Read the latest edition of The Advocate The Advocate-Winter 2022
155 N. Oakdale Ave. Suite 200, Salina, KS 67401 | Phone: 785.825.4493 | Fax: 785.825.4736 | e-Mail: email@example.com |
© 2023 CAPS of Salina. All rights reserved. All CAPS services are free of charge. CAPS receives program funding from the Salina Area United Way, local service organizations, churches, memberships, foundations, corporate grants and the annual CAPS Benefit Auction. Local donations providing solutions to local problems!
Jenni, a Salina native, has a long history of working with community partners in a number of roles. As the new Director of Community Engagement, her hope is to continue building bridges and to share the story of CAPS.
Within the community, Jenni also serves as the Board of Directors President for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Child Development Center.
Outside of work, she loves backyard bonfires, good music, new recipes, long naps, and time spent with her boys and her dogs.
Brian joined CAPS in 2022 as a part time victim advocate and part time family mentor. He received his Bachelors in sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice and a minor in psychology from Mcpherson College. Brian is passionate about helping the community.
Jace (pronounced Jase-ee) received her Bachelor’s in Psychology at Benedictine College here in Kansas. After working for CPS out of state for a year, she returned to work for CAPS in March of 2022. She came to Chris’s Place Children Advocacy Center at CAPS to help children tell their stories as a forensic interviewer and victim advocate.
Reyna Banda-Torres is the Spanish Speaking Program Director at Child Advocacy and Parenting Services, Inc. (CAPS). She has worked at CAPS since April 2004 managing Spanish Speaking intake for new clients, case-management, mentoring and teaching Parenting Classes in Spanish in the evenings. Reyna was a Victim Advocate in Chris’s Place Child Advocacy Center, a department under the CAPS umbrella, for 16 years providing support and advocacy for both English and Spanish families. Reyna worked as a paralegal for 6 years prior to coming to CAPS and volunteered as a Youth Director at Sacred Heart Cathedral to give back to the community. Reyna’s recent involvement in the community as a volunteer includes serving on the following Board of Directors: Salina Family Health Center, Salina Initiative Restorative Justice (SIRJ) and the Greater Salina Community Foundation. Reyna loves helping others but her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family.
Adrianna “Adri” Barrientez received her AA from Pima Community College in Tucson, AZ. In 2015, Adri moved to Kansas to earn her BA in Criminal Justice from Bethany College. Adri was a collegiate basketball player throughout her academic career. She previously worked as a primary counselor and supervisor for St. Francis Ministries and case manager for Central Kansas Mental Health Center. Adri is also a barber student at Paul Mitchell in Wichita. During her off time, she enjoys cutting hair, listening to music, hanging out with her dog and teaching herself new skills.
Marsha attended the University of Kansas. She started working at CAPS in 2021 because she loves CASA and CAPS and what they do for the community, families, and children. Marsha enjoys being with family and participating in outdoor activities.
Robert is a graduate of Kansas Wesleyan University. He is married to Tiana and they have one daughter. Prior to CAPS, Robert was a case manager at Central Kansas Mental Health Center, spent some time at USD 305, and worked for St. Francis Ministries. In his spare time, he watches a ton of sports. He’s a big time Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavs fan.
I am married to Colleen and have two daughters, Emily and Rebecca, and a son, Patrick. Sam, Conner, and Max are my three grandchildren. My career has been as a Public Educator, employed as a middle school teacher and counselor. Football and Basketball were sports I coached.
Eliza Hemmer joined the CAPS team in 2019, after graduating from the University of Kansas. She has a B.A. in Slavic Literature and Languages, Russian track, and a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience. She is a trained Victim Advocate and Forensic Interviewer for Chris’s Place. She is passionate about the CAC mission, community service and life long learning. Outside of work, Eliza enjoys running, cooking and reading.
Melissa has spent most of her career working with families and children who are at risk, or in the foster care system. She has a heart for children who have endured tremendous loss.
Melissa and her husband Berkley have 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren. They are committed to building secure family connections and they spend as much time with their grandchildren as they can. They love to take small trips, attend concerts of their favorite artists, and are both very involved in their church.
Melissa loves Jesus, her family, laughter, and shopping. Her hobbies include event planning for family, ministries they are involved in, and home decorating.
Grecia Castaneda-Torres is a parent educator and family mentor at CAPS. Grecia was born in Mexico, but has lived in Salina, Ks since the age of 8. She graduated from Fort Hays state University with a bachelor’s in social work and is licensed through the state of Kansas. She has worked as a reintegration case manager at St. Francis Ministries, and was a social services director at Salina Presbyterian Manor for three years before coming to Caps. In her spare time, Grecia enjoys spending time with her family and running after her daughter.
Megan is a graduate of Kansas State University, where she first discovered her passion for making positive impacts in the world. She has experience working with youth in a school setting, as a case manager for fostered youth, and as a mentor for those who have experienced trauma in the home. She has training in Trauma-Informed Care and Mental Health First Aid. Megan grew up in Solomon and maintains close ties to the surrounding communities. She enjoys her personal roles as a Troop Leader for the local Girl Scouts and a Big for BBBS. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors with her three dogs, reading, board games, and spending time with family.
Fernando Rodriguez is a Family Mentor at CAPS. Born in the Mexican border town of Laredo, Texas, Fernando grew up in a struggling single-parent household. After becoming a father at a young age and wanting to break free of the norm of stifled dreams in a small-town community that he witnessed time and time again, as well as to provide for his then growing family, he then made the decision to join the United States Marine Corps. Fernando would continue his search for the right career, with focus on law enforcement. After moving to Kansas, he never stopped working toward his goal, and in his mid-30s decided it was time to pursue his dream by becoming a police officer. The experience then gained from the Marine Corps, his years in security and law enforcement, going through divorce, marrying again, blending families and raising four daughters helps Fernando to be understanding and empathetic toward his CAPS families. In his free time, you’ll almost always find him spending quality family time with his wife and children, while always continuing on the quest of self-growth and finding the joy in life.
Claudia Quezada-Commerford is a Bilingual Victim Advocate at CAPS. She has had a calling to work with youth and children for as long as she can recall. This led to receiving her Bachelor’s in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University. Claudia enjoys being involved in her community and is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Salina. She has a strong passion in pursuing Jesus and taking care of her family . Hobbies are baking, cooking and interior design.
Jakyma Roughton has been working in childcare for nine years. She has two beautiful daughters and enjoys painting and drawing her free time.
Michele Hays works as a childcare provider as she has since 1992. She is a Kansas Wesleyan graduate with an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys cross-stitch, word searches and playing games on her IPAD when she’s not working.
Carmen L. San Martin J.D. is a CASA Volunteer Supervisor and trainer for the Saline County CASA Program. She has worked in this role since September 2013. Carmen is an attorney whose former practice focused on family law, child custody, child abuse and domestic violence cases. Prior to being employed by CAPS, Carmen volunteered as a member of the CAPS Board of Directors. In her free time, she volunteers on the board of non-profit organizations including the Salina Regional Health Foundation Board, United Methodist Health Ministries Board and the Board of Angel Academy Preschool. She is the mother of 2 active children who keep she and her husband busy attending their concerts and sporting events. Carmen and her husband are avid Jayhawk Basketball fans and enjoy traveling with their family.
Katy Vinson is a graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. She has taught in Salina and Solomon for more than 21 years. Her focus is on early childhood education and teacher education with classes in parenting and child development. Katy has taught parent ed courses for CAPS for many years. She has taught all ages of students from grade school age to adult. Her favorite students are parents who are anxious to learn about being the very best parent they can be.
Angela Owens has been on the staff here at CAPS for 18 years. Currently, Angela is a CASA Volunteer Supervisor/Victim Advocate and has been in this role since December of 2017. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Administration from Kansas State University. Angela’s previous experience includes Early Childhood Teacher in the public schools and non-profit child care centers, Executive Director of several non-profit child care centers, Child Care Consultant with the Child and Adult Care Food Program and her past position here at CAPS, Program Director/Assessor with the Saline County School Readiness Project (formerly Smart Start of Saline County). Angela is married and has a high school age son. In her spare time, she keeps busy as an active CASA Volunteer, bird watching and engaging in retail therapy.
Egla Eikleberry is a Family Mentor and Parent Educator at CAPS. Born in Mexico, the descendant of Spanish and Cuban parents, she graduated from the Interamerican University with a Bachelor in Science degree in International relations and from the University of Monterrey with a minor in Political Sciences. She is married with 2 kids. Egla developed the program “Save our children” to create consciousness in the Hispanic population about child abuse. While working with parents and families, individually or in a group, she has a passion for supporting parents in the walk of parenthood.
Egla es Mentora familiar y Educadora para padres en CAPS, Nacida en México de descendencia Española y cubana, ella se gradúa de la Universidad Interamericana en la licenciatura de Relaciones internacionales y con una sub especialización en ciencias políticas. Casada con dos hijos. Egla desarrollo el programa “salvemos a nuestros niños” para crear conciencia con la populación Hispana sobre el abuso infantil. Ya sea trabajando con familias individualmente o en grupo, ella tiene una pasión de apoyar a los padres y madres, en el camino de paternidad y maternidad.
Joan Ray has been employed by CAPS since 1996. She has a Bachelor of Science in Management and Ethics and a certificate in Field Service Engineering Technology. She has been trained as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate. Joan is married and has 2 children and 2 grandchildren. She is currently serving as a Family Mentor and as Happy Bear. Joan is the lead facilitator for the monthly Grandparent Discussion Group.
Necol Sample is the Childcare Service Director and Early Education Assessor. She has worked in the childcare field for 29 years and is the proud mom of 2 girls, 5 dogs, 3 cats, a ferret and several fish. When she’s not caring for children, she enjoys drawing, reading, cooking and playing board games.
Emily Walker has been with CAPS since April 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education as well as Early Childhood Special Education. She previously spent 12 years in early intervention working with children birth-3 years old, with developmental delays and disabilities. She enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 children, spending time at the lake and cooking.
Vicki Price, B.A. University of Northern Colorado, M.S. Kansas State University, has been the Director of Education at CAPS since 1992. Prior to that, she was an elementary school teacher and USD #305 school board member. She and her husband, Scott, have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.
Chelsea Sutton is a Social Worker and Director of the CAPS Family Mentoring Program and joined the CAPS team in 2010. Chelsea received her Bachelor’s Degree at Bethany College in 2005. Prior to joining the CAPS staff, Chelsea was employed with the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (DCF) as a social work specialist in the children protection services unit. Chelsea has one son who is 18 years old, and she lists parenting as her lifetime passion. Other hobbies include politics, yard work and spending time with friends and family.
Melinda Hansen has served as CAPS Bookkeeper since 2005. She is married to Steve Hansen, a Commodity Manager at REV Corp, and mother of Kirsten Nusser, a Middle School Match teacher at Auburn/Washburn Rural; Christian Hansen, graduating in 2019 from K-State as a Mechanical Engineer with the ROTC Air Force; and Kaylee Hansen a 2019 Smoky Valley High School graduate from Lindsborg, KS. Melinda is actively involved as church choir director and worship planner and the Administrative Director of Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers. She enjoys scrapbooking while living on her rural farm in Falun, KS with their cats, dogs, and goats.
Carolyn Lathan is the Office Manager at CAPS. She has been with the organization since June of 2015. Carolyn loves providing assistance and support to our staff and clients in all aspects of the organization. She keeps busy in her spare time as a mother of 2 wonderful children, and loves camping trips with her friends and family.
Lori Blake is a Central KS leader choosing to be a change-maker, a wife and mother of three trying to find balance between home and work while sharing God’s light with all. She has served professionally as an advocate for human rights and universal access to quality education from cradle to grave. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis in Business from Bethany College. After starting her career at CAPS in 1998, she returned as the Executive Director in 2015.
As a parent, community leader and business owner, she is honored to serve USD 306 on the Board of Education and on the Board of Directors for Kansas Association of School Boards where she is currently on the executive council as President-Elect. She enjoys problem solving with creativity, transparency and diversity that results in achieving the group mind and thinks it is fun to see what can be accomplished when people work together.