Co-Founders Darrell Fraize, Tracy Bailey, and Margie Lannon have worked with adolescents and emerging adults in various residential, private practice, and therapeutic settings for decades. They designed the Onward Transitions model based on their years of experience and appreciation for the proven outcomes of evidence based-models.
Clinical Director, Andy Derstine MSW, LCSW, see below, oversees operations of the clinical department which includes co-founder/therapist/Clinical Outreach Director Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC, Program Director Austin Melhorn, MA, CMHC, and Expressive Arts Therapy Intern Bailey Knox. Each clinical team member carries an individual caseload, and receives clinical supervision from Fraize. Darrell carries a caseload of 6 which enables him to remain deeply connected to the day-to-day operations of Onward Transitions’ Pine House location in Portland, ME, while focusing more intently on researching, writing and presenting about serving emerging adults. Fraize frequently presents at regional and national professional conferences including The Young Adult Transitions Association, The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, The National Wilderness Therapy Symposium, and is a regular contributor to the newsletter for All Kinds of Therapy. Darrell serves alongside Executive Director Tracy Bailey to assess appropriate fit of candidate members during the admissions process.
Darrell and co-founder Tracy Bailey are married to each other and are part of a blended family. Darrell has two high school and college aged children, a son at Fryeburg Academy and a daughter at Colby College in Maine. Tracy has a daughter and granddaughter in Boston and a son in California.
Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC
Co-Founder/Therapist/Clinical Outreach Director
Darrell has been practicing mental health counseling since 1998, primarily in residential and wilderness environments. Onward Transitions is an outgrowth of his private practice he opened in 2013, helping adolescent and emerging adults transitioning out of treatment programs and into traditional school and work environments. Additionally, Darrell has been an adjunct faculty member at Plymouth State University at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Darrell enjoys spending time with his college and high school aged children and watching their myriad of extra-curricular activities. Additionally, Darrell is a loyal Boston sports fan, a lover of singing along poorly to traditional Irish music, a ComicCon aficionado, and is proud of his high midichlorian count.
Emerging adulthood tip: Lean into it, and add another layer of complexity.
Over the course of the last 30 years Tracy has held various administrative roles working with teens and young adults. As a certified career facilitator, Tracy developed and implemented a career counseling program for students at an independent boarding school in Maine. Additionally she served as a liaison to the local community college system educating high school students and their parents about the value of community colleges, skilled labor, and certificate programs. Currently she oversees the career/vocational exploration of the members of Onward Transitions. Tracy manages admissions, marketing, and referral relations for Onward Transitions.
Tracy loves to travel, read, garden, cook and explore. She especially enjoys sharing her time with her large blended family wherever they gather. Tracy is enjoying growing the Onward Transitions model and learning from all its staff, members, and their families.
Emerging adulthood tip: "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
Read Tracy's message to prospective members here.
Margie Lannon lives in Arizona, where she runs a very successful franchise of Homewatch Caregivers of Tucson and is actively involved in many civic, volunteer and social organizations. She serves as her Rotary Club President. Margie is our tireless source of business acumen and inspiration and was the spark that ignited Onward Transitions. We can't begin to list her "chairperson" titles or her many accolades, never mind her friends across the world. When not working or socializing, Margie is finding ways to challenge herself physically- hiking, riding, blading, or sailing... We're not sure when she sleeps. She's the most frequent flyer we know.
R. Andrew Derstine, MSW, LCSW
Andy has been providing counseling and therapy services to children, adolescents and their families for nearly 35 years. He began his career working in a residential treatment center for adolescents in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. From there he moved to Portland, ME and served as the program director for an independent living program for older adolescents. In addition to maintaining a private practice for the most of the past 25 years, Andy has provided consultation services to local public and private boarding schools, served as a program manager/clinical supervisor for a community mental health center, and worked as a therapist/clinical supervisor in a wilderness treatment program for adolescents. Andy earned his BA in Psychology at Muhlenberg College and a Master in Clinical Social Work at Boston College. Andy lives in rural Maine with his wife, two dogs and five cats. He has a 23 year old son and a 20 year old daughter. He is a reasonably accomplished woodworker, an avid outdoorsman and is a member of the National Ski Patrol.
Austin Melhorn, MS, CMHC
Austin is a native Mainer who earned his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Adventure Education and minored in psychology, and has been working with adolescent and college-aged students in residential and wilderness settings for seven years.
As a native Maine-er Austin is thrilled to be back in his home state with his wife and two dogs. He's excited to experience all that Portland and Maine has to offer and do what he can to help expose our members to the fantastic food, culture, and community in Portland.
Emerging adulthood tip: Discomfort leads to growth.
Our transition coordinators serve as team mentors to our members, helping them follow through and reach their work, study, service, nutrition, wellness, and daily living goals. Ranging from health and wellness to healthy recreation, to personal money management to navigating Portland on foot or by public transportation, our staff help to walk members through the various steps of getting established and gaining greater independence. Regular meetings at the Pine House, job sites and at their new homes help members to stay on top of the large and small aspects of daily living.
Dawn is originally from the coast of Virginia, but claims Louisville, Kentucky as her second home. She recently completed her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Southern Maine Community College. Her B.S. in Religious Studies with a Minor in Psychology plays an integral part in aiding members towards understanding the body's interaction with the mind, soul, and heart. Through volunteer work and traveling overseas, her passion for nutrition and helping others came to life. She enjoys talking to people from all walks of life and helping them understand how food and nutrition impacts all aspects of life, both emotionally and physically.
She spends her free time enjoying the various trail systems around Portland, Maine with her dog Roy. She enjoys learning, cooking, running, and spending time with friends. She has spent time traveling to different countries including Guatemala, India and Bolivia. Her favorite part of traveling is meeting the people. Dawn also spends her time helping new-comers and immigrants to the Portland area acclimate to a new country.
Emerging adult tip: Live in the moment. Don’t let the “what if’s” keep you from living your dreams.
Chris Berry, M.Ed
Chris comes to Onward Transitions from Wenham, MA. Obtaining his Bachelors in Psychology from Roger Williams University, Chris knew he wanted to go into the human services field, but needed to sample a few opportunities first. From AmeriCorps, to trail service, the YMCA, a residential treatment community, to leading student travel programs in SE Asia, Chris finally settled into becoming an experiential educator. Now, with a Masters in Experiential Learning and Design from Plymouth State University, Chris welcomes the opportunity to be a “forever student” by consistently stretching his comfort zone and trying new things. He is thrilled to join the OT Team as Outreach Coordinator and will be focusing on assisting members in discovering employment, education and service learning opportunities.
In his free time, you will most likely find Chris searching for hole-in-the wall places around his new home in Munjoy Hill, out on the water with his surfboard, playing a pick up sport or out on the hiking trails taking in all the beautiful wilderness Maine has to offer!
Expressive Arts Therapist (Intern)
Bailey Knox is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a BA in Psychology and Studio Art. She has additional arts training from the Maine College of Art in Portland, ME and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a candidate for a master’s degree at Lesley University in Expressive Arts Therapy.
Bailey is committed to promoting the arts as an ideal way to teach essential life skills like self-awareness, creative problem solving, patience, and balance. In addition to her internship with Onward Transitions she works as the co-director of an arts enrichment program in Gorham, ME. In her free time she loves hiking, travelling, and most of all, painting! Check out her portfolio at baileysaliwanchik.com.