Staff & Associates

Amanda Hunt
Executive Director

Amanda joined the RCA Team in April of 2021 after serving as Board Chair since 2018. She has a BS in Psychology and Kinesiology from the University of Houston. She has had a long career in the Non-profit area and has worked for many years at the YMCA (Houston & San Antonio). She recently served as Development, Marketing and Business Director of Alpha Home in San Antonio before coming to RCA. She loves living and working in New Braunfels. You can reach her at


Susan Tjernagel
Peer Program director


Susan Tjernagel is a Certified Peer Support Specialist who has been working with RCA since 2011. She enjoys interacting with peers through facilitating Support Groups, teaching Lifeskills classes, participating in Artistic Expression in our Art Studio, and planning special activities.  You’ll find Susan greeting clients at the front door, answering the phone, and leading consumer activities.


Renee White, MA, LPC
Counseling Program Director

Renee V. White

Renee V. White is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Counseling Program Director at RCA. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and MA in Counseling from UTSA. She has experience with CPS and the SAPD, and is a United States Air Force Veteran. Her passion for serving New Braunfels with quality mental health services, regardless of insurance, has further focused our counseling program on the overall mission of RCA.


Hannah Nelson, MA, LPC
Staff Counselor


Hannah Nelson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been working with RCA for 9 years. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Lamar University and attained her Masters in Counseling in 2013 from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Hannah has a passion for people and has been invested in RCA’s mission of providing compassionate, affordable mental health care since she walked in the door as a graduate intern in 2013. Hannah has been happily married for 5 years and has a beautiful new baby girl.

Amy Gilbertson, MA, LPC

Staff Counselor

Amy joined River City Advocacy in 2018. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX and her Masters in Professional Counseling from Texas State University.  She is proud to be a part of the RCA team and to support the mission of healing and hope.

Alason Polanco, LPC Associate
supervised by Amy birchill lavergne, LMFT-S, LPC-S
LGBT(een) Support Group Facilitator


Alason (uh-lay-sun), a former RCA intern, facilitates our weekly LGBT(een) Support Group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Questioning Youth. She now works full-time as as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Hays County Juvenile Detention Center. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from St. Edwards University and her Master’s in Professional Counseling from Texas State University.   Her greatest passion is empowering clients towards hope and growth. When she’s not studying, she likes to spend her free time puttering around in the garden, sewing, and hiking. She is excited to remain a part of the RCA family and all of the positive work done here.