Jennifer Best is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor. She received an M.A. in Psychology and Counseling at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She has extensive training in trauma informed care including TBRI, EMDR, and TF-CBT. She has spent her time working in private and nonprofit counseling centers. She has obtained a certificate in Human Trafficking Prevention and Intervention from Florida State University. She oversees the clinical programming for Eden House. Her responsibilities include developing individualized care plans with our residents, facilitating in-house meetings and support groups, and leading our prevention program. She completed training as a prevention education facilitator through My Life My Choice in Boston, MA.
Taylor Pillow, Esq.CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Taylor is an attorney licensed in Louisiana and has extensive experience helping vulnerable populations globally. She previously worked as Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano’s Law Clerk and Human Trafficking Liaison in the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also completed an internship in the legal department with the International Justice Mission’s Cambodian office and has volunteered in Africa, Asia, and Central America with The World Race. Taylor earned her Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University School of Law and her Bachelor’s Degree in International Business with a minor in Non-Profit Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi. As the COO, Taylor will help to expand Eden Centers’ services and ability to serve vulnerable populations.
Stephanie Wilkins, PLPCINTERIM CLINICAL DIRECTOR
Stephanie Wilkins is a Provisionally Licensed Counselor (PLPC). She received her M.A. in Counseling with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Counseling from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She has training in a variety of areas including EMDR, Story Informed Trauma Counseling, and Cognitive Processing Therapy. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings working with individual, child, and family populations. Stephanie has done case management work with survivors of sexual exploitation in Southeast Asia. Her professional interests include identifying and treating complex post traumatic stress disorder in survivors of trauma.
Maxine Kimbrell, LCSW-BACSCLINICAL PROGRAM CONSULTANT
Maxine Kimbrell has been a social worker for over 30 years and has extensive experience in program management/development, clinical counseling, and crisis intervention. She has worked in behavioral health settings in both public and private non-profit agencies. Kimbrell brings to Eden House a commitment to quality programming and to compassionate, personalized care for the residents.
Katherine Gallagher, MSW, MPHCLINICAL CARE ADVOCATE
Katherine received both Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees from Tulane University. She is trained as a practitioner of Trust Based Relational Intervention through the Karen Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU. Her professional interests include working with survivors of complex trauma, and the intersections of child development, trauma, and public health. Before joining Eden House’s clinical staff, Katherine was a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, and studied trafficking in the context of Southeast Asia while at Chiang Mai University. She earned her BA in Sociology & Anthropology from Pace University.
Belinda Varnado-WilsonRESIDENT SUPPORT MANAGER
Belinda V. Wilson is a certified Peer Support Specialist and Adult Mental Health First Aider. She has worked in this field for over 6 years, assisting the community through Brothers of Service Serving (B.O.S.S.), which works to feed the homeless and supply them with resources. Belinda herself is a recovering addict of 21 years, and has firsthand experience in human trafficking. At Eden House, Belinda says, “I would like to assist these ladies in getting their voice back. I want to show them we no longer have to be in bondage of our circumstances and can overcome and empower ourselves. We have value and worth.”
Christina YoungSUPPORT STAFF
Christina Young is a certified Peer Support Specialist and a member of the Human Trafficking Task Force in the Greater New Orleans area, where she advocates for at-risk women and children in her community and victims worldwide. She was the first graduate of Eden House in 2015 and she is thrilled to be giving back by way of serving and mentoring Eden Center guests as Support Staff. In her spare time, Christina likes reading, traveling, and spending time with her family and great friends.
Ashlie BissellSUPPORT STAFF
Ashlie moved to New Orleans from California, where she grew up, in 2018. She received her
Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Economics from Tulane University. During her time as
an undergraduate student, she completed an internship with Eden House. She is also a certified
Emergency Medical Technician. Before returning to Eden House in her role as Emergency
Center Support Staff, she worked as an EMT responding to emergency calls in New Orleans.
Kara Van de Carr, J.D. PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER
Kara Van de Carr is an attorney and former U.S. Diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica charged with writing the Trafficking in Persons Report. In Louisiana, she collaborated with Representative Neil Abramson to draft legislation that would better protect children who are trafficked into the sex trade. She travels extensively, speaking on the issues of human trafficking and recovery. Van de Carr received her B.A. from UC Berkeley, her J.D. from Tulane Law, and LL.M. from Georgetown Law School in International Law.