The Team

The Roots & Wings Team: Committed To Excellence

Emily Marchese

Executive Director

Emily Marchese is the Executive Director of Roots & Wings. She earned a Bachelors degree in English from Cornell University and a Masters degree from the London School of Economics. For over twelve years, Emily has been fundraising and developing programs to serve at-risk youth in New York and New Jersey. Her passion for making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and teenagers grew through leadership roles at CancerCare, the Endowment for Inner-City Education, and St. Philip’s Academy, in Newark, New Jersey. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Every day, she is driven by the enthusiasm of the community in supporting these young adults, the passion of the clients to build a brighter future, and the dedication of this incredible team.

Michele Visco

Program Director

Michele Rovello Visco is the Program Director of Roots and Wings. She began her career working in sales and marketing, but after having children decided that she wanted to engage in more meaningful work, and so she earned her Masters in Counseling. Michele has worked with clients of all ages in a variety of settings for over 20 years, but finds that working with young adults is where her passion lies. In her current role, she is able to develop programs that support each client in the best way possible toward achieving the life he or she envisions. Emerging adulthood presents many challenges, especially for those with a history of foster care. But this time in life is also filled with an abundance of opportunities for personal growth and achievement. Michele is inspired every day by the hope her clients bring to Roots and Wings, and the strength and resilience they demonstrate as they work hard to move beyond the past and toward the future they desire.

Rebecca Hess

RISE Case Manager

Rebecca Hess is one of the Roots and Wings Case Managers. She earned a dual-majored Bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University in Political Science and Gender/Sexuality/Women’s Studies. Rebecca is currently pursuing her Master’s in Student Affairs and Higher Education Counseling. Rebecca has a passion for education accessibility for underserved populations.

Molly Fagan

Volunteer Coordinator

Molly Fagan, Roots and Wings’ part-time volunteer coordinator, has an extensive background in program and volunteer management in the healthcare and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining Roots and Wings, she held positions at the Alzheimer’s Association Greater NJ Chapter; Oasis, a Haven for Women and Children; as well as several healthcare communication agencies. Molly holds a BA in Communications from Marist College and a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University.

Meagan Jensen

FLY Program Manager

Meagan Jensen is the FLY Program Manager at Roots & Wings. She is a Licensed Social Worker and graduated with her Masters from Fordham University with a concentration in community based leadership and practice. Prior to Roots & Wings, she worked in development for an organization working with homeless and at risk youth and spent 3 years working with survivors of human trafficking and gender based violence.

Our Supportive Board

  • Maria Chernock, President
  • June Toth
  • The Honorable Barbara A. Curran
  • Cynthia Evans
  • Roberta Hong
  • Donna Hughes
  • Brian Jennings
  • Scott Keith Kraemer
  • Wendy Masteller
  • Lisa Phillips
  • Susan Portnoi
  • Maureen Roberts
  • Robert Winston