We are a client and family-centered practice, focused on empowering individuals to find and use their voice, feel confident, and be their full amazing selves
Our skilled and caring therapists and administrative staff strive to provide the highest quality of care, support, and a positive atmosphere for everyone who walks through our doors.
Natalia Lopez is a Russian-English bilingual speech-language pathologist, and the founder of Empower Speech Therapy and Life Skills Center. She obtained her Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, which was rated one of the top Graduate Programs in Speech-Language Pathology in the nation at the time of her graduation. Natalia holds a Speech Pathology license in the state of California, as well as a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is a member of the special interest groups for Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC), Language Learning and Education, as well as Administration and Supervision. Additionally, Natalia is a certified Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI) instructor, and she enjoys providing CPI trainings to the Empower team.
Natalia believes that communication is a human right, and is core to one's ability to feel understood. Empower is the vessel for the greater mission of empowering and supporting the community at large. Natalia is passionate about helping people with complex communication needs, people with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as those who have been disillusioned with therapy. She strongly believes that the supportive and positive environment at Empower can facilitate communication for all who walk through our doors.
Natalia enjoys providing assessments, consultations, direct treatment, as well as supervision for Speech Pathology Assistants, Clinical Fellows, and students completing their externship hours. She honors the opportunity to contribute to new generations of therapists, and appreciates the ongoing opportunities for self-growth and reflection that supervision offers.
Natalia emigrated from Moscow, Russia to Brooklyn, NY at the age of eight. She had first-hand experience of having to navigate the world with limited communication while learning English. She grew up among a very wide range of cultures, ethnicities, and religions, which she feels makes her a stronger and more well-rounded therapist. Outside of work, Natalia enjoys spending time with her husband Robert and daughter Alia, traveling all around the beautiful state of CA, enjoying live music and food trucks, and occasionally checking her horoscope!
Melissa returns to us as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) after completing her Master’s Degree at Idaho State University. Originally, Melissa joined us as a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant after completing her Bachelor’s Degree at Sacramento State University. She is a native of Northern California but has enjoyed calling Clovis home!
Melissa has experienced a variety of settings and populations that included both adults and pediatric disorders. Melissa is driven to empower her clients and their families with their communication needs. She is passionate about advocating for her patients and providing them with resources they need to feel empowered.
Melissa enjoys working with children with a variety of communication profiles and disorders, as this is where her initial spark came from for the field of speech-language pathology. What really makes Melissa's day is when she can see it "click" with a child and how quickly communication is enhanced with their communication partners. Additionally, she is absolutely inspired by seeing the growth in communication between her client and their care-givers. It's truly amazing.
Melissa also discovered a new love for the adult population during her clinical experience at Idaho State. She enjoyed working with patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and more and advocating for services to assist in regaining swallowing function, cognitive deficits, and expressive and receptive language.
Melissa is excited to rejoin the Empower team as she knows the supportive environment with the staff creates a positive environment for clients to make growth, develop new skills, and/or regain skills that may have been lost. She is happy to be able to support the Central Valley community!
Jessica is a Spanish-English Bilingual Speech Pathology Assistant (SLPA), licensed in California and Texas. She received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Texas A&M International University in 2012. In addition to speech therapy, Jessica also had experience working as a Behavioral Therapist, and Special Education Instructional Assistant for CUSD. Jessica has had the opportunity to work with a wide array of children, varying in ages, personalities, skills, interests, and communication challenges, which she believes helped shape her into the therapist she is today. She is passionate about working with individuals who come to speech therapy in search of a voice – a means to express themselves, whether it be verbally, visually, or with the aid of a communication device. Teaching a client an alternative way to communicate (ex: using a picture to request a favorite food), when, for whatever reason, verbal communication is too challenging, is incredibly rewarding for Jessica. The moment a client is able to produce a sound or word, or reach a new milestone, reminds her of why she chose to be in this profession. Jessica loves using music in therapy, and frequently integrates music and colorful visual supports in her sessions. She has special interest in bilingual therapy, autism spectrum disorders, early intervention, and motor planning challenges.
Evie is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA), licensed in California. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from California State University, Fresno, and her SLPA license from California State University, Northridge. Evie is thrilled to be a part of the Empower team, as she is passionate about serving children and their families by helping them find their voice, so they can then in return make a difference in the lives of others.
Evie’s passion for the well being and quality of life of her clients drives her to work hard and to keep the mindset of a lifelong student, always learning and growing, as she continues to hone her skills.
In her off time, she has worked many years as a camp counselor in the summers at Hume Lake with Jr. High and High school aged kids, and also worked at an entertainment company for children dressing up as Disney Princess acting in character at birthday parties. Evie enjoys a good book, her favorite coffee, and time with loved ones.
Christina Yin is a Speech-Language Pathologist from Texas. She grew up singing in church, choir, and musical events, and studied choral music education and music therapy before switching majors to pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology, using her voice in a different way—to help others learn and connect.
She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at The University of Texas at Dallas, and began working as a Speech-Language Pathologist for the Garland Independent School District, and also the Round Rock Independent School District upon moving to Austin, TX. She worked with preschool through high school-aged students with a wide range of disabilities during her time in the public schools. She has experience with interventions based on the SCERTS model, the DIR/Floortime model, and the ABA model. She loves working with toddler, preschool, and elementary-aged children—making connections with them, facilitating growth in their speech and language skills, and helping them make connections with their family and friends.
During her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends, her two dogs, and her family. She and her husband relocated to Fresno in spring of 2020. She is grateful for the opportunity to connect with the families and staff at Empower, and seeks to make speech and language learning a worthwhile and enjoyable experience!
Angella is an English-Spanish Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist, who earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree at California State University, Fresno. While completing her graduate degree, Angella had the opportunity to intern at Empower and loved her experience so much that she chose to join the Empower Family! Angella has experienced a variety of settings and populations that included schools, private practice and hospitals. She has always had a passion for working with children and her goal is to support, teach and empower clients and their families. She believes that children learn best when therapy sessions are fun and motivating. Angella finds it most rewarding when she can help children make social connections, produce sounds, and put words together for the first time! Her areas of interest include Autism Spectrum Disorder, articulation and phonological disorders, early language development, cognitive deficits, aphasia and traumatic brain injuries. On her days off, Angella stays busy by hiking, traveling and visiting her family in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Angella is thrilled to be a part of the Empower team and is inspired to provide her clients with every opportunity to grow and develop their communication goals.
Idsel's brother is autistic, and she developed an interest for the field of Speech Pathology from joining her brother's speech therapy sessions, and seeing the importance of communication. She chose this field with the excitement and knowledge that speech-language therapy can be incredibly impactful, as it was for her family.
Prior to receiving her SLPA license, Idsel previously worked as a behavioral therapist in ABA with Autistic children, further solidifying her passion for this population. She saw the power of working *with* her clients versus doing therapy "to", as well as the importance of ongoing collaboration and open communication with caregivers. Idsel also had experience as a Certified Nurse Assistant, where she enjoyed providing care to a variety of cultural and SES background patients. Idsel is passionate about working with children and always finds a way to make every session fun and exciting, while working toward goals. Her favorite aspects of therapy is seeing the excitement and joy in children when coming to session, and the joy in caregivers when seeing their children make progress and demonstrate skills that was previously challenging.
Lauren Rogers-Williams is a Speech- Language Pathologist. She obtained her undergraduate and graduate Degrees from Fresno State University. Lauren holds a Speech Pathology License in the state of California as well as a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She grew up in Altadena California. Upon graduating with her Masters, she worked in Pasadena for 2 years, and then returned to work in Fresno.
Lauren has experience working with preschool and elementary aged children. She has also completed an internship in an acute rehabilitation center for adults addressing aphasia, dysarthria, dysphagia, and injuries resulting in communicative & cognitive deficits. In addition to working with families at Empower, Lauren also works at Fresno Unified School District at an elementary school, with most of her time spent working with students with Autism and in Special Day classes. She particularly enjoys working with individuals who are minimally or nonverbal. She has assessed students for AAC devices and is constantly working to find ways to increase communication with supplemental supports such as visual or environmental aids.
Lauren works to help individuals communicate in a functional way and is eager to help families, caregivers, and other important members learn how to facilitate that communication in natural environments as well. She believes every person learns differently and creates therapy based on the unique needs of the individual and their families.
Communication goes beyond the therapy room and it allows everyone to engage with others and the world around us. Each child and adult should be given that opportunity.
Lauren is proud to be a part of the Empower team to open a door to the world for everyone we serve. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys reading books, swimming, and learning about cooking and baking. She loves spending time with her family and doing activities with her children.
After interning with Empower through her graduate program, Diana joins us as our newest team member! She is an Armenian-English bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow (CFY-SLP) who earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from California State University, Fresno with honors. Diana has clinical experience in a variety of populations and had the opportunity to work with children varying in communication profiles, cultural backgrounds, linguistic backgrounds, age, and skill level. She is proud to be a part of the Empower family, where she will strive to make a positive difference within our community.
Diana is motivated to serve our families and prioritizes collaboration, transparency, and building rapport. She believes that children are the most open to learning when they feel comfortable, confident, and safe. Diana has a passion for providing intervention and assessment for clients of all ages, and finds her areas of interest to include articulation, phonology, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She enjoys making meaningful and genuine connections with her clients while facilitating their speech and language growth. Diana actively works to provide the highest quality of care in order to increase functional communication while keeping it fun! She finds her work very rewarding and looks forward to seeing her clients each day.
During her free time, Diana enjoys dancing! She taught ballet classes at Break the Barriers for three years and continues to support local art and non-profits. She loves spending weekends at the beach or hiking in the mountains with her friends, family, and poodles!
Sam joins us at Empower as an occupational therapist licensed in California and Oregon. She received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of St. Augustine and graduated with High Honors in 2017. Interestingly, Sam came to be an occupational therapist after experiencing an injury while playing Division 1 water polo at San Diego State University. In the last game of her 10-year water polo career, she tore a flexor tendon in her hand. This injury prompted a referral for occupational therapy and thus began her journey in becoming an occupational therapist.
During her time as an occupational therapist, she has experienced working with a wide variety of age and populations in both the clinic and school settings. Her primary clinical interests are in sensory integration, primitive reflex integration, and improvement of motor development. She has received certifications in Astronaut Training, Therapeutic Listening, Primitive Reflex Integration, and DIR Floortime.
Sam believes that a child’s sensory systems are the foundational building blocks for how a child engages in higher level learning and experiences the world around them. She values the collaborative aspect involving all the members of the child’s team to best support and advocate for the child’s individual needs. It brings Sam so much happiness watching a child’s confidence grow as they master new skills and fully participate in the things they love to do!
Sam recently moved back home to Clovis from Portland, Oregon. When she is not working, she loves spending time with my family, friends, and her fur child Benji. She enjoys traveling the world, listening to music, staying active, and exploring the outdoors. She is excited to be a part of the Empower team and begin supporting the families and children in the community.
Cristina is a Spanish-English Bilingual Speech Pathology Assistant (SLP-A), licensed in California. She attended Fresno State University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communicative Disorders. She obtained her license to become a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant through Loma Linda University in Los Angeles CA.
Cristina has a special interest for early intervention and working closely with parents to help carry over skills practiced in therapy to other settings. She is inspired by the importance of communicating, which is why she is thrilled about being in this field. Cristina is excited to continue learning about this wonderful field and enjoys the collaborative and supportive environment Empower offers.
She loves working closely with families to support communication development and is passionate about contributing to the young lives of the community especially the Spanish speaking families.
Victoria joins us at Empower as our first occupational therapist (OT) on the team. She graduated from Loma Linda University at the top of her class in 2012 with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Conducting internships in acute rehabilitation, mental health, and pediatric settings, Victoria brings a broad scope of experience to her practice as a clinician.
She has a long history of working with children and has worn many hats from her days as a gymnastics coach, to piano teacher, to pediatric OT, and now homeschooling mother to her two young boys. Victoria has experience with a wide variety of populations and has special interests in clinic-based sensory integration and neurorehabilitation. Victoria particularly enjoys working with children who have sensory integration needs, children on the spectrum, and clients with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.
A Fresno/Clovis native, Victoria and her husband love taking their boys on bike rides, exploring parks and local shops, visiting with family, and taking on new projects.
Victoria is thrilled to be joining the team at Empower and looks forward to helping children and their caregivers discover new skills and feel equipped to take on new challenges in their day-to-day lives.
Born and raised in the great state of Texas, Erica is now calling Fresno home! After graduating with her BA in Healthcare and Business Administration from University of Texas at Arlington, Erica worked in higher education administration for five years, and is now thrilled to be a part of the Empower family. She is passionate about making sure all the “behind the scenes” processes at Empower run smoothly, and loves connecting and forming relationships with each and every family she works with. Erica understands the importance of imbuing each and every client/family interaction with care, empathy, and compassion, and thoroughly enjoys the professional growth this position offers.
Outside of work, Erica enjoys traveling around California, exploring the Fresno/Clovis area and attending/being involved in church activities. She is also part of the Zipper Club since 2016, as she is an open heart survivor. Serving the community is a passion and she is grateful that Empower also shares that value.
Make sure to stop by and say hello!
Aaliyah Chavez is delighted to be on Empower's Admin team, doing the vital work that keeps everything running smoothly. From scheduling, to answering new client inquiries, to making sure our offices have everything they need, Aaliyah is thrilled to provide her experiences, care, and support to all of our clients. You will or have likely heard her kind voice over the phone! She enjoys the opportunity to communicate with families throughout the week.
Aaliyah is Fresno, California born and raised but was previously residing in Texas to gain a new experience. She moved back to Fresno in 2020 and we are so grateful to have her part of our team!
Fun fact about Aaliyah is that she wants to become an SLP too! She holds an AA degree from Texas. And she recently got accepted for admission to Fresno State University! She will begin August 2021 to pursue a degree in communicative disorders.
She is thrilled to assist all the families of Empower and continue to strive for excellence!
Empower Speech Therapy
& Life Skills Center - Clovis
420 Bullard Ave #104,
Clovis, CA 93612
Empower Speech Therapy
& Life Skills Center - Fresno
745 E Locust #110,
Fresno, CA 93720
Call (559) 801-2626