Alicia received her Bachelor of Arts Psychology degree from Providence College in 2015 and Master of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Southern CT State University in 2020. Currently has 6 years of mental health experience in residential, in-home, outpatient and private settings. Currently working on obtaining LPC, provides therapy for private practice clients part-time, and hold a virtual empowerment seminar every 3 months for other upcoming therapist who recently graduated and is working towards licensure.   


Dr. Walde is a nationally-board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who works with people across the lifespan. She is also a board-certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist with additional expertise working with children, teens and young adults. Dr. Walde is licensed to provide therapeutic treatments and prescription medication management.  She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in exercise science at The George Washington University, her master’s in nursing at Yale University and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Oregon Health Sciences University. She has over 15 years of nursing experience in inpatient settings, community health, and substance use treatment programs. She is currently a faculty member at Yale School of Nursing and owns a private practice on the shoreline. Dr. Walde is committed to providing high quality and effective care that considers each individual and family’s unique needs. 

Andy Buccaro LCSW, LADC – Executive Director

Andy is the Executive Director and founder of Project Courage. Before launching Project Courage, he was the Director of School-Based Programming for New Hope Manor Inc. In this role, Andy worked with public and private schools arranging contracts to allow schools to supplement their support staff with substance abuse counseling. Additionally, Andy worked as a clinician for Yale University’s Forensic Psychology Department in their research project comparing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Twelve Step Facilitation models for treating alcoholism and addiction. During this time, he also provided clinical services for Yale’s adolescent substance abuse prevention program for students re-entering New Haven Public Schools. Most recently he served as the Executive Director of Center for Change an intensive outpatient dual diagnosis clinic that delivered services to Turning Point a nationally recognized treatment program for young adult males. At Center for Change he developed, implemented, and produced clinical programming that received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). With credentials in both the mental health and substance abuse fields, combined with almost two decades of experience, Andy provides clinical services that include thoughtful, compassionate and confidential interventions. Andy’s specialties include substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

Ryan Hocking LCSW – Assistant Executive Director

Ryan earned his BA in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire and his Masters in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University. Ryan started his career working at the Rushford Center, Inc. where he provided services to adolescents with mental health and addiction issues. His work there included biopsychosocial assessments, individual, family and group therapy. From Rushford, Ryan continued his social work career as a supervisor at the APT Foundation where he offered individual and group therapy to patients receiving opioid replacement treatment. Ryan most recently worked as the Assistant Executive Director at Center for Change, an intensive outpatient dual diagnosis clinic that delivered services to Turning Point a nationally recognized treatment program for young adult males. Ryan brings his dedicated work in the social work field to Project Courage and feels passionate about helping individuals and families achieve their treatment goals.

Courtney Bushnell LCSW – Clinical Director

Courtney is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Clinical Supervisor at Project Courage.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in social work from Providence College and then went on to receive a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut. Courtney has over 10 years of experience providing a range of clinical care including biopsychosocial assessments, individual, group and family therapy to people of all ages, focusing on substance use and mental health issues. Courtney has been with Project Courage since the start of the Intensive Outpatient Program in 2014, and is very passionate about creating a positive working therapeutic relationship with her clients.

Michelle Bailey – Chief Operations Officer

Michelle has a dual role at Project Courage, Chief Operations Officer and Fitness Coordinator. Michelle has her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a concentration in health care and a Master’s degree In Business Administration from Quinnipiac University.

Michelle is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and yoga instructor with a passion for life that is unstoppable. Michelle believes how you work out, is how you live your life and motivates people to reach their fullest potential.

kc hespeler headshot
KC Hespeler LCSW – Director of Family Services

KC Hespeler is the Director of Family Services at Project Courage. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, KC received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut. KC’s extensive treatment experience includes children, adolescents, and adults as well as individual, group, and family therapy. Focusing on individuals with multiple diagnoses, especially co-occurring substance abuse disorders, KC has a special interest in providing support to clients and their families as the navigate the processes of finding and receiving treatment. She believes family involvement in the treatment of substance use and mental health issues is essential, influencing more positive outcomes.

Mike McCavey – Director of Recovery Support Services

Mike is the director of the Recovery Support Services program. Mike has experience in providing individualized recovery coaching services and oversight of the entire RSS program. Mike is passionate about his work and being able to provide insight and collaboration to all services. 

Liz McCall
Liz McCall – CAC, Certified Family Recovery Coach

Liz is a Certified Family Recovery Coach and obtained her CAC (Certified Addiction Counselor). She graduated from Saint Anselm College with a BA in Psychology. She has worked in the addiction field for over 10 years. Liz worked for the CT Council on Problem Gambling as a Prevention Specialist and at Aware Recovery Care as a Family Liaison. Liz provides family coaching services, family therapy, individual therapy as well as group therapy here at Project Courage. 

Heather Congdon LPCA – Clinician

Heather earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Goodwin University and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling from Albertus Magnus College. Heather has over five years of experience providing mental health and substance use care within the following areas: in-home recovery, intensive outpatient program for young adults experiencing first episode psychosis, school-community based substance use prevention, and art-driven outpatient programs for Veterans and individuals with disabilities. Heather has a passion for helping others transform their lives by promoting creativity, strength in support, and hope.

Jenna Deluca LADC LMSW – Director of School-Based Services

Jenna received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Southern Connecticut State University and her master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. Jenna was a Research Assistant for three years in the Psychology department at SCSU, focusing her research on mental health and addiction in college students, as well as the implications for intervention and prevention. At Project Courage, Jenna helps both students and clients explore their substance use and provides hope to create a life worth living.

Erin Greenleaf LMSW – Primary Clinician

Erin has is one of Project Courage’s full-time clinicians. Erin received her associate degree and DARC Certificate from Gateway Community College in Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counseling, her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University, and her master’s degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University.