kRISTIN dREVES, Project Manager
“Let not your heart be afraid to give, for it's only with giving you learn to live”
~ Shahastra, The Magical Rainbow Man
Kristin manages the Adolescent Health Project for the Oregon Pediatric Society. Her primary aim is to promote positive mental health outcomes and prevent teen suicide and substance abuse.
Kristin received a bachelor’s degree in Film from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in Public Health from Portland State University. She completed her MPH field experience at Oregon Health Authority, focusing on adolescent health promotion. Prior to OPS, she was the Program Manager for MIKE, a health education and youth development program for low-resource high school youth in the Portland Metro Area.
Kristin is passionate about adolescent health because this is a crucial period of human development. Youth are developing a sense of autonomy and setting up behaviors and attitudes that will influence them as independent adults. Kristin enjoys finding opportunities to empower youth and incorporate youth voice whenever possible, backed by a deep-seated belief that youth are the experts on their own experience and can make meaningful contributions in their community.
This photo was taken on Halloween, when ten-year-old Kristin decided to dress up as “an adult,” hence the hat, lipstick, and serious expression. Although she wanted to be all grown up at an early age, that didn’t keep her from eating her Halloween pumpkin cookie!
Marisa Fiat, americorps vista member
“A person's a person, no matter how small.”
~Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
Marisa comes to the Oregon Pediatric Society as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member dedicated to improving children’s lives by addressing the social determinants of health that impact their futures.
Marisa grew up in the Northwest, and moved to Florida for high school and college at the University of Miami. This cross-country move provided Marisa with a unique opportunity to experience a new culture, that of her father, an immigrant from Colombia. This new reality was dually informed by her time working as a research assistant in college, studying the quality of life after a traumatic spinal cord injury. These three years of direct experience were Marisa’s initial exposure to the influence that a person’s background has upon his or her health outcome. Her time spent in research informed Marisa’s desire to further understand how a person’s unique history of origin may affect his or her life. She was especially determined to understand the early childhood experience of social determinants and what role this experience plays on a child’s trajectory. While working towards her Master degree in Urban Education, Marisa taught kindergarten in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a Teach for America member for two years. During this time, Marisa became acutely aware of the huge influence that a child’s life outside of the classroom has upon his or her academic and social success in school. Her bright four and five-year-olds often came to school with the weight of extreme environmental stress that ultimately affected their growth and development. The awareness of this stress and the disproportionate power it has upon low-income students is what motivates Marisa to serve with AmeriCorps for a third term.
Marisa is especially passionate about addressing the unique challenges that children living in poverty experience. She is dedicated to exploring policies and programs for society’s small persons who have a right to healthy and happy childhoods no matter their backgrounds.
Candace Grimm, Project Coordinator
“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
-Robert Munsch, Love You Forever
Candace facilitates the START Program for the Oregon Pediatric Society. She graduated from Portland State University with her degree in Community Health Education and looks forward to expanding statewide community engagement surrounding child and adolescent health.
Prior to OPS, Candace interned for the MIKE Program, a youth-oriented health education program, and volunteered extensively for Be The Match/The National Marrow Donor Program. While living in Germany, she also volunteered with the Global Aid Network (GAiN).
Candace believes that by educating and informing communities of health resources, we can empower them to make lasting healthy choices. Through her work as a youth health mentor, she has seen firsthand the profound effect early intervention has on children and adolescents.
The quote from Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever is especially meaningful to Candace because her mother read the book to her as a child. When she left for college, Candace’s mother snuck a copy with a note into her suitcase. To this day it’s one of her most cherished possessions.
CHERYL MATUSHAK, ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR
"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
~ A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Cheryl is responsible for membership and all the little things that keep Oregon Pediatric Society rolling along, day in and day out. She has a knack for seeing how all the pieces fit together, and with a bachelor's degree in Information Systems and a natural problem-solving ability, she is always looking for ways to do things just a wee bit better.
Before coming to OPS, Cheryl dedicated herself to raising her family and to community involvement. She is deeply committed to volunteerism and spent time working with Impact Northwest; the Community Cycling Center; Girls on the Run; Special Olympics; and Metropolitan Family Services. With a focus on strengthening children, families and the communities who support them, Oregon Pediatric Society feels like home.
Cheryl believes that everyone needs a friend like Piglet at their side, and the wisdom of Pooh in their pocket.
Julie Scholz, Executive Director
“Now listen, and I’ll tell you something: the day may come when the lions get sick. And if you don’t help the other animals now, the lions may find themselves left all alone when they are in trouble. That often happens to proud people.”
~ Hugh Lofting,
The Story of Doctor Dolittle, 1920
Julie brings to OPS professional work experience in nonprofit management; health research and promotion; marketing and public affairs; international video production; and children, youth and adult experiential learning, mentoring, and psycho-social training. She attended Lewis & Clark College and U.C. Berkeley for undergraduate studies and went to graduate school when she returned to Portland.
Julie’s goal is for people of all ages and backgrounds to make healthy, informed, and effective decisions by accessing internal and external sources of support. She advocates for positive attachments and resiliency in children to build strong human foundations, and she knows it is possible to overcome adverse childhood experiences. Her professional toolbox includes relationship building and collaboration, training and coaching, strategic planning and communication, enthusiasm, stories, and the power of the imagination.
Julie wishes she remembered what made her child-self smile in delight. The ice cream truck? Her grandmother’s arrival? Or perhaps she was imitating Jerry Lewis!