This page is dedicated to our incredible and inspiring Direct Support Professionals, who show their commitment daily!
Director/Founder: Scott Miller, has his BS from The University of Utah in Program Planning, with an emphasis on special populations paralleling outdoor programing and art. He is also a National Outdoor Leadership Alumni and was a senior therapeutic wilderness instructor for AYA. Scott is the co-founder of the Stir Art Collective and has served as a Maine Arts accessibility committee member. Scott has 20 years of experience working with individuals with intellectual uniqueness, including a year on a nationally recognized clinical team. He is also a John Rosser recipient for outstanding social achievement and lectures nationally. Outside human services, Scott c0-owned Washington Ave Art Studios, Vu-Master Gallery and Wicked Pulp Juice Bar and cafe. When Scott is not working or spending time with his wife and two boys, he enjoys good friends, traveling, surfing, tele skiing, and art."He allowed me to be who I wanted to be. He is smart, cool under pressure and is bodaciously awesome!" ~Nicholas S.
Listen Up Program Manager: Eric Schwan has his BA from Alfred University with an emphasis in language, art, and culture. Eric has interned at the Highland Nature Sanctuary in Ohio & The Birch Creek Arts and Ecology Center in Oregon. Eric has played music for most of his life including some incredible bands in Portland. His inspiration for music and working with folks with intellectual uniqueness led to the development of "Listen Up". He has also spent 5 seasons on the Pomaona Harvesters apple harvesting crew in VT and NH. Eric has also worked as an Ed Tech substitute in the Maine school district and has spent time doing gardening apprenticing in CA & OR. Not to mention he was a baking apprentice at the Benevolence Cafe in Ohio. When Eric is not working he enjoys playing music with friends, hiking, biking, swimming, reading, and writing."Eric is supportive. He is someone to turn to when I need help. He tries his hardest to be honest.” ~Katie O.
Portland Foundation Program Manager: Melyssa Knight is in the process of completing her Liberal Arts degree with a concentration in English and Behavioral Science, from the University of Maine. Melyssa has eight years of horticulture experience and has worked with individuals with intellectual uniqueness for over 7 years. She is a certified Special Olympics coach for both summer and winter Olympics. She has camped all along the rocky East Coast and enjoys photography, hiking, making art, roller skating, cooking and spending time with her dog. “Melyssa is a good person! She helps me out when I am frustrated and can make me laugh." ~Shawn
The Art Department Program Manager: Lindsay Book was Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has always been drawn toward a path in the creative arts. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston in 2007, where she was awarded best new photographer of the year by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Lindsay’s journey eventually took her to Los Angeles where she went on to complete her Masters in Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California. After graduating, Lindsay worked for two years as an assistant camera operator for various network shows on Discovery, Bravo, Travel Channel, WE, and Oxygen. When not working, Lindsay can be found watching Golden Girls with her cat Lionel Alexander. "She is so great to be around and always has creative ideas to share with people." ~Sophie R.
Portland Direct Support Professional: Melissa Bear has her Bachelors in Fine Arts in Studio Arts, with an emphasis in photography, from the University of Southern Maine. You can view her work at www.melissa-bear.com. Melissa has been sharing her love for art for almost 5 years with individuals with intellectual uniqueness. When she is not working at Creative Trails she enjoys having adventures with her dog Dixie, painting, photography, yoga, laughing, skiing, and snow shoeing.“Melissa is a very good lady. She’s a pretty funny lady too. What makes her unique is that she is very good at suggesting things to the CREATE crew. I actually call her “Misses Keep You On The Edge Of Your Seat.” ~Shawn C.
The Art Department Direct Support Professional: Martha Schnee has her BA from Bates College in American Cultural Studies, with an emphasis in studio art. At Bates, she spent much of her time writing her honors thesis, doing community organizing in the arts, carrying out field placements in local schools, and volunteering at a painting program for adults with disabilities. Her high school photography portfolio won the Gold Key honor in the Massachusetts All-Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and her photographs have appeared in shows at City Hall in Newton, MA, PhoPa gallery in Portland, ME, at Kimball Street Studios in Lewiston, ME, and at Aviatrix Gallery in Berlin, Germany. When she's not at the Art Department, she spends much of her time co-running a Study Center for low-income students and working as the Teen Program coordinator the Portland Museum of Art. She also loves riding her bike, swimming, taking care of her plants, listening to tons of podcasts, innovating new ways to peanut butter, and exploring. “She makes everything fun."- Becca S
Portland Foundation Program Team Leader (CREATE): Regan Chase has her BFA from Maine College of Art with a major in photography. During her time in college Regan was awarded the Maine College of Art Vision Scholarship and the Lunder Scholars Award. Regan was also hired into a work study program during her time at Maine College of Art where she was able to work for other students to make professional photographs of their artwork. In her own artistic practice, Regan finds excitement in a wide variety of artistic experimentation and exploration. Regan enjoys challenging the power of art to communicate across all barriers, by working intuitively and embracing the happy accidents of art making. Check out her website at www.reganchase.com. When she is not at Creative Trails, Regan prefers to spend her time working on various art projects, cooking, hiking, reading, and enjoying the local music scene. "She likes art and helps me on my comic books. I think she's really nice." -Thy L
Portland Foundation Program Direct Support Professional:: Ben Thomas has his Bachelor of Science from Tufts University and went to medical school at the University of Vermont to receive his MD. Ben has worked as a physician for 25 years including many years as a personal trainer. The past 6 years Ben has focused on his art making stunning handcrafted flutes and sculptures and his work can be seen at various art galleries in Maine, as well as craft shows. You can see some of his creation at www.poetcarver.com. Outside of work Ben enjoys traveling with his family, poetry, woodcarving, hiking, downhill skiing and gardening.
"Ben is really kind and helpful. " -Amanda G
"The Art Department/Publication Studio" Team Leaer: Shawn Brewer has his BFA from Maine Collge Art with a Major in Print Making and a Minor in Public Engagement. Shawn has interned at prominent print shops and Gallery's such as: Wingate Studio, Wolf Editions, and Space Gallery. He has exhibited his work at Space Gallery and at El Minia University in Egypt. In 2012 he was awarded the Innovative Student Service Award by Campus Compact for his work as a Public Engagement Artist. Shawn has also worked with the Furniture Society, League of Young Voters and Unity College for his "Fast Food Prints" project. When Shawn is not at The Art Department he likes to work in his printmaking studio, reading graphic novels, and riding his bike. "He is so helpful and really good at art and really good at explaining things to us." Sophie R.
The Art Certificate Program Manager: Lianne Lewin graduated cum laude from the University of Southern Maine with her BFA in Art Education and concentration in Painting. Lianne has had a passion for art and teaching from an early age. During high school she completed a three year tech program in graphic design and printing, and was awarded first place in Sebago Long Lake Music Festival’s yearly poster design competition. As part of the USM art education program she has taught in many art workshops for local elementary students, curated opening receptions to exhibit their work, and helped launch the ArtLab Summer Camp workshop series. When she is not teaching or making art, she enjoys exploring the Maine coast, reading, relaxing with her cat and two bunnies, and spending time with her friends and family. “She’s wonderful! She’s wonderful staff; I like her and the way she does art. I give her an AAA+!” ~David M
Portland Foundation Team Leader (CULTIVATE): Patrick Bush has worked with adolescents in the education field over the past 6 years and over a decade in recreational work. With an Elementary Education degree with a concentration in Earth Science from the University of Maine, Farmington, Patrick loves to explore the outdoors. Growing up with Acadia National Park as his back yard, Patrick has had ample outdoor involvement; whether it is biking, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, or boating, active outdoor exploration is a part of his daily routine. Being new to the area, Patrick is excited to make the coastal city of Portland his new home. "Patrick is a good person, he helped me think about the word mindfulness." -Shawn C.
Portland Foundation Program Team Leader (TRAILS): Sean Seary has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Hartwick College. While in college Sean participated in various projects, such as working on an archaeology field school, glass casting, and designing, building, and maintaining several trail systems in Oneonta, New York. Sean has also worked on internships ranging from land resource management, researching the cultural and economic benefits of trail networks, and studying humanity’s interaction with and impact on the environment throughout history. Before coming to Creative Trails Sean worked as an outdoor instructor and environmental educator, and loves leading exploratory and experiential outdoor activities. When not at Creative Trails, Sean is usually mountain biking, reading, meditating, and traveling around Maine. "Sean is a great leader and knows a lot about nature. He makes everything fun" -Ralph H.
Lewiston Foundation Program Manager: Angie Libby has been working in the social service field for over 17 years. She is a certified job coach, CMAS ski coach, project adventure certificate holder, certified bowling coach, certified athletics coach, certified alpine ski coach and a certified cross country ski coach. Angie has the ability to make people feel safe while having fun. Angie has been with Creative Trails for over 10 years. Angie is a proud mother of two children and when she is not working at Creative Trails she enjoys snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, kayaking, camping and baking. "Angie has so many different techniques about her; she’s funny, she’s fun to be around, she helps people when they need it…she tries to give people ideas.” ~Christine O.
Portland Foundation Program Direct Support Professional: Audrey Maddox has her BS in Ecology & Environmental Science from the University of Maine, with a focus on Sustainable Food Systems. While studying at the University of Maine, Audrey helped with research regarding methods to encourage native pollinators in Maine, and assisted with building public awareness about the benefits sustainability practices. These interests led her to attend a Permaculture Design Certification course at Prospect Rock Permaculture in Vermont. During this time, Audrey began building interest and excitement in the study of Nonviolent Communication, and completed several workshops with the organization Open Communications. After graduating, Audrey apprenticed on a small diversified farm in Maine, and enjoyed living very connected to the environment and the changes from season-to-season. Audrey is currently prioritizing creative expression by focusing on songwriting for cello and voice, visual art, and cultivating a dance, yoga, and general expressive movement practice, and she still finds time to garden! "Audrey is smart and has good ideas and very easy going." -Chase G.
Lewiston Direct Support Professional: Elisabeth Janes went to school at the University of Southern Maine. Lis has been working for social justice in her community her whole life. She has lived in Georgia, New York and has traveled to Thailand where she wants to go back someday. She has worked in the Human Services field, as a college art instructor, and in social services. Outside of Creative Trails Lis likes making connections with her community through art, food and gardening.
“Lis is cool and friendly” ~Adam B
Lewiston Direct Support Professional: Nicole Blake has her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine (Orono) with a major in Art Education and Minor in Studio Art and Art History.
Nicole was previously an arts and crafts teacher at the “Y” camp and a camp counselor at a Girl Scout camp. She is her daughters Girl Scout leader and loves doing activities with her and the other girls.
Nicole spent two year as a K-6 art teacher in three different elementary schools in Lewiston. She loves working with kids and doing art. She has had a lot of positive career experiences and challenges that have made her a better teacher. Outside of Creative Trails Nicole enjoys scrapbooking, swimming, painting, taking pictures and spending time with family. “I love her ideas for painting” ~Erin B
Lewiston Foundation Program Team Leader (Horsemanship): Sara Fickett is a Certified Equestrian Special Olympics coach. She has worked in the human service field for nine years. Sara is very knowledgeable of horses and loves to share her knowledge with others. Sara also has a talent for scrapbooking and loves to share this passion. Sara has been with Creative Trails for two years and supports the Horsemanship Leadership Program. Sara has worked as a DPS for various agencies for the past nine years. Outside of Creative Trails Sara enjoys scrapbooking, card making, and spending time with her family, her dog and two horses.
“Sara is good with horses” ~Michelle B
Lewiston Direct Support Professional: Ryan Decker has her degree in Cosmetology
from Mr. Bernard’s school of hair fashion. Ryan enjoys spending time in warm climates such as Florida and California. She often goes down to visit friends in Boston to enjoy the city life. Ryan is a practicing artist and has been featured in several art shows including a show at UMA and the Moxie festival. Ryan has been a CRMA, cleaning lady, waitress, hostess, bartender, daycare worker, movie theater attendant, shop keep, pizza maker, telemarketer, pedicurist, manicurist, hairdresser, volunteer driver, DSP, wife, mother, friend and lover of life. Outside of work Ryan likes to swim, hike, read, sew, watch movies, spend time with her kids, attend shows and events that support equality.
“Ryan is so funny and cool” ~Erin B.
Portland Foundation Program Direct Support Professional: Kayla received her bachelors degree in psychology at the University of Southern Maine, while taking numerous studio art classes throughout. Kayla worked as an intern and is now currently a board member for Art H.O.P.E, which specializes in community-based art for people living with cancer or other long term illnesses. Kayla completed an internship at the Art Department, through which she found Creative Trails. In her free time, Kayla enjoys painting, watching horror movies, and hanging out with animals. "Kayla is a lot of fun to be around and cares about what you have to say" ~Sophie R
Portland Foundation Program Team Leader (Culinary Arts): Brian Doody is an artist and cook currently living in Portland, ME. Brian’s artwork has been featured in numerous group shows and publications around Maine and beyond. Brian also published a book of photography this year. Brian has worked in the restaurant industry the past few years in Portland and is passionate about creative cooking. He is currently a member of a successful art collective and studio space in Portland, New Fruit, where he devotes most of his time. Brian is also the recipient of a 2017 Kindling Fund Grant from Space Gallery. When not working on art or cooking, Brian enjoys watching weird movies, walking alone in the woods, and driving late at night. "Brian is really nice to everyone and he teaches cooking in a way that I understand...he is a very good cook."~Sophie R
Lewiston Direct Support Professional: Pat Conrad has worked in the Human Services field for over 17 years. She has a passion for sharing her art experiences with others. Pat is caring, compassionate and has a way of showing others how to have fun while creating masterpieces.
Pat has been with Support Solutions for 7 years. Prior to working with Support Solutions, Pat was a DSP working in various states. Outside of Creative Trails Pat enjoys spending time exploring the outdoors, hiking, fishing, rock hounding, antiquing, and music. Pat also loves spending time with her two grandchildren. “Pat is creative and has good ideas” ~Michelle B
Portland Foundation Program Direct Support Professional:: Shelby Witheford went to school at Skidmore College where she studied business and played on the lacrosse team. She now goes to the University of Southern Maine to pursue a degree in Leadership Studies. She has spent the last three years working in experiential education at the American Youth Foundation in the beautiful Ossipee Mountains. There, she participated in an internship teaching middle school students about the environment and facilitating groups through challenge and ropes courses. Shelby went on to work as the Community Coordinator, specializing in leadership and group development. She recently moved to Portland where she enjoys swimming in the ocean, skiing in the winter, and golfing in her free time!