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 Olive.

MaryElizabeth Pacheco, 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.

Nicole Benton-Hayden, MA/OC, CSAC, CPS, CCS
Authorization and Review Coordinator, Hina Mauka Teen CARE
Even as a teen, 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, prevention specialist, and clinical supervisor.  In her free time, Nicole enjoys hiking, swimming, reading, the beach, and spending time with her pets.

Teen CARE Staff

Michelle Paquin-Lozano, BA, CSAC
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Mililani High School
Michelle joined Teen CARE after finishing her bachelors degree in psychology from University of Hawaii – West Oahu, with a focus on substance abuse and addiction studies.  Michelle was determined to pursue her education so that she may one day empower others to overcome their own challenges.  While at UHWO, Michelle developed a desire to help Hawaii’s youth achieve his or her greatest potential. Click to see more

  Michelle was born in Okinawa, Japan, and moved around with her family many times before settling in Oahu, where she now calls home.  A graduate of Mililani High School, Michelle uses compassion and encouragement with the youth to help build a strong foundation for success.  A strong believer that we can always learn something new, she enjoys learning from others and hearing new ideas.  During her free time, Michelle can be found hiking, cooking, or exploring new eateries around the island.

Frank de Gracia, BA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Waipahu Community
Frank enjoys playing music, CrossFit, Spartan races, and hanging out with friends and family. Click to see more

He is currently finishing up his masters degree in marriage and family therapy as well as working towards his certification in substance abuse counseling.

Ellen Fooks, MA, CSAC, CCS
Clinical Supervisor, Teen CARE Windward 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
Clinical Supervisor, Teen CARE Kauai 
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. Also while on O’ahu, she 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.

Debbie Pennuto, MA, CSAC 
Clinical Supervisor, Teen CARE Leeward O‘ahu
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.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.

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 also worked as a chef in a fine dining restaurant.  Outside of work his hobbies are spending quality time with his family, working out, gardening and carving.

Ipo Kanekoa, MA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE King Intermediate School and Castle High School
Ipo was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii. She enjoys being outdoors and in the sunshine. She spends her free time at the beach, on walks and hikes with her dog, and practicing yoga.  Click to see more

Her first experience in the field was working at the Kailana Program through the Marimed Foundation. This was where her passion for direct-care work was ignited. Following this experience, she had the opportunity to work at Kahi Mohala with the children and adolescent populations and CARE Hawaii Inc. with dual-diagnosis adults who are legally encumbered.  Ipo is currently working towards her CSAC and LMHC licensure. The strength and resilience of the human spirit continues to amaze and inspire her.

Anne Giardina, BS
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kailua Intermediate School and Kalaheo High School
Anne graduated from Penn State in 2012 with her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies.  Since graduating, she has been gifted with the chance to work with adolescents in many settings, including residential treatment, a youth homeless shelter, intensive outpatient, and school-based settings.  Most of her experience centers around crisis intervention, care coordination, and relentless advocacy. Click to see more

Her goal with every adolescent she works with is for the youth to know that they are heard, seen for the true value they hold, and teach them the tools they need to stand on their own and use their empowered voice. She grew up in the Mid Atlantic region, then moved to the Pacific Northwest, where she regularly explored the Olympic Peninsula. Now, Anne loves exploring beaches and hitting up locally owned coffee shops.

Kiana Kiaaina, CSAC
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Highlands Intermediate School and Pearl City High School
Kiana has always had a passion for working with youth. She 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 encourage teens to strive for health, happiness, and success. Click to see more

Kiana has had a variety of work experience with youth.  Prior to TeenCARE, she worked at a community-based group home which solidified her passion and ignited her interest in Adolescent Substance Abuse Counseling. Kiana was born and raised on Oahu.  In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and be near the ocean.

Bridgitte Daniel, MPH
Substance Abuse Counselor, Olomana Youth Center and Kailua HS
Bridgitte has always had a special interest in working with children and young adults, and has experience in working with youth of various ages and backgrounds.  She holds a master’s in public health from University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, with an emphasis in Native Hawaiian & Social Behavioral Health.  Click to see more

She is passionate about health equity, and aspires to bring hope and empowerment to the youth she works with. Bridgitte loves to travel, hang out at the beach with her two kids, and spend time outdoors.

Stephanie Troupe, BA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Aliamanu Middle School and Radford High School
Stephanie worked in the Compton Unified School District for three years where she aided in teaching science classes and became a College and Career Counselor. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills, she continued to pursue her love for teaching and helping others. Click to see more

With her experience working with children and education in psychology, she went on to provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services as a Behavior Analyst Assistant for two years. Leaving her comfort and home in Los Angeles, California, Stephanie moved to the island of Oahu to chase her passions for the beaches, altruism, and working with at-risk youths. She aspires to connect with the youth and inspire them to build a happy, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle.

Jackie Cortopassi, BA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kapa’a High School and Kapa’a Middle School
Jackie has always had a strong interest in the enlightening effect of Psychology. She enjoys reading books written by Psychologists and learning about the human mind. After getting her bachelor’s, she realized the importance of learning this subject in that it allows us to become more aware and understanding of our own and others’ behavior mechanisms. Click to see more

She ended up moving to Kauai from Minneapolis to teach.  Eventually, this morphed into a desire to be able to effectively counsel students one on one and in smaller groups, and excitedly found an opportunity to do this through Hina Mauka Teen CARE.

Sherry Horita
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kauai High School, Waimea High School and Waimea Canyon Middle School
Sherry is the mom of three intelligent and creative children.  Sherry graduated from University of Hawaii – West Oahu with her bachelor’s in psychology, with a focus on substance abuse & addiction studies. Click to see more

Prior to starting at Hina Mauka, Sherry spent over 10 years managing in the hospitality industry. Through her work with employees from diverse cultures in different states, she found her passion for helping others achieve their full potential. Her love for nurturing youth led to her developing the Self-Empowered Keiki program that she has taught at a local elementary school. In her free time, Sherry enjoys working out, watching sports with her boys, and can also be found at her boys’ various sporting events.

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