About Us

To develop a supportive, fun, and welcoming environment where teens’ feelings are validated and acknowledged. We engage alongside teens to help them develop the resilience and self-awareness needed to face the challenges of adolescence and beyond.


For every teen to find a space where they are valued as capable, empowered, and thoughtful community members and can find a peer support system outside of school.


The Warming House Youth Center is supervised by a full-time Executive Director who is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Volunteer, Intern, and Part-time Paid Youth Workers make up the skilled staff that work with Warming House teens. Staff members are either in undergraduate or graduate school for Social Work or Psychology, or have graduate degrees and work full-time in the field. Staff members are prepared to guide and support teens, provide referrals when needed, and intervene in crises.



Emily Schnell

At The Warming House since 2015

Credentials: Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Bachelor's degree from St. Norbert College and a Master's Degree from Loyola University Chicago.

Fun Facts about Emily: I absolutely love spending time at my lake house. If I could be outside, on the lake all day, I would. I'm a proud dog mom who has a puppy that also loves being out on the lake! 

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Lisa Gresch

At the Warming House since 2018

Credentials: Licensed speech-language pathologist with a Master’s degree in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University and Bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton.

Fun facts about Lisa: I enjoy ballet and tap dancing and love all things Disney/Pixar. 

Why the Warming House?: I love that the Warming House provides a safe space for teens where they can develop relationships and be themselves! School can be tough, so having a place where they can have fun and have people to talk to who will truly listen is so valuable


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Taleen Polidan 

At the Warming House since 2021

Credentials: Bachelor’s in Communication from Lake Forest College. Current MSW student at Northeastern Illinois University.

Fun Facts about Taleen: I love listening to podcasts, being outside, and riding my spin bike!

Why the Warming House?: I love that the Warming House provides youth a safe and supportive environment to be themselves. As someone interested in becoming a school social worker, I am very excited to have the opportunity to have hands-on experience working with teenagers! 

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Meg Feldman

At the Warming House since 2022

Credentials: Undergraduate Social Work student at University of Kansas

Fun Facts about Meg: My parents changed my name from Ally to Megan when I was 2 months old.

Why the Warming House?: The Warming House looked like a great program and I wanted more experience working with teens.

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Alyssa Pierce

At the Warming House since 2019

Credentials: Junior studying psychology at Northwestern University.

Fun Facts about Alyssa: I love to play softball. I was on the team in high school and play over the summer on teams with my dad and brother. I also really enjoy nature and any chance I get to go hiking or be outside in general. 

Why the Warming House?: I have always enjoyed working with teens and the opportunity to build connections with both them and the other staff members enticed me from the start. The mission of the Warming House is also something that is really important and I am excited and grateful to be a part of it. 




Amy Koplow, LCSW



Robert Sheppard


Lori Heger 



Joe Feldman

Jon Parker

Rucha Patel



Barbara Perce

Shiela Steiner