Jackie S. – CFT, M.S. Exercise Science, Autism Fitness Certification Level I, Lead Personal Trainer
A graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she has earned a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Speech and Language Pathology. She earned her Master’s degree in Exercise Science at Central Connecticut State University. She is currently getting her teaching certificate in Physical Education and Health in a Post-Baccalaureate program at CCSU. While at UMass she was a collegiate athlete, playing four years of Women’s Rugby. Jackie has been working with children on the autism spectrum for 8 years, and has worked in Applied Behavioral Analysis at the ACES Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders. She has also been a CrossFit athlete for 2 years, played for the Hartford Wild Roses Women’s Rugby team, and a local Women’s Fast-pitch softball league. Jackie has been instrumental in helping develop and implement the Adaptive P.E. program at ASD Fitness. Jackie is excited to combine her two passions, and help impact the lives of others through fitness and healthy lifestyles.
Jesse C. – Paraprofessional Fitness Educator
Since freshman year of high school Jesse has been involved with helping people with disabilities. Unified sports, Fabulous Friends, and Best Buddies are a few clubs he has been involved in over the years. Helping people with disabilities truly his passion and he says it makes him smile more than anything. This summer he assisted with the summer camp at ASD Fitness center and was an asset to the team. Jesse is currently a student at Eastern Connecticut State University, getting his undergraduate in Physical Education, and then has plans on getting his Master’s Degree in Special Education. ASD proves what people can do to help others in need, he says, and he enjoys every minute of it.
Alan-Michael Z. — ACSM CPT — Certified Personal Trainer
Alan-Michael is a soon to be graduate of Southern Connecticut State University for exercise science, focused upon human performance, where he also plays lacrosse. He is certified through ACSM. He helped begin a program called “Fit 5” with Oxford Special Olympics last spring. This program involved the idea of exercising 5 days a week, drinking 5 bottles of water and eating 5 fruits or vegetables per day. A tutor of anatomy and physiology, he uses this to his advantage when training clients. Alan-Michael plans to attend graduate school, studying to become a physician’s assistant in the future.
Brett D. – CFT, Personal Trainer
Brett got his B.S. in Exercise Science at Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has recently completed his teaching degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. He currently teaching in a school in Wallingford. Previously he worked at East Haven High School as a Special Ed. paraprofessional for over four years. He has coached football at Hamden High School, and lacrosse at Amity. He has also worked with adults at Chapel Haven. Previously, he worked part time with a corporate fitness center called Health Fitness Corporation. He is ISSA fitness trainer certified.
Christine Z. – CFT — Personal Trainer
Christine graduated from Sacred Heart University last May with a B.S. in psychology. She is 23 years old and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in social work at Southern Connecticut State University. She loves being active whether it is playing sports, going hiking, horseback riding, or working out at the gym. Christine’s twin sister has autism which helped teach her the importance of patience, understanding, acceptance, and compassion. She loves helping others and aspires to continue doing so after completing her graduate school program.
Jacob B. – CFT — Personal Trainer
Jacob has worked with individuals with special needs for over 6 years. He currently works at the ASD Fitness enter as a trainer, and Chapel Haven in the Recreational Department. His passion for helping people on the spectrum and special needs kids in general started in his junior year of high school. He was offered to be an assistant coach for the North Haven Unified Sports Team. This drove his passion to continue working with special needs kids and adults. As high school went by, he began helping out in vocational activity outside of schools and becoming a job coach for students. Also, he volunteers with a transition program in North Haven every Tuesday morning cooking and teaching adults kitchen skills.
Certifications : CPR; ISSA Youth Personal Training Certificate
Melissa K. – CFT, Personal Trainer
Melissa is a graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Honors Program, where she studied Physiology and Neurobiology, and minored in Spanish. Her main athletic passion is competitive swimming, a sport she has been involved in since a young age and continued in college on the UCONN club swim team. In addition to athletics, she was involved in Special Olympics and medical service trips to the Dominican Republic while an undergraduate. She also has her EMT certificate. She has worked for 6 years at an adaptive therapy camp for children with hemiplegia, concentrating on constraint induced movement therapy. Melissa’s brother is a member of ASD Fitness and she is excited to work with other members in offer to help them get as much out of the program as he has. In the future, Melissa is planning to attend Physician Assistant school and continue her journey in health care.
Ryan S. – CFT – Personal Trainer
Ryan graduated from Springfield College in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation & Disabilities. While attending Springfield College, Ryan was on the Baseball team his freshman year, and began having a passion for health and fitness. After graduating from Springfield, Ryan was employed at The Kennedy Center, working with an autism based population. Ryan also does therapeutic recreation with the agency, and works 1:1 with individuals. Ryan recently has been hired to be an ABA therapist at the IPPI school in Stratford. Ryan aspires to become a Special Education Teacher one day.
Certifications: CPR certified, CPI certified, ISSA Personal Trainer Certified