Kimberly Dupuis, Clinical Director

Kimberly Dupuis is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of North Carolina, who earned her Master's of Science in Psychology and Counseling from Troy University. She has been a practicing therapist for more than 17 years and has worked with individuals and families facing a wide range of mental health and wellness issues. 

Kimberly strives to provide specialized therapeutic care for her clients and understands and embraces the uniqueness of each person. She utilizes a strength based approach to healing and has undergone specialized training for Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, and Mindful Based Stress Reduction. 

Kimberly works collaboratively with individuals on their treatment goals and partners with her clients to foster open communication regarding therapeutic techniques and approaches that work best for the client and their respective treatment needs. She provides a supportive, compassionate environment that will enable her clients to openly share in both times of struggle as well as times of achievement and progress. 

In Kimberly’s personal time, she stays busy raising her two beautiful children and enjoys spending time with friends and family. You can catch her on a mountain bike trail or gardening in her yard on any given Saturday. Kimberly believes that having balance in life is essential to wellbeing and overall happiness.

Crystal Emerick, Founder and Executive Director

A small town girl from Eastern North Carolina, Crystal Emerick is the founder of Brave Step.

For many years, Emerick lived with her story of childhood sexual abuse buried inside. After experiencing the emotional aftermath of the abuse in her early 20s, she began to see that help may be necessary to overcome this life-altering trauma. After a long and healing journey, a passion for helping adult survivors find relief was born in June 2011. 

During the next few years, the organization concept evolved through research and engagement with respected colleagues. Brave Step officially incorporated in 2014 with a mission of strengthening men and women impacted by sexual abuse through inspiration, education and personalized care.

As the founder, Emerick’s vision is to inspire individuals to take the brave step; educate the person, family and community on the effects of abuse; and provide personalized care that will help them live a life free from the constraints of abuse. 

A University of North Carolina graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science, Emerick resides in Concord, N.C., with her husband, son and dog.

Dannielle Magno, Community Outreach Director (Volunteer)

Dannielle Magno grew up in rural Northwestern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a BA in Microbiology and a minor in Chemistry in 2002. After moving from Kansas to Georgia and back again, she ended up settling in Chicago to start her career as an Agriculture Specialist with Customs & Border Protection. In the market for a change of scenery, her journey brought her to Charlotte in 2011 after meeting her now husband, and Charlotte resident, Chris, through mutual friends. Fast forward five years to 2016, and she’s now a full-fledged Charlottean with a readymade family, complete with two amazing step-children, and a desire to make her community the best it can be.

A longtime supporter and sporadic participant in community service and various fundraising projects, Dannielle took the opportunity to attend graduate school to change her career focus to one centered on helping her community. She completed her Master’s in Public Health at Des Moines University in August 2016 and is excited to join forces with Brave Step in her first post-graduation, community focused endeavor. In her free time, Dannielle enjoys running, cooking, spending time with her family and two dogs, adventure vacations.

Kelsey Young, Social Media Director (Volunteer)

A native of Ashburn, Virginia, a Washington D.C. suburb, Kelsey now considers Charlotte home after living here for five years. Kelsey graduated from West Virginia University in 2013 with a degree in Sports Management and a minor in Advertising. Kelsey came to volunteer with Brave Step in September of 2017 after spending four years with the Charlotte Checkers as a Group Sales Coordinator and the Director of Charitable and Community Programs. This is where Kelsey's love of community and the non-profit sector began. "I love Brave Step because the mission is so strongly believed in by those involved with the organization. It's really an amazing group of people that Crystal has brought together" she says.

Kelsey enjoys spending time with her fiance and their Black Lab, Petty (named after the one and only Richard Petty), exploring Charlotte, being active in the community and attending (tailgating) sporting events. You can always find her passionately cheering for her WVU Mountaineers and her fiance's NC State Wolfpack...only if they aren't a threat to her Mountaineers. You can follow Brave Step on all social media platforms at @ABraveStep. You can also keep up with Kelsey on social media at @kelsey___young.

Latest News

As a survivor-led organization, our secret to success is understanding firsthand what it’s like and creating a place, both online and in person, where individuals are safe, understood and supported. 

Announcing the 2019 CULTIVATE Cohort

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