Meet the Staff
Ali Afonja, MS
Adetokunboh (“Ali”) Olusegun Afonja was born in Birmingham, Alabama. As a baby, he briefly migrated to Lagos, Nigeria with his parents. They lived there for 7 years before eventually returning to the US and settling in New York.
The first son of a scholarly father and a business owner mother, Ali’s life was disciplined and structured. Getting a good education and living a healthy life were priorities of the Afonja household.
As a young man struggling for approval from peers, Ali was confronted by delinquent behaviors such as drug use and gang involvements. Instead, he chose sports – track and field, basketball, boxing and weightlifting.Read more…
Stephanie Afonja, MA, QMHP
Stephanie Jackson Afonja completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in May of 1997, a Master of Science in Clinical/Community Psychology from Norfolk State University in May of 1999 and continued with post-graduate studies at Liberty University to achieve license eligibility.
She last served as a Clinical Service Manager for the Hampton Newport News Community Service Board, where she was employed in various capacities, for over 16 years. Stephanie was also employed for over 3 years at the VirginiaSchool of the Deaf and Blind as a Behavioral Specialist to youth with multiple disabilities that included sensory and pervasive developmental disorders. She has also been a devoted member of the Hampton Family and Assessment Planning Team for over eleven years, actively assessing the needs of youth and families and serving as liaison to a comprehensive service delivery system in the Hampton community. Read more…
Chris Jones is an award-winning journalist and graphic designer and the web editor at Holistic Family Services.
A graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in graphic design, Chris has served as a sports writer and sports editor at two newspapers, a managing editor and an editor-in-chief at two magazines, and as a marketing copywriter. He’s had the pleasure of interviewing high profile people, like HGTVs Sabrina Soto, Food Network celebrity chef Rachael Ray, Supernanny Jo Frost, Keegan Allen of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, and TLCs American Supernanny Deborah Tillman, to name a few. His work has been featured in several newspapers and magazines from Virginia to Alabama and he’s a contributor for The Huffington Post.
In 2015, Chris wrote The Art & Business of Writing: A Practical Guide to the Writing Life, to help new authors and business professionals learn how to write and sell their books.
Chris hosts The Art & Business of Writing podcast where he interviews writers, authors, and professionals who influence the writing world. Some of his guests include New York Times bestselling author John David Mann, EOFire’s Kate Erickson, Foundr Magazine CEO Nathan Chan, and Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Efrem Graham. Chris also co-hosts a weekly radio show called Convocation Radio where he and his co-host, D’Shawn Wright, interview today’s movers and shakers both regionally and nationally to an audience of just under 30,000 listeners per month.
Penelope Ison has been using her musical talents to work with children with mental and developmental disorders since 2007. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Elmhurst College. She is also a proud indie-musician, having released two full-length albums on her own. As a singer, songwriter, music teacher and therapist, her experience comes from 8 years of piano lessons, 14 years singing in various choirs, studying music theory in school and being self-taught on several instruments. She has been working with HFS as a Music Therapist and creating guided meditations to assist youth with behavioral, emotional and developmental needs since 2014.
Genaye Channel is an On-Camera Talent, Entertainment Lifestyle Media Producer. Ms.Channel enjoys all aspects of the arts, media and entertainment. She received her Master of Arts degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Media Management from Norfolk State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia Union College. Her experience in broadcast journalism includes several media entities listing from-Salem Network News; ABC News – Channel 8; WJLA TV 7; Montgomery Community TV and Maryland Public Television, a PBS network. You can catch Ms.Channel hosting HFS’s very own “TheraFit” podcast.
Dr. Meredith Romito
Dr.Romito, researches and selects products for the Holistic Family Solutions Wellness Store. She
completed her Bachelors (BA) in Psychology from Christopher Newport University, Master’s (MS) in Psychology from University of Phoenix and recieved her Doctorate (Psy. D.) in Psychology (Criminal Studies and Juvenile Justice) from the University of the Rockies. Dr.Romito, has conducted therapy and performed assessments for individuals with varying diagnoses to include; depression, PTSD, eating disorders, OCD, bipolar disorder as well as substance abuse and addictive behaviors.
Dr.Romito, has also provided couples/premarital therapy, and adult and adolescent psychotherapy for issues to include; anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, stress, trauma and depression.