Elizabeth was born and raised in Grand Haven, Michigan. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in psychology at Oakland University in 2013. While she has lived all over the country, one of her favorite experiences was working at Disney World as a character performer during her college years. Elizabeth began volunteering when she was 12 years old, and she has continued to donate her time and efforts to various non-profit organizations across the country. When Elizabeth is not working, her passion is to travel the world with her husband and dogs!
Anne joined Friends of the Children as a freelance grant writer in August 2019 after a cross-country move from Massachusetts. She was hired as full-time Director of Development and Marketing in June 2020. Anne holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English and brings more than 25 years of experience in public relations, marketing, and writing from multiple settings, including book publishing, museum design, higher education, and, most recently, the Klamath Falls City School District. Passionate about social justice, Anne has spent much volunteer time supporting A Better Chance, Habitat for Humanity, and other organizations that empower families to create healthy lives for themselves and their children. She is thrilled to have found a role that combines her professional skills and personal interests. Anne lives in Klamath Falls with her husband Tom and their two daughters.
Crystal believes in the core values and the power of connection provided by Friends of the Children. She was excited to join the staff after having served on the chapter's Ambassador Board. Crystal is almost a local, having lived in Klamath Falls since she was 12. She is a graduate of Henley High and earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in marketing from Oregon Tech. Aside from a brief stint in graduate school for library and information studies through the University of Washington, she has dedicated her career to building a better community in the Klamath Basin, working primarily in education (Klamath Learning Center, Oregon Tech and Klamath Union) and nonprofit arts management (Ross Ragland Theater, Arts on the Flyway). She is proud to hold connections to Linkville Players, SMART Reading, the Downtown Association, Discover Klamath, the Chamber of Commerce and more: "They all work hard to help our tiny corner of the world shine like the gem it is."
Amanda became Executive Director of Friends of the Children – Klamath Basin in late 2016. She came to the position with demonstrated leadership experience from her role as Education Director for Klamath’s Ross Ragland Theater, the creativity of her degree in Communications: Theater, and a great passion for children’s success. Amanda has been a true youth advocate in Klamath, serving on the boards of the Klamath Promise, the Ross Ragland Theater, the Chiloquin First Coalition, and the Citizens Police Advisory Team, and working with various state agencies that impact children, such as the Department of Health Services. Amanda has been thrilled to watch the growth of the national network and has led the Klamath Basin chapter in its own growth plan. During her tenure, the chapter has increased total youth served by 40%, established a full-time development position, launched the 2GEN mentoring model, and begun planning for a capital campaign project. Amanda resides in Klamath Falls with her husband Phillip and their two children.
Jordon Falconio joined Friends - Klamath Basin in October 2021 as the chapter's first Family and Community Engagement Specialist. In this role, Jordon works closely with caregivers, empowering them to access resources and build on strengths to achieve family well-being. "I'm a positive person by nature, and I'm excited to bring positive energy to families striving to reach long-term goals," said Jordon, who earned a degree in criminal justice at Southern Oregon University and has years of experience working with families facing generational poverty and other obstacles. His work supports and extends our chapter's 1:1 mentoring model by freeing Friends to focus their full attention on program youth and by strengthening caregivers' ability to support all children in the home. Jordan enjoys playing golf, camping, and watching sports.
Born in Klamath Falls, Jose is the first generation in his family born in the United States. His parents emigrated in the 1970s from Mexico and taught their four children to work hard, be kind to others, be honest and ethical, and enlighten the next generation about their culture and passions. Jose has taken those lessons to heart. He enjoys fishing, hunting, and traveling, and he attempts to incorporate athletics among other talents into the lives of his two children and his mentees. Jose attempts to open the eyes of children to the small details in life, and to take pause for moments that create cherished memories, learning opportunities, and time to regroup. Jose feels honored to have touched the lives of many mentees, walking alongside them as they have navigated a world different from when he grew up. In return, he has learned as much as he has taught. He feels great accomplishment when past graduates from the program call to update him on their lives and successes, and he gives thanks.
Cheyanne was born in Klamath Falls and grew up on a small ranch in nearby Chiloquin with cows, horses, cats, dogs, and chickens. She attended Chiloquin schools, graduating from Chiloquin High School in 2010. Cheyanne is an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have a daughter, a Rottweiler named Major and a cat named Trevor Lahey. Cheyanne enjoys sports, attending concerts, snowboarding, traveling, music, and holidays. She was first introduced to Friends of the Children when she started coaching Little League Softball. Once she learned of the program and all it stands for, she knew she had to be a part of it. Cheyanne has a passion for working with kids and being a positive fun, loving role model in their lives. She is a live-in-the-moment kind of gal and tries to share that with her mentees.
Naomi grew up in Portland and chose Klamath Falls as the “perfect fit” to raise her own family. Prior to joining Friends in 2020, Naomi worked in the Goals/Bridges classroom at Klamath Union High School, where she loved helping teens with special needs become successful. “As a Friend, I get to support kids in their hopes and dreams K-12 instead of just a handful of years,” she says. “I think every kid needs someone who cares that isn't family. I was lucky enough to have a few of those when I was a kid and truly look forward to being that for others.”
Jeff has been a mentor at Friends of the Children since December 2018 and loves being able to work with kids through the Friends' 1:1 approach. Prior to becoming a Friend, Jeff was a theater teacher and youth camp director through programs at the Ross Ragland Theater. He received a master's of fine arts degree in theater directing from East 15 Acting School in London before moving to Klamath Falls in 2014. While Jeff doesn't do as much theatre as he used to, he still enjoys directing and acting when he has a chance. He also enjoys going on adventures and exploring new places, from local nature trails to foreign cities. His biggest goals in life are to keep learning and growing as a person while also fighting for equity for the youth within our community.
Kara grew up in Klamath Falls, where she has been working with youth since 2015. Previous to Friends, her most fulfilling work was in behavior intervention at Conger Elementary School. “I care deeply for this community," says Kara. "I believe working on behalf of and with youth to disrupt inequity and foster resilience is paramount to success.”
Anne was born and raised in Klamath Falls and attended Klamath Union High School. After high school she left Klamath for a few years to pursue education and various AmeriCorps positions. She loves her mentoring job because of the relationships she gets to build with her youth and their families. She enjoys getting to be a true friend to them. Outside work Anne enjoys spending time with her family, in the woods fishing & hunting, and taking long road trips to explore new places and study the geology of the land.