Julie has been leading and supporting foster and adoption ministries across Central Texas for more than a decade. Julie is an approved Educator in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) and an Empowered to Connect Trainer. Her experience includes working directly with Dr. Karyn Purvis and Texas Christian University to develop trauma-informed church ministries in Central Texas. As an adoptive parent to her own three children, Julie has mentored and trained hundreds of foster and adoptive families.
Amanda Keeter is the Executive Director of Fostering Hope Austin. She has 15+ years of nonprofit experience, with more than a decade in services to children and families. Amanda has served on numerous boards across Central Texas including current service to Concordia University Texas’ College of Business and Communications. She holds her undergraduate degree from Southern Nazarene University and MBA in Organizational Management and Leadership from Concordia University Texas.
After a couple years teaching, Anna Valdez served for five years at an international organization in Monterrey, Mexico. Along with being a Program Coordinator, she was the primary caregiver for 17 teenage girls. She has successfully implemented programming as a Texas Christian University Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) Practitioner and a Trauma Competent Caregiver Affiliate Trainer for Back2Back Ministries. As the Director of Programs, Anna trains, develops audience specific curriculum, and coordinates trauma informed efforts for volunteers, churches, support groups, foster parents and caregivers, and institutions, locally and internationally, to move them through the continuum of trauma informed care.
Meghann Presley came to Fostering Hope Austin through a circuitous route. She and her husband attended A Future and a Hope several years ago, and after much discussion and prayer, they (along with their three children) became a licensed foster family. Her experience on church staff for many years, most recently as the Director of Children’s Ministry for her home church, combined with her hands-on knowledge of TBRI practices through fostering, has equipped her well to provide support to the Fostering Hope Austin team and to focus on ministry development with each of our partner churches.
Rex is a senior level Business Development Leader with experience in Alliance/Partner Management, Strategic Sales, Direct Sales, and Channel development for software and hardware companies. He holds a BA in Economics and an MBA from St. Edwards University in Austin.
He and his wife, Terri, met at UT and have been married over 20 years and have 4 amazing children. It is with their youngest child, that Rex and Terri were introduced to Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) and became Empowered to Connect Trainers through Fostering Hope Austin as they ministered to the needs of their adopted son. Rex helped start the adoption ministry at his church, Austin Ridge.
Andy is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He is a serial entrepreneur from startups to global brands along the theme of human behavior influenced by data analytics. He is a trailblazer and change agent whose life was reformed by family members who experienced mental illness and addiction.
Andy has lived in Austin for 28 years with Janet, his wife of 36 years, and his three adult children. Together, he and his wife have served for 15 years in student ministry and now in an empty nester community where Andy teaches on family systems and relational dynamics with adult children at Grace Covenant Church.
Tom enjoyed a 27-year ministry career in Latin America, having lived in three different countries including Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile. For the last 8 years of his career, he served on the international leadership team facilitating ministries for all the continent, with a focus in Argentina, Peru and Chile.
Upon the completion of their tenure in Latin America, Tom, along with his wife Brenda and their two daughters, returned to Austin, Texas. Grace Covenant Church hired Tom as their first full-time missions pastor where he served for 12 years. Tom is currently working part-time with Navigators.
Hallie is a 30-something from the great city of Austin, Texas. Not a fan of the linear life, Hallie’s a speaker and writer, lawyer, activist, and foster mama to infants and toddlers. Hallie’s also involved with The Archibald Project, Foster Village, and has degrees in voice, physics, and law from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and Rhodes College.
Brooke Wagen is a fourth year medical student who will graduate as a member of the inaugural class of the Dell Medical School at UT Austin in May 2020. She plans to stay in Austin for residency in Internal Medicine/Primary Care. Her career in medicine was preceded by two decades of volunteering in the church, her neighborhood, and as a volunteer medical interpreter.
Brooke has lived in Austin for 20 years. A pastor’s wife and mother of three, her youngest, Elaia, came home from Ethiopia when she was five months old. Their family moved to East Austin over a decade ago to help start Salina Street Church; they still live and work in the neighborhood they love.