CEO and Founder
Valarie has a Master's Degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration also from Western Michigan University. She has over 18 years of experience in the Behavioral Health field.
Over 15 years ago, her desire to see change and transformation was her driving force to birth The Synergy Health Center. She saw a need to provide culturally sensitive, relevant programs within hard to reach areas and services in the community she serves. Valarie's love and compassion to see those in hurting helped and healed led her to continue to expand programs and services that extend beyond the borders of Kalamazoo.
When available to counsel, her specialty area is Faith Based Counseling, Marriage and Couples counseling especially to those in leadership (pastors, and leadership team members), adults and teenagers.
In 2014, the UrbanZone was launched to provide a safe haven for teenagers to include an educational learning center., a commercial kitchen and a recording and a recording studio to engage teens in healthy healing and engagement.
Upon obtaining a Master of Social Work degree, Sonja worked as a contractual therapist, servicing primarily youth and young adults suffering from behavioral issues, depression, and relationship issues.
As an adjunct instructor for ten years, Sonja instructed social work courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was passionate about introducing the profession of social work to students, allowing them to integrate their knowledge, skillset, and interests into the different disciplines available in the industry.
She worked for KNHS Homeownership Services as the Director of the Homeownership Center. With the passion of seeing clients obtain their goal of homeownership and strengthening their financial circumstances, she supported and encouraged the efforts of many community members at preparing and obtaining homeownership.
Sonja continues the path of being a life-long learner by obtaining a Master’s in business administration and Life Coaching certification. She continues to learn and add to her skill set, knowing there are still higher heights to reach. Her focus is to empower others to reach their greatest potential as well.