Meet our Staff

Our staff comes from racially diverse backgrounds of Africa, Brazil, Cape Verde, France, Puerto Rico, & the United States of America.Our staff also live in the community and have the linguistic capacity of the commonly spoken languages in the Brockton area, which are Cape Verdean Creole, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and English.

Melinda Kneeland

Melinda Kneeland

Executive Director

Kneeland is the Director of United Way of Greater Plymouth County’s Community Connections of Brockton and The Family Center. She oversees the Community Connections program and helps the Family Center team in achieving their goals and mission of strengthening families, building communities, and preventing child abuse and neglect.

Kneeland earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of Massachusetts’ College of Public and Community Service with concentrations in Human Services and Non-Profit Management.  She has 15 years of experience in providing community-based services to youth, families, and individuals.  Most recently, she served in the role of Quality Coordinator at Brockton Area Multi Services, Inc. (BAMSI). Melinda is currently a Massachusetts Statewide Wraparound Peer Coach.  She received the Association for Behavioral Health’s Salute to Excellence in Best Practice

Language(s): English

Contact: melinda.kneeland@ccbrockton.org

 

Dawn Fontaine

Dawn Fontaine

Program Coordinator

Fontaine administers the coordination and operation of The Family Center; including the supervision of staff and volunteers, planning of parent educational groups, community outreach, a compilation of reports, volunteer recruitment, training, and other practices to ensure the smooth day-to-day operation of the Center. She works collaboratively with local organizations and families to deliver coordinated services. She also works with the Executive Director of Community Connections of Brockton (CCB) to ensure the sustainability of the Center and appropriate integration into CCB’s initiatives.

Language(s): English

Contact: dawn.fontaine@ccbrockton.org

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Fontaine oversees all referrals and communication with the courts and school systems. She is the co-chair of TAB (Trauma Advisory Board), a member of TILT (Trauma Informed Leadership Team), and a BKDD team (Brockton Knock Down Diabetes). Fontaine has a Master of Science in Administration of Justice. Prior to joining The Family Center at Community Connections of Brockton, she worked with the Stoughton Youth Commission and Massachusetts Attorney General Office. She has over 20 years of experience working with youth and families including extensive work with Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Department of Social Services, Department of Youth Services, youth residential facilities, school districts across the state of Massachusetts, and many court systems. Fontaine is an expert in mediation with extensive experience including the ability to coordinate school Conflict Intervention Teams, Critical Incident, Stress Management Training, Training of Trainers, Mediation Services Department, Office of the Attorney General and Basic Mediation Training, and Mediation Works Incorporated. Fontaine is passionate about serving families and children. She likes to engage with the community to help them improve where and how they live. She believes that everyone has a chance to be successful if he/she/ze is provided with education and support.

Michelle Miceli

Michelle Miceli

Administrative Assistant

Miceli comes to The Family Center with a wealth of experience in office administration, marketing, communications coordination, and graphic and web design. Her work and educational experiences have developed her ability to multi-task and prioritize in ways that are not only efficient but also effective.

Language(s): English

Program(s): Brockton Parents Magazine

Contact: michelle.miceli@ccbrockton.org

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Felicita Sepulveda

Felicita Sepulveda

Community Resource Specialist

Sepulveda works closely with agency staff, parents, and community partners to identify community needs to construct programs and resources meeting those needs. She leads children activities here. She volunteered at the Family Center at Community Connection of Brockton for over seven years before starting to work here as a staff.

Sepulveda is passionate about working with and for the people and is very involved in the community. She has her Associate Degree in Human Services from Massasoit College and is now attending Bridgewater State University for Bachelor’s in Human Services/Social Work.

Language(s): English and Spanish.

Program(s): The Block Party, Vacation Fun, Second Cup on us, and Brockton Parents Magazine

Contact: felicita.sepulveda@ccbrockton.org

Natasha Barros

Natasha Barros

School Liaison

Barros works closely with School Adjustment Counselors in the Brockton Public Schools to help families navigate resources in the community. She began her path with The Family Center a little over four years ago as an intern studying at Bridgewater State University where she was getting her Bachelor’s in Social Work. She organized the Family Center’s first citizenship clinic in Brockton in which over 500 people attended the clinic.

Language(s): English and Cape Verdean Creole.

Program(s): Nurturing Fathers

Contact: natasha.barros@ccbrockton.org

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After obtaining her Social Work degree in 2013, Barros was offered a position at the Family Center for the Community Engagement Specialist. Within a few months, she was promoted to be the School Liaison. She is also the coordinator and co-facilitator of the Nurturing Father’s program. She is a first generation American, her parents migrated from Liberia and Cape Verde. Currently, she has been devoting her time to educating herself and bringing awareness to criminal reform and mass incarceration. This concern has recently increased in her work with the Nurturing Fathers program for fathers who many of the times are dealing with many of society’s oppression. Natasha loves God, family, food, and the unusual. She is passionate about humanity and advocating for it.

Maryline Sakpo

Maryline Sakpo

Community Resources Specialist and School Liaison

Sakpo assists clients at The Family Center with finding available resources in the communities in which they live. She demonstrated her passion and commitment to the community when she organized the Family Center fifth citizenship clinic in Brockton. She is in charge of any legal matter and works hand in hand with attorneys who are well equipped to meet the needs of the clients.

Language(s): English, French, and 3 other African languages.

Program(s): Citizenship Clinic, Cori Sealing, Naturalization Prep., Parenting in America, and Parenting Journey

Contact: maryline.sakpo@ccbrockton.org

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Sakpo is the coordinator and co-facilitator of the Parenting Journey Program, a 12-week curriculum based program at The Family Center. Sakpo strongly believes that goodness and greatness lie in everyone.  She has faith that the world can become a better and safer place if we let go of our differences and serve with love. She also believes in investing in our children who are the keys to a better future. Sakpo is from West Africa. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Communication & Marketing.

Claudia Cunha

Claudia Cunha

Community Resource Specialist

Cunha is the coordinator for the Let’s Talk Portuguese/English class. This class is designed for the people who don’t speak English and are looking to learn basic English they need for the everyday life. She also co-facilitates the Parenting in America curriculum, it is a program designed for the immigrant parent(s) raising child/ren in the USA.

Language(s): English and Portuguese.

Program(s): Let’s Talk (English 101) and Parenting in America

Contact: claudia.cunha@ccbrockton.org

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Cunha has been a volunteer for the Brockton Parent Magazine for the past six years. At the Center, she provides resources for the community, especially for Brazilian families. She works closely with the Portuguese speaking community, helping them with resources specifically when there is a language barrier. Cunha graduated from Massasoit Community College with an associate degree in Science in Criminal Justice and a certificate in Private security and Law Enforcement.

CRA Partners

Meghan Mantler, LCSW

Meghan Mantler, LCSW

YMCA Clinician

Meghan is a clinician with the Old Colony YMCA and is housed here at The Family Center in the CRA Diversionary program (Child Requiring Assistance). She works with youths struggling at home or school and or community. Such as not following rules, in school behavior, running away, missing school, and exploitation.

Meghan graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a Master of Social Work and a Master of Divinity. Her concentration was in Macro Social Work doing program planning with faith communities. She has experience working in DYS, DMM, and after school program. Meghan’s experience working with underserved youth in urban environments began with her Lasallian Education in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. Her passion is rooted in helping people find and grow their full potential.

Language(s): English.

Contact: MMantler@oldcolonyymca.org

Suzanne Larkins

Suzanne Larkins

BAMSI Family Partner

Suzanne is a diversionary CSA family partner. Her specialties are referrals, utility assistance, housing assistance, and assessments. She visits court with families in order to assist their youth (child) stay at home and in the community. She has worked for BAMSI for more than 4 years. She is a very passionate about her work and uplifting the community of Brockton.

Please reach out to her if you know any family or youth (under 18) struggling with mental health issues at her email: suzanne.larkins@ccbrockton.org

Michelle Kelleher

BAMSI Family Partner

Michelle works with families and youths dealing with many unique challenges. She connects them to appropriate resources that best fit their needs in the communities they live. She achieves this by meeting with the families to listen to their story and let them identify the challenges.

Michelle has a lot of passion for her work. She is compassionate and has a wealth of personal and professional experience working with children and families in need. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Bridgewater State College. She’s also a licensed social work associate.

Community Partners

Ines Figueroa

Ines Figueroa

Director of Latino Women Association

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