Our Staff

Mary Villarreal, OTR, Founder of Journey Learning Center

Mary Villarreal graduated from the University of Missouri in May, 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. After years of experience she went on to further her education with a Master of Arts degree in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University in May 2001. She has completed multiple certifications/specialties such as: Neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT), Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT), Interactive Metronome (IM), Therapeutic Listening, and Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention (REI).

Mary opened Journey Pediatric Rehabilitation, a pediatric out-patient occupational therapy treatment center in June 2004. In July, 2007 Mary established the non-profit Journey Learning Center to provide multi-disciplinary treatment to children with autism spectrum disorder.

Mary has done work with foster care agencies, teaching workers the importance of sensory processing, how to identify it and how to treat it.

Aracely Espinosa, SLPA, Lead Teacher

Aracely earned a BA in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology from the University of North Texas. After graduation she became a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant and began working with children with autism. Aracely tooked some time off to travel and volunteer overseas. In August 2017, Aracely joined The Journey Learning Center as a teacher assistant. She enjoys being outdoors, trying new food, and watching films.


Rachel Villarreal, OTR, Assistant Teacher

Rachel began working with children with disabilities at the age of 14 when she worked as an assistant at a sensory integration camp. When Journey Pediatric Rehab was opened, she worked as a secretary and a therapy assistant. Rachel graduated with her Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) degree from Amarillo College in May 2010. She worked as a COTA at Journey while completing her Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from Kaplan University. She continued her work as a COTA at Journey while pursuing her Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Louisiana Monroe. Rachel completed her Master's Degree and became a board certified Occupational Therapist in 2016.

Karen Mirsky, MS, CCC-SLP

Karen earned a BA in Early Childhood Education from Texas A&M University. After teaching second grade, she attended Baylor University and earned a Master's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She worked in Grapevine Colleyville ISD from 2002-2007 creating and implementing the PALS (Preschool Articulation and Language Service) model for the district. After taking some time off to be a stay at home mom after the birth of her twins, she began working at Journey Learning Center as Speech Pathologist in 2010. Helping children learn the power of communication and find their voice is her passion! Karen lives with her husband and boy/girl twins in Lewisville. She enjoys reading, traveling and entertaining in her free time.