. Upon graduation, Kayla went back to Mary Free Bed to complete her internship in the community setting working on the Outpatient Therapy team for individuals with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries/tumor resections, strokes, and multiple sclerosis. Since then she has worked as a Paraprofessional in the school setting with students with Autism. Kayla has a passion for aquatics, as she has taught swim lessons for the YMCA, volunteered for adaptive waterski clinics, and preformed adaptive aquatics techniques during one-to-one sessions. She is excited to use her diverse background to help meet the unique needs of each individual to achieve their recreational and leisure goals.

Nicole Cummins, CTRS

Nicole Cummins graduated from Central Michigan University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Psychology. She is a CTRS with over 31 years of experience. Throughout her career, she has worked with a variety of patients within orthopedic, neurological, and rehabilitation services at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor and Michigan Medicine, as well as owned and operated her private practice where she provided community reintegration and aquatic exercise for clients with brain injuries. In addition, Nicole has experience teaching as a part time instructor at Eastern Michigan University. Clinically, she utilizes a variety of therapeutic interventions including but not limited to expressive and creative arts, horticulture, animal assisted therapy, music, technology for therapeutic outcomes, aquatic therapy, exercise, chronic pain and stress management, and nutritional cooking/ baking. She enjoys introducing her clients and their families to new leisure and recreation opportunities, helping her clients feel confident to participate and succeed, ultimately regaining a meaningful quality of life.

Roniece Hollingsworth, CTRS

Roniece graduated from Indiana State University of May 2018 with a Bachelor's of Science in Recreation and Sport Management with the concentration of Recreation Therapy. After graduating, she completed a clinical internship at Brentwood Springs in Newburgh, IN where she worked with a wide range of mental health and substance abuse patients. Roniece recently obtained her certification to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and led a group treatment sessions utilizing a variation of recreational activities. She also had the pleasure of working for the YMCA for the before/after school care program and being a camp counselor. She is excited to assist her clients in achieving a better quality of life by implementing a wide range of recreational activities, and not only showing them new activities, but also learning with them.

Kaleb Rocha, CTRS

Kaleb Rocha graduated from the University of Toledo in 2018 with his bachelors of science in Therapeutic Recreation. Following graduation, Kaleb received his Certification to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Kaleb completed his internship at Michigan Medicine where he worked in the Physical Rehabilitation setting. Upon completing his internship, Kaleb had the privilege of working with the Geriatric Psych population, as well as in behavioral health from age 5 on up. Kaleb has had the opportunity to serve individuals of all ages and a variety of populations to help them work on their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional functioning while improving their overall quality of life. Kaleb is excited to serve his community and have a positive impact on those he works with by using recreation and leisure promote the importance of health and wellness while advocating for the field of Recreational Therapy.

 

Hannah Glenn, CTRS

Hannah Glenn graduated from Indiana Tech in May of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy. During college, she completed her practicum at the Easter Seals ARC of Northeast Indiana in one of their group homes, where she was able to gain experience with adults of several ages, and completed her internship at Pure Abilities in the areas of Warsaw and Goshen. Through these practice experiences, she has had the opportunity to work with individuals of all age groups who have intellectual and developmental disabilities like autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and physical disabilities. She has been a counselor at a variety of camps, and has experience with leading children in individual and group activities with up to 50 people. In October of 2019, she officially became certified as a Recreational Therapist. Hannah looks forward to introducing her clients to new opportunities and experiences to enhance their quality of life and well being.

 


Northwest Indiana

Recreational Therapist

Leah Jones, CTRS

Leah attended Grand Valley State University and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation in 2012 and became a CTRS in 2013. During college she volunteered with the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan where she planned, organized, and implemented monthly leisure, social, and craft events. Leah completed her practicum at a therapeutic horseback riding/animal-assisted therapy farm. There she assisted clients of different populations and age groups in the participation of pet-therapy and horse-therapy experience. For the past five years she has worked with the geriatric population first as a program assistant and then as an Activity Director. While working in this setting Leah has led, planned, and implemented daily activities and monthly outings for her residents.

 


Central Indiana

Recreational Therapists

Michael Walters, CTRS

Michael Walters graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation. He completed his internship at Kindred Healthcare in Raleigh, North Carolina where he worked with individuals with special needs ranging from ages four to ninety-eight. During his time at UNCW, he volunteered in numerous non-profit special needs programs at Camp Lejeune for children of military families. He volunteered at the YMCA in Wilmington NC at a day camp for special needs children and young teens. Michael is eager to use his skills that he has obtained over the years to help improve the lives of his future clients in both physical and cognitive abilities.

Anna Osborn, CTRS

Anna Osborn graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2015. She earned her degree in Therapeutic Recreation, with a minor in Health Education. Anna became a CTRS in December, 2015. While in college, she completed her internship at Northeast Florida State Hospital. She worked with clients who have mental illness and facilitated multiple groups on a daily basis. Anna moved to Indiana the summer of 2016 and has continued working as a CTRS in a behavioral facility for kids ages 7–18.

Jordan Koenig, CTRS

Jordan Koenig graduated from Calvin College in 2016 receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Therapeutic Recreation. Following graduation in 2017, she received her certification to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). While completing her undergrad, she was a Lead Counselor for IKUS Life Enrichment Services facilitating adaptive group activities for adults and children with physical and cognitive needs. During this time, she completed her RT internship with Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation where she was able to treat individuals with traumatic brain, spinal cord, and orthopedic injuries. She provided one-on-one treatment activities using adaptive equipment, along with aquatic therapy sessions to increase each patient’s level of independence. Through her experiences Jordan provides a positive attitude and the patience necessary to recognize and cultivate the potential in others.

Julia Zoski, CTRS

Julia Zoski graduated from Central Michigan University in 2017 with a degree in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Administration with a Therapeutic Recreation Concentration. She interned in geriatrics at Masonic Pathways, where she facilitated therapeutic group activities on a memory care unit. She also interned at Waukegan Park District Special Recreation. There, she planned, implemented and evaluated programming, camps, and coached Special Olympics for children and young adults with special needs. After completing her internship, she stayed on staff to help coordinate summer camp. She then became the Life Enrichment Director at Grandhaven Living Center in Lansing, Michigan where she planned, implemented, facilitated and supervised the departments group activities, one on one therapeutic sessions, and community events for the all the assisted living and memory care buildings. Julia has always been passionate about helping people. She is excited to use her experiences to assist clients reach their recreation and leisure goals to improve their lives.

 

Michelle Termine, CTRS

Michelle Termine graduated from Kent State University in 2016, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and a Certificate in Community Inclusion and Disability Studies. During her undergrad, Michelle worked in a variety of community recreation settings such as parks and summer camps. She furthered her education at Indiana University where she graduated with a Master’s degree in Recreational Therapy in 2018. She completed her internship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and worked with a pediatric population on the hospital’s physical rehabilitation unit. Over the course of her college career, Michelle has worked with ages ranging from infants to older adults, and has served people on a broad spectrum of abilities levels. She is eager to begin her career as a recreational therapist and connect clients to valuable recreation resources in their communities to enhance their quality of life.

Rachel Jackson, CTRS

Rachel Jackson obtained a Bachelor of Science in Recreation from Indiana University Bloomington, with a major in Recreational Therapy in 2018. She completed her internship at the top rehabilitation hospital in the U.S. for the past 28 years, the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, IL. While at the AbilityLab, she worked within their pediatric outpatient department. Following the completion of her internship, Rachel received her certification to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). She has over 10 years of experience working in the field; including volunteering and working at therapeutic equine centers, an adult day center, and assisted living and rehabilitation facilities. During her time at Indiana University she also worked closely with Bradford Woods, a therapeutic camp for children with chronic illness and disability. Rachel’s heart is undoubtedly in the work that she does, which is shown through her hard work and dedication she devotes to making every effort to truly get to know the individuals she works with as well as always putting their needs before her own.

Leslee Peeper, CTRS

Leslee Peeper graduated from Indiana Tech in May of 2018 with her Bachelors of Science in Recreational Therapy. She completed her internship at Pure Abilities in the spring of 2018 where she also obtained her certification to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). During her internship she worked directly under the owner, Ethan Pickett, working with individuals of all ages and different developmental and physical disabilities implementing different interventions to meet each particular clients’ needs. In the past, she has taught aquatic therapy to individuals and has also worked for an organization called iCan Shine where she traveled to different camps to teach individuals with disabilities how to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle. Working in this environment has always been her passion and she is very excited to work with clients to improve their quality of life and help them meet their goals.

 


Southwest Indiana

Recreational Therapist

Shannon Lake, MS, CTRS

Shannon graduated from Indiana University- Bloomington in 1999 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She later obtained her Master of Science degree in Public Service Administration from the University of Evansville in 2011. She has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) since 1999. Shannon has a passion for helping people and has experience from infancy to elderly populations. She has experience leading individual and group therapies focusing on various dynamics such as social and motor skills, self-esteem, cognitive and sensory needs in addition to administrative and executive operations. With her education and diverse work experiences, Shannon excels in assisting and guiding patients and their families to achieve optimal health and wellness while improving quality of life in the southern Indiana and surrounding communities.