OUR MISSION

We are a client and family-centered practice, focused on empowering individuals to find and use their voice, feel confident, and be their full amazing selves

1200+

families served

54,000+

sessions completed

5*

Yelp! rating

Empower embraces a relationship-based model, celebrates diversity, and utilizes individualized and evidence-based practices during speech-language therapy.
Our skilled and caring therapists and administrative staff strive to provide the highest quality of care, support, and a positive atmosphere for everyone who walks through our doors.

Our staff are trained in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI). CPI is powerful and proven model, which guides decision-making for safe and respectful responses to challenging situations, including self-injurious and aggressive behaviors.

Natalia Morozova Lopez M.S., CCC-SLP


Natalia Lopez is a Russian-English bilingual speech-language pathologist, and the founder of Empower Speech Therapy and Life Skills Center. She obtained her Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, which was rated one of the top Graduate Programs in Speech-Language Pathology in the nation at the time of her graduation. Natalia holds a Speech Pathology license in the state of California, as well as a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is a member of the special interest groups for Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC), Language Learning and Education, as well as Administration and Supervision. Additionally, Natalia is a certified Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI) instructor, and she enjoys providing CPI trainings to the Empower team.

Natalia believes that communication is a human right, and is core to one's ability to feel understood. Empower is the vessel for the greater mission of empowering and supporting the community at large. Natalia is passionate about helping people with complex communication needs, people with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as those who have been disillusioned with therapy. She strongly believes that the supportive and positive environment at Empower can facilitate communication for all who walk through our doors.

Natalia enjoys providing assessments, consultations, direct treatment, as well as supervision for Speech Pathology Assistants, Clinical Fellows, and students completing their externship hours. She honors the opportunity to contribute to new generations of therapists, and appreciates the ongoing opportunities for self-growth and reflection that supervision offers.

Natalia emigrated from Moscow, Russia to Brooklyn, NY at the age of eight. She had first-hand experience of having to navigate the world with limited communication while learning English. She grew up among a very wide range of cultures, ethnicities, and religions, which she feels makes her a stronger and more well-rounded therapist. Outside of work, Natalia enjoys spending time with her husband Robert and daughter Alia, traveling all around the beautiful state of CA, enjoying live music and food trucks, and occasionally checking her horoscope!

Melissa Gaston, M.S., CCC-SLP


Melissa returns to us as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) after completing her Master’s Degree at Idaho State University. Originally, Melissa joined us as a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant after completing her Bachelor’s Degree at Sacramento State University. She is a native of Northern California but has enjoyed calling Clovis home!

Melissa has experienced a variety of settings and populations that included both adults and pediatric disorders. Melissa is driven to empower her clients and their families with their communication needs. She is passionate about advocating for her patients and providing them with resources they need to feel empowered.

Melissa enjoys working with children with a variety of communication profiles and disorders, as this is where her initial spark came from for the field of speech-language pathology. What really makes Melissa's day is when she can see it "click" with a child and how quickly communication is enhanced with their communication partners. Additionally, she is absolutely inspired by seeing the growth in communication between her client and their care-givers. It's truly amazing.

Melissa also discovered a new love for the adult population during her clinical experience at Idaho State. She enjoyed working with patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and more and advocating for services to assist in regaining swallowing function, cognitive deficits, and expressive and receptive language.

Melissa is excited to rejoin the Empower team as she knows the supportive environment with the staff creates a positive environment for clients to make growth, develop new skills, and/or regain skills that may have been lost. She is happy to be able to support the Central Valley community!

​​​Jessica Gamino, B.S., SLPA


Jessica is a Spanish-English Bilingual Speech Pathology Assistant (SLPA), licensed in California and Texas. She received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Texas A&M International University in 2012. In addition to speech therapy, Jessica also had experience working as a Behavioral Therapist, and Special Education Instructional Assistant for CUSD. Jessica has had the opportunity to work with a wide array of children, varying in ages, personalities, skills, interests, and communication challenges, which she believes helped shape her into the therapist she is today. She is passionate about working with individuals who come to speech therapy in search of a voice – a means to express themselves, whether it be verbally, visually, or with the aid of a communication device. Teaching a client an alternative way to communicate (ex: using a picture to request a favorite food), when, for whatever reason, verbal communication is too challenging, is incredibly rewarding for Jessica. The moment a client is able to produce a sound or word, or reach a new milestone, reminds her of why she chose to be in this profession. Jessica loves using music in therapy, and frequently integrates music and colorful visual supports in her sessions. She has special interest in bilingual therapy, autism spectrum disorders, early intervention, and motor planning challenges.

Evelyn Cheek, BA, SLPA


Evie is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA), licensed in California. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from California State University, Fresno, and her SLPA license from California State University, Northridge. Evie is thrilled to be a part of the Empower team, as she is passionate about serving children and their families by helping them find their voice, so they can then in return make a difference in the lives of others.

Evie’s passion for the well being and quality of life of her clients drives her to work hard and to keep the mindset of a lifelong student, always learning and growing, as she continues to hone her skills. 

In her off time, she has worked many years as a camp counselor in the summers at Hume Lake with Jr. High and High school aged kids, and also worked at an entertainment company for children dressing up as Disney Princess acting in character at birthday parties. Evie enjoys a good book, her favorite coffee, and time with loved ones.

Angella Lopez, M.A. SLP-CF

Angella is an English-Spanish Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow (SLP-CFY), who earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree at California State University, Fresno. While completing her graduate degree, Angella had the opportunity to intern at Empower and is now joining the team! Angella has experienced a variety of settings and populations that included schools, private practice and hospitals. She has always had a passion for working with children and her goal is to support, teach and empower clients and their families. She believes that children learn best when therapy sessions are fun and motivating. Angella finds it most rewarding when she can help children make social connections, produce sounds, and put words together for the first time! Her areas of interest include Autism Spectrum Disorder, articulation and phonological disorders, early language development, cognitive deficits, aphasia and traumatic brain injuries. On her days off, Angella stays busy by hiking, traveling and visiting her family in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Angella is thrilled to be a part of the Empower team and is inspired to provide her clients with every opportunity to grow and develop their communication goals.

Lauren Rogers, M.A., CCC-SLP

Lauren Rogers-Williams is a Speech- Language Pathologist. She obtained her undergraduate and graduate Degrees from Fresno State University. Lauren holds a Speech Pathology License in the state of California as well as a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She grew up in Altadena California. Upon graduating with her Masters, she worked in Pasadena for 2 years, and then returned to work in Fresno.

Lauren has experience working with preschool and elementary aged children. She has also completed an internship in an acute rehabilitation center for adults addressing aphasia, dysarthria, dysphagia, and injuries resulting in communicative & cognitive deficits. In addition to working with families at Empower, Lauren also works at Fresno Unified School District at an elementary school, with most of her time spent working with students with Autism and in Special Day classes. She particularly enjoys working with individuals who are minimally or nonverbal. She has assessed students for AAC devices and is constantly working to find ways to increase communication with supplemental supports such as visual or environmental aids.

Lauren works to help individuals communicate in a functional way and is eager to help families, caregivers, and other important members learn how to facilitate that communication in natural environments as well. She believes every person learns differently and creates therapy based on the unique needs of the individual and their families.

Communication goes beyond the therapy room and it allows everyone to engage with others and the world around us. Each child and adult should be given that opportunity.

Lauren is proud to be a part of the Empower team to open a door to the world for everyone we serve. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys reading books, swimming, and learning about cooking and baking. She loves spending time with her family and doing activities with her children.

Tierney O'Mara, M.S., CCC-SLP

Tierney O’Mara is a Speech Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow, who received her Graduate Degree from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California in December of 2018. Tierney also attended University of the Pacific for her undergraduate education, where she received degrees in Speech Language Pathology and Spanish. She was born and raised in Fresno, California and returned to her home town upon graduating. Tierney is thrilled to be a part of the Empower family!
 
Tierney enjoys providing intervention and assessing students of all ages, and currently serves clients ages 2 to 15. Areas of interest of Tierney’s include Augmentative/Alternative Communication(AAC), articulation/phonology, and Apraxia of Speech(AOS). Tierney is motivated to identify how to best meet her client’s communicative needs, and how to adapt communicative expectations as her clients progress and grow.
 
Tierney is passionate about team and family collaboration, and believes her clients are best served when there is open, honest, and consistent communication between all service providers and family members. She believes building and sustaining these relationships is key in facilitating client success outside of the therapy room.
 
Tierney prioritizes building rapport and bonding with her clients. She is passionate about learning their interests, likes and dislikes, and personalities of and enjoys personalizing therapy sessions. Tierney believes  that with positive and genuine interaction comes the feeling of being in a safe and secure learning environment for every person she works with.
 
When not at Empower, Tierney also serves elementary aged students in Fresno Unified School District. On her off time, Tierney enjoys spending time in the mountains, attending musicals, and taking ballet classes. Tierney is firm believer in the importance of the arts, and loves supporting the local community when able to.
Cristina Castaneda, BA, SLPA


Cristina is a Spanish-English Bilingual Speech Pathology Assistant (SLP-A), licensed in California. She attended Fresno State University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communicative Disorders.  She obtained her license to become a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant through Loma Linda University in Los Angeles CA.

Cristina has a special interest for early intervention and working closely with parents to help carry over skills practiced in therapy to other settings. She is inspired by the importance of communicating, which is why she is thrilled about being in this field. Cristina is excited to continue learning about this wonderful field and enjoys the collaborative and supportive environment Empower offers.

She loves working closely with families to support communication development and is passionate about contributing to the young lives of the community especially the Spanish speaking families.

Victoria Park, MOT, OTR/L

Victoria joins us at Empower as our first occupational therapist (OT) on the team. She graduated from Loma Linda University at the top of her class in 2012 with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Conducting internships in acute rehabilitation, mental health, and pediatric settings, Victoria brings a broad scope of experience to her practice as a clinician.

She has a long history of working with children and has worn many hats from her days as a gymnastics coach, to piano teacher, to pediatric OT, and now homeschooling mother to her two young boys.  Victoria has experience with a wide variety of populations and has special interests in clinic-based sensory integration and neurorehabilitation. Victoria particularly enjoys working with children who have sensory integration needs, children on the spectrum, and clients with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.

A Fresno/Clovis native, Victoria and her husband love taking their boys on bike rides, exploring parks and local shops, visiting with family, and taking on new projects. 

Victoria is thrilled to be joining the team at Empower and looks forward to helping children and their caregivers discover new skills and feel equipped to take on new challenges in their day-to-day lives.

Erica Gamino, BA, Admin


Born and raised in the great state of Texas, Erica is now calling Fresno home! After graduating with her BA in Healthcare and Business Administration from University of Texas at Arlington, Erica worked in higher education administration for five years, and is now thrilled to be a part of the Empower family. She is passionate about making sure all the “behind the scenes” processes at Empower run smoothly, and loves connecting and forming relationships with each and every family she works with. Erica understands the importance of imbuing each and every client/family interaction with care, empathy, and compassion, and thoroughly enjoys the professional growth this position offers.

Outside of work, Erica enjoys traveling around California, exploring the Fresno/Clovis area and attending/being involved in church activities. She is also part of the Zipper Club since 2016, as she is an open heart survivor. Serving the community is a passion and she is grateful that Empower also shares that value.

Make sure to stop by and say hello!

Areli Garcia, BA, Admin

Meet Areli Garcia, our newest member to our administrative team! Originally from Modesto CA, Areli decided to call Fresno home after finishing her degree at Fresno State University. Areli has 3 years experience in Applied Behavioral Analysis, and loves to work with children. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Behavioral Analysis and dreams of one day opening her own business. As an administrator, she is focused on making sure that no small detail is overlooked and that things run as smoothly as possible. Customer service along with a friendly smile is Areli’s number one priority in serving our clients. She feels blessed to be working alongside such an inspiring team here at Empower.
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Empower Speech Therapy
& Life Skills Center - Clovis

420 Bullard Ave #104,
Clovis, CA 93612
(559) 801-2626

Empower Speech Therapy
& Life Skills Center - Fresno

745 E Locust #110,
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 770-4408