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Our Staff

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Meaghan Patterson, SSJ, M.Ed., MSW

Executive Director

Sr. Meaghan V. Patterson is a Sister of St. Joseph of Philadelphia with a background in teaching and administration in Philadelphia and a surrounding suburb. She taught both younger and older elementary students before entering administration where she worked with various stakeholders of the school, participated in development and fundraising opportunities, and coordinated community partnerships. Sr. Meaghan has recently interned with a small non-profit in Chester County, PA where she worked with women who have or were about to experience homelessness. Her educational background includes a degree in English from Chestnut Hill College, a Master’s degree in Multicultural Education from Eastern University, and a Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University. 

Joanna Fulginiti

Grant Writer

A graduate of Temple University, Joanna has over 10 years of experience as a fundraiser and advocate for survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation. She previously worked for nonprofits that support the arts, senior communities, and at-risk youth. As a grant writer, she is passionate about sharing the inspiring stories of courage of the women living at Dawn’s Place. She is also an artist and has directed two community art advocacy projects to promote awareness of the injustice of sex trafficking – The Ragdoll Project, which traveled across the US and to China, and The Face of Dawn’s Place, which promoted the work of Dawn’s Place in the Philadelphia region. Outside of the office, Joanna pursues her interests in art and healing and spends much time in nature, hiking, camping, and building community.

Nichole Eberhard

Case Worker

Nichole has a BA in psychology from Chestnut Hill College and is working towards her Master's in Social Work. She brings outpatient case management experience from her most recent position at a men's residential facility in Norristown. Nicole enjoys providing helpful resources for our clients to get back on track and live up to their full potential. Her hobbies include spending time with her dog and softball, where she is an active volunteer throughout the year at several camps and clinics.

Ann Marie Jones

Residential Coordinator

Former resident and graduate of Dawn’s Place brings a unique perspective from the wisdom she has gained through her journey of transformation from victim to healer. Ann Marie initiated and developed a Twelve Step sexual exploitation recovery group. Because of her life experience, Ann Marie has expertise that professional training cannot replicate. She can assist the residents in articulating their goals for recovery and healing and support them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services.

Donna Sabella, M.Ed., MSN, PhD, PMHNP-BC

Brendale McAfee

Assistant Residential Coordinator

Brendale McAfee was a resident at Dawn's Place, who began working part-time to help the residents and is now working full-time as Assistant Residential Coordinator. Her invaluable life experience helps her work with other women who have been commercially sexually exploited. Brendale offers her assistance to the Residential Coordinator in upholding the Mission of Dawn's Place and its policies. She is also responsible for ensuring the execution of the clients' weekly schedules, keeping track of house needs, and other tasks. She is very skilled at interacting with the residents in a supportive and positive fashion.

Staff Therapist

Joanna Fulginiti

Grant Writer

A graduate of Temple University, Joanna has over 10 years of experience as a fundraiser and advocate for survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation. She previously worked for nonprofits that support the arts, senior communities, and at-risk youth. As a grant writer, she is passionate about sharing the inspiring stories of courage of the women living at Dawn’s Place. She is also an artist and has directed two community art advocacy projects to promote awareness of the injustice of sex trafficking – The Ragdoll Project, which traveled across the US and to China, and The Face of Dawn’s Place, which promoted the work of Dawn’s Place in the Philadelphia region. Outside of the office, Joanna pursues her interests in art and healing and spends much time in nature, hiking, camping, and building community.

Dr. Donna Sabella has over 19 years of working in the anti-trafficking sector as a leader, educator, advocate, writer and counselor. She is a board-certified psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner and has developed several programs to assist women recovering from the trauma of trafficking and exploitation including the Project Phoenix Program in the Philadelphia jail system, as well as Dawn’s Place. She is the former Seedworks Endowed Associate Professor of Nursing and Social Justice at UMass Amherst's College of Nursing, where she presently teaches in the graduate Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program. She is also the former Director of Global Studies at Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions where she served as the Director of the Office of Human Trafficking.

 

Donna is a frequent presenter and published author on human trafficking and mental health. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Springer’s Human Trafficking: A Global Emergency. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), and the American Correctional Association (ACA), and a founding and executive member of the Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars (GAHTS). She holds a BA from Indiana University in Portuguese, a BSN from Thomas Jefferson University, an M.Ed. from Temple University in ESL, an MSN from Widener University, a post-master’s certificate from Penn’s School of Nursing, and a PhD from Penn’s Graduate School of Education. She speaks Portuguese, lived in Brazil, and has traveled and worked across the globe in anti-trafficking efforts

Eileen Violini

Development Coordinator

A graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C., Eileen has over 12 years experiences in non-profit communications and fundraising. Most recently Eileen was instrumental developing the brand and narrative for the non-profit startup Independence Mission Schools serving low-income families of Philadelphia.Eileen is passionate about helping women and girls master technology and coding, volunteering and teaching with Girl Develop It Philly and is active as a mentor and community advocate in the WordPress open source software project. When not behind the computer or the camera, Eileen can be found in the kitchen whipping up new recipes and passing along old ones to her two children.

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