Meet St. Mary’s Services Counselors

Our highly trained, dedicated and caring counseling staff prides itself on getting to know each client and helping them through this difficult time. Counselors are here to celebrate the good moments and talk through the tough ones.

Jennifer Vergara, LSW, Maternity/Adoption Counselor

Jennifer oversees the clinical team at St. Mary’s Services. She started with St. Mary’s in June of 2014 as our outreach coordinator. She earned a BA in Psychology from the Northeastern Illinois University and received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Her professional training is working with children and families, women’s issues related to pregnancy and parenthood, adolescents’ issues. Jennifer has previously worked with Barrington Youth & Family Services as a counselor in treating mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and grief and loss. She also worked with Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity, PHD, where she provided individual, group, couples, and grief and loss counseling. Jennifer also has experience in working with parents who were referred by DCFS or court for parenting classes, she previously worked part-time at Centro de Información as a Parent Educator.

Allyson Howe, LSW, Adoption/Maternity Counselor

Allyson has worked in a variety of settings with children, teenagers and their families. Most recently, Allyson worked with Firman Community Services in Rolling Meadows. Prior to that she worked with Chicago Adventure Therapy and with Early Beginnings in Macomb, Illinois. She has a passion for making a difference, and at St. Mary’s she works with birth mothers and adoptive families to complete domestic placements. Allyson holds a bachelor’s in social work from Western Illinois University, and a master’s in social work from Loyola University Chicago.

Nicole Gonzalez, LPC, NCC, Teen Parenting Program Coordinator

Nicole has earned her both Bachelor’s in behavioral sciences and her Master’s in counseling through National Louis University. She has obtained her professional counseling license (LPC), a professional educator’s license (PEL) with endorsement in school counseling and national counseling certification (NCC). Having a passion for working with teens, she interned as a high school counselor at Foreman High School in Chicago, where she partnered in working with the prenatal and parenting students, during grad school. Through this experience, she had the opportunity to work with these young families in various capacities. After completing her internship and earning her Master’s, she was hired as Parent Educator/Home Visitor with SGA Youth and Family Services. While employed with SGA, Nicole moved into a case management role leading to the advancement as lead case manager. In these various roles, she helped with her young families reach their academic goals and graduation, prenatal and child development, parenting skills, social emotional skills,  connecting to the community and utilizing resources, and supervising the case management team. Nicole hopes to continue to be a positive support to our youth empowering them to achieve their goals and be the best version of themselves they can be!  Learn more about the Teen Parenting Program here.

If you are pregnant and would like to speak to someone immediately, please call (847) 870-8181 or text HOPE1 to 67076

Si usted está embarazada y quieres hablar con alguien inmediatamente, por favor llame al (847) 870-8181 or envie un texto a HOPE1 al 67076

“Counselors at St. Mary’s also listened to my parents’ concerns and helped them understand what I was going through. That helped my family come together during a tough time.”

– Meg, St. Mary’s Birth Mother

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