The Beacons Team

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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JASON MARKS, M.Ed

HR Coordinator &

Office Manager

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AUSTIN COSLER, MFA

Associate Instructor

Explorer Division

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BETHANY BRITT, M.Ed

Director of Explorer

& Lead Instructor

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SUNNY GROSECLOSE

Self-Determination Facilitator

Associate Instructor Explorer

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TYLER HERSHEY
Director of PathFinder

& Lead Instructor

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EMILY LANDERS

Instructor

Explorer Division

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COURTNEY SMITH

Assistant Director & 

Lead Instructor

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KEMAL ONOR, MFA

Associate Instructor

Pathfinder Division

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AJ ROBLEZA

Associate Instructor

PathFinder Division

ABBI BRINGOLF

Associate Instructor

PathFinder Division

Background Summaries

JASON MARKS, M.Ed

Human Resources Coordinator & Site Manager

Jason has a Masters Degrees in Education and Business Administration and leads Beacons' human resources, staff training and site management.  Jason’s service experience ranges from being a pharmacy technician, a credentialed public school teacher and administrator as well as many years supporting students in higher education.  Jason has worked in both the public and private sector and has experience working for non-profits. 

 

He has taught and supervised academic programs for in-person, hybrid and online models and in small and large campus settings.  Jason has operational, management and leadership experiences supporting students, parents, alumni as well as our veteran population.  His experiences in higher education as Director of Education, and Dean have provided opportunities to support underrepresented populations as well as the diverse students of the San Diego region.  Jason has served as a liaison on the Oceanside Youth Commission in support of community youth engagement.  Jason has training as a Civil Rights Title IX Investigator, Clery Center VAWA training and has worked to support Red Ribbon Week and Safe and Drug Free Schools.  Jason moved to southern California from the San Joaquin Valley, has a college-aged son and enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two dogs.  

BETHANY BRITT, M.Ed

Director of Explorer Division & Lead Instructor

Bethany was born and raised in Southern California and is a graduate of La Costa Canyon High School so she has endless contacts throughout our community to enrich activities for Explorer. She is also a trained self-determination facilitator and well-versed in the supports and options available in the community to help self-advocates learn more about their local area and service options.

Bethany has a BA in Special Education from Arizona State University and a Masters in Educational Counseling from National University. She holds credentials in Pupil Personnel Services, Educational Specialist of Instruction Level II and CrossCultural Language and Academic Development in the state of California.

Bethany taught special education in a Moderate/Severe program for the Chandler Unified School District and coached the girls JV soccer team for Hamilton High School for two years. After returning to San Diego, she taught in both Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe programs for the San Dieguito Union High School District for 13 years. During her time at SDUHSD, Bethany helped lead the TAP program at Torrey Pines High School and La Costa Canyon High School. In 2015, Bethany won the Collaborative Team Award for the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education.

Bethany is a valued member of the Beacons team and brings her years of experience to help optimize learning, increase confidence and facilitate social connections.

TYLER HERSHEY

Director of PathFinder Division

Tyler has spent the last decade using his personal and career experiences to support and empower individuals with various disabilities. Tyler served as an assistant coach for the Independent division of the San Diego Miracle League and volunteer for Shooting Stars basketball, founded Project Puzzle (an Autism awareness club) and was awarded the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education "Excellence in Supporting Students with Disabilities."

While pursuing his Psychology degree at San Diego State University, Tyler was an advocate for students with varying disabilities and planned school wide inclusive events as the Program Coordinator for Student Disability Services. While at SDSU, he also founded the Delta Alpha Phi international honor society.

After graduating from SDSU, Tyler relocated to Hawaii to continue his work with neurodiverse individuals in the school setting. After working in the district setting for 2 years, Tyler returned to San Diego to follow his passion and to work as an instructor with Beacons, Inc.

Tyler has been a valued member of the Beacons Pathfinder team since summer of 2020 when he started as an associate instructor for the Beacons summer vocational exploration workshops. He now serves as the Director of PathFinder and as an instructor for our vocational training workshops with a proven record of successfully working with the individuals who Beacon serves. Tyler has developed strong community ties and in Fall 2021, was able to help 100% of our trainees who wanted employment find employment  

 

Tyler's experience, high energy, positive attitude and patience helps optimize each individual's growth during the Beacons vocational workshops. 

COURTNEY SMITH

Assistant Director & Lead Instructor (PathFinder)

Beginning in high school, Courtney sought out opportunities to meet and serve individuals with various disabilities, volunteering for A Night to Remember Prom and adopting a role as a Peer Mentor in Cathedral Catholic High School's Options Program. Courtney was so inspired by the individuals she had built relationships with in this field that she decided to continue her studies in Applied Psychology and Human Development at Boston College.

While at Boston College, Courtney was a Teacher's Assistant at the Campus School, which serves students aged 3 - 21 with low incidence diagnoses and provides a wide range of personalized educational and therapeutic services. Courtney was placed in a middle school classroom, supporting six students educationally, medically and emotionally. Outside of the classroom, Courtney has volunteered for various organizations such as the Women's Center and the Center for Student Formation to work with a wide variety of people. 
 

Courtney has worked as a Behavioral Support Professional at an Enhanced Behavioral Support Home implementing interventions and skill building activities for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities.Courtney has served as an Associate Instructor and Program Developer, and currently serves as the Assistant Director and lead instructor for the PathFinder program. This past summer she managed the Beacons summer program, which offered 19 workshops over a 6-week period.

ABBI BRINGOLF

Coming soon!

AUSTIN COSLER, M.A.

Austin Cosler started with Beacons in fall 2021, eager to share his passion for education to support the Beacons PathFinder program. Austin has an A.A degree in both Arts and Humanities and World Languages from Palomar College, a B.A degree in Philosophy from Humboldt State University, and an M.A. in Philosophy from San Diego State University.
 

Austin's primary research interests are in Bioethics and the Philosophy of Disability, with specific emphasis on healthcare policy and moral psychology. At SDSU, he published his master’s thesis in the field of Bioethics and served as distinguished member of the Phi Sigma Tao honor society.
 

Austin is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities, especially within the context of how education enables an individual to navigate their way through life. Most importantly, Austin wants to help Beacons trainees recognize their own potential through postsecondary learning opportunities. He now contributes to both the Beacons Explorer and PathFinder divisions sharing his calm, positive nature and his musical talents.

SUNNY GROSECLOSE

Sunny has always had a heart for people of different abilities and wanted that to be the focal point of her life and career. Even though she holds a bachelor's degree in Communication from University of Cal State San Marcos, her heart ultimately led her away from a business platform to something more intimate; working with individuals and their families one-to-one in people’s homes. 

 

Prior to coming to Beacons, Sunny worked for a local company as a Registered Behavioral Therapist and transitioned into a second role as a Parent Trainer, where she worked directly with kids (and teens) who have been diagnosed with Autism, as well as supporting their families through the process within their homes, schools, and their community. 

 

Sunny joined the Beacons team last year first as a trained Independent Facilitator for the Beacons Self Determination division and then as an instructor for the Navigator day program.  She now supports the new PathFinder Explorer program using her talents to help trainees of all abilities learn workforce skills to bridge gaps to employment. When Sunny is not at Beacons, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two young sons and their dog!

EMILY  LANDERS

Emily has almost a decade of experience working with individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including caring for a family member with an intellectual disability. Emily has a bachelor's degree in Psychology, with coursework in Learning and Memory, Adolescent Psychology and Early Childhood development, and a background in lesson planning and positive classroom management strategies. Emily's has also served as a coach for the YMCA and the LYCO Champions League, managing players and volunteers with (and without) intellectual and physical disabilities. Emily is also bilingual (Spanish and English).

Emily supports Beacons' trainees as an instructor in creative expression and digital arts, an activities planner and social facilitator for Club Beacons, and as a substitute instructor for the "original" PathFinder vocational training program in the Creative Design workshop and other areas.

KEMAL ONOR, M.A.
Kemal joined the Beacons team in spring 2022, bringing with him a wealth of experience to support our PathFinder vocational training division. Kemal has his Master's in Writing and BFA, and has worked with AmeriCorps, the Vermont Center for Independent Living, the Boys and Girls Club of America and other service oriented entities to empower youth and adults with a variety of skills and abilities. During his tenure with the Vermont Center for Independent Living, Kemal worked with transition and vocational rehab counselors, coordinated programming with high schools throughout Vermont, and developed workshops and presentations for transition age youth with a variety of disabilities. 

 

While with AmeriCorps, Kemal coordinated and developed workshops and presentations, created lesson plans and learning materials, supported trainees with personal and professional development, helped trainees secure gainful employment, and facilitated classroom instruction for classes of over 40 students. 

As a member of the PathFinder team, Kemal will teach customer service skills and other vocational skills to help Beacons trainees strengthen their employability and discover their unique paths to employment.

AJ ROBLEZA

AJ joined the Beacons team early spring 2022 to support our growing PathFinder program, bringing with him experience teaching individuals in need of communication and language development. AJ served as a special education instructor for Together We Grow and Children's Campus, and interned with speech and language therapists to support individuals with developmental delays. He also served for two years as an assistant language teacher to support individuals with a wide range of physical, medical and mental disabilities in Japan before coming to Beacons, Inc.

AJ started in the Beacons Navigator program and after a demonstrated success working in an instructional capacity, joined the PathFinder team to help individuals develop their soft and hard skills to secure employment. He currently teaches creative design, photography and customer service skills.

 

AJ is an undergraduate from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's degree in communication disorders and a minor in special education. He is also an accomplished breakdancer and photographer.