Amanda Siroosian, MPH
Amanda Siroosian has over 20 years of non-profit experience in prevention and public education. Amanda holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Ohio State University, with an emphasis in Health Behavior and Health Promotion. She served as ChildBuilders’ Program Director from October 20, 2007 until September 1, 2017 when she assumed the role of Executive Director. In these roles, Amanda has overseen all program training, implementation, evaluation, curriculum development, grant management, fundraising, fiscal management, and other ChildBuilders’ operational activities. Amanda has also been training and managing staff, interns, volunteers, and contractors in various non-profit organizations. She has led the development of ChildBuilders’ safety and social and emotional learning programs, Stand Strong • Stay Safe™ and Build to Nurture. These, along with other ChildBuilders’ programs, Parents Under Construction and Relationship Smarts PLUS ensure that all children are respected, nurtured, and protected.
Sanam Duester, BS
Sanam Duester received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston Downtown. Before joining ChildBuilders, Sanam worked in the mental health field for nine years. During this time, she saw the impact of mental illness on those receiving care and their families. This experience made her realize the importance of prevention, which is why the vision of ChildBuilders resonated with her. From the mission statement itself, she knew it was the perfect opportunity because her passion in life has always been to help others in an uplifting, enriching, and loving way.
Gretchen Lash, LMSW
Gretchen Lash received her B.S. in Education from the University of Vermont in 2003. She taught 5th and 6th grade for two years in Vermont Public Schools before moving to Houston to pursue her Masters in Social Work, which she received from The University of Houston in 2008. Gretchen specializes in the development, implementation, and evaluation of curricula that bring social and emotional learning to K-12 classrooms. She first joined the team as a Social Work intern in 2008, and has contributed to ChildBuilders’ curriculum since that time, including Parents Under Construction, Build to Nurture, and Stand Strong • Stay Safe™.