Our Team



Kai Forsley,
Executive Director

After completing her BA at the University of Illinois, a deeply fulfilling volunteer opportunity led Kai to work in the social service realm. Originally from Chicago, Kai spent the last 14 years in San Francisco, working in the areas of literacy, governmental accountability, and foster youth advocacy. Due to her fervor for libraries, systems management, and information organization, Kai obtained her master’s in Library and Information Science. After working as a librarian, in addition to a stint as a natural resources manager in a national park, her devotion to empowering others led her back to working with children and their families. Kai was recognized by Ayesha and Stephen Curry’s Eat.Learn.Play. Foundation for exceptional community service. Kai loves spending time with her family.


Marissa Visscher,
Program Manager

After obtaining a BS in Community Health Education, Marissa served for two and half years in the United States Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan as a health education volunteer. This experience instilled a passion for serving community, in particular the wellbeing of women and children. Marissa continued her higher education by obtaining an MPA with a nonprofit concentration from the University of Colorado, Denver and subsequently worked for the State of Colorado in an administrative role. Marissa grew up in Albuquerque and has returned to the Land of Enchantment to raise her son among family and friends. When not working, Marissa loves to be in nature with her husband and son, creating herbal medicines, cooking new recipes, and making her family laugh.


Anita Castillo,
Program Director

Anita is a native Northern New Mexican, happy wife, and proud mama to two daughters. She earned a BA in Organizational Communication from UNM and is also a photographer. Her professional background is in project management and marketing, but her calling and passion is in working to make a positive impact in the lives of families and children in our community. Anita is an active member on various boards and committees at her daughters’ schools and also volunteers with various youth sports groups. When she is not at work or behind the camera, you can find her playing in the mountains with her family, studying American Sign Language, or cooking in the kitchen with her girls.


Sarah Cheney,
Grants and Marketing Coordinator

Sarah, a New Mexican native, was raised in the southern part of the state, before settling in Santa Fe in 2010. Following her studies of Graphic Design, she found herself drawn into the nonprofit sector. In her previous roles, Sarah worked as a respite provider and served over two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Her work as a VISTA focused on sustainability and positive outcomes within the birth to career spectrum for Santa Fe’s children. Sarah hopes that her past work will strengthen her in her new role of supporting families as they navigate their new journey as parents. Outside of work, Sarah dedicates copious amounts of time to playing with her two poodles, attending concerts, and indulging in her love of anime, manga and other nerdy interests.


Teresa Flavia Schum (Villarroel-Delgado),
Bilingual Program Coordinator

Teresa was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia and moved to Santa Fe in 2007. She has worked with many New Mexican parents providing care and love for their children. In 2020, she earned a certificate as a Home Visitor-Community Health Worker with high honors from Santa Fe Community College. Teresa believes that families receive the most benefit when they are seen individually. She is pursuing an Associate’ degree in Early Childhood Education at SFCC and plans to enroll in the Infant-Family Studies Programs. Alongside her husband and daughter, Teresa enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, baking, taking naps, and fostering cats and kittens.

Cheyenne Carrell, Resource Connection Coordinator

Cheyenne began her work in the social services field in 2013 as a group facilitator and coach at several different inpatient substance abuse treatment centers. Throughout her time working in the recovery field, she discovered her passion for supporting people in their process of healing from trauma. She completed her BA from Prescott College in Counseling Psychology and trained in Somatic Experiencing at the Somatic Experiencing Training Institute. Cheyenne is a registered yoga teacher and has studied craniosacral therapy. She was also trained as a birth and post-partum doula through DONA International and has experience working as a nanny with infants and young children. She currently works as a somatic practitioner in private practice while attending Highlands University to obtain her master’s in clinical social work. She also works as a contractor developing treatment plans for substance abuse treatment centers. She is an animal lover and has three dogs, a cat, ducks, and chickens. She spends her free time studying herbalism and exploring the mountains with her dogs.

Board of Directors

Jeanne Du Rivage, MA, OTR/L, President

Jeanne has lived in New Mexico for over 26 years and has worked with families both as a direct care provider as an occupational therapist and in program management. She has been on the board of MM for over 5 years. She is passionate about supporting families of young children as they are not only the backbone of our society but the future of our community.


Bernadette Freeman, Vice-President

Bernadette Freeman is an established artist in Santa Fe and joined Many Mothers as a volunteer in 2018. She holds her degree in English (Writing) and was a Management Consultant with a small international Chicago-based firm, specializing in the environmental division, working closely with the U.S. EPA. She left active practice in that field to pursue her career in art, which allowed her to volunteer in many capacities in schools, religious groups, and art, including the Art Institute of Chicago.

She moved from Chicago and established her studio in Santa Fe in 2010. She is the proud mother of two creative young women.


Maxine Swisa, MA, Treasurer

Maxine Swisa is an educator, author, mindfulness and yoga instructor and former C-Level Executive. She created a unique course called BREATHE, using brain-based learning theories that focus on fostering positive emotions. Her work incorporates mindfulness, effective communication techniques, and unconditional positive regard to create  a collaborative, caring community that enhances personal

Ms. Swisa has worked with professionals using these techniques in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.


Dr. Ellen Pope, OTD/OTRSecretary

Ellen has practiced as an occupational therapist for over 4 decades. Her Occupational Therapy practice has focused on using a family centered, coaching approach to support families with children with feeding issues, fine and gross motor issues, sensory processing issues, self-help skills, sleep and social emotional concerns. As part of an interdisciplinary team, she supports the Center for Ann Sullivan Peru (CASP) for persons with differing abilities.

She has her clinical doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy, and in addition to her practice in Pediatrics, she was an assistant professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is certified by the Family Sleep Institute as a Child Sleep Consultant and is also the owner of small sleeper, LLC.


Megan Finno-Velasquez, PhD, LMSW, Board Member

Megan is a social work professor and director of the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare at New Mexico State University.  She has called Santa Fe home since 2006. She has worked for over 15 years to improve equity in access to critical services that promote well-being among immigrant children and families in the U.S.  She has consulted with CYFD for many years and has a current community-based study in Doña Ana County aimed at developing a stronger network of services for immigrant caregivers with young children.  Megan earned a PhD in Social Work from University of Southern California in 2015 and a masters of social work from NM Highlands University in 2007.   She is also a certified mindfulness meditation teacher and is passionate about teaching mindfulness and self-care courses to college students in helping professions. She is a proud parent to a toddler here in Santa Fe and is eager to connect with and support new parents in her community.


Margo Dichtelmiller, Ph.D., Board Member

Margo is a retired Emeritus professor of Early Childhood Teacher Education from Eastern Michigan University, where she specialized in observation and early childhood assessment. She began her career teaching infants and preschool children with special needs in home- and classroom-based settings. She consulted with early childhood programs nationally, providing staff development on assessment, standards-based curriculum and program evaluation. She is a developer of the Work Sampling System, an alternative assessment system for preschool through third grade. She co-authored The Power of Observation and wrote The Power of Assessment, a teacher-friendly college text. She earned her doctorate from the University of Michigan, a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois, and a B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College. Now retired, Margo enjoys traveling, reading, quilting, and works with several non-profit organizations.


Dr. Berta Carela, PhD, Early Childhood Education, Board Member

Berta is a bilingual, English-Spanish, educator with a PhD in Early Childhood Education from New Mexico State University. Berta is a native of the Dominican Republic and has lived and worked in the United States most of her life, and in New Mexico throughout most of her early childhood career.

Berta’s pursuits are based on her philosophy that equity gaps are best addressed and dismantled through education and community collaborations that lead to strengthening everyone. Her work has touched many individuals and families through different stages of their lives. As early interventionist, she worked alongside families and their children, birth to five-years of age, to guide and support them as the children overcame developmental delays. As educator, Berta has worked with young children in academic settings from Early Head Start to first grade, both as teacher and as early childhood center director; and she has worked in community settings as early childhood consultant. She continues to work with adults as professor of early childhood education and is currently adjunct professor of Early Childhood Education at New Mexico State University.

The inspiration for Berta’s life pursuits is based on her belief in the power of relationships and of the strength of families, and in her advocacy for the value of diversity and culture to unite all.

Betty Monroe, M.Ed. Board Member

After 30+ years of teaching, Betty has relocated with her husband from the East Coast to New Mexico to jump into the next chapter of her life.
Betty holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Education. Her career spanned working with daycares’ at-risk children. She worked tirelessly to bring new approaches to the classroom and inspire her students. Also, she offered the educational development and successful potential for every student that crossed her path. Her efforts to make a difference were acknowledged by the school district, appointing her the Director of the Gifted and Talented Program.
In addition, Betty was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education and recognized in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for 5 years straight before her retirement. Now, Betty enjoys spending time with her family and has started gardening with her daughter in her spare time.

Supporting Our Community

Your contributions—whether volunteering, administrative, or monetary—support families right here in Santa Fe.