Jenna App, Executive Director
Jenna graduated from Vassar College and the University of Arizona College of Law. After law school, she clerked for the Alaska Court of Appeals and was a Fellow with the National Association for Public Interest Law. Before moving to Bend in 2013, she practiced law in Alaska and directed a lobbying and consulting practice largely focused on growing and developing nonprofits. Jenna loves living in Central Oregon, and spends her free time cycling, hiking, horseback riding and spending time with her family.
Leslie Ceniceros, Program Director
Leslie became a CASA in Sonoma County, CA in 1997 and has been an enthusiastic supporter and volunteer ever since. She received a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in Ethnic Studies. After 10 rewarding years in the corporate world, Leslie realized that she needed to follow her heart and came to Bend in 2012 to work with CASA of Central Oregon. She is dedicated to ensuring that all children caught up in the foster care system have an advocate to speak up for them and protect their right to thrive in a safe and loving family throughout their childhood and into adulthood.
Jill Bower, Operations Director
Jill is a graduate of OSU Cascades, with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences, specializing in Human Services. Jill has been with CASA of Central Oregon since September of 2013. She started as an intern and now serves as our Operations Director. Jill and her family moved to Redmond, Oregon in 2007. Jill has three children who keep her busy. In her free time, she loves to go camping, hiking, and spends as much time with her family as she can.
Heather McPherson, Development Director
Heather came to Bend in 2017 from the Willamette Valley, where she spent several years working in nonprofit communication and fundraising. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Lewis and Clark College and an MBA from Portland State University. Heather is thrilled to work for CASA because she believes that community advocacy and action can give every child a safe and permanent home. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, creative writing, cooking and spending time with her family.
Debbie Bircher, Senior Program Coordinator
Debbie graduated from OSU-Cascades with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis on Human Services. She completed her CASA training in October of 2013 and was hired as a Program Coordinator in September 2014. Currently as a Senior Program Coordinator she enjoys supporting advocates and her fellow Program Coordinators in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties. Having spent a large portion of her own childhood in care, she understands the importance of having somebody whose sole purpose is to look out for the child’s best interests while they navigate the foster care system. She moved around a lot as a child – but made Central Oregon her home in 1994 when she fell in love with the area while on vacation. She is an avid outdoorswoman who prefers to spend as much time as possible with her family on a hiking trail or out on the water kayaking.
Sarah Graziani, Training and Program Coordinator
After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Psychology, Sarah and her husband moved around the country while he played professional football before setting down roots in Bend. As a mother of three, she is a passionate about children's issues. She became an advocate in 2014, and quickly realized the indispensable need for advocacy within the foster care system. Sarah's current focus is on serving kids in Deschutes County, as well as training other advocates in Crook and Jefferson counties. In her spare time time, she can be found hiking the trails of Central Oregon, skiing the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, and devouring books in single sittings.
Kaitlynn Jeppsen, Program Coordinator
Originally from Eastern Oregon, Kaitlynn moved to Central Oregon in 2006 and was immediately taken by the area for its wonderful people and beautiful views. She continued her education in Bend and graduated with the highest distinction from OSU-Cascades, earning a Bachelor of Science in human development and family sciences with a focus on human services. Additionally, she received an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Central Oregon Community College. When she finds herself in the interludes between devotions of her career, she enjoys every moment with her family and friends, hiking the distinct Oregon landscape, floating the many local rivers, and listening to a variety of music. Kaitlynn hopes to take part in shaping a better world by ensuring the safety of all children and the advocacy of all those in foster care.
Meriah Williams, Program Coordinator
Meriah is a program coordinator and manager of the Jefferson County office for CASA of Central Oregon. She strongly believes in the CASA program and the work the advocates do to help children in foster care. Before joining staff as a program coordinator, Meriah served in both the advocate and peer coordinator roles since 2010. A Central Oregon native, Meriah has lived on her family's cattle ranch in Prineville her whole life. She enjoys many activities with her husband and 2 kids, including camping, rodeo, raising sheep and cows, and 4-H activities. She is a 4-H club leader and secretary of the local 4-H Leader's Association.
Rayisa Debler, Administrative Assistant
Rayisa is a graduate of OSU Cascades with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. Prior to attending OSU she received her Associate of Arts Transfer Degree from Central Oregon Community College where she was recognized with highest honors. As a Bend native, Rayisa has grown up enjoying the outdoor recreation Bend has to offer. In her free time, she enjoys camping, floating, paddle boarding on the nearby lakes as well as exploring the local trails. Prior to taking onthe Administrative Assistant role, Rayisa completed her summer internship with CASA in 2017. She is eager to continue applying herself at an organization that positively affects the lives of children in foster care.
Jessica Mose, Family Find Coordinator
A native Oregonian, Jessica as spent the majority of her life living in the state. Jessica’s heart for children in foster care began as a teenager when she started babysitting foster children for a family in her neighborhood. As an adult, Jessica was a foster parent with MapleStar Oregon for 3 years, working mostly with youth involved in the Deschutes County Juvenile Justice system. She recently graduated from OSU Cascades with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis on Human Services. After completing her internship with CASA and the Family Finding program in December 2015, Jessica began working as the assistant Family Finding Coordinator. Jessica is glad to be part of a program that strives to help youth achieve relational permanency.