Our Staff

Brittany Smith, MOT, OTR

 Brittany is a registered occupational therapist with a Master's degree in occupational therapy. She has been an occupational therapist for 17 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University in 2000. She received her Master's degree in occupational therapy from Texas Woman's University in the Houston Medical Center in 2003. She has extensive experience with sensory integration, neurodevelopmental treatment, DIR/Floortime Approach, feeding therapy, strength, balance and coordination training, multisensory handwriting, concussion rehabilitation and yoga for children. She is passionate about empowering her patients and their families to reach their highest potential. She is devoted to bringing joy to the lives of her patients and their families.

Christina Kitrel, LOTA

Christina Kitrel is a certified occupational therapist assistant. She has been an occupational therapist assistant for 5 years. In 2013, she received her associates in  occupational therapy assistance at Keiser University in Miami Florida, Christina Kitrel was born and raised  Miami, Florida and moved to Houston, Texas in February to accept her COTA position at Empower Pediatric Therapy. She has experience with sensory integration, handwriting, feeding, balance and coordination training, behavior modification and social skills. She is passionate about working with kids and wants to help empower her patients and their families to reach their highest potential.

Kaysie Zwahr, LOTA

Kaysie Zwahr is a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant. She has been a COTA for 9 years. In 2009, she received her Associates in  Occupational Therapy Assistance at Houston Community College. She accepted her COTA position at Empower Pediatric Therapy in October of 2017. She has experience with sensory integration and sensory processing, DIR/Floortime Approach, strength, balance and coordination training, multisensory handwriting, feeding therapy, therapeutic taping, behavior modification and social skills. She is passionate about working with kids and wants to help empower her patients and their families to reach their highest potential.

Yazmin Ramos, Child Development Specialist

Yazmin Ramos has lead Empower’s Educational Program for 2.5 years. She began her studies at Houston Community College (2000) and Texas A&M University (2001). In 2009 she received her CDA credential through Child Development Council for Professional Recognition. Her 15 years of previous professional experience were acquired in a center based Early Childhood Education Program as a lead teacher. Yazmin led a teacher mentoring program at one of the most reputable and prestigious schools in the Spring Branch/Memorial area. As well as teaching, Yazmin served on the TUMC school board as a teacher representative and is a current member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She is CPR trained and First Aid certified with the American Red Cross. She specialized in writing a rich curriculum focusing on early literacy/math/social and emotional development/creative art/social studies/STEM/Character Building/Handwriting without Tears. Her multi-sensory teaching approach allows for each child to be supported in their individual learning style. Yazmin also assists in regulating social skills groups and handwriting classes offered at Empower. She is passionate about providing a rich and learning environment that implements an individual program tailored to each child’s educational need. When Yazmin isn’t pouring her love of teaching into the classroom she devotes her time to her two teenage children. Her daughter Arianna (15) and son Eduardo(14) enjoy sports and are very active in the community through Student Council, Honor Society and church volunteer programs. Yazmin is very proud of her children and is thrilled to help each child at Empower reach their greatest learning potential while giving the needed support for successful school year.

Jessica Taylor, Director of Marketing/ Office Manager

Marilyn Woody, MS,CCC-SLP

Marilyn earned her Master's degree in Speech Pathology in 1975 from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. In 1977 she received her Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech, Language  and Hearing Association. She has experience in a variety of settings, including Home Health Care, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Head Start Early Childhood Intervention, and was owner/Speech Pathologist of Speech and Language Services in Lake Jackson. For the past 20 years she has worked with Early Childhood, Preschool and Elementary students in the public school setting. Marilyn recently retired from Brazosport ISD, where she was the Lead Speech Language Pathologist, managing a staff of 15 and supervising and mentoring assistants and interns. She was also a member of the multidisciplinary team responsible for screening and assessment of all preschool referrals. Marilyn served on the Speech Language Pathology Advisory  Panel at Region 4 Education Service Center, was a trainer at the Center for Business and Industry Training at Brazosport College and served as the Facilitator for the Dow Chemical Company's Community Advisory Panel. She is excited to bring her many years of experience and training to Empower children and their families to maximize their potential.

Virginia Read, PT