Meet the Mission Kids Staff

 

Our team believes in triumph over trauma. Made up of highly-experienced, local professionals, Mission Kids’ staff is carefully trained to handle highly complex and emotional cases. Each professional is dedicated to the physical and emotional wellbeing of children.

Leadership Team

Abbie Newman, RN, JD

Chief Executive Officer, External and Global Affairs
she/her/hers

Abbie R. Newman, R.N., J.D., is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of External and Global Affairs at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. Abbie began her professional career as a registered nurse specializing in pediatrics before returning to law school and obtaining her degree from Fordham University School of Law. She practiced law in Philadelphia and became a shareholder at Post & Schell, P.C., specializing in medical malpractice defense of medical professionals for almost 20 years.

Abbie began her work with Mission Kids as the founding Executive Director in 2008. As Executive Director, she built the collaborative Multidisciplinary Team into a nationally Accredited CAC which has served nearly 7,000 abused children and their families. As CEO of External and Global Affairs, she brings the leadership of Mission Kids statewide, nationally, and internationally to help victims of child abuse. Some of her work includes spearheading original research projects to inform best practices, and developing collaborative response policies to victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Abbie is the past-President of PennCAC (the Pennsylvania Chapter of CACs), and the current and founding Chair of the External Affairs Committee of PennCAC. Abbie has received bi-partisan gubernatorial appointments to several statewide committees, including the CAC Advisory Committee, charged with establishing and sustaining CACs across Pennsylvania. Ms. Newman works with state and national legislators to strengthen child protection laws, increase funding to agencies serving victims of child abuse and neglect, and to develop and sustain child advocacy centers as a model for child abuse investigation and prevention. She has been elected to the Distinguished Advisory Committee of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, where she works on developing collaborative responses to global issues of child abuse.

Leslie Slingsby, MSW, LSW

Chief Executive Officer, Services and Operations
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Leslie has a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in non-profit management and social policy from the University of Michigan.  Previously, she was the first Continuous Quality Improvement Manager for Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency.  Prior to her experience in public child welfare, she was the founding Director of the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center.  In addition, Leslie has over a decade of experience in victim services overseeing mental health services, legal and medical advocacy, hotline and cyber services.  She has been responsible for implementing and monitoring several state and federal grant projects and assisted with the coordination of several local program initiatives involving partnership including Child Death Review Team, Sexual Assault Response Team, the Crimes against Older Adults Task Force and the Domestic Abuse Fatality Review Team.

Direct Services Team

Jane Kim, Esq.

Program Director
she/her/hers

Jane Kim, Esq. is the Program Director for Mission Kids. She began her career as a public high school teacher in Delaware County before pursuing a law degree at Temple University Beasley School of Law. Ms. Kim began her legal career in the District Attorney's Office in Montgomery County, focusing on appellate matters, human trafficking, and community engagement.  Ms. Kim also worked as a civil attorney representing adult victims of sexual assault in family law, immigration, and Protection from Abuse. To pursue her passion for advocating for child victims, she became a staff attorney at the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia. She represented child victims of sexual abuse in dependency hearings, criminal trials, and appellate matters. While in Philadelphia, she co-chaired the Children's Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Her work at the Support Center first introduced her to the valuable work of child advocacy centers, where she saw first-hand how its multidisciplinary approach can bring justice and holistic healing to child victims of abuse and their families. Before arriving at Mission Kids, Ms. Kim worked as the Director of the Bucks County Children's Advocacy Center.
Susan Tymon

Case Coordinator
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Susan joined Mission Kids as the Case Coordinator in August 2016. Prior to working at Mission Kids, Susan worked at the YWCA of Trenton, NJ for 21 years as Director of Youth Services where she served as an advocate for children and their families by providing resource referrals for educational, medical and financial aid services. She was the Director of the Daycare, After School and Summer Camp Programs, working hands-on with at-risk youth in the community, serving as a mentor, life-skills counselor and academic tutor. Susan has many years of experience in non-profit administration and operations as well as program development and community outreach. She served as an advisor on the Mercer County, NJ Youth Services Commission, the Mayor’s Youth Initiative Committee and the Mercer County, NJ Cultural Diversity Committee.

Susan has a passion for helping children and families and believes that “no concern is too small when it involves a child”. She is very proud to be part of the Mission Kids team, working together to ensure the safety and well-being of all children.

Michelle Kline, MSS, LCSW

Forensic Interviewer Supervisor
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Michelle is the Forensic Interviewer Supervisor at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. Prior to Mission Kids, Michelle was a Lead Forensic Interview Specialist at the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance for 9 years. Michelle’s work includes facilitating a multi-disciplinary team approach to child sexual and physical abuse investigations including conducting forensic interviews with the alleged victims of abuse. In addition, Michelle trains new interviewers and supports already established interviewers on topics such as basic abuse dynamics, child development, memory and suggestibility, as well as specific interview techniques. Michelle has completed over 2,500 forensic interviews of children and adults in her career and has testified in numerous civil and criminal court cases.

Michelle brings with her many years of experience providing educational programming as well as therapeutic work focused on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and queer (LGBTQ) youth. In the past, she has also helped support new professionals in the fields of Social Work and Psychology as an adjunct faculty member at Arcadia University and Cabrini University as well as a field liaison at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research.

Pam Alvarado

Bi-lingiual Forensic Interviewer
she/her/hers

Pam joined the Mission Kids team as a bi-lingual Forensic Interviewer in 2021. She earned her bachelors degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology at Temple University. While a student, Pam interned at the Defender Association of Philadelphia in the Adult Social Services Unit and the Special Defense and Homicide Unit.

Upon graduating, Pam expanded her experience at the Defenders and became a bi-lingual Social Service Advocate in the Children and Youth Justice Unit. During her three years there, Pam advocated for the legal rights of children and youth by providing support, connecting them with community resources, and helping them navigate court proceedings. Pam's extra-curriculars included being a part of Love Your Melon, an organization whose mission is to support the fight against pediatric cancer.

Jen Watson

Forensic Interviewer
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Jen graduated from Lock Haven University in 1998. After working and living in Baltimore for 5 years, she moved back to Bradford County, PA where she was employed by Bradford County Children and Youth Services for 15 years where she was a caseworker and supervisor. Jen was a part of the initial team who established a CAC in Bradford County. She was chosen to be one of the team members to be trained as a forensic interviewer through NCAC. Jen conducted forensic interviews following NCAC's forensic interviewing protocol on behalf of her MDT from 2012-2015. Jen comes to Mission Kids with a wealth of knowledge about child abuse, the child welfare system and the importance of forensic interviewing.
Clare Henderson

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Case Coordinator and Advocate
she/her/hers

Clare Henderson, CSEC Case Coordinator and Advocate, received her Bachelor’s Degree from DeSales University. Prior to working at Mission Kids, she worked for Montgomery County Children and Youth (OCY) as an Intake case worker for 9 years and her last year at Children and Youth she was an Intake Supervisor for the Pottstown Unit. Clare joined the Mission Kids Team as the Supervisor of the Family Advocacy Program in September 2018. In October 2021, Clare transitioned to become Mission Kids first ever Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, or “CSEC” Case Coordinator and Advocate. Clare is responsible for coordinating and advocating for any child/teen suspected of be a victim of commercial sexual exploitation in Montgomery County. In this position, she is responsible for notifying multidisciplinary team (MDT) members about all meetings as dictated by the protocol developed in Montgomery County. In addition, works collaboratively with the MDT by being a liaison between the child/teen and MDT partners as appropriate.

Cyndi Woodruff

Mental Health Outcome Specialist
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Cyndi Dougherty received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from West Chester University in 2019. Cyndi gained experience in the criminal justice field during an internship at George W. Hill Correctional Facility, where she served as a Case Manager, assisting incarcerated individuals of various classifications. Cyndi appreciated the collaborative approach used within the system, and she served as a liaison between inmates and probation, OCY and the justice system. Later, Cyndi gained experience working directly with children when she worked in an elementary school as a one-on-one support specialist and provided educational assistance to students with special needs. Cyndi enjoys taking on difficult tasks knowing she has the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. She is so excited to be a Family Advocate here at Mission Kids and assist families who need guidance and a helping hand in navigating the aftermath of trauma and their healing path forward. When Cyndi is not working, she enjoys weight lifting, reading, and spending time with her cat and dog!

Liz Nolan, MSW

Family Advocate Supervisor
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Liz Nolan joined the Mission Kids team as a Family Advocate in August 2021. She earned her BA in Social Work at Taylor University in Indiana where she completed a school social work internship at an elementary school. After college, she worked for 2 years at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter as an education aide and provided trauma-informed behavioral interventions to children in crisis in educational and residential settings. Liz earned her Masters in Social Work at the University of Kentucky; there she had the opportunity to intern at the Center on Trauma and Children where she assisted a multidisciplinary team in completing in-depth assessments of families involved in the foster care system for family court judges making difficult permanency decisions. Prior to working at Mission Kids, she worked in Kentucky for 4 years as a Therapeutic Foster Care Case Manager providing trauma-informed services to children and their families.

Adrienne Cavanaugh, MSW

Family Advocate
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Adrienne is an alumna of Temple University where she earned her Bachelors in Criminal Justice. After working in the legal field for a few years, she changed course and became a stay at home mom to her 2 children. Alongside her husband, she became a foster parent through Montgomery County Office of Children in youth in 2018 and in 2019 they adopted their son to become a family of 5. After working with children who have experienced trauma, Adrienne returned to school and earned her Master's in Social work in December of 2023. Outside of Mission Kids, she co-founded Fostering Hope, a nonprofit which provides services to children and families experiencing foster care. Additionally, she is the co-founder and lead instructor at Community Wellness Academy which provides trauma-informed education, supports, interventions, and coaching to individuals, agencies, and communities who have been impacted by primary and secondary trauma. She has created and facilitated trauma-informed training workshops for the foster care community and is dedicated to ongoing healing through education. She is passionate about caring for people and providing healing for children and families in the face of adversity.

Grace Knapke

Family Advocate
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Grace graduated from Penn State University in May 2023 with a degree in Criminology and dual minors in Rehabilitation and Human Services and Sociology. She was an intern at Mission Kids during the Summer of 2022 where she shadowed fellow Family Advocates and saw first hand how Mission Kids upholds their values and core beliefs. Grace is excited to be back as a Family Advocate herself. She is very passionate about being there for others during difficult times, making sure each person is heard, and that everyone is treated with respect and kindness.

Adriana Martinez Munoz

Bi-lingual Family Advocate
she/her/hers

Adriana's passion for helping others began in high school where she organized fundraising campaigns for orphanages in Chiapas, Mexico. A Mexico native, Adriana studied International Relations at Insituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico City. During this time, she volunteered in a library that specialized in kids with vision impairment, modifying books with textures so kids could recognize them easily. Adriana has also volunteered for Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) as a translator between lawyers and immigrants, helping them to gain legal status. She has a passion for helping vulnerable communities around the world and is thrilled to continue this work at Mission Kids. In her free time, Adriana enjoys running and hiking. She looks forward to creating a safer environment for families and kids in Montgomery County.

Karina Trejo

Bi-lingual Family Advocate
she/her/hers

Karina Trejo, bilingual family advocate at Mission Kids, graduated Temple University with a degree in Psychology. Prior to working at Mission Kids, Karina worked at Ashfield Healthcare where she would assist patients with their medications. Karina has worked with children at the Montgomery County Public Library, where she would not only support them with their homework and other school related activities, but she would also translate documents for parents who only spoke Spanish. In addition to this, she would hold gatherings to read books and do arts and crafts for families. Having a connection to the Latino community in both language and culture, Karina can provide support to families who may feel that they are out of the loop when it comes to the criminal justice system. Inspired by the gap in bi-lingual trauma therapists specializing in child abuse, Karina is currently attending Thomas Jefferson University in pursuit of her master's degree through their Community and Trauma Counseling Program. Upon completion, Karina hopes to utilize her new skills to better serve the bi-lingual community of Montgomery County at Mission Kids and help them achieve healing.

Maureen Convery

Receptionist/Child Care Specialist
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Maureen joined Mission Kids in April of 2022 as the evening Receptionist/Child Care Specialist. Maureen worked in social services with children while earning her BA Psychology. While earning her MA she worked with adults with serious mental illness in community based programs.

After earning her MA, Maureen began working in Human Resource management, where she spent the next 10 years in the nonprofit and for profit sectors. She left her career to raise her children and help run the family business. During this time she coached two Odyssey of the Mind teams and did other volunteer work.

Maureen is thrilled to be part of the Mission Kids team, and to have the opportunity to work with children again.

On-Site Mental Health Services Team*

*Members of our Mental Health Services Team are employees of our partner organization, Creative Health Services, who provide on-site mental health services to children served by Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center

Kala Fell, LMFT

Clinical Supervisor and Liaison to Mission Kids
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Kala Fell, LMFT began her career at Mission Kids in 2011 serving first as a Case Coordinator and later contributing to the development of the Family Advocacy program. Kala attended graduate school while employed with Mission Kids and was awarded her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2014. She completed her clinical internship and later began working as a Family Based Therapist at Creative Health Services. Kala became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in 2017. Kala remained with Creative Health for several years before transitioning to Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, where she worked in their Montgomery County Trauma Services Program (TSP) and received specialized training and supervision in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP).  Kala’s background and understanding of the function and importance of Children’s Advocacy Centers, coupled with her specialized training in providing trauma-focused therapy uniquely prepare her to serve as the Creative Health Services Clinical Liaison to Mission Kids. Since serving in her role as the Liaison to Mission Kids CAC, Kala has pursued additional training in the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and has attended advanced TF-CBT trainings for serving children impacted by CSEC and Youth with Problematic Sexual Behaviors (YPSB). Kala is pursuing Approved Supervisor credentialing through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Kala has served in the role of Clinical Supervisor since February 2022.
Kelly Hagenbaugh, LSW

Clinical Supervisor
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Kelly Hagenbaugh is a Licensed Social Worker who has had over 15 years' experience in the field of trauma treatment. Kelly received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Buffalo. Prior to joining Creative Health Services and Mission Kids, she was the Counseling Coordinator at Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) and was a part of building several clinical programs including trauma counseling in the community and comprehensive, evidenced based programming for Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior (YWPSB). Kelly currently works with the University of Oklahoma as member of their clinical training team providing clinical training, consultation and support to YWPSB program sites across the Country. Kelly is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT); Problematic Sexual Behavior - Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT), as well as Eye Movement De-sensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) as well as being a certified yoga instructor. Kelly hopes to support MK, CHS and the MDT in Montgomery County in creating evidenced based, comprehensive programming for youth with problematic sexual behaviors, their families and impacted youth.
Meaghan Kerper, MSW, LSW

Trauma Therapist
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Meaghan Kerper, LSW received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Temple University in 2006. Her work with children began as a Truancy Abatement Coordinator at Family Services of Montgomery County. She began her work at Mission Kids in December 2011, playing a major role in the development of the Family Advocacy program and earning the title of Supervisor of Family Advocates. Meaghan went on become a Forensic Interviewer and remained in this position for three years. Meaghan received her Master’s degree in Social Work from West Chester University in 2017. Meaghan began her clinical work at Creative Health Services, first working in the Drug and Alcohol department providing intake assessments. Combining her expertise in child advocacy with her clinical training, Meaghan began providing onsite trauma-focused treatment through a partnership between Mission Kids CAC and Creative Health Services in January 2020. In fall of 2023, Meaghan transitioned to the new co-located MK/CHS location in Pottstown. Meaghan is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

Alexis Neimeyer, MSS, LSW

Trauma Therapist
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Alexis is an alumna of Penn State University with her Bachelors in Human Development & Family Studies and a specialization in Child Maltreatment & Advocacy Studies. Alexis then earned her Master’s in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College and achieved her License in Social Work (LSW) in 2023. She has previous experience as a domestic violence advocate and in school settings providing counseling and teaching kids coping skills and social-emotional learning tools. Alexis joined the Mission Kids team in 2022 as a program intern and was hired shortly after as a family advocate. She valued the experience of supporting families through the process of coming to Mission Kids and navigating the complex systems involved in a child abuse investigation. In 2023, she was hired as a trauma therapist through our partnership with Creative Health Services to further her clinical skills and support Mission Kids' families in a new way. Alexis is passionate about mental health and supporting children and families in healing from trauma. She is grateful to be a part of a safe and inclusive space like Mission Kids where all children's voices is heard, they are believed, and they can discover healing and resiliency.

External Affairs Team

Elizabeth Himsworth Evans

External Affairs Specialist
she/her/hers

Liz Evans, External Affairs Specialist, joined the Mission Kids team in January 2018. She has advocated on behalf of children in a number of capacities -- as an elementary PTA co-president, secretary of the Abington School District’s Parent Council, and as a contributing member of character education and anti-bullying initiatives. For roughly ten years she volunteered time and expertise to the Abington YMCA Young People’s Theater and US Youth Soccer Region I Olympic Development Program. A former board member of the Willow Grove Branch of Settlement Music School and the board’s Education Committee chairperson, Liz actively worked in partnership with the board, staff and donors on behalf of students, their families and the community, at large.

In 1983, Liz earned a BA in English with a minor in Studio Art from Chestnut Hill College and entered the field of publishing. Earning her PA teacher’s certification in Secondary English from Villanova, she taught briefly before becoming a full-time mother of four. In 2012, after leaving full-time employment as an executive assistant to assist a family member, Liz earned her PA Property and Casualty license and worked in the insurance field, before coming across Mission Kids’ job posting on Facebook. Knowing their mom’s lifelong goals and passion for helping others, Liz’s family strongly encouraged her to apply, and she has been providing invaluable support to Mission Kids, ever since.

Prevention Education Team

Michelle McDyre

Director of Prevention Education and Outreach
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Michelle McDyre, a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology, has dedicated 8 years to Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center in a variety of capacities including direct service as a Case Coordinator and Family Advocate, as the Development and Outreach Manager, and ultimately expanded her impact as the first-ever Director of Prevention Education and Outreach.
Michelle is responsible for coordinating and managing child abuse education and prevention efforts, including trainings, speaking engagements, presentations, community events, and social media and online engagement.

Michelle launched the organization’s prevention education department and its “ROAR” program. "ROAR" is a child-based education program that teaches children age 4 through 8 about bodily safety and empowers them to speak out if they ever feel they are in an inappropriate situation. Her work was vitally important during the pandemic. When schools switched to virtual learning and children were isolated from mandated reporters like teachers, coaches, and counselors, she ensured that the ROAR program would still be taught virtually. Since its launch in 2019, over 25,000 students have participated in the "ROAR" Program. Michelle also oversees the "Safe Touches" Program for 2nd graders, which is in a pilot research phase in coordination with Penn State's Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and researchers from New York University and is expected to reach 10,000 students in Montgomery County over the next 2 years.
Michelle has developed curricula and presented on topics including Human Trafficking, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM), The Effects of Child Abuse and Trauma on Students in the Classroom, the Child Advocacy Center Response, and the vulnerabilities of children with special needs that put them at risk to being abused and exploited.
Michelle enjoys presenting to professionals including educators, medical providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, social workers, therapists, and other youth-serving professionals, along with caregivers and other adult community members; but she finds her days especially rewarding when she facilitates trainings for children and helps them identify safe adults and empowers them to speak out against abuse.

Under her leadership, Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center employs six prevention educators. Collectively, they deliver up to 30 trainings per week, and educated 1,800 adults and 8,000 children in 2021 alone. Since the organization launched its prevention education program under McDyre, the organization has provided training to over 30,000 children ages 4-18 and nearly 40,000 individuals since 2018 in Montgomery County alone.
Michelle has received several awards and commendations for her work, including, most recently, PA Family Support Alliance's Blue Ribbon Champion for Safe Kids Award (April 2023), Jefferson University’s first-ever Hope and Healing Award (April 2022) for her outstanding commitment to prevention and awareness and the “MontCo 2021 Millennial Superstar Award.”
Michelle thrives on the opportunity to share the story of Mission Kids’ impact on the lives of children in the community and finding ways to connect community members to the agency’s mission.

Kaylee McCormick, MS

Trauma Training Project Manager
she/her/hers

Kaylee McCormick is an enthusiastic new member of the Prevention Education team at Mission Kids, although she is not new to the realm of child advocacy centers. Kaylee received her BA in Psychology from the University of South Carolina followed by her Master of Science Degree in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Throughout her studies, Kaylee quickly discovered her passion for treating and advocating for underserved and at-risk children.

As a graduate level intern, Kaylee provided trauma-based therapy to child victims of abuse. This role opened her eyes to the need for more streamlined, thoughtful and collaborative care for these youth, as well as the disconcerting statistics of child sexual abuse. After receiving her Master’s, Kaylee served as a Family Support Advocate at the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center where she was awed by the multidisciplinary team approach and the dedication each person showed to their work. In the years following, Kaylee worked as a therapist in both outpatient and school-based settings. As such, she observed the increasing need for education surrounding child abuse for students, families and professionals alike.

Inspired and impassioned, Kaylee hopes to contribute a unique and valuable perspective to child abuse education and prevention through her role at Mission Kids.

Sarah Imbesi

Prevention Educator Coordinator
she/her/hers

Sarah Imbesi is the Prevention Education Coordinator at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. Sarah graduated from Lebanon Valley College with a B.S. in Digital Communications and a B.A. in Music Business. Prior to working at Mission Kids, Sarah served as the Adoption Partnerships Coordinator at the Adoption Center in Philadelphia, where she facilitated the NBC10 Wednesday’s Child feature and adoption match events for youth in foster care. She also supported survivors of sexual assault through crisis intervention and trauma-informed care in her free time as a volunteer at RAINN.

Child welfare and victim advocacy have been close to Sarah’s heart since she was a teenager, and she is thrilled to be a part of the Prevention Education team at Mission Kids. Sarah believes that all children deserve support, safety, and justice; and feels that teaching children about body safety is a crucial step toward advancing the societal conversation around sexual abuse and sexual assault. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys cooking, playing video games, and traveling with her husband.

Jennifer Capone

Community Prevention Educator
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Jennifer Capone received her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from West Chester University and her master's degree in Educational Development and Strategies from Wilkes University. Prior to Mission Kids, Jennifer taught and worked with children in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade. She loves working with kids and helping them feel empowered and confident in their own abilities and skills. Through Mission Kids, Jennifer enjoys helping children find their voices and providing them the tools to know when to speak up for themselves.

Hailey Noecker

Community Prevention Educator
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Haley Nicastro

Community Prevention Educator
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Haley Nicastro joined the Mission Kids team as a Community Prevention Educator in August of 2022. Haley earned her BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Penn State University. Prior to working at Mission Kids, she spent the last several years teaching Kindergarten at Chesterbrook Academy. Child welfare is extremely important to Haley and she is thrilled to be a part of such an incredible organization. Haley hopes that in facilitating these body safety trainings, children feel empowered to use their voice if they feel uncomfortable, no matter who the other person is. These trainings will teach children that they have a right to feel safe and will educate them on ways to prevent child abuse from happening to them. She believes that all children deserve a happy and carefree childhood and with early prevention education, we have a hand in making that a possibility.

Veronica Trejo

Bi-lingual Community Prevention Educator
she/her/hers

Veronica Trejo graduated Immaculata University with a Bachelor’s in Spanish-Psychology. She has early experience working with children, in high school she volunteered in a Latino based After-School Program, CCATE, helping children with homework or learn English. She has kept a close relationship with the program director and enjoys helping and improving the Latino community. Prior to working at Mission Kids, Veronica was a teacher and assistant director at The Goddard School. She loved working with all age groups and has a strong passion for caring and guiding children to be the best they can be.

Veronica has always believed in helping children overcome their trauma as early as they can, so that as adults they are able to contribute to society in a positive manner. She appreciates the services Mission Kids provides for families and is grateful to be able to help out as well. At Mission Kids, Veronica works on the ROAR Program that prevents child abuse by giving them the tools they need to help keep their bodies safe. She will be able to provide the program in Spanish and English to help the Latino community understand the importance of preventing child abuse.Apart from helping little ones, she enjoys completing Disney puzzles, reading books, and occasionally has a night out with friends to unwind and live in the moment. Veronica hopes that children and families become comfortable talking about child abuse and ways to avoid it or, ask for help when needed and decrease the abuse rates across the nation.

Development Team

Paula Jones, CFRE

Director of Development
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Paula Jones, CFRE, is the Director of Development for Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center.  She is a passionate development professional who thrives on communicating the story of an organization to foster engagement and investment. At Mission Kids, Paula leads and provides oversight for all planning to raise critical funds, strategic direction and initiatives for donor cultivation, grants, corporate engagement, and volunteers.

Originally from Colorado, Paula earned a Master’s in Speech Language Pathology and worked with children and adults before transitioning to fundraising for healthcare systems, where she gained 30 years of experience. Prior to Mission Kids, Paula was the Development Officer for Einstein Medical Center Montgomery where she was responsible for major gifts, campaign development, and strategic planning.  Paula earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive credentials in 2018.

Paula was first introduced to Mission Kids 7 years ago, and the stories of hope and healing she has heard over the years have left a permanent mark on her heart. Paula was drawn to the agency and ultimately joined the Mission Kids team in July 2021 and is dedicated to fundraising and expanding Mission Kids’ impact to help as many child abuse victims as possible. Paula has been an active member of the Colonial School District PTSO for over 5 years and loves getting involved to support her local community. Paula lives in Plymouth Meeting and enjoys spending time with her kids, family, and friends.

Kaity Andrey

Communications, Marketing and Outreach Manager
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Kaity Andrey is Mission Kids' first-ever Communications, Marketing and Outreach Manager. With a background in public education and nonprofit communications/fundraising, Kaity is thrilled to pair her skills and experience with her passion for children and nonprofit work at Mission Kids.

Kaity earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with a focus in Journalism at Bloomsburg University and her Certification as a Professional Fundraiser through Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies. She began her career at the North Penn School District (NPSD) serving as the Communications and Development Specialist for nearly seven years. Within this role, Kaity sat on the board of trustees for the school district’s 501(c)3 organization, the NPSD Educational Foundation. It was here that Kaity discovered her passion for nonprofit work, specifically that involving children. Throughout her tenure with the NPSD Educational Foundation, Kaity served as chair of both the Marketing and Alumni Relations committees, launching several successful events and campaigns centered around community engagement, fundraising, service and recognition. She took a great deal of pride in leading efforts that provided support and resources for students and families in need. Kaity has earned multiple awards at the state and national level for such programs and related publications.

It has been said that “the meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.” These words are what drive Kaity to continue developing her expertise in the area of marketing and communications to best position Mission Kids to make the greatest and most meaningful impact in the lives of those we serve, and beyond.

Morgan Mittelstadt

Grants Manager
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Morgan Mittelstadt began her career at Mission Kids as Grants Manager in December 2022. Most recently, Morgan served as Grants and Research Associate for Williamson College of the Trades. In that role, she assisted the Grants and Research Director in identifying and pursuing grant funding opportunities and managed the College’s Scholarship Program. Morgan also has experience in grant writing from nonprofits including The Global Health Impact Project in Binghamton, NY and Save a Suit in Bethel, CT. Morgan is dedicated to serving nonprofits that support vulnerable populations and was motivated to join Mission Kids after learning of the organizations work to create a better and safer world for all children.

Morgan holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Law from Binghamton University. As Grants Manager, she is responsible for conducting the full range of activities required to prepare, submit and manage grant proposals to foundation, government and corporate sources. Originally from Westchester, NY, Morgan now resides in Media, PA.

Ruth James

Development and Outreach Associate
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Prior to working at Mission Kids, she worked for the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia as a Prospect Research Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO. Ruth also worked for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as Manager of Data and Research as well as Prospect Research Manager.  Ruth spent over 12 years commuting back and forth to the Diocese of Trenton as a Development Associate where she was the primary agent for prospect research and comprehensive donor profiles.  She was also the principal data administrator, responsible for data integrity of over 235,000 constituent records. Ruth has an extensive background in development, fundraising, marketing, donor events and planned giving.  Ruth received her BA in Geography from Millersville University. Ruth’s compassion and empathy combined with her desire for helping others makes Mission Kids the perfect place for her to make a difference in our community and help victims of abuse in their healing journey.

Administrative Team

Maggie Rakaczewski, MA

Operations Administrator
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Maggie Rakaczewski serves as the Administrative Assistant at Mission Kids. Her background in English, attention to detail and dedication to problem solving make her a corner stone behind the scenes at our Center. From onboarding new staff to troubleshooting technology, Maggie's supportive role allows her to work with every staff member at Mission Kids. Maggie earned her Bachelors in English from Misericordia University and her Masters in English from Arcadia University. Prior to joining Mission Kids, Maggie served as a member of the First Year English Program Faculty at Arcadia University. She looks forward to bringing her skills and experience to Mission Kids to support the health of her community and its children.

When Maggie isn't busy holding down the fort at Mission Kids, she enjoys gardening, baking, reading and crafting. Maggie is an avid volunteer with the Shady Grove Elementary School Home and School Association, serving as a board member responsible for communications. She also loves to hike and travel with her husband and daughter.

Theresa Anne Lazorko

Finance Manager
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Ryan Morris

Finance Associate
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As a Finance Associate at Mission Kids, Ryan is driven by a keen sense of purpose and a desire to make a difference in the lives of children who have been affected by child abuse. With a background in finance and a passion for social justice, Ryan is committed to using her skills to support the financial operations of the organization. It is fulfilling for Ryan to be part of a team dedicated to supplying safety, support, and healing to those who need it the most.