About Us

We Are Wayfinders

Board Officers

Mark Larsen
President, Purus Wealth Management
Jason Smallwood
Vice President, City National Bank
Ann Stawicki
Secretary, Burnham Benefits Insurance Services
Joe McCarthy
Treasurer, McCarthy Consulting Services

Board Members

Dr. Thomas Coad
Donny Delfin
Pacific Western Bank
Jan Doyle
John Jory
Radiation Protection & Specialties
Gary Kubesh
Wells Fargo Advisors
Laurie Kuelpman
Kuelpman Resources
Barbara Steensland
MAG-TROL Electrical Distributors
Carol Stroup
Law Office of Carol A. Stroup
Kris Thordarson
K2 General Contractors
Greg Tippin
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Abril Turner

Management Team

Ronnetta Johnson
Executive Director
Hether Benjamin
Director of Youth Development
Lita Mercado
Director of Victim Assistance Programs
Melinda Ramos
Director of Finance & Administration
Ellen Ellis
Director of Human Resources
Carol Carlson
Program Director, Children's Crisis Residential Program
Kristen Gaborno
Program Director, Juvenile Diversion & GRIP
Dan Gleason
Program Director, Project PATH
Elsa Greenfield
Program Director, H. B. Youth Shelter & Gang Prevention
Michelle Heater
Program Director, Victim Assistance Programs
Richanne Marshall
Program Director, Collaborative Courts Full Service Partnership
Melissa Mellon
Program Director, Families First
Jennifer Reed
Program Director, Victim Assistance Programs
Amy Sutherland
Program Director, Youthful Offender Wraparound
Heather Stoerck
Executive Assistant

What We Stand For


We are committed to supporting individuals on their journeys and fostering lasting change and positive impact throughout Orange County.


Our vision is a community where individuals reach their highest potential and have support finding their way past conflict and crisis.


Wayfinders offers individuals, families and communities the steadiest, surest, safest pathways to promising outcomes. To clients, Wayfinders is the stable home they never had. Their voice when they’re too fragile to speak. Their alternative to the juvenile justice system. Their path away from gang life, substance abuse and other destructive behavior. And their counseling support at a time of greatest need. Wayfinders is their advocate, ally, voice of reason and mentor – the one who walks with them on the razor’s edge. The people of Wayfinders are committed to supporting clients on their journeys and fostering lasting change and positive impact throughout Orange County.

Our History


January 1, 1972

Founded (1972)


A University of California, Irvine professor, a few of his students and a Costa Mesa Police Department captain recognized the need to provide diversion counseling for delinquent youth and their families. As pioneers working within local law enforcement agencies, their efforts led to the creation of a new non-profit serving at-risk youth in Orange County.

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January 1, 1978

Finding Our Way (1978)


Victim Assistance Programs began as a collaborative project of criminal justice and community professionals. Opening first at the West Justice Center, volunteers and interns provided basic services to alleviate the impact of crime. Currently over 100 victim service professionals provide assistance at locations throughout the County.

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January 1, 1979

Finding Our Way (1979)


The Youth Shelter program began in Laguna Beach providing a safe haven for youth at-risk for homelessness or running away from home, those who suffered abuse, and those struggling with mental health issues. Over time, the program expanded services through additional homes in Huntington Beach and Tustin. Each shelter provides comprehensive services in a setting conducive to healing and growth.

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January 1, 1980

Finding Our Way (1980's)


The 1980’s saw development of programs such as PATH, Sexual Assault Prevention, and Legal Awareness workshops which demonstrated commitment to creating safe and healthy communities through education, training, and technical assistance.

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January 1, 1990

Finding Our Way (1990's)


New projects in the 1990’s focused on providing support to families who were struggling due to violence, crime victimization, drug abuse, and conflict. Dispute Resolution Services and specialized services for victims of homicide and family violence were established during this period.

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January 1, 2000

Finding Our Way (2000's)


The turn of the century brought with it mass violence events, realization that human trafficking was a community issue, and needs of youth in trouble with law enforcement who were suffering from mental health issues. Faced with the increasing complexity of needs within Orange County, we worked with long term partners to establish a Community Crisis Response Team, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, and wraparound counseling services.  

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January 1, 2017

Finding Our Way (2017)


Over our 45-year growth, we have evolved to serve youth, adults and families living in Orange County involved or at-risk of involvement with the justice system by designing and implementing some of the most respected prevention and intervention programs in Southern California. Our vision always focused on helping people find their way, and in 2017, we adopted a name fitting our purpose, promise and potential: Wayfinders.

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Our Wayfinding Partners

Ways to Volunteer

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Ways to Donate

Transform your community through
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Ways to a Career

We are stronger together, view our
career opportunities