Get to know the staff of Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association
DeAnna Alonso is currently the President/CEO of the Central Missouri Foster Care &Adoption Association (CMFCAA), which serves 13 counties in central Missouri.
DeAnna was the founder of CMFCAA in October 2008, along with two adoptive parents and one foster parent. DeAnna’s passion is derived from having been raised in the foster care system, ageing out of the system at 18 years old, only to become homeless after emancipation. DeAnna has served as the Executive Director of CMFCAA from 2009-2016. She has served as the President/CEO since 2016. DeAnna was selected as a Second Chance Scholarship Recipient from Zonta and pursued her education in her hometown of Jefferson City, Missouri.
DeAnna graduated in December 2012 after years of educational barriers. DeAnna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Lincoln University, where she graduated cum laude, and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of Missouri. DeAnna also completed her certification in Executive Director 101 training from the Nonprofit Service Center in St. Louis, Missouri. DeAnna is a huge advocate of higher education and believes it can break the cycle of poverty. DeAnna strives to provide excellent resources, education, and advocacy for over 1,400 foster and adoptive children in central Missouri. In 2013, DeAnna’s excellence in serving these families was recognized when CMFCAA was named by the Missouri Department of Social Services as one of four Adoption Resource Centers in Missouri. DeAnna and her husband, Anibal, have four children, three of whom they were able to adopt from Kentucky’s state foster care system in 2009. DeAnna is active in many civic organizations such as a board member of the Asherah Foundation, Zonta, Columbia and Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce’s, Missouri Association for Social Welfare, National Foster Parent Association State Affiliate, Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a member of Memorial Baptist Church to name a few. DeAnna has also presented on various topics at the North American Council on Adoptable Children Conference, The ONE conference, conference presenter at the National Foster Parent Association Conference and has been the keynote speaker at the Homelessness Conference in Missouri.
Amanda Towns is currently the Operations Director for CMFCAA. Although Amanda holds a degree in photography, her passion is serving people. Amanda grew up in a great family in New Mexico who modeled serving others as family. She and her husband, Mark, have been long time believers in taking care of children and families. They have spent over 20 years of marriage in ministry roles (Mark is the pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Jefferson City) as well as serving as foster parents, respite providers, and adoptive parents. They have four adopted children, two of whom were adopted from the Missouri foster care system. When the Towns family moved to Jefferson City in 2009, one of the most exciting opportunities that presented itself was the opportunity to volunteer with CMFCAA. What started out as a volunteer position for Amanda has turned into an opportunity to communicate and build relationships with foster and adoptive parents, volunteers, and community supporters all across central Missouri. Today, Amanda actively advocates and speaks on behalf of CMFCAA and the foster and adoptive families that are served. She dreams of one day having a whole weekend just to herself where she can read all day if she wants to. She has served at CMFCAA since 2010.
Sue Engelage, entered the Foster System 1999 she was five years old. When she first entered, it was with her two older siblings. Sometime in 2000 she went back to her biological mother, a few months in she was in the system again. This time she was all alone. This time she didn’t just get placed once but multiple times. When she was 9 she lost her hearing, no one believed her so she spent the whole summer of 2004, without hearing. August 2004, is when everyone finally realized Sue really was deaf. That summer her whole life changed because in August of 2004 she found her parents.
After being in the system for five years she was finally adopted in December 2005 by her parents Vic and Lynda Engelage. She found her home, her family and that is where she learned that there is nothing wrong with having a family that isn’t blood.
Growing up Sue always felt like she was suppossed to work with children, foster children. After her expereince in the foster system, she wanted to help children who would follow her. After graduating from High School in 2013 from Russellville, she attended the University of Central Missouri. Sue graduated December of 2016, with a Bachelor’s in Public Relations.
Sue started working at Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association January 30, 2016 as the Program Coordinator. Since, she started Sue has enjoyed every single moment, because she gets the chance to help the children who need it. the children who need a voice. Sue was chosen to go to Washington D.C., for the National Foster Youth Inititive. Where she hopes to learn more about the foster system in other states.