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About Mary’s Path

Our Mission
Believing in the value of every life, Mary’s Path empowers vulnerable teen mothers in foster care and their babies to create lives of dignity, hope and self-sufficiency.
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Guiding Principles

The moms and babies we serve always come first. We are guided by what serves them best.


Teen moms in foster care become loving, caring mothers and raise happy, healthy children.


Believing in the sacredness of life, Mary’s Path values all stages of life. Our work is facilitated through healing and love, instilling hope for the future. The past does not define our path; saving two lives at a time, we are here to accompany a new family on the journey to a hopeful future. Honoring the whole life experience of our residents, Mary’s Path is a loving home of holistic care for teenage mothers and their babies.


Why is Mary’s Path Important?

  • We are 1 of only 4 residences in all of California that serve this vulnerable population.
  • The overarching theme of our residents remains consistent – Family. The connection to the baby equates to a family and unconditional love.
  • Many of our residents have run away from both foster homes and family homes. A very common theme is that our residents have run away for a significant amount of time and turn themselves into the authorities to receive care for themselves and their unborn child. The baby becomes the stabilizing factor.

Kate McKinley
Board Chair
Investment Chair
Maxwell Biosciences

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Laura Araluce
Board Director
VP, Branch Manager
Banc of California

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Lorrie Dirk Brown
Board Secretary

Dirk Enterprises

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Frances Hernandez
Board Director
Sheppard Mullin

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Elizabeth Garcia
Board Treasurer
Real Estate Agent

Monica Youssef
Board Director
Senior Corporate Associate
Sheppard Mullin

Don Barnes
Orange County Sheriff

Patrick and Mary Dirk
Dirk Family

Carole Geronsin
The Geronsins Real Estate Group

Jon Lewis
Retired Chief of Police, Newport Beach

Jolynn and Pat Mahoney
West Coast Arborists, Inc.


Jill Dominguez
Executive Director

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Clete Menke
Director of Operations and Programs

Sandra 012 hi res 5x7

Sandra A. Barela
Clinical Director/Head of Services


Kelli Stickland
Director of Aftercare

Hazel Conejo

Hazel Cornejo
Aftercare Clinician


Samantha Holloway
Case Manager

Maria 3

María Moreira
Case Manager

Sara 1

Sara Acosta
Mental Health Counselor

Adriana 2

Adriana Sousa
Mental Health Counselor


Erin Maher
Child Development & Parenting Coordinator


Sonte Warren
Medical Services Coordinator

Kathy 2

Kathy McGinty
Facilities Coordinator

Jill Dominguez

Jill Dominguez has 20 plus years C-level experience with a demonstrated record of success developing and managing diverse experienced teams within non-profit and for-profit companies, foundations, community-based organizations, private-sector lenders, government agencies and elected officials. She is an effective fundraiser responsible for raising over $100 million in public/private funds for non-profits. She is an accomplished large scale team manager with a reputation for an adaptive problem-solving style. She is known as an inspiring communicator. She is a published author, active in social media, as well as blogging. She has frequent local and national print and television appearances including Judy Woodruff, ABC, CBS, Dr. OZ, KCET (PBS) as well as national and international speaking engagements for Enterprise Community Partners, Neighborworks, Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH), California Department of Real Estate, National Congress for Community Development, Economic Development Australia, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

Jill’s career highlights include her deeply rooted history serving low-income populations in Orange County. She is the creator of the OC Housing Trust Fund and the Digital Media Center business incubator in Santa Ana. She has also developed programs for single mothers and teen mothers through education, workforce training, mental health services, trauma recovery, and entrepreneurial opportunities in partnership with supportive housing programs. She is a successful grant writer/manager and compliance expert, working with foundations, corporate giving, high net-worth individuals, donor-advised funds, social media/online fundraising, government grants, bids, service contracts and RFP’s. Much of her work has been focused on the introduction of groundbreaking studies and products surrounding social issues affecting societies most vulnerable populations; affordable housing programs for homeless populations with wrap-around supportive services; the “haves” vs “have nots” in broadband politics; homeownership programs for families of children with disabilities.

Jill has served at the national level for a Bank Community Advisory Board providing strategic guidance for the board of directors regarding governance and leadership in community-based investment. She also has served at the community level on non-profit boards. She served as Treasurer, Vice-Chair, and Chair for 15 plus years leading a highly successful non-profit focusing on mentoring youth in at-risk communities. Longitudinal studies showed 100% of our students graduated from high school. Many are attending colleges and universities nationwide including Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, George Washington, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Yale, and others. Jill currently serves on the board for A Community of Friends a nonprofit whose mission is to end homelessness through the provision of quality permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness.

Selected Awards

  • Andrew Cuomo, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) National Community Empowerment Award
  • U.S. HUD Community Builder Award
  • First African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray Award for community service (first Latina to receive the award)
  • University of Southern California Business Government Contractor of the Year – chosen from over 10,0000 businesses
  • California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition
  • County of Los Angeles (community activist recognition)
  • City of Los Angeles (non-profit work commendation)
  • CORO Leadership California Fellow
  • California Association of Leadership Program
  • Rebuild LA Award
  • City of Los Angeles, Mayor Tom Bradley commendation
  • American Cetacean Society Volunteer of the Year

Jill was born and raised in Orange County, California. She attended high school and college in Southern California and found her passion for debate. She won national competitions in debate and forensics which earned her enough scholarships to attend college. Jill enjoys all things associated with the ocean, especially surfing. Her hobbies include classic car restoration, gardening, yoga, and family.


Diane Summers, an independent consultant, is an executive with over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Her experience includes roles as Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer at Banc of California. Ms. Summers is a recognized expert in financial services, active in many industry forums, such as the American Bankers Association, California Bankers Association, Western Independent Bankers Association, and the Mid-Size Bank Coalition. She has also been a featured speaker at compliance conferences organized by these groups. Ms. Summers holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University in California, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from San Diego State University. She is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM).


Frances Hernandez brings critical legal expertise to Mary’s Path’s Board of Directors. Currently a partner at Sheppard Mullen Richter and Hampton’s Costa Mesa office, Ms. Hernandez works in their Labor and Employment Practices Group. She devotes her practice to advising and defending employers against lawsuits for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage and hour actions. Ms. Hernandez graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine, where she was Captain of the Women’s Soccer Team. She attended Columbia Law School, where she was awarded the prestigious Hamilton Fellowship.


Kate McKinley has more than 20 years of executive level management and operations expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board for Elevar Therapeutics, a rapidly growing, fully integrated biopharmaceutical company built on the promise of elevating treatment experiences and outcomes for patients who have limited or inadequate therapeutic options. Prior to joining Elevar, Ms. McKinley led the Marketing Department and served on the Operating Committee for Dendreon Pharmaceuticals; and worked at Abbott Laboratories and the biopharmaceutical spinoff, AbbVie, in all aspects of commercialization. Ms. McKinley is a summa cum laude graduate of The University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Business Administration and holds a Master of Business Administration from the university’s Collins College of Business. Ms. McKinley mentors business students at The University of Tulsa and California State University, Long Beach, and is an Alois Society Patron of the Alzheimer’s Association.

SEAN CONNOLLY, Board Treasurer

Sean Connolly brings his expertise in managerial accounting to Mary’s Path. He is a California Certified Public Accountant with an active attestation license, and has been the Controller for the Diocese of Orange in California since 2017. Previously, he was a senior manager for 10 years at Ernst & Young LLP. Mr. Connolly has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Irvine, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Dalhousie University. Mr. Connolly is a prior Marine Corps Captain, and has led teams for three combat deployments. He is a Knight of Magistral Grace in the Order of Malta.


Laura Araluce brings more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry to Mary’s Path. Her career has included a broad range of financial management and investment and securities positions, including her current tenure as Branch Managing Director of Bank of Southern California. Her experience encompasses responsibilities for training, advertising, marketing, and branch management. Using her extensive financial management experience, Ms. Araluce has actively volunteered in bringing financial literacy programs to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana/Tustin, various Title I middle and elementary schools throughout Orange County, and resident services programs at affordable housing communities. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors at Mary’s Path, she sits on the Advisory Board of the Tustin Community Foundation and Foothill Communities Association, and is a past Board Member of Family Promise.


Merrilea East is a seasoned human resource consultant with more twenty years of professional experience in compliance, due diligence, employee benefits, management coaching and counseling, payroll. and training. She brings to the Board of Directors of Mary’s Path a range of consulting experience with a variety of industries, including Utilities, Education, Advertising, Entertainment, Banking, Manufacturing, Financial and Non-Profit Organizations. Ms. East received her formal education at Vanguard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, and Webster’s University for her Master of Business Administration. She also holds and maintains several senior level
certifications in human resources and payroll.


Elizabeth Lusk brings 16 years of Early Childhood Education (ECE) expertise to Mary’s Path. She has a wide range of ECE experience, including running her own state-licensed Family Child Care Home for six years and currently as a Lead Preschool Teacher at Calvary Chapel Schools. During her 10 years working at Calvary, Ms. Lusk was responsible for the development, launch and implementation of the Toddler Program. Ms. Lusk studied ECE at Orange Coast College. In addition to her service on the Board of Directors of Mary’s Path, Ms. Lusk works with her husband leading the High School Ministry at Calvary Chapel Living Word, mentoring high school teens.


Pedro A. Mirza is the Sales Director at Small Cells Solutions, and has more than 30 years of experience in the Wireless Telecommunications industry. He provides valuable expertise as a board member, particularly in examining emerging technological needs and strategies for Mary’s Path programs and activities. Mr. Miraz holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from California State University, Fullerton.

Lorrie Dirk Brown – Board Secretary

Lorrie Dirk Brown is an active philanthropist, serving not only on the Board of Directors for Mary’s Path, but also volunteering and fundraising for the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, St. Therese Church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church Junior League of MN, and Our Lady Queen of Angels. Ms. Brown brings a depth of experience in marketing and management to Mary’s Path through various career positions, including sales at American Greeting Cards, Marketing Manager at Pierce Business Products, recipe development at Pasolivo Olive Oil, and as manager of Dirk Enterprises. Ms. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.