Meet Our SOAR Team


Chantae Thomas

President & Founder

Raised in Colorado, Chantae has grown to love spending time outdoors and exploring the many opportunities Colorado has to offer. Chantae obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from University of Colorado -Denver and is currently working toward her licensure as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Counselor Education and Supervision. 


Chantae loves hanging out with her two sons, finding new adventurous locations in Colorado, kayaking, reading, and joking around, enjoying time with friends and family.


Elissa Madonia

Programs Director

Elissa was born in upstate New York but recently moved to Denver after falling in love with the area after a weekend visit. Prior to her move, Elissa earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of Rochester. Some of Elissa’s favorite hobbies include hiking, running, rock climbing, mountain biking, and spending time outdoors with her dog, Charlie.


Charlie is a Certified Therapy Dog who attends many SOAR events. His favorite activities include playing fetch, chasing bubbles, swimming, and getting belly rubs.


Simone Marsh

Administrative Assistant

Simone was born and raised in Aurora, CO. She obtained her Bachelor of Social Work from Colorado State University and Master of Social Work from Texas State University. Simone has a passion for assisting communities in need and helping individuals build skills to better their lives. Simone enjoys playing volleyball and staying active. She loves getting outdoors and hiking as well as traveling and experiencing different cultures.


Terrence Demery

SOAR Mentor & Education Specialist

Terrence was born in Nuremberg Germany and moved to Denver after multiple visits to friends in the area. Prior to the move, Terrence earned his Juris Doctor from Salmon P. Chase Law School. Terrence is currently aspiring to take the bar and become a lawyer. Some of Terrence's favorite hobbies are wrestling, hiking, and being active outdoors.

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Maricarmen Rodriguez

SOAR Mentor & Education Specialist
(Bilingual English & Spanish)

Maricarmen was born in Durango, Mexico but moved to Denver at only 4 years old! Maricarmen earned a Bachelors of Science in Human Services and Counseling with a High Risk Youth Studies Concentration from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Some of Maricarmen's favorite hobbies include traveling, baking, painting, hiking, and spending time trying new things!


Emily Wallbank

SOAR Mentor & Education Specialist

Emily is a Colorado native. She graduated with her Master's in Social Work from the University of Denver. Emily has a passion for working with youth of all ages and a drive towards social justice. She adores animals and spends much of her freetime hanging out with her cats. Emily also loves film and, when she's not snuggling with her pets, she's often out seeing a movie on the big screen. 


Stacey Ivey

SOAR Mentor & Education Specialist

Stacey grew up in Montana but has called Colorado home since she's lived here for the past 18 years. She has always had a passion for working with youth and serving others in need. This led her to Indiana University where she received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary and Special Education. When Stacey is not working with youth, she is busy coaching girls basketball, traveling, enjoying the outdoors, and being a "Foodie." 


Andrenique Meigs

SOAR Mentor & Education Specialist

Andrenique was raised in Denver, Colorado. She moved to Oklahoma to receive a Bachelor's degree from Langston University in Broadcast Journalism and relocated back to Denver where she devotes her time serving the community. With this degree, Andrenique hopes to help advance at risk black and brown youth in the community who have a passion for media. Andrenique has a passion for singing, dancing, and listening to 90's R&B. She also loves spending quality time with her family and close friends.

Cate Hazel

Administrative Assistant

Cate was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia but has spent the past two summers living in Denver, specifically working with youth and empowering them to be engaged members of the community. As a rising Junior, Cate is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Sociology with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy from Harvard College. Some of Cate’s hobbies include spending time outdoors and hanging out with friends and family.

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Cara Smith

SOAR Mentor & Education Specialist

Cara is a Colorado transplant, raised in Texas and born in Thailand. Cara graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Anthropology from Colorado State University and has a strong interest in ending the patterns of human trafficking. Cara has a passion for working with at-risk youth and has diverse experiences of serving children of all ages.


Cara's hobbies include volunteering with her local youth group and engaging in cooking, music, crafts, and horseback riding. Cara has also traveled to 15 countries and more than half of the United States, and thus, enjoys experiencing new cultures and learning about other people.


Caitlyn Koerner

SOAR Mentor & Education Specialist

Caitlyn was born and raised in Colorado. She is a coffee connoisseur and enjoys dancing and being outdoors on most days. Her passion for dance and people started when she was young and grew into a dream to combine social work with dance to help youth propel forward in life. She has lived out this dream with her BSW and is working towards getting her MSW so she can better serve youth and help social service agencies be sustainable.  ​​

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Markell Smith

SOAR Mentor & Education Specialist / HEAT Program

Markell comes from the sunny state of California! He has procured Bachelor of Fine Arts for Stage and Screen Acting. When he’s not acting, he spends a lot of his time indoor rock climbing, singing, or exploring the wonderful state of Colorado. Through this position he hopes to inspire the youths he encounters, as he also aspires to be the best he can be!