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Christina Emmanuel-De Luna

Christina Emmanuel-De Luna,

Christina is the founder and CEO of Rising Hope Therapy.  She is a dedicated mental health professional with a passion for therapy and the healing it provides. Christina provides counseling services to adolescents, adults and couples. Her focus is assisting clients in changing unhealthy thoughts and patterns to overcome challenges in their lives, while encouraging and empowering clients to make meaningful changes and achieve the goals that they set for themselves.

Meet the Team

Our diverse staff is at the heart of what makes Rising Hope Therapy special. We believe that the richness of human experiences deserves to be met with a diverse team of therapists who can relate to and understand the unique challenges faced by different communities. Our therapists come from various backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, and they are committed to creating a safe and affirming space for everyone who seeks our services.


Tracey Smith, MS-MHC

Tracey Smith is a Masters level therapist with a Master degree in Mental Health Counseling from Wayland Baptist University. She received a Bachelor of Science in Human Services with a minor in Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University. She is a mother of five beautiful adult children and married to her high school sweetheart of 38 years.


Joy Wambui. MA-MFT

Joy is a compassionate and dedicated therapist with a strong desire to serve her community. Joy has a \Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northcentral University.  In the past decade, Joy has provided Mental Health and Substance Use therapy to a diverse range of clients, building a wealth of experience in addressing a variety of mental health and life issues


Jimmie K. Memminger, MS-MHC 

Jimmie K. Memminger has spent over twenty years in varying leadership capacities in Mental/Behavioral Health in corrections as well as secure and non-secure care facilities. He has spent his career advocating against the injustices and inequalities plaguing adjudicated young men. Jimmie is equally dedicated to strengthening young men and men to be the best fathers they can be


Heather Estle, 

Heather received her Masters In Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Bellevue University. She Is a Licensed Associate Counselor of Mental Health and A National Certified Counselor and is working towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor Of Mental Health.

Bennita Williams, MEd, LMSW

Bennita is a Licensed Master of Social Work clinician. She has attended Delaware State University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science, in Psychology. She also attended Wilmington University where she obtained her Master of Education, in School Counseling as well as obtained certifications in Children and Families Counseling and Mental Health Counseling. 


Janae Robinson, LMSW

Janae Robinson is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Wilmington University and her Master of Social Work from Delaware State University.  She is currently working on her Doctorate of Education in Community Care Counseling with a concentration in Marriage & Family Therapy. She specializes in family therapy as well as individual therapy, She works with children ages 10 and up and Couples.


Shykera Backus,

Shykera has received her Masters in Social Work at Delaware State University.  She has worked in the mental health field for 7 years and specializes in working with adolescents, adults, and family therapy in both individual and group settings as well as inpatient mental health/substance abuse facilities.  I am experienced in working with clients who struggle with anxiety, self-esteem, depression, and family conflicts. 


Kierstan Strickland,

Kierstan is a licensed social work professional with over 10 years of experience in the field providing services to children, families, and adults struggling with life’s many obstacles.  She graduated with her Bachelor of Social Work from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2014.  Shortly after, Kierstan went to work with a child welfare agency providing permanency services for families throughout Chester County, PA.  In 2016, she went back to continue her education and graduated with her Master of Social Work from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2019.


Jamie Jones, MS, LCSW

Jamie is a licensed Social Worker. She has a Master’s degree in social work from Delaware State University and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Wilmington University. Jamie has worked closely with clients of all ages struggling with depression, trauma, and anxiety. Her approach during sessions is client centered humanistic therapy and solution-focused therapy. 

Kelly Merrick,

Kelly Merrick has over 5 years experience as a community based therapist for children and youth in a higher level of care program. Kelly specializes in working with children and youth, ages 5-18. She also specializes working within the LGBTQ+ community as well as kids and teenagers who have been through trauma, more specifically sexual assault trauma. Kelly’s strengths are her understanding, her patience, and her empathetic nature. Kelly has an amazing support system, and enjoys reading and being in nature in her free time. 


Elizabeth Mittal, LPCMH

Elizabeth received her bachelor’s in psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. She went on to further her education where she obtained her Master’s in professional counseling from Rosemont College, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth has obtained her License for Professional Counseling and Mental health to coincide with her 7 plus years of experience in the counseling and therapy field.

Tamara Frere, MS-MHC

Tamara is a current doctoral student and a masters-level clinician in counseling for mental health and wellness. She uses her personal, academic, and professional background as an asset to relate well with diverse clientele and to provide high quality service to them. Her goal is to help all of her clients connect their emotions to their thoughts and actions in light of the goals they have set for themselves. Furthermore, She is motivated to support clients in reframing the sources of their distress

Lucian Cardona, LCSW

 Lucian is a passionate therapist with over 8 years of experience working in different settings. She has a proven track record of success evoking change in her clients. Her goal is to meet you where you are in life, with the understanding that we all are unique in our experiences.

Ciera Gary, Office Manager

​Ciera has a background in Customer Care Management, Healthcare, Billing, and Administration.
She is the glue that keeps the office running. Ciera also provides scheduling and billing services on behalf of Rising Hope Therapy. If you have any questions or concerns please email Ciera.  She will happily assist. 

Dr. Valerie Brown-Baul MBA, PhD Life & Empowerment Coach 

Dr. Baul is a Certified Life Coach with a PhD in Organizational Leadership and an MBA in Marketing. In partnership with Rising Hope, she aims to help Rising Hope clients with creating the life they deserve intertwined during their healing process or beyond.

Are you ready to make a change in your life? Dr. Baul offers Life Coaching (including health and wellness) Career, Leadership, and Business Coaching to her clients

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