Our Staff

Operations Manager

Melissa C. Benevides is the part-time Operations Manager for FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism. She is responsible for overseeing the efficiency of program operations, finances, and human resources. Together with the Steering Committee, Melissa helps develop an annual operating plan, implements budgets, recruits volunteers, manages staff, promotes & markets FOOTPRINTS with community organizations, to facilitate the growth & expansion of respite care services.

Melissa began her journey with FOOTPRINTS as a Volunteer in 2014. Her successive roles within the non-profit organization include: Camp Counsellor Lead, Youth Program Coordinator, Alternate Program Consultant and currently Operations Manager. Melissa earned her Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Mental Health Studies from the University of Toronto. She was also employed by TD Canada Trust while achieving her degree. Her work & educational background includes experience in finances, statistics, public health policies and children’s developmental psychology.

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

Pickering  (currently on leave)


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.

Pickering – Saturdays 9am-1pm,


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 ext. 1 or via email at nicole@footprints4autism.org.


Whitby – Saturdays 9am-noon

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 ext. 4 or via email at cheyenne@footprints4autism.org.




Matthew Reyad joined FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism as a volunteer in 2013. He was hired as an Alternate in 2016 and is currently one of the Program Consultants for the Saturday program in Whitby.

Prior to FOOTPRINTS, Matthew volunteered with elderly and post-operative patients at Lakeridge Health. He has experience coordinating children’s activities for summer camps and currently works as a youth counsellor in the local community.
Matthew holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Toronto. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto.
Matthew can be reached at 905-420-0388 ext. 5 or via email at matthew@footprints4autism.org.


Together We ‘Hang’ – Youth Program Consultant

 Bessan Kenaan joined FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism in 2017 as a volunteer in Whitby location. Currently working as the Youth Program Consultant, running Together We ‘Hang’ program in Whitby Public Library every Monday. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Trent University. Bessan’s future plan is to earn a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology to work in clinical counseling. Bessan has volunteer and job shadowing experience working in many hospitals with patients. Also, she is volunteering at the Aphasia Communication Disabilities Program (ACDP) to facilitate and provide support for people with Aphasia and Acquired Communication Disabilities.

Bessan can be reached by email at bessan@footprints4autism.org


Camp Great Strides – Camp Program Consultant (Camp Coordinator)

 Saber Kaur joined Footprints as a volunteer June 2016. She became Camp consultant/co-ordinator for Camp Great Strides (Whitby and Pickering) June 2017 (Summer and Winter camps), and an Alternate Consultant for Whitby and Pickering May 2018. She has an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Toronto (St. George) in Biological Anthropology and Health and Disease and is currently pursuing a Registered Nursing Degree from UOIT.  She has placement experience with older adults, rehab, maternity and mental health (currently placed at Ontario Shores). Saber’s future goals are to attain a Masters degree in Nursing and become a Nurse Practitioner, focusing on mental health challenges.

Saber can be reached by email at: saber@footprints4autism.org


Camp Great Strides – Camp Counsellor

Bessan Kenaan details above.


Camp Great Strides – Camp Assistant

*Coming soon! Dec. 2018