Our Staff

Melissa Benevides

Melissa Benevides is the Operations Manager for FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism. She is responsible for overseeing and managing the efficiency of program operations, finances, and human resources. Together with the volunteer Steering Committee, Melissa:

  • Develops and implements an annual operating plan and budget.
  • Recruits and manages staff and volunteers.
  • Promotes and markets FOOTPRINTS with community organizations.
  • Facilitates the growth and expansion of respite care services.

Melissa holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Mental Health Studies, from the University of Toronto. She has taken on various leadership roles within FOOTPRINTS since 2014.

Melissa can be reached at 905-420-0388 ex. 3 or via email at melissa@footprints4autism.org.

Michele Boothe


Michele Boothe joined FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism in 2012 as a volunteer. She was hired on as an alternate in 2012 and is the Program Supervisor for alternate Saturday afternoons in Pickering. Michele is currently attending York University for Sociology. She graduated from Seneca College from the Social Service Worker program in 2013.

Michele participated in the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon in October 2013 – for the first time, as part of TEAM FOOTPRINTS raising money for FOOTPRINTS.

Prior to FOOTPRINTS, Michele had an internship at the Ronald McDonald House for two years working with children who are receiving treatment at a nearby children’s hospital.

Michele can be reached at 905-420-0388 ext. 2 or via email at michele@footprints4autism.org.

Nicole Santorufo


Nicole Santorufo joined FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism as a volunteer in 2010. She was hired on as an Alternate in 2014 and is now the Program Supervisor for Saturdays (9am-1pm & 1pm-5pm sessions) in Pickering.

She is currently attending Wilfrid Laurier University for Psychology and Youth & Children’s Studies. Prior to FOOTPRINTS, Nicole completed multiple co-op placements in classrooms and daycares.

She also worked as an Inclusion Counselor for the Town of Ajax, supporting children with different disabilities. In the future she hopes to get a Masters degree in Educational Psychology and ABA Therapy.

Nicole can be reached at 905-420-0388 ex. 1 or via email at nicole@footprints4autism.org.


Cheyenne Peddie

Cheyenne Peddie joined FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism as a volunteer in 2014. She was hired as an Alternate in 2016 and is currently one of the Program Consultants running Saturdays in Whitby.

Prior to FOOTPRINTS, Cheyenne partnered with The Best Buddies high school program, Special Olympics at Durham College and after school programs affiliated with the Durham District school board.

She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Trent University. In the future, Cheyenne hopes to obtain a Master’s degree in Social Work with the intention of becoming a Clinical Social Worker.

Cheyenne can be reached at 905-420-0388 ex. 4 or via email at cheyenne@footprints4autism.org.