Meet the  Team

(From bottom left) Laurie Ross, Project director, Amy Ebbeson, Project Manager

(Top left and top right) Community health workers Diogenito Jorge (DJ) and Nerissa Harper-Kette 

Laurie Ross is an Associate Professor of Community Development and Planning at Clark University.  She is also director of the Youth Work Practice professional certificate program at Clark. She engages in community-based action research projects on topics such as youth and gang violence, early childhood trauma, youth and young adult homelessness, and youth worker professional education. 

Amy Ebbeson is the Clinical Director for Worcester Addresses Childhood Trauma.  Prior to that, she taught at Worcester State University and Wheelock College in their Worcester for based Social Work program. She earned a Master’s in Social Work from Boston University in 1996. She has worked, volunteered and consulted for agencies throughout Massachusetts including, the Devereux School, City Year Boston, the Department of Mental Health, the Regional Commission on the Status of Women, and the Clemente Course in the Humanities. She is a 2018 Erskine award winner in Education. This award recognizes achievement in the field and commitment to racial and gender equity.


Diogenito Jorge has dedicated himself to serving his community. He was born to a Latina mother and is 1 out of 10 children. He started his journey at the age of 14 as a Peer Leader for the Great Brook Valley Health Center, working on Tobacco prevention. It was there where his passion grew for youth development and social work. His journey has allowed him to experience the many sides of youth work; everything from sex education to substance use prevention to the juvenile justice system. He has a passion and love for helping others. 


Nerissa Harper-Ketter was born and bred in Worcester Massachusetts.  She has over twenty-five years of experience working in the human service field, trying to help students and clients cope with substance, trauma, and educational issues. Her work experience in the area includes You, Inc., Community Health link, Grafton Job Corps Career Center, Burncoat Family Center, Girls, Inc., and Eureka. She enjoys volunteering with agencies that focus on youth, education, social justice, and community outreach.  Some of those agencies include but are not limited to YWCA Board of Directors (since 2014), Torque Foundation, Worcester Food Bank, Worcester Baptist Church. It brings her joy to help others.