Staff and Board of Directors

Youth and Family Center


Guadalupe OrtizExecutive Director

Lupe has worked in the social services field in McHenry County for the past six years, providing mental health services and support to youth and families in the community. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 2011 and has since worked at Pioneer Center for Human Services as a Community Support Specialist/Therapeutic Mentor. The experience in volunteering in different countries and serving very low-income communities has been life-changing for her. She is passionate about child advocacy and overall making a difference in the lives of others. She is grateful to have the privilege to be a part of  ” The YFC family” and the opportunity to give her passion, love, and skills to the organization and community as the Executive Director.

Meghan Sullivan, Development Coordinator

Meghan started as a program volunteer at the Garden Quarter Neighborhood Resource Center in 2005.  She served as the Program Director of YFC until the McHenry County Latino Coalition had to close the center’s doors in July, 2009.  She collaborated with other former YFC employees and AmeriCorps members to form a non-profit organization to operate the YFC programs.  Since that time, she has served in various officer positions on the YFC Board of Directors.  During the school year, she is the Dual Language Instructional Coach at North Elementary School in District 47.  As a lifelong resident of McHenry, she is passionate about encouraging education for all its members and developing multicultural relationships between people of diverse backgrounds.

Carla Ponce, Program Coordinator

Carla has worked within the social services/healthcare field throughout McHenry County and Lake County for over 5 years. She is a dedicated, bilingual, and highly motivated Public Health Professional with a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health and Wellness from Northeastern Illinois University. She has a strong commitment to serving disadvantage youth and adults and is excited to be part of the YFC family.

Patricia Wallin, Bi-Cultural Service Navigator

Patricia has worked within the social services field in McHenry County and Chicago assisting families by providing them with appropriate referrals and supporting them in accessing different resources in the community based on their needs. She was born in Latin America and immigrated to McHenry County when she was a child. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Western Illinois University and is currently working on a Master’s degree in International Social Work from the University of Stockholm, Sweden.

Violeta Sanchez, Bi-Cultural Service Navigator

Melissa Menjivar, Youth Program Manager

Melissa has been involved with the Garden Quarter Neighborhood Resource Center since April, 2017. She started as a volunteer assisting our families with the ESL classes and also volunteering in our Youth Summer Program. She grew up in McHenry County and is bilingual/bi-cultural in English and Spanish. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Melissa enjoys working with children and is proud to assist the families in the community through her work at YFC.

Board of Directors

Sherry Arevalo, President

Margi Patel, Secretary 

Josh Reitz, Board Member

Yvonne Semel, Board Member 

Johanna Poncio, Board Member

Carl Vallianatos, Board Member

Interested in joining our Board of Directors? Visit our Volunteer page to learn more about Board of Directors responsibilities and to find an application!

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