Teen CARE Team

Teen CARE Administration

Colleen Fox, PhD, CSAC, CPS, CCS
Director of Adolescent Services, Hina Mauka Teen CARE
Colleen has been with Hina Mauka since 1997 and became the Director of Adolescent Services in 2002. Colleen brings her experiences working as a counselor, promoting best practices in adolescent substance abuse services, and collaborating with organizations that help youth to her work at Hina Mauka. Click to see more

Prior to her experience at Hina Mauka Colleen had worked with women and their children at the Salvation Army Family Treatment Services. Seeing the impact of substance abuse on children inspired a desire to help youth and their families. Earlier in her career, she has had the opportunity to learn about the substance abuse community through her experiences coordinating the Independent Peer Review process for substance abuse agencies receiving federal funding as well as her work at the Hawai‘i State Legislature. Colleen is a graduate the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and is certified as a substance abuse counselor, prevention specialist, clinical supervisor, and program administrator. Colleen grew up in New York along the shores of Lake Erie and has lived in Hawai‘i for over twenty years. In her free time Colleen enjoys spending time with her family and her cats Stella and The Cheese.

Mary Elizabeth Pacheco, MSCP, LMHC, CSAC, CPS, CCS
Clinical Director, Hina Mauka Teen CARE
Mary has been honored to be a part of the Hina Mauka Teen CARE team since 2000. Mary is certified as a substance abuse counselor, prevention specialist, and clinical supervisor. Her mission ever since has been to be of service to help the youth of Hawai’i nei find hope, health, and healing.Click to see more

Prior to joining Hina Mauka, Mary was an early childhood educator. Understanding the effects and impact of substance use on the family, she attended Chaminade University of Honolulu where she graduated with her master’s in counseling psychology.  Mary is a certified trainer of the Alcohol Drug Abuse Diagnosis assessment, ASIST Suicide Prevention, and SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training. Mary serves as the Independent Peer Review Coordinator contracted with the Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division.  Mary was born and raised in Hawai’i.  She, her husband, their three children along with their five dogs live on the windward side of ‘O‘ahu.  During Mary’s free time she enjoys attending church services, working on cars, reading, and having a great time just being with her family.

Anna Marie Elderts, BA
Administrative Coordinator, Hina Mauka Teen CARE
Anna Marie joined the Teen CARE team in 2005. Anna Marie was born and raised on O‘ahu, but lived on Kaua‘i for several years early in her career. Previously Anna Marie worked as the branch manager for the Windward Community Federal Credit Union.Click to see more

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She also has experience in accounting and customer service. Anna Marie has three children and lives on the Windward side of O‘ahu with her husband, children, and their two dogs.

Teen CARE Staff

Sandy Anderson, BS
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kalaheo High School
Sandy developed a passion for helping youth after having worked in the DOE assisting those with special needs. Sandy is a graduate of Leeward Community College and Chaminade University, where her degree focused on teaching. Click to see more

After working in the teaching field for 4 years, Sandy realized that counseling was where her heart lay. Sandy is born and raised on the Windward side of O‘ahu, where she now raises her own family.

Gina Baez, LSW
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Waianae
Gina is a licensed Social Worker. She is passionate about Mental Health treatment and fostering the belief of compassion and empathy to all. Social justice and advocating for underserved populations is also something that she feels very strongly about. Click to see more

Prior to coming to Teen CARE, Gina gained experience in school behavioral health, nursing and rehabilitation, and hospice. Gina has lived all over the United States and is very happy to call Hawai‘i home. She has two children and being a mother is her favorite and most important role in life. Gina loves to run, hike, and enjoy any and all activities in nature in our beautiful Hawai‘i Nei.

Jason Barber, MA
Substance Abuse Counselor and Prevention Specialist, Teen CARE Kapaa High School
Jason has worked with youth in secure and semi-secure settings for over a decade and loves helping youth and families address different forms of dysfunction. Jason has a Masters in Clinical Pastoral Counseling from Colorado Theological Seminary. Click to see more

He brings experience in teaching, bereavement counseling, and providing therapy to emotionally impaired youth to his work. Jason believes strongly in the strength of the ohana.

Nicole Benton, MA/OC, CSAC, CPS, CCS
Prevention Supervisor, Teen CARE
Even as a child, Nicole wanted to reach out to others in a motivating and compassionate manner. Her favorite part of Teen CARE is that she gets to work with aspiring youth who are making positive changes in their lives. Click to see more

Nicole graduated from Hawai‘i Pacific University in 2008 with her bachelor’s degree in psychology and in 2010 graduated from Hawai‘i Pacific University with her master’s degree. She is a certified as a substance abuse counselor.  In her free time, Nicole enjoys hiking, swimming, reading, and spending time at the beach.

Kamaile DeMello, MSW
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kailua High School
Kamaile believes that counselors must be positive role models and have a vested interest in the success of those they work with. For the past several years Kamaile has been working with those with substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and disabilities. She also has experience providing health prevention services and teaching. Click to see more

She has developed an unrelenting passion for helping others succeed, especially teens. She believes that given the proper guidance, every teen can find a path to their own personal success. Kamaile is a graduate of Kailua High School and the University of Hawai‘i. She  received a master’s in social work from University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2016.

Christina Egan, MSW
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Aliamanu Middle School and Waipahu
Christina graduated with her MSW from Columbia University in 2016 with a concentration in school-based services. She has worked in elementary and middle schools all over the Metro New York area. Click to see more

In early 2017, after living in Manhattan for a year, Christina decided to try a different type of island life on Oahu, where she could pursue a career and new adventures. As a social worker, Christina loves working with the adolescent population as it is such an important crossroad that can influence the rest of their lives. She hopes to empower youth with influences of love and positivity.

Lori Ferreira, EdD, LMHC
Program Supervisor, Intensive-In Home Program
Lori started her academic journey at Kamehameha Schools and completed it Argosy University with an EdD in Counseling and Psychology. In between,  Lori was first introduced to Hina Mauka Teen CARE through an internship while attending the Counseling Psychology program at Chaminade University. Click to see more

Lori gained experience providing behavioral health services to youth at Hale Kipa. As a clinician, Lori believe that authenticity is essential for building a therapeutic alliance and relationship. In the field of direct human services, Lori strives to build a culture of excellence, collaboration, and continued learning. Through her experiences in program development, consultation, and grant oversight, Lori has learned that relationships are vital in all realms of the human service field.

Kiana Frias
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Radford Intermediate School
Kiana has always had a passion for working with youth. After working as a Summer Recreation Aid throughout high school and college, she gained additional experience work with at-risk youth in community-based group home. Click to see more

The experience solidified her interest in counseling adolescents. Kiana believes that young people are brimming with untapped potential and sometimes it takes just one person to bring that out. Her mission is to be that person and to encourage teens to strive for health, happiness and success. Kiana was born and raised on O‘ahu. Her greatest joy in life is being a mom. In her free time, Kiana likes to go church, spend time with family, and be near the ocean.

Ellen Fooks, MA, CSAC, CCS
Clinical Supervisor, Teen CARE Leeward O‘ahu
Ellen is proud to have been with Teen CARE since 2003. She believes in the hopes and the possibilities that Teen CARE clients have. As Margaret Mead put it, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world…”Click to see more

Ellen believes in the work Teen CARE does to help adolescents examine the negative effects that drugs and alcohol have had on their lives. Ellen has worked with adolescents and families in California, New Jersey, Asia, and Hawai‘i. Ellen is also a Chanoyu, Japanese Tea Ceremony Teacher, loves nature, swimming at Waimea Bay, and hiking on O‘ahu trails.

Creson Fujii, BA
Prevention Specialist and Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kapaa Middle School
Creson was born and raised on Kauai and moved to O`ahu after graduating from high school.  While on Oahu she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. While on O’ahu gained experience working with young people, focusing on building a foundation of trust and communication. Click to see more

Creson moved back to Kauai in 2016, seeking out a position where she could continue to help youth. Creson and her husband have two very different and unique daughters who every day teach them something new about life. When not working Creson likes to catch up on TV drama, spend time with her family at the beach, park, have cookouts, and plan for their next travel adventure.

Abraham Garcia, BS
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Castle High School
Ever since graduating high school, Abraham has grown an immense desire to help people, youth in particular. Abraham graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology from Brigham Young University—Hawaii in 2016, and took that desire to work with youth in many different setting from: soccer coach, teen-center staff, youth and family facilitator, to a mentor and a counselor. Click to see more

Having the opportunity to work with youth in many different setting, Abraham has come to realize that every youth has potential in life. When not at work, Abraham loves to be outdoors hiking, camping, and playing sports. 

Kelsey Gratz, BA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Highlands and Mililani High School
Kelsey graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Japanese language with a focus on cross cultural psychology. Kelsey brings his experience providing mental health services to high risk youth in a residential facility. Click to see more

He has several years of independent therapy research and strives to create psychological models and strategies specifically for use in real life. Kelsey is from the Mililani community, where he has been coached track for many years. He’s an avid gamer and knowledgeable of all things nerdy.

Shannon Gring, BA
Prevention Specialist, Teen CARE O‘ahu
Shannon graduated from Millersville University with a bachelor’s in sociology. Before coming to Teen CARE, she worked as a youth mentor, teacher, and mental health worker in the juvenile justice field. Shannon is led by her passion to help at-risk youth to inspire change for a better future. Click to see more

Shannon brings her creative side to her work, with a love of art and photography. Inspired by travel and knowledge, she believes all youth can find their passion with guidance and trust.

Taylor Thomas, MPH
Prevention Specialist, Teen CARE O‘ahu
After completing her BS in Health Sciences from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Taylor went on to receive her Master’s in Public Health from University of Alabama at Birmingham. Click to see more

Taylor has a background in research, teaching, and medical records.

Dana Lucio, BS
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kailua Intermediate School
Dana graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a double major in Social Science and Psychology.  She also served over 8 years in the United States Marine Corps. Click to see more

During her time in the military, she gained a specific interest in helping others and leading by example. Dana is continuing to reach her personal goals as she works toward a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Hawaii Pacific University. Some of her hobbies include spending time with her family, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, and playing with any and all animals. Working for Teen CARE allows Dana to achieve her goal of helping others.  She believes there is no better job than to positively influence the next generation. 

Christina Marsh, BSW
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE King Intermediate School
Raised in Hauula, Christina graduated from Kahuku High School and joined the United States Army after graduation.  She served in the military and civil service  as a military Human Resource Specialists stationed in Germany, Kansas and Maryland.  Christina returned to her home town and earned her BSW to serve others and found a passion for the youth within her community.  Click to see more

She completed her internship with Hina Mauka Teen CARE before becoming a full time counselor.  Her husband is also a retired from the Army and she has 3 children. She enjoys time spent with family, friends and the great outdoors.

Maile Murray, BS, CSAC, SAP
Clinical Supervisor, Teen CARE
Maile has over fourteen years of non-profit experience, seven of which has been helping pregnant and parenting women struggling with substance use. She attained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from UH West Oahu in 2018 and is certified as a substance abuse counselor. Click to see more

Maile has worked with the county government for several years in the field of prevention and is preparing to take the prevention specialist exam. Maile is a trained facilitator for SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training and the Kamalama Parenting Curriculum. Growing up on Kauai, Maile has seen the impact of substance use affect many friends and family members, which is what motivates her to build a better, safer Kauai for the keiki. She is the mother of 2 adult children and 1 teenager. She enjoys spending time with her partner, Ryan, and her children, as well as working on her family’s genealogy.

Debbie Pennuto, MA, CSAC, CCS
Clinical Supervisor, Teen CARE
Debbie joined Teen CARE in 2006 because she has a passion for helping those who struggle with substance abuse. Debbie has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is certified as a substance abuse counselor and clinical supervisor.Click to see more

Prior to joining Teen CARE Debbie served as the Director of Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, where she worked for seven years.Debbie served in the Army as a Sergeant. Upon completion of her service, Debbie spent several years conducting programs for elementary age youth though Kama`aina Kids. Debbie has visited various countries in Europe and has lived in Germany for a total of 6 years. Debbie enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs.

Courtney Richards, AA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kalani High School
Courtney has been helping those who struggle with substance abuse problems for several years. Courtney started as a practicum students with Teen CARE, eventually becoming the site counselor at Kalani High School.Click to see more

Previously Courtney worked at Salvation Army Family Treatment services as as substance abuse counselor helping women and their children.

John Sotelo
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
John has worked with teenagers for about 20 years and started working with special motivation programs and at risk teens. He has been the Hina Mauka Teen CARE site counselor at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School since 2005, helping teenagers who struggle with substance abuse. Click to see more

He loves working with teens every day and feels that his job is not just a job but his mission in life. He is on a mission of ALOHA planting positive seeds encouraging a healthy and balanced lifestyle of the “Mind, Body and Spirit”. One of his passions is cooking and has been working part time as a chef in a fine dining restaurant for the past 15 years. Outside of work his hobbies are spending quality time with his family, working out, gardening and carving.

Jazmine Toilolo, MSCP
Substance Abuse Counselor, Pearl City Teen CARE
Jazmine graduated from Chaminade University with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She has gained experience working abroad in South East Asia with youth with special needs and recently acquired experience counseling families and youth from all over Hawaii. Click to see more

Jazmine is from Nanakuli and passionate about working with the youth and dedicated to helping them grow. She enjoys traveling, painting, and spending free time with family and friends.

Brandy West-Bey, MA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Mililani High School
Brandy graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.  She completed her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, with an emphasis in military family therapy in 2018. Previously, Brandy served as a logistics officer in the United States Army.  Click to see more

Brandy enjoys reaching the military population through her work and working with families and youth affected by substance use.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and kids and laying on the beach reading a good book.

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