Angels Reach Academy is a unique non-profit, preparatory school dedicated to achieving the highest possible standards of academic success for a diverse student population within a complex and forward-moving environment. Beginning with its roots in 2004, and establishing the first integrated clinical education program in our community, Angels Reach Academy is uniquely recognized for its innovation and integrity.
Dorinda Luzardo Ribadeo, MS Ed., MLIS
Founder & CEO
Dorinda (Dory) Luzardo Ribadeo began her career as an educator and continued to teach in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for over 20 years with students ranging in age from 3 year old pre-schoolers and elementary advanced learners in an International Baccalaureate Magnet Program through adult educational professionals enrolled in university programs. Dory earned her first Masters Degree with honors in Gifted Education with additional certification in Teaching English as a Second Language from Nova University, and her second Masters Degree with honors in Library Information Sciences from the University of South Florida. Through years of training and experience,Dory learned to apply varying schools of thoughts, curricula and international methodologies to ensure that each student received individualized programming so as to gain necessary inner motivation and achieve the highest possible goals.
Autism became a life changing experience in Dory's life when one of her children was diagnosed at an early age, and this then became the catalyst for an intensive, nation-wide search for valid, research-based treatment and educational options. Dory learned from and trained with national experts for all possible bio-medical, clinical, and academic interventions that would lead to her child's extraordinary climb out of the silent world of Autism and into the active world of a typically developing child, functioning well within and beyond expected developmental levels, and participating in Gifted Education programs. Her child had begun to progress, but the need for an integrated, comprehensive, individualized and peer supported program setting soon became clearly evident. It was out of these needs that Angels Reach Foundation was created, bringing together state of the art clinical interventions for special needs children and advanced educational programming for regular and gifted learners.
Dory continues to support the development of inclusive educational programming locally and internationally, serving as a consultant, speaker and trainer along with her amazing team from Angels Reach Foundation & Academy.
Lisbeth Coto, MS EdL
Lisbeth discovered her passion for education and individuals with disabilities 21 years ago while volunteering as a student at a local high school. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with extra course work in Education and became certified in Exceptional Student Education and Social Studies. She joined Miami-Dade County Public Schools and continued to serve the system for 18 years while employed in various roles and honored titles such as Teacher, Program Specialist, Reading Coach and Curriculum Support Specialist as well as the district’s Test Chairperson for the state’s alternate assessment and a Local Assistive Technology Specialist. During that time, Lisbeth enrolled in a master’s program at St. Thomas University where she graduated with a degree in Educational Leadership and holds a valid Educational Leadership certificate from the State of Florida. Many years of professional development and experience provides her the opportunity to educate, train and lead others to apply varying instructional strategies, accommodations/modifications, behavior implementation plans and the integration of technology and communication devices in order to ensure that each student’s individual needs are both met academically and emotionally. Lisbeth is currently a member of the University of Miami’s Family Navigator Advisory Committee and principal of Angels Reach Academy.
Dr. Julie Freiwald, PhD, SLP-CCC
Speech & Language Supervisor
Dr Julianne Freiwald, CCC/SLP has been practicing for 34 years. She graduated with honors from the University of Miami with a major in speech and hearing sciences, and a minor in psychology. She then entered the school of education where she took the classes necessary for a Florida Teaching Certificate K-12. After working with children and adolescents in the Broward County Schools for 5 years, she then enrolled in the Master of Speech-Language Pathology program at Nova Southeastern University. Following graduation, she had the honor of working in a private practice where she treated children and adults with developmental disabilities. Following that, she attended a special course at Harvard University Medical School, titled the Neurology of Behavior. Dr. Freiwald was the only speech-language pathologist to attend that particular course at that time. The remaining participants were neurologists, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists. Neuroscience became a targeted passion of hers. She went on to work at Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. This program was an experimental transdisciplinary approach under the direction of a well-respected neuropsychologist, Dr Alcuin Johnson. Children were brought into the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit from all over the world in various stages of coma. Results were amazingly and scientifically positive.
Following this position, Dr Julianne Freiwald, CCC/SLP worked as an independent contractor, a lecturer for Marion Publications and opened up a private practice in Miami, Florida. She then received her Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology at Nova Sourtheastern University. She provided treatment for individuals of all ages with various disabilities. She also was a state vendor for the Office of Disability as well as an expert witness in the Dade and Broward county court system.
Laura Garcia, AS, RBT, PCM, Cherubim Class Instructor
Assistant Behavior Supervisor
Laura Garcia has been with Angels Reach for thirteen years. She holds a degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing an advanced degree in Mental Health Counseling. Laura has been certified in Professional Crisis Management and is a Safety Care Trainer. Additionally, Laura has received extensive training in managing problem behaviors, shaping pro-social behaviors, sensory integration techniques, developmental play, ADHD, Handle Level Two,Arts for Learning, Teaching Language to Children with Autism and Responsive Teaching.
Laura is responsible for over seeing and creating programs for the children, and for instructing students in our Cherubim Therapy Intensive classroom. She is also responsible training new therapists who join the organization, and ensuring they understand the organization’s unique philosophy which demands creativity, dedication and complete care for the children they will attend to. Laura is recognized by team members and parents alike for her level of caring and trustworthiness. She easily establishes great rapport with all children and parents as her commitment to them is easily evident.
Debbie Raygada, MS, LMHC
Deborah Raygada is a licensed Mental Health Counselor, She was born Peru and moved to Miami at the age of 9. She completed all her studies here in South Florida and received her Masters degree at Nova Southeastern University in Mental Health Counseling in Davie,Florida. Her first experience with children was at the public school where she worked in the after school program. Then, she moved on to pursuing her mental health career and worked with psychologists and psychiatrists who were in private practice where she worked in the administrative department . Once graduated with her Masters, she completed her internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in the mental health unit working with the adult population doing group counseling, assessments and referrals. She then decided she wanted to work with children and started supporting the development of students at Angels Reach Academy.
Deborah has been with Angels Reach since January 2011-present. She is currently one of the Lead Analysts at Angels Reach. She has worked with children ages 2-16 years old doing ABA therapy, social skills and counseling groups. Deborah has also conducted the Ambassadors Program which is a proprietary leadership skills program at Angels Reach.
Deborah is the mother of 2 young boys ages 2 and 6. She loves spending time with her family doing outdoor activities such as going to the beach and going to the park.
Danny Sosa, AS, RBT
Socio-Relational Therapy Supervisor
Daniel Sosa is the Socio-Relational Supervisor at Angels Reach and also serves as a behavior therapist. He is currently attending Florida International University and pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology in order to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He is a Registered Behavioral Technician trained in Floortime and certified in CPR, HIPAA, OSHA, DCCC, as well as Safety Care. Daniel focuses on teaching appropriate social skills needed to maximize an acceptable level of active engagement. Daniel’s enthusiastic and charismatic personality allows him to touch lives in such a unique a manner that impacts an individual’s perspective forever. He is an extraordinary asset to the organization.
Lead RBT - Fine Motor Skills
My name is Melissa Ada Herba. I was born on May 16, 1995 and raised in Hialeah, FL. I am an MDC/FIU alumni graduated Cum Laude 2017. I currently hold a Bachelor's degree in Recreational Therapy and a minor in Psychology. I am 23 years old and a certified RBT (registered behavior therapist) and AMT (autism movement therapist). I am also the lead Motor Skills/OT therapist at Angels Reach Academy. I've been working in the field for 4+ years specializing in children with disabilities. I'm currently on the road to becoming an Occupational Therapist and I love to read and dance in my spare time.
Be an angel
With the support of individuals and corporations, Angels Reach has the ability to touch the hearts and change the lives of the children who study in our School. It is with great pride that we acknowledge and thank our donors and sponsors for their acts of kindness and generous support.