About us

Project AWARE goals

The Idaho AWARE Project is part of the Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education (AWARE) initative, also known as Project AWARE. 

The purpose of Project AWARE is to build or expand the capacity of State Educational Agencies. Bringing together State Mental Health Agencies overseeing school-aged youth and three local education agencies, we will work to:

  • increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth,
  • provide training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues, and 
  • connect school-aged youth, who may have behavioral health issues, and their families to needed services. 

Project AWARE is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services

Participating local education agencies

Idaho AWARE Project staff

  Download a current list of Project staff (PDF).

Name Project title Contact information
Ali Shields Project Coordinator Email: ashields.idaware@gmail.com
Amy Balzer Project Co-Coordinator Email: amy.balzer@dhw.idaho.gov
Dr Katie Azevedo Project Lead Consultant Email: katie@kazevedo.com
Website: kazevedo.com

Advisory Board members

  Download a current list of Advisory Board members (PDF).

Name Title and organization
Kelcey Schmitz, MSEd MTSS/School Mental Health Training and TA Specilist
University of Washington, SMART Center
Susan Barrett, MA Director of the Center on Social Behavior Supports
Old Dominion University
Dennis Woody, PhD Pediatric Neuropsychologist, Senior Clinical Program Consultant
Optum Idaho
Anna Almerico Director
Idaho Out-of-School Network
Jackie Yarbrough, MPA, LSW Senior Program Officer
Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health
Julie Mead, EdS

Director of Operations
Idaho Special Education Support and Technical Assistance
Boise State University, Center for School and Community Partnerships

Jill Mathews, EdS Statewide Family and Community Engagement Coordinator and
State Foster Care Liaison at Idaho State Department of Education
Meghan Wonderlich Director of Content and Curriculum, Idaho State Department of Education