About Us

Honoring Native Traditions – Creating Native Leaders

Futures for Children’s (FFC) primary goal is to improve K-12 American Indian student learning while increasing their access to varied learning opportunities at home, in school, and in the broader community.  This involves the coordinated effort of community volunteers, educators, and families. This network of caring adults supports American Indian students in doing well in school, developing important life skills, planning for a high school diploma, and preparing for college and careers. FFC’s service area is currently in tribal communities and schools with large concentrations of American Indian students in Arizona and New Mexico.

FFC’s Circle of Support Program is designed as a comprehensive and integrated set or projects that:

  1. Bolster American Indian parent engagement in the educational process through training on planning for school success, college, and careers.
  2. Expand the social network of American Indian students through mentors in and outside of their communities.
  3. Serve as a support to local educators and youth serving organizations to improve American Indian student outcomes through community-informed and culturally-relevant learning tools.
  4. Train and develop American Indian student leaders through service learning, public speaking, team building, advocacy, and peer exchange.

Our Work - Three Circles of Support

Futures for Children (FFC) works hand-in-hand with community based organizations, tribal programs, schools, and volunteers to implement The Three Circles of Support Program in various communities across Arizona and New Mexico.  The Program includes three culture-based projects that together have the potential to develop the life and learning skills of American Indian students.

  1. Youth Leadership.  Through training and curriculum, youth are provided guidance on developing community service-learning projects, leadership development, planning, and communication skills.  Included are age-appropriate college and career preparation training and tools. At the end of the school-year, FFC hosts Youth Leadership Summits where service-learning projects and youth leadership skills are showcased through peer-exchange.
  2. Families in Action.  Through training and curriculum, family members are provided with tools and guidance on how to overcome obstacles that get in the way of student success.  Included are college preparation and advocacy presentations tailored to parents and guardians.
  3. Friendship/Mentoring.  Mentors are matched with individual students to encourage academic achievement and a cross-cultural friendship.

FFC’s Three Circles of Support Program can be implemented in the following settings:

  • Afterschool Program
  • Youth Leadership Club or Student Council
  • Gifted and Talented Class
  • Honors or Advanced Placement Class
  • Parent/Teacher Organization or Parent Association
  • Community Library or Community Center Programming
  • Culture and Language Class

The Three Circles of Support Program increases access to:

  1. Culturally-Relevant K-12 School Success Resources
  2. Civic Engagement and Service Learning Opportunities
  3. Critical Thinking and Life skills Training
  4. College and Career Workshops for Middle and High School Students and Parents
  5. Leadership-Focused Peer Exchange
  6. A Committed Cadre of Experienced and Trained Adult Volunteers, Mentors, and Community Leaders

Community Volunteers - Local Volunteers

The role of the Futures for Children (FFC) volunteers is to serve as program implementers, facilitators, and advocates for American Indian students in communities where FFC programming is offered. Volunteers support the recruitment and retention of FFC K-12 students, organize FFC program-related events and activities, and work with community stakeholders to achieve FFC’s objectives.  Volunteers share a vision with FFC that all American Indian youth have the potential to develop into community leaders, graduate from high school, and enter college and careers with confidence. With support from FFC field staff, Volunteers make the critical links between home, school, and community.  They also serve as liaisons between students and mentors who live outside of the community.

FFC trains and provides support to the following Volunteers:

  • Youth Leadership Project Coaches:  Overall, the role of the Project Coach is to guide the students through their exploration of themselves and their communities and encourage their growth as leaders who are concerned about their community.
  •  Friendship/Mentorship Volunteers
  • Families in Action Facilitators

To become an FFC Volunteer, call Circles of Support Program staff at (800) 545-6843.

President & CEO

Teresa C. Gomez

Teresa C. Gomez joined Futures for Children as President and CEO in August 2012. She is a member of the Futures for Children Executive Committee.

Teresa has worked extensively with Tribal governments and various governmental agencies at the federal, state, and local level.  She has been instrumental in building and strengthening Tribal-State relations and collaboration, and has played a key role in major policy initiatives including the NM Tribal Infrastructure Act, State-Tribal Collaboration Act, and the Indian Education Act.  She has been an active community member having served on numerous boards and commissions including the Governor’s Women’s Health Commission, NM Behavioral Health Purchasing Collaborative, and the Continuum of Care Review Committee. 

Teresa is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Isleta and is a life-long resident of New Mexico, and has dedicated her career to serving Tribes and advocating for issues affecting American Indians.   She earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico, focusing her studies on Race and Ethnic Politics with an emphasis on American Indian Politics. Teresa co-authored “American Indian Women Leaders:  Public Policy and the Importance of Gender and Ethnic Identity” which appeared in the journal – Women & Politics. 

Board of Directors

Executive Commitee

Alicia Smith

Position: Chair of the Board

Santa Fe, New Mexico. Lawyer by training, having spent a career in public policy, working first for the State of Florida and then at the national level as Staff Director of Human Resources at the Governors’ Association. In 1993 she started a small health care consulting firm and then in 2000 founded Alicia Smith and Associates. The company specialized in the Medicaid program and over the course of its “life” assisted dozens of states, hospital associations and Medicaid managed care plans in the design and implementation of more effective strategies for delivering health care to the poor, the disabled and the elderly. Futures for Children mentor.

Michael E. Godwin

Position: Secretary

Albuquerque, New Mexico.  President of Ernest Thompson & Co., Inc., Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM  Ernest Thompson Furniture and Cabinets manufactures high end furniture and custom cabinetry, and also has a showroom in Scottsdale, AZ.  Prior to 1990, served as Senior Vice President and manager of the retail municipal bond department for Shearson Lehman Hutton in New York City.  Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University.  Former chair of the Board of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation. 

Michael DeGenring

Position: Treasurer & Finance Chair

Santa Fe, New Mexico. Michael spent most of his working career with ARCO, primarily in financial positions. He ultimately moved into a general management role, serving as President of ARCO’S US coal business, and subsequently, acting President of ARCO’s coal division.  He eventually retired as Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration, and CFO of Potlatch Corporation. BA from Dartmouth College in Math and MBA from Harvard Business School.  Former Board Member and Treasurer of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra; Former Board Member and member of the Audit Committee of a privately held franchise restaurant chain.  President of the Board of Directors for The Foundation for the Santa Fe Symphony. Volunteer at Kitchen Angels in Santa Fe. Futures for Children mentor. 

Mary Anne Larsen

Position: Past Chair of the Board and Development Co-chair

Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Retired owner of women’s clothing stores.  Four time chair of Futures for Children  Moveable Feast Committee.  Chair of numerous galas for New Mexico Museum of Art.  Past Vice President of the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation Board in Santa Fe.  Past chair of the Friends of Indian Art for MIAC and past chair of the Wheelwright Museum auction.  President, Santa Fe Festival Ballet and President of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Board in Santa Fe.  Graduate of Russell Sage College with a BA in History.  Futures for Children mentor.

Olivia J. Redhorse

Position: Member at Large

Las Cruces, New Mexico. Native of Rough Rock, Arizona.  Systems Analyst for Jacobs Technology at the NASA Johnson Space Center, White Sands Test Facility. Training to become an OpenVMS System Manager. Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with emphasis on Business Computer Systems, from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.  Futures for Children mentored student and affiliate for over 20 years. Tribal Affiliation: Navajo

Board Members

Joyce E. Chelberg

Position: Governance Committee Co-chair

Chicago, Illinois.  Retired teacher.  Served as a member of the Board, Executive Committee, Vice President and Governing Board of the Japan America Society of Chicago.   Supporter of numerous cultural arts organizations in Chicago and Graduate Study Programs in Madagascar.  Served on numerous fund raising committees.  Early supporter of Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado.  Supporter of Mitchell Indian Museum and NAES College mentor for many years.  Bachelor of Arts from University of Illinois in the teaching of Biological Sciences.  Futures for Children mentor.

John Lewis

Position: Program Committee Co-chair

Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Most recently, John has worked with a few tribes in the development of projects in the economic and community development arenas.  Also has worked for various Native organizations including the Pueblo Insurance Agency, American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico where he served as the Executive Director.  He has served as Chairman of the board of the Storehouse-New Mexico’s largest food pantry and has served on the boards of the Native American Human Resources Association, The Native American Professional Parent Resources Organization, the San Ildefonso Pueblo Enterprise Corporation and the Zuni Pueblo Mainstreet as chair.   Tribal affiliation: Zuni and Navajo

Hank McCabe

Position: Governance Committee Co-chair

Window Rock, AZ.  Retired General Mine Manager at McKinley Mine near Window Rock and Gallup New Mexico; Chevron Mining Inc.; Has worked at the mine in various positions since 1976.   Past member of the Board of Directors, past Vice President and current President-New Mexico Mining Association.  Past member of the Board of Directors as the Arizona/New Mexico/Texas Regional Director and currently a member in good standing with Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute. Attended Brigham Young University, receiving an Associate of Arts degree.  Tribal affiliation: Navajo

Pam Misener

Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pam has had a successful career in retail banking management, brokerage, mortgage and consumer lending industries. She was a consumer banking manager, Vice president at First Union Bank/Wachovia Bank, McLean Virginia and then became a Principal/Private Banker. Was a Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo and is currently a Financial Advisor with Waddell Reed in New Mexico. Pam presently serves a member of Futures Dream Maker Advisory Committee. Futures for Children mentor.

Maureen Vosburgh

Positon: Development Committee Co-chair

Santa Fe, NM. Spent twenty years as a Realtor in commercial and residential real estate Sales, Marketing and Development in Connecticut and Arizona, winning numerous awards for outstanding performance.   Most recently, having served as Vice President of the Board for Habitat for Humanity Tucson, she joined the nonprofit sector professionally, in the position of Director of Philanthropy for Habitat and has also acted as Development Consultant to Accion.  She has served as the President of the Board of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, held Executive Committee positions for the following Boards: Secretary of the YWCA of Tucson, Treasurer of the Tucson Indian Center, Vice President of Tempo International, and Greater Tucson Leadership.  Attended Hollins College and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  She has also been recognized for exceptional community service by her peers and management of companies with whom she was affiliated.

April Wilkinson

Position: Program Committee Co-chair

Rio Rancho, NM-  April has over a decade of federal contract negotiation, health care planning, program design, and hands on practical experience working for and with tribal organizations and national BIA and IHS workgroups. Her experience is primarily with reservation based and rurally located tribal communities, specializing in partnership building to localize a spectrum of services to tribal communities. April holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Management and is currently a Juris Doctorate candidate at the University Of New Mexico School Of Law.  Tribal Affiliation: Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma