PAY Check: Who We Are

Susan G. “Sue” Killam, M.Ed., CWIC, CESP

Project Director

Susan “Sue” G. Killam has worked for over 25 years in the area of employment and disability policy. Ms. Killam is a tireless advocate for the civil rights of all people but specifically for individuals with disabilities. Ms. Killam began her career in Louisiana in 1990 as the Lead Trainer for the Supported Employment Systems Change Grant. Following that grant, Sue served as Director of AcME, Inc. (an employment agency initiated by six parents of individuals with disabilities) for 10 years. Ms. Killam has published several articles on supported employment and disability services and is one of the authors of APSE’s Ethical Guidelines. She has served on numerous governor-appointed councils and boards and is one of the founding members of the Louisiana SE Network (now LA APSE) and currently is appointed to the State as Model Employer (SAME) task force. Ms. Killam is currently focused on providing comprehensive career pathways to jobs in demand.

Carmel Polk, M.S., CESP

Transition Specialist

Carmel Polk is an experienced Transition Support Specialist with the Post-Secondary Apprenticeship for Youth (Pay Check) Program. Carmel earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Disability Services and her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Southern University A&M College. She is also a Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP.)   Driven by a desire to encourage the youth to reach their full potential, she takes pride in providing the best individualized support possible. As a transition support specialist, her goals include teaching work related and community skills.

Michael Curry

Michael Curry
Assistant Transition Specialist
Michael Curry is the Assistant Transition Specialist with the Human Development Center’s Northshore PAY Check Program. As an Assistant Transition Specialist, his goals are to teach young adults self-advocacy and work-related skills so that they may reach their full potential. Michael has several years of experience working with individuals with disabilities to gain independent-living skills at home and in the community. He is driven to bring individualized supports to youth seeking higher education and competitive employment. He takes pride in providing young adults with the tools necessary to be valued members of their community and have full participation in community life. Michael is a graduate of LSU with a Bachelors in Psychology. He is also a certified personal trainer.

Brenna Nopenz

Brenna Nopenz: young blond person smiling
Brenna Nopenz is a Transition and Employment Specialist with the Post-Secondary Apprenticeship for Youth (PAY Check). They have experience working in postsecondary vocational training as well as New Orleans high school special education programs. As a PAY Check Transition and Employment Specialist, Brenna provides quality job coaching and specialized, hands-on work training for each unique individual. Brenna aims to show young adults a path to meaningful employment and community involvement by teaching self-advocacy and self-determination.