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Counseling and Support


Urban Assembly Maker Academy’s comprehensive school counseling program will underpin the school’s vision that the world needs problem solvers who can find and solve challenges to create positive change in a world where change is the only constant. UA Maker values diversity, equity, and inclusion and strives to have these values reflected in all aspects of our school.

We work to create and foster an atmosphere of openness where all dimensions of diversity and beliefs are valued and respected. Our focus is to provide high quality, culturally sensitive education that affirms the value and humanity of all students and families. Urban Assembly Maker Academy is committed to social justice.

The guidance department, composed of a guidance counselor, a director of post-secondary readiness, a school social worker and a transformative justice coordinator, will promote equitable, healthy student development in a safe, welcoming, affirming, and nurturing learning environment. Students will be provided the opportunity to explore their interests, embrace their individuality, and enhance knowledge of self as well as plan for their future. As the challenges and expectations of our students change, the guidance department, too, will evolve in an effort to provide maximum support and help our students develop into productive, caring and ethical, problem solvers of the future.



The Maker Student Support Team 
Clint Laird
Originally from Ohio, Clint Laird earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music and English from the University of Dayton. After living in Central America, immersing himself in both the culture and the language, he returned to his Alma Mater to earn a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Guidance Counseling.  A few years later, Clint also received his Master of Social Work degree and is licensed as a LCSW in New York State and New Jersey. Outside of Maker, Clint completed a 3-year clinical residency at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and maintains a small private practice where he sees individuals and couples.  As a result of his clinical training and experiences, Clint takes an approach with students that is anti-racist and relational while working with them through a narrative perspective.  He uses various therapeutic and mindfulness techniques to reduce emotional reactivity and promote an attention to the present moment. Clint has been trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is a certified TF-CBT therapist. Both of these evidence-based models have proven to be powerful in the school setting and resources he uses at UA Maker. Clint assists students with everyday life struggles as well as acute crisis moments.  He encourages all students in building self-insight, acceptance, compassion and morality. Clint is available to support any UA Maker student/family and is proud to be a part of the UA Maker team.
Outside of "work-time", Clint enjoys a multitude of different activities.  He is shamefully addicted to Orange Theory and is an avid runner and yogi.  He completed his yoga teacher certification many years ago and is desperately trying to change the world one yoga class at a time.  In addition to these hobbies, Clint danced professionally for 5 seasons with MamLuft&Co Dance in Cincinnati, Ohio.  With the rest of his spare time, he recharges by hanging out at home with his husband Adam.
Amanda Bercovici
Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts degree from William Paterson University, where she majored in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing.   Amanda earned her Masters of Social Work from New York University and is recognized as an LMSW in New York State.  Amanda began working at Maker in 2020 as a social work intern and after receiving her master’s degree, she returned to Maker as a guidance counselor where she focused on counseling, attendance, and postsecondary readiness.  Amanda is now serving as the Director of College Counseling, where she focuses on postsecondary planning, counseling, college access specializing in supportive services for students with disabilities.  In counseling sessions, Amanda takes a relational approach when working with students through an anti-racist and narrative lens. 
Amanda is an avid animal lover and advocate. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time with her 3 cats.
Venus Herrera
Venus Herrera was born and raised in NYC and graduated from the High School of Law and Public Service, located in the George Washington Educational Campus. For her bachelor's degree, she attended SUNY New Paltz and triple majored in Black Studies, Latin American/Caribbean Studies, and Psychology with a minor in Disaster Studies. Venus earned a Masters degree in Mental Health with a School Counseling extension from Mercy College. She loves animals, plants, and supporting humans in their life paths. She came to Urban Assembly Maker Academy in 2017 because her youngest brother was a student at "Maker" and Venus was looking to complete her internship for school counseling. One of Venus’ favorite parts of working is supporting students and families with developing their communication/life skills. In her spare time, Venus enjoys a balance of recharging solitude and exciting moments with loved ones.
Daniel Jerome
Daniel Jerome is the Transformative Justice Coordinator at Urban Assembly Maker Academy.  He is a proud graduate of the New York City Public School system and has worked in the NYC DOE for over 25 years.  He began his career as a social studies teacher and began experimenting with restorative justice practices in Bronx schools as an alternative to suspending and criminalizing youth.  Daniel continues to enjoy his time with young people.  

If you feel your child is being bullied, there is no need to feel alone.  The first step is to reach out to us; we are here to help.  It is easy to mistake bullying for normal interpersonal conflict.  These two encounters look similar but are very different.

Three important indicators/characteristics of possible bullying are: 

  • the acts are intentional

  • the acts are repeated

  • the acts are intended to remove power from another individual(s). 

To learn more, please visits the NYC Department of Education webpage at   

At UA Maker our Respect For All liaison is our transformative justice coordinator, Daniel Jerome.  If you want to report a situation that may be bullying, please call the school at 212-225-0890 or send an email to [email protected]