Staff, Location & Board of Directors
Connection of Friends is staffed by a full-time Program Director and Program Leader. In addition, we have 5 Program Assistants that are part-time employees, staffed when needed and during our Saturday Night Socials. Our Program Assistants have college degrees in the areas of special education, communication studies, psychology and sociology. Program Volunteers consist of an art teacher, music instructor, gardener and yoga instructor. Other volunteers consist of high school and college students. Overall supervision and management is provided by Executive Director, (non-pay position), Sarah Donnelly.
COF principally operates on a 3 participant to 1 staff /volunteer. However, COF will staff a 2:1 or 1:1 on a limited basis. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions, (FAQ), tab for additional information.
Jamie Hager, Program Director
Before joining Connection of Friends, Jamie worked as a Behavior Health Specialist at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center facilitating group therapies and serving as an activities coordinator. Previously, Jamie worked with Southwest Special Recreational Association as an aide and aquatic instructor at the Oak Lawn Park District. Jamie graduated from North Central College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Health.
Janesa Roman, Program Leader
Janesa is a graduate from Benedictine University with a degree in psychology. First joining Connection of Friends as an Intern in 2013, Janesa previously served as a Program Assistant and Senior Program Assistant for Connection of Friends.
Sue Bosse, Program Assistant
Sue currently works at Monroe Middle School in Wheaton as a paraprofessional working with 6th, 7th and 8th graders. She also has experience as an activity assistant with ESSE Adult Day Care located in Wheaton.
Angelica Camacho, Program Assistant
Angelica graduated from College of DuPage with her Associates of Arts degree and plans to return to school to explore a career in social services. Angelica joined Connection of Friends in the winter of 2014 as a volunteer.
Kelsey Kryszak, Program Assistant
Kelsey graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Public Relations and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Communication Studies and is in the process of applying for the Behavioral Analysis and Therapy program at Governors State University. Kelsey currently works at Elim Christian School as a paraprofessional and 1:1 assistant.
Cameron Moseberry, Program Assistant
Cameron graduated from the University of Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Organizational and Interpersonal Communication. Serving as an Activities Director for Wellspring Camps and Therapeutic Residential Camp, Cameron joined Connection of Friends in October 2012 as a volunteer. Cameron plans to return to school this fall to pursue a Master of Education.
Sarah Zalisko, Program Assistant
Sarah is a graduate from Elmhurst College with a double major in biology and psychology. Serving as a “Lead Toddler Teacher” at KinderCare Learning Center, Sarah plans to return to graduate school next spring to pursue a career as a pediatric occupational therapist. Sarah joined Connection of Friends in October 2013 as a volunteer.
Mary Clauss, Program Volunteer-Yoga
Mary is certified in yoga and has taught in a variety of settings using modifications for children and young adults with special needs.
Kathy Davidson, Program Volunteer-Gardening & Nature
Kathy works for Gardner Connection and recently received her degree in Horticulture.
Carol Fiene, Program Volunteer-Art
Carol is a retired art teacher from the Wheaton/Warrenville school district and has spent a portion of her career teaching art classes specifically designed for special needs students.
Chris Schindler, Program Volunteer-Art
For many years, Chris has shared his love for music with a variety of organizations that provide programming for individuals with specials needs. A self-taught musician, Chris plays a variety of instruments including piano, guitar and drums with experience in song writing and musical composition.
Connection of Friends is located at Hope Presbyterian Church, 1771 S. Wiesbrook Road, Wheaton. (Connection of Friends is not affliated with Hope Presbyterian Church).
Connection of Friends is a non-profit organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, administered by professional staff.
Executive Director: Sarah Donnelly
Board of Directors:
Terry Kline (President)
Ginny Kline (Secretary)
Matthew Kline (Treasurer)
Dr. Kathleen Briseno