People Committed To This Work
The Folks at the Foundation
Marion Elizabeth Witte, Founder
Marion Witte was born and raised on a farm on the prairies of North Dakota. It was there that she acquired her Midwestern work ethic and her philosophy of helping others. Marion enjoyed a successful career as a CPA and an entrepreneur, and upon selling her business interests she began pursuing a life of philanthropy. She is passionate and outspoken about the need for radical changes in the way we view children and parenting, and her memoir Little Madhouse on the Prairie relays the story of her life, and it is the basis of her commitment to this work. She founded and manages the Angel Heart Foundation, whose vision is that “All Children Deserve a Safe and Just World.”
Melissa J. Murphy, Senior Contributing Writer
Melissa Murphy is in the business of building self-esteem, instilling confidence, and restoring hope in those who have given up on life. She is currently completing her degree in psychology, and has worked as a life coach and faith-based counselor for more than a decade. By bringing her personal life experiences into her work, Melissa is able to help others survive their wounds, heal their pain, and live a life of success despite having incurred overwhelming emotional scars. She has recently discovered the joys of writing and has published a growing number of articles. Melissa currently resides in the Houston area with her husband and her two wonderful children.
Dr. Sarasue Spielman, Parenting Consultant
Dr. Sarasue Spielman learned much about the theories of child development while she was obtaining her Doctorate in Psychology. In truth, it was through her experiences raising six children where she came to really understand how children learn and grow. Sarasue holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership and a Doctorate in Psychological Counseling from LaSalle University. She has worked in a variety of educational environments, including serving as a Project Director for one of California’s First Five Commissions. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the California Community College system.
Brian McDonald, Creative Arts Director
Brian McDonald is passionate about the need for our young people to be able to express their thoughts, views and opinions. He currently serves as the Education and Outreach Director for the Rubicon Theatre Company. Brian is a BFA graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance and Theatre and he appeared in the National Tours of Miss Saigon and Forever Plaid. Brian’s other acting credits include Room Service, Gifts of the Magi, Master Harold and the Boys, You Never Can Tell, Grease, Saturday Night, The Importance of Being Earnest and Man of La Mancha. In addition, Brian is a professional theatrical director, for which his work has received several awards.
Patricia Strickland, M.A., Educational Advisor
Patricia Strickland is a seasoned educator who has taught at both the elementary and high school level. She currently operates Studio V Arts and Tutoring, an intergenerational organization whose mission is to provide academic tutoring and experiential arts classes, performances and showcases to people of all ages. She is also exploring methods to introduce more emotional and artistic literacy into the educational system. Patti is an accomplished actress and director, is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from NYIT and a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Elizabeth Rojas Brooks, MSW, Social Services Advisor
Elizabeth Brooks completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Southern California and is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology. Because of her own background, Beth has developed a level of compassion and understanding for the less fortunate, the wounded and the misunderstood. Her journey to recover from her own past has led her to pursue her passion – helping others who have had similar experiences. Beth’s goal is to work in the area of violence and abuse prevention and addiction recovery. She also has a special desire to assist our service men and women who are struggling with post-traumatic stress syndrome.