Meet Our Caring Staff

MONA BOELENS, MPA, Executive Director SONY DSC

Mona has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector specializing in Teen Pregnancy, Teen Parenting and Adoption. She began her journey with Kindred Life Ministries after serving as Executive Director and as Gurnee Site Director when the ministry operated as Teen Mother Choices. She has utilized her volunteer management, creative program planning and resource development skills along with her educational experience in Non Profit Administration to lead Kindred Life Ministries. Mona holds a Bachelors of Social Work degree from Calvin College, a Masters of Public Administration and certificate in Non-Profit Management from Roosevelt University.  Mona lives in Round Lake with her husband Erik and their 3 sons Noah, Ethan and Eli. They attend the Village Church of Gurnee, where Mona serves on the Vacation Bible School and Welcome Team. Mona’s other interests include traveling, Triathlon, gardening and watching her boys at their respective sporting events!


JANE O’CONNELL, CPA,  Finance DirectorJane head shot

Jane joined Kindred Life Ministries in March of 2011 as the Finance Director for Teen Mother Choices. After a 33 year career in accounting and finance with large international healthcare companies, Jane brings a remarkable array of expertise to our ministry, including financial reporting, and accounting. Jane graduated cum laude from North Central College in Naperville, where she majored in Math, Economics & Business Administration. She is a certified Math teacher and a registered CPA. Jane and her husband Richard  have been married for  over 40 years and have 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren.. Jane and Richard are active members of Village Church of Gurnee, where she serves on their Congregational Care Committee and Welcome Team. Jane enjoys many hobbies including gardening, reading, sewing¸ knitting and traveling – having visited Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America and most of the US.  But most of all, she enjoys playing with her grandchildren!


KATHY MITSUUCHI,  Antioch Area Site Directorkathy head shot

Kathy began her journey with the Teen Mother Choices ministry in 2005 as a volunteer mentor and fell in love with the organization. After serving for one year as a volunteer, she joined the staff as Director of Student Services in Antioch in 2006, TMC’s third site office where she was instrumental in building key relationships with the community in its first year of serving teen moms and their children in western Lake County. Kathy holds a Bachelors of Liberal Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University.  She adds significant value to the team with her life experience (in retail management), as a former teen mom and fellow life-learner. Kathy is a valued community networker and articulate speaker. She has been married to her husband Bill for 33 years, with whom they have 3 children – a son living in Denver and two daughters at home. They reside in Lindenhurst, where they are active members at NorthBridge Church.

ERIN WARD, Gurnee Site Director

Erin joined the staff in April of 2017as the Gurnee Area Program Director after training to be a client advocate at a partnering organization, Informed Choices in Grayslake. She loves being involved in her community and has always had a passion for serving children and teens, working with them in a variety of educational and recreation capacities. Erin previously enjoyed her professional experience as a 5th grade teacher in Bourbonnais, IL, focusing on inclusiveness for her students with exceptionalities. Prior to earning her teaching certificate, she gained experience as the  Assistant Aquatics Director for the Bartlett Park District, where she was responsible for training and managing over 50 high school and college aged staff in addition to organizing swim lesson & special event programming. She holds a Master’s in Teaching, Bachelor’s in Psychology is the owner and administrator of First Contact Volleyball, LLC with her husband, Luke.  They currently reside in Grayslake with their three boys Nolan, Chase and Adler and their dog, Champ. The Ward family attends Lakeland Church in Gurnee. In her free time, Erin enjoys spending time hiking, swimming and exploring the outdoors with her family.

KATIE LEHMANN, Wheeling Area Site Director

Katie  joined the staff in 2014 as our Site Director for the Wheeling Area Office.  She says “What a privilege God has given to me to work for Kindred Life!  I believe that in this position I will be able to combine my passion for serving, in Jesus’ name, with my love for teenagers.” Katie holds a Master’s in Education and has worked as a PE and Drivers Education teacher over the past twelve years and has served our Kindred Life moms as a volunteer meal provider. She is  married to husband Andy, and they have three school aged children: AJ, Claire, and Sean.  The Lehmann family attend Our Saviour Evangelical Free Church in Wheeling, Kindred Life’s host church, where she is also very involved in the children’s ministry.   In her spare time, Katie loves to be outside with her family enjoying nature.


CHERYL ANDERSON, Development Director
Cheryl Anderson joined the ministry in the Summer of 2013 as the Teen Mother Choices’ Communications and Development Director. Cheryl Anderson

After spending a successful career in pharmaceutical sales Cheryl felt called to utilize her marketing and sales skills in a ministry setting.  She is excited to share how Kindred Life Ministries assists teen parents and their children thrive by working closely with the community and  its supporters. Equipped with a Bachelor Degree in Communications from Illinois State University, and a mother to two school-aged children, Cheryl brings a growing desire to apply her talents in a new employment environment. Cheryl and her husband John live in Gurnee with their boys, Colin and Ryan and attend Village Church of Gurnee where she participates in the MOMS Ministry. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and running.


BETHANY ROY, Professional Counselor

Bethany holds her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in the foster Bethany KL
care system. She heard about Kindred Life through a close friend and wanted to use her experience and passions to assist teen mothers. She is joining the Kindred Life staff as the Gurnee site counselor. Bethany lives with her husband, Andrew, and two children, Jack and Anna. Her hobbies include reading and exercising, and she enjoys spending time with her fam



PATRICIA CERENIL , Professional Counselor

Patricia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration with an emphasis in Juvenile Justice from Western Illinois University (2002), a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (2014) and is working toward clinical licensing as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  She has focused her education and professional career in working with the misunderstood and marginalized. 

Patricia joins the Kindred Life staff as the Wheeling site counselor.  She is passionate about planting seeds of hope and will use these experiences to connect, support and encourage our young families. She and husband Eloy attend Christ Church of Lake Forest where they serve in various areas on the Connection’s Team and children’s ministry.  She enjoys having a pet bunny, Poppy, and thrives in being creative.

SANDY SCOTT, Professional Counselor

Sandy is a Licensed Pastoral Counselor, Certified Professional Life Coach, Temperament Counselor, and Licensed Minister of Pastoral Care.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Counseling from Cornerstone University.  She is the counselor for the Antioch site and also works with clients in the private sector, with a passionate desire to help them get “un-stuck” – beyond simply surviving to thriving!  She brings over 30 years of experience to her clients in the areas of teaching, coaching, counseling, and training.

When Sandy is not counseling, she enjoys nature, reading, writing, fishing, and playing with her four grandchildren.  She also loves to relax outdoors with her husband Roger.   Sandy and Roger, attend First Christian Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin.