Meaghan Patterson, SSJ, MSW
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.
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 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 a her most recent position at a men's residential facility in Norristown. Nicole enjoys providing helpful resources for ther 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
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, who is now a peer recovery specialist, initiated and developed a Twelve Step sexual exploitation recovery group. Because of her life experience, Anne Marie has expertise that professional training cannot replicate. She is able to assist the residents to articulate their goals for recovery and healing, and support them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services.
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. She works with women who have mental health issues, as well as with women who have a history of substance abuse. Brendale offers her assistance to the Residential Coordinator in upholding the Mission of Dawn's Place and its policies. She is also responsible to ensure the execution of the clients' weekly schedules, keep track of house needs, and other tasks. She is very skilled at interacting with the residents in a supportive and positive fashion.
Liliana Ventura, LSW
Utilizing her personal experiences and training, Liliana provides trauma-informed therapeutic services, including individual therapy and groups, to the residents of Dawn’s Place. Liliana has over seven years of experience working at various non-profits in the Philadelphia region, mostly supporting immigrants and victims of crime as a paralegal, case manager, and therapist. Her education includes a BA in Economics, MA in American Studies, and an MSW. She uses a strength-based perspective to support clients and empower them to make healthy choices for themselves. Liliana also speaks Spanish fluently as she grew up in an immigrant family that came from El Salvador during the civil war there in the 1980s.
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.