Forward Steps Staff
Sabrina Huffaker, Executive Director
“It is our responsibility to help inspire youth to dream, to achieve, and to know that they have the power to create their own new experiences so they can enjoy that wonderful feeling of accomplishment and pride.”
As an active participant in the community, Sabrina Huffaker has spent the last several years working to assist Colorado and international youth in creating a better future. By educating herself about the Foster Care system, Sabrina was able to develop the idea and business plan behind Forward Steps’ youth offering. She has been instrumental in the creation of the Forward Steps mission, and is thrilled to be able to assist Foster Care alumni in her home state.
After getting a B.S. in Business and spending several years in the business world, Sabrina decided her efforts were better spent enabling the youth of the world. She began by volunteering her time to numerous organizations including Kenyan Children Foundation and Attention Homes, as well as attending a multitude of conferences including National Youth Resource Center’s Pathways to Adulthood conference and National Independent Living Association’s Growing Pains conference.
Michelle Fraas, MSW, LCSW
“One’s perception can either bind one’s future or it can set it free to grow with limitless expansion. These kids are our future and through education, positive reinforcement and positive role models … I can see a beautiful future on the horizon.”
Michelle brings a wealth of knowledge and 13 years experience to Forward Steps. Her primary focus has been working directly with families, youth and youth in conflict. Specifically, her experience includes: providing in-home services for families, training to prevent further intervention, facilitating the integration of paroled youth back into the community, and mentoring high school teens and college freshman. She has spent the last 8 years working in Colorado for the Department of Human Services. While there, she was a youth advocate, helping to build futures for today’s youth.
From the beginning, Michelle has had a mission to make a difference, especially with kids. She began by earning a Bachelor in Social Work in 1999, followed by a Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver in 2004. Michelle is a member of the NASW and Colorado Juvenile Council and has attended several conferences focused on youth.
She is excited to have the opportunity to work with Forward Steps, as she sees this experience as the essence of social work–”pursuit of social justice, enhancement of the quality of life, and the development of the full potential of each individual, group and community in society.” With the Human Services system, 18 year olds are pushed into the “real world” with little or no preparation and have the expectation to survive and be productive members of society. Forward Steps’ mission is based on empowerment and focused on self sufficiency in the hopes these youth can rise above their current perceptions and become what they never thought was possible, hence overcoming the unrealistic expectations of the current system.