The impact of our program is made possible by the inexorable dedication of our 70+ volunteer mentors who partner with committed donors, Board members, our youth and their parents.
Our small but mighty staff provide the backbone support for these wonderful partners to nourish seeds of positive change in our community.
Michelle Kosta, Executive Director. Pronouns: She/her/hers
firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 503-618-2397
Michelle’s first job, caring for a woman with Parkinson’s Disease, showed her the power of relationships to change lives. After graduating from the University of San Francisco she moved to Oregon, joined a band, and became a mentor to a young woman named Kamaria, where her career in youth development began. She’s had the pleasure of working with Girls Inc., Jewish Family and Child Service, Adelante Mujeres, Voz Workers Rights Education Project and spent time as an international volunteer in Argentina and Peru. She joined Family of Friends Mentoring as a match coordinator in 2013 and spearheaded the program’s spin-off from Trillium Family Services in 2016. When she’s not working, you might find her throwing parties, enjoying music, working on social justice issues, or adventuring in the Oregon wilderness with friends and family.
Allison Yoder, Program Manager. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
email@example.com Cell: 503-351-5805
Allison has lived in Oregon since 2010, and was born and raised in Indiana. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Portland State University. Her professional experience includes home visiting, parent education, case management, youth counseling, and work as an Adult Outpatient Mental Health Therapist. Allison started with Family of Friends in 2015, and was promoted to Program Manager in 2016. She is passionate about mentoring, not only as a way to help individual youth gain access to more positive adult support, but also as a means to creating stronger, more empathetic and connected communities as a whole. In her free time, Allison enjoys gardening, hiking, going to concerts, and making delicious food with her partner, Nathan.
Monica Segura, Bilingual Match Coordinator. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 971-940-8730
Monica joined Family of Friends in fall of 2017 and is the primary support person for the program’s Spanish-speaking matches in Gresham. She is the newest member of the team and is excited to work for the organization. She has lived in Oregon for 17 years and is studying Psychology at Oregon State university where her focus is social psychology and women’s studies. Monica’s hobbies include reading, attending concerts, and running (she ran her first half marathon this year and plans on many more!).
Board of Directors
Joe Walsh, City of Gresham, President
A native Oregonian, Joe graduated from the University of Oregon before starting a 10-year career with the Boys & Girls Clubs. There he learned firsthand about the impact of gangs on youth, and has used that experience to coordinate gang prevention efforts including mentoring programs in Hillsboro, Beaverton, Vancouver, and now, Gresham. Joe lives in Camas with his wife Alia and their three children: Lily (12), Jack (10) and Molly (6). He enjoys rooting for the Ducks and Blazers, and binge-watching Netflix. When not sitting on the couch, Joe also likes playing basketball, camping, and hiking, and plans to one day hike the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Renee McKechnie, OHSU, Vice President
Renee is the Director of Digital Strategy for Oregon Health & Science University where she puts her Masters in Biomedical Informatics to good use by guiding strategy, infrastructure and user experience for OHSU’s websites. Through her career and volunteer work, she’s been involved with social service programs for more than 15 years. Renee is passionate about mentoring, and maintains a 6+ year relationship with her teenage mentee, Emily. As a native Oregonian, Renee enjoys gardening, skiing, and obsessing over the weather with her husband, Evan, and their dogs, Lucky and Rune.
Alicia Morris, Finance professional, Treasurer
Marguerite Truttman, John L. Scott Real Estate, Secretary
My introduction to Family of Friends began 9 years ago as a mentor and friend to Cashshay. Cashshay and I were together for about 6-7 years and remain in contact via Facebook. I have lived and worked in the Gresham area for over 35 years and have become very involved in the Gresham community thru various organizations. I’ve been a full time realtor for the last 24 years. Most of my time is spent working, gardening, and spending time with my husband Paul, my 2 daughters, my 5 grandchildren, and my kitty Wally.
La Shawn Chaney, New Avenues for Youth
La Shawn is a long time resident of Portland Oregon. He is currently employed by the nonprofit agency New Avenues for Youth, which provides wraparound services for homeless youth. La Shawn has a huge place in his heart for the Youth of Today. This is evident in the passion and drive he brings to his work. He is the founder of Intercity Sports Ministries (ISM); a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the legacy of Evelyn Collins (Miss Collins) the Mother Theresa of NE Portland. La Shawn is a passionate and avid advocate for youth and loves anything sports related, enjoys relaxing, listening to rap and R&B music, and appreciates traveling and day trips.
Jadine Cabrera, Powell Valley Assisted Living & Memory Care
Jadine started her career with Powell Valley Assisted Living & Memory Care in 2008 as a Caregiver. Today, she is the Director of Marketing and holds a certificate as an Administrator. Jadine has been serving the Gresham community for 9 years through her career at Powell Valley and has recently served on the My Fathers House fundraising committee. She is passionate about serving people, community involvement, and helping others. Jadine is originally from the island of Saipan but has made Oregon her new home. She enjoys making memories with her family and friends, most especially with her husband, Juan, daughter Ella, and their dogs, Rosie and Annie.
Nali Thanasouk, VP of Finance, Trillium Family Services
Nali Thanasouk leads the financial departments of Trillium Family Services and the Trillium Foundation. Nali has spent several years working in the manufacturing industry and started her career as an intern at the Boeing Co. She has held several financial/business positions throughout her career. In 2013, she came on-board with Trillium as the Controller, and has rapidly grown to love the non-profit arena and its mission. Ms. Thanasouk received a Bachelor of Arts in Finance/Accounting at Portland State University, and obtained a Master’s Degree from the University of Oregon in Applied Information Management.
Sarah Shaw Dixon, MBA, Girls on The Run
Sarah is a nonprofit professional with specialized experience in programs that improve outcomes for youth by teaching social-emotional skills and creating safe and inclusive environments where kids can grow and thrive. She has worked with youth in both rural and urban settings, most recently for Playworks, serving Portland and surrounding metro areas. She is currently a student in the MBA in Nonprofit Management program at the University of Portland. She is also a Fellow of the business school, designing and implementing a career mentorship program. Sarah firmly believes that mentoring is a cornerstone for building communities where kids can grow up feeling supported, confident, and pursue their dreams. In her free time, Sarah enjoys traveling, hiking, mountain-biking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Michael Gonzales, City of Gresham
Originally hailing from Southern California, Michael grew up in a big, multi-generational, Hispanic household where family always came first. His parents’ passion for serving youth trickled down the family chain, leading Michael to follow in their footsteps of being a positive difference maker in the lives of others. He’s spent a big chunk of his adult life working with kids in a variety of ways, whether it be as a middle school teacher for at-risk youth, mentoring school aged children on financial literacy, being a “Big Brother”, as a coach for his kid’s sports teams, or simply as a positive role model for his own children. When Michael and his wife decided where to raise their family, they chose Gresham to remain close to their “village” where they knew first-hand the importance of having that stable family influence and support system in their kid’s lives. Outside of work, Michael enjoys cooking (especially BBQ), playing any sports he can still participate in (over the hill leagues), travelling and experiencing different cultures, checking out new places to explore in Oregon, and above all else, spending time with his family and friends.
Sarah Tollefson, Boys and Girls Aid
Sarah currently works for the Institute for Youth Success where her role includes providing youth programs across the region with training and technical assistance focused on best practices and continuous improvement. Her past experiences include working for Portland-area youth-serving agencies, such as Campfire, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls Inc., and the Police Activities League. She has her M.Ed in School Counseling from Lewis & Clark College. Her hobbies include singing in her band Vinyl Gold, traveling the world with her partner Scott, and volunteering with One Tail at a Time PDX to rescue all the dogs.