Teen CARE Team

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 counseling adolescents, promoting best practices, and collaborating with other organizations to her work at Hina Mauka. Click to see more

Prior to her experience at Hina Mauka, Colleen 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. She 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 of 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 thirty years. In her free time Colleen enjoys spending time with her family and her cats Stella and Winston.
(she/her/hers)

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 Adolescent 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 Supervisor, 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 dogs.

Nicole Benton-Hayden, MA/OC, CSAC, CPS, CCS
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 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 family.

Debbie Pennuto, MA, CSAC 
Supervisor, Hina Mauka 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.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.

Creson Fujii, MSW
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 three children 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.

Michelle Paquin-Lozano, BA, CSAC, CPS
Clinical Supervisor, Teen CARE Oahu
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.

Ellen Fooks, MA, CSAC, CCS
Team Coordinator, Mililani High School
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.

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 to encourage 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.

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.

Frank de Gracia, MA
Senior Counselor, Waipahu Community
Frank enjoys playing music, CrossFit, Spartan races, and hanging out with friends and family. Prior to coming to Teen CARE in 2021, Frank gained experience serving people through his work as a pastor, youth worker, and a United States Army combat medic. Click to see more

Frank received a bachelor’s of arts from Pacific Rim Christian University and completed a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.

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.

Sherry Horita, BA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kauai High School, Waimea Canyon Middle School and Waimea High 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.

Alexis Alapai, MSCP
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Castle High School and King Intermediate School
Alexis was born and raised in Hilo, Hawai’i. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Click to see more

Alexis moved on to earn her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Chaminade University. Alexis enjoys going to the beach, trying new places to eat, and shopping in her free time.

Josh Cardwell, BS
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kapaa Middle School and Kapaa High School
Josh grew up in Oregon and received his bachelor’s in education from Bushnell University. He has taught high school and middle school math and science in Oregon and on the island of Kauai. Click to see more

Josh is completing a masters in clinical mental health and counseling from Townsend Institute at Concordia University. In his free time Josh is active outside surfing and hiking. He also enjoys reading, attending community events, and spending time with his family and friends.

Janet Breckenridge, MSCP
Substance Abuse Counselor, Kaneohe Community
Janet recently graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo with a masters in counseling psychology.  Janet previously interned at a community-focused health center to provide benefits for children, teens, and adults. Click to see more

She believes in the power and goodwill of humanity to guide their decisions. Janet’s pronouns are she/they/it and identifies as gender non-conforming. During their free time, Janet goes to the beach, takes naps, and loves to relax.

Audrey Shoji, BS
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Kailua High School and Olomana Youth Center
Audrey was born and raised on Oahu.  She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Youth Community Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. She joins Teen Care with experience in working with child and adolescent populations in the mental health field. Click to see more

She enjoys helping the homeless population and in her free time enjoys going to the beach and hiking. Audrey is continuing her education to help children and adolescents in the mental health and substance abuse fields.

Matthew Macaspac, BA
Substance Abuse Counselor, Teen CARE Pearl City High School and Highlands Intermediate School
Matthew has wanted to work in the behavioral field since he was a teenager.  In 2023, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawai’i West Oahu. Click to see more

Prior to joining Hina Mauka, he worked as a caregiver for the elderly and in various customer service positions. He has also served in various leadership roles for the Psychology Club at UHWO. In his free time, he enjoys a variety of passions including playing guitar and piano, powerlifting, and going to the beach.

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