Interim Executive Director
Jackie Baillargeon is a lawyer who has practiced in the civil and criminal non-profit arenas as well as in the philanthropic field for over thirty years. Most recently, Jackie was the Director of The Guardianship Project (TGP), a full service legal and social services demonstration project of the Vera Institute of Justice. Prior to joining TGP, Jackie served as the Director of the Gideon Project at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), where she led the foundation’s reform efforts related to the death penalty, juvenile justice, indigent defense, and racial profiling. Prior to OSF, she held a diverse set of positions ranging from service as a senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice; teaching at American University Washington College of Law and at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law; and a Staff Attorney at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless where she represented homeless and near homeless individuals in administrative, judicial and legislative settings and trained and supervised private and governmental volunteer attorneys. Jackie’s first job after clerking on the Federal District Court in Boston and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, was as a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia where she represented juveniles and adults in the juvenile, misdemeanor, felony, and appellate divisions.
Kelly Curry, LSW
Director of Social Services
Kelly Curry is a Licensed Social Worker with more than 12 years of experience working in various social services settings. Prior to joining the FPE team in September 2020, Kelly managed a subsidized housing program specialized for individuals transitioning out of State Psychiatric Hospitals or homeless shelters. Kelly has worked with individuals and families who experience a serious and persistent mental health diagnosis, chronic homelessness, or cyclical poverty. Additionally, Kelly worked as a Mental Health Counselor providing individual and group therapy to adults, adolescents, and children in an Intensive Outpatient Program. Kelly is a lifelong resident of Essex County and studied at Seton Hall University before achieving a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New England in Maine.
Manager of Community Engagement
Melissa Perales joined the FPE team in April 2020. Prior to working for FPE, she worked as Lead Trainer and Advocate Supervisor for CASA of Essex County coaching volunteer advocates as they worked with children in foster care and their families. Melissa has over 15 years of supervisory experience and 12 years of non-profit experience. Melissa worked as the Program Director at The Bowery Mission Women’s Center in New York City and as the Executive Director of a long-term, residential women’s recovery program in Pennsylvania. Melissa has a long history of volunteering, primarily working with women and children experiencing homelessness. She currently leads an activity group at her church in Montclair.
Associate Director of Development
Danee Sarman joined FPE in 2019 with over eight years of experience in a non-profit development setting specializing in planning and executing fundraising events and building donor relations. She wants every day to be an opportunity to make a positive change in the world. Prior to joining FPE, Danee was the Foundation Coordinator at the Princeton Medical Center Foundation and a Development Assistant at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, which has given her a diverse knowledge of fundraising initiatives. Danee holds a Master of Arts Degree in Museum Studies from University of Oklahoma. She was born in New Jersey and has spent most of her life living and working between New York and New Jersey.
Belinda Bryant joined FPE as our van driver in 2019. She plays the essential role of transporting our FPE families to congregational shelters, work, school, and FPE workshops and programs. Belinda currently holds the Administrative Assistant position.
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