Staff & Board

Staff & Board 2017-05-05T01:18:10+00:00


Regina Crider, Director, Youth & Family Alliance

Youth & Family Peer Support Alliance (the Alliance) was established as a family-run organization in 2014 as a part of the sustainability plan for ACCESS Initiative of Champaign County.

Regina Crider, the founder and Executive Director of the Alliance worked as an advocate for youth and families for more than 13 years across various systems throughout Champaign County.

Learning to navigate the education and mental health systems for her daughter has made Regina passionate about equipping and empowering other parents to do the same for their own children. It is her belief that families can solve their own problems when they are given the appropriate support in order to do so. She continues to work diligently to promote children’s mental health awareness, family-driven, youth-guided and culturally competent services and support for families and youth through the Alliance’s presence throughout the state of Illinois.

Raising a child with serious behavioral health needs motivated Regina to commit to helping others with her own personal story, to train parents and service providers as well as to present at local and national conferences on a variety of topics pertaining children’s mental health.

Regina has been married to her husband Damon for 17 years and she has two children, DeAndre’ and DaYanna.

ULanda resides in the Champaign/Urbana area and is the proud mother and grandmother of three adult daughters and two grandchildren with whom she is very involved. ULanda loves working with people and providing support to other parents and to women by using her experiences to help others become more resilient and resourceful.

Although it can be challenging at times, ULanda loves the rewards of being a parent and has always been a strong advocate and supporter for her daughters.  For example, when behavioral concerns arose for 2 of her daughters, ULanda learned to navigate the Juvenile Justice system. ULanda has been able to manage life, by trusting in God and seeking His advice in everything she does.

Marithia, a native of Champaign, is a mother of four.  In 2010, Marithia began her journey of working with families as a Program Coordinator for an intensive academic outreach program (SOAR) at the Jr. High in her community.  She later decided that she wanted to use her lived experience to help families at a different capacity.  Now, Marithia is a tireless advocate for families struggling with mental health issues, connecting them with the resources and tools they need to build better, stronger lives for their family.

Polly is the mother of three children and a grandmother of one. She has 20 years of lived experience with emotional and behavioral health challenges due to dealing with her own children’s mental health challenges.  As a result, Polly has learned to effectively navigate through systems and has become a very strong advocate for her family and their needs.  She is dedicated to helping families with similar challenges do the same!

Alleya Douglas, an expert in Customer Service, is the Administrative Support and Intake/Case Manager for Youth and Family Peer Support Alliance. Alleya brings over 20 years of Customer Service experience to the Alliance. She is diligent in her duties and a great listener. Alleya has been with the Alliance since June 2014.

Tahirih who is a dedicated and involved member of her church is married with three daughters whom she is always ensuring is receiving the best services and support.  Tahirih is very organized and detailed oriented and prides herself on being a swift learner and extremely dependable.  These skills and strengths are what make her phenomenal at her job.

With nine years of experience, Richauna has a natural ability to connect with youth and a knack for helping youth realize their own strengths and find their own voice.  Richauna is passionate about the work she does and loves the challenge of working with teens deemed “hard to reach” by the rest of the world.  When she is not working (or thinking about working), she enjoys spending time with her family and close friends doing anything that involves being silly and laughing…A LOT!

Seventeen-year-old DaYanna is a Junior at a local high school.  She began working with YFPSA in October, 2016, as a part her school work program. Over the past seven years, DaYanna has been diagnosed with several issues, but she refuses to let her diagnosis define her. Despite the daily challenges she faces, DaYanna is learning to juggle school, work, and home life and hopes to inspire others like her to do the same.


Violet Wheat is a passionate educational advocate for parents and children living with mental illnesses. She and her husband Troy, and their two boys (aged 13 and seven) and two cats, Garfield and Prince live in Rantoul. Violet and Troy are active in NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, another great organization that provides support and tools for those impacted by mental illness. She and her husband are both diagnosed with mental Illnesses, as is their oldest son. Together, Violet and Troy teach a class called BASICS for parents with children under age 18 who suffer from a mental illness.

Violet and Troy have been married for 21 years. She was born and raised in northern Indiana and graduated from Richland Community College.  In her free time, she enjoys family time with her family, swimming, spending time outdoors, scrapbooking, and playing games.

Maria Byndom has wealth of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of mental health settings including, behavioral health, juvenile detention, alternative schooling, community mental health, and others.

She graduated with a BA degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and earned her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Eastern Illinois University. She is sought after for presenting to a variety of conferences and events on best practices for counseling the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Other areas of specialty include veterans, college, and multicultural issues in counseling and mental health.

Maria enjoys working in the community and is involved in a number of community outreach programs and organizations. During her free time she enjoys photography, traveling, and spending time with her husband and three children.

No bio provided

Linda is a primary, secondary and tertiary mental health consumer.  Linda has been in social services for most of her 30 year career most recently as a Regional Coordinator (retired) for the Community Residential Services Authority.