FosterKidsUnite Inc.

Board Member: Sara Amuso

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Sara Amuso

Board Member

Sara Amuso is currently working as a contract senior project manager at IBM.  She has a BBA in from Pace University, Pleasantville, NY and holds a MBA from Colorado Technical University. Sara has volunteered more than half of her life – in Mount Kisco as president, secretary and EMT of the Mount Kisco Lions Volunteer Ambulance Corps; secretary and firefighter of the Union Hook & Ladder Company, No, 1, Inc.; and in Brewster at the Putnam Community Action Program (CAP) in their soup kitchen, food pantry and a part of their Poverty Simulator for members and officials in the community.  She is currently enrolled in the MAPP/GPS II program to become certified as a therapeutic foster care parent in conjunction with the Poughkeepsie Children’s Home and Putnam County Department of Social Services.  Sara lives in Brewster with her rescue dog, Mollie; a guinea pig and three fish.

Community Outreach: Donna Maddox

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Donna Maddox

Community Outreach

Donna Maddox is a Casa Volunteer in Oklahoma, Mother, Military wife, owner of Declutter Buddy, foster youth advocate, and former foster youth and current Board Member.

College Outreach: Tatiana Staley

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Tatiana Staley

Community Outreach

Tatiana is a full time student at the Oneonta State University. She’s currently earning her B.A. Degree in the field of Music and Entertainment Business. She is a singer/songwriter who has been volunteering with Foster Kids Unite for several years.

Board Member: Stephanie Quoma

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Stephanie Quoma

Board Member 

Stephanie Quoma is currently employed at Interactive Elements Inc. as an administrative assistant. Stephanie earned her masters degree in human resources. Stephanie was drawn to the organization after recently finishing college herself and knowing the difficulty and stress of college. Without the proper tools and support system Stephanie would never have been ever to get through it herself. Now she is happy to give back and hopefully take at least a bit of college stress off aged out foster youth.

Outreach Coordinator : De Smith-Fraser

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De Smith-Frasier

Outreach Coordinator

Denise Smith-Fraser, Ed.D, is a retired social gerontologist and management consultant who now loves volunteering and stand-up comedy. A SAG-AFTRA member, she continues to do TV commercials.

Denise was the first director of the graduate gerontology program at the College of New Rochelle and later with her husband, Derrick, owner of Integrated Consulting, Ltd. A writer, she was a weekly columnist for the Gannett Journal News.

Denise received her doctoral degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She and Derrick have one daughter, Karen, and a grandcat, Joey.

 

Grant Writer: Cathy Coleman

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Cathy  Coleman

Grant Writer

Cathy Coleman is a seasoned professional who has worked in the private sector for more than 30 years. Her former employers include Arco Oil & Gas, DuPont & Co., Merck Pharmaceuticals, M. A. Hanna & Co., and Air Products & Chemicals. Cathy is currently employed by Oracle Corporation.  Cathy is an active member of the Howard University Alumni Association of Westchester & Rockland and she holds the office of Corresponding Secretary for the Zeta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Cathy has actively worked with youth aging out of foster care for several years and has supported initiatives such as the Fostering Youth Success Alliance and Bravehearts M.O.V.E. New York. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Howard University, a Master of Science degree in Engineering from the Polytechnic University of NY and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University Michigan.

Co-Founder: Megan Castellano

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Megan Castellano

Co-Founder

For nearly 25 years, she has worked in mental health services in an administrative role.  In her current position as Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Putnam County, Inc., she has experience with non-profit management, board relations, staff development, grant writing, program development and evaluation.  In 2007, she earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Pace University, with a special certification in not-for-profit management. 

Founder: Tanya Cooper

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Tanya Cooper

Executive Director

Tanya Cooper’s life in foster care began at five due to her birth mother’s battle with addiction and neglect and would eventually end with her being separated from all but one of her siblings! Aging out of the foster care system at 18 with no family and place to go, Tanya signed herself back in until age 21!

While in care she survived being abused by two foster brothers.

She has over 12 years of experience working with youth as a clinician, and over 20 years as a youth counselor and teacher throughout various communities.

Graduating from New York University, with a B.A.S in Culture & Communications, she also received her CASAC-T through The National Council of Alcohol & Drug Dependence in White Plains, NY, where sat on the committee for five years.

Her book, “Surviving Foster Care & Making It Work For You“, is a self-help book giving foster kids tips on getting through the system. 

“My goal is to change the attitude & face of kids in foster care, one kid at a time and teach them to go back and help others in care!” 

Tanya is the Executive Director at FosterKidsUnite, Inc. which provides nontraditional services for aged out and foster youth in college or trade school, created to honor the memory of her birth brother who died at 41 of heart disease.

As featured local hero of the month in The Journal news

You can also read Tanya’s Blogspot of encouragement

Videos on You Tube for foster youth just entering care:

http://youtu.be/8MMIsg9RyGo

http://youtu.be/GUkeF2gBXMA

 

Tanya has received two proclamations  and certificate of recognition from:

Mayor Michael Cindrich, Mount Kisco, NY

Sen. Greg Ball of (NY 19th District)

Sen. Terrance P. Murphy (NY 40th District)

Ml. Lyndon D. Williams (NY 13th District)