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.

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.

Natalie Edelhauser

Clinical Case Manager

Natalie Edelhauser, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a part-time Clinical Case Manager at Roots & Wings. Natalie holds a Master of Social Work degree from New York University. Before joining the team at Roots & Wings, Natalie provided individual, group, and family therapy to children and adolescents placed in out-of-home care. She has also advocated for foster youth through collaboration with DCP&P, Care Management Organizations, and other community providers. Throughout her social work career, Natalie’s primary clinical focus has been on trauma-informed care. She is passionate about supporting youth who have been affected by foster care placement, and works to help them overcome barriers in order to meet their fullest potential.

Miguel Lockett

RISE Case Manager

Miguel Lockett is one of Roots and Wings Case Managers. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Baker College (Michigan) and a Master’s Degree in Forensic Science and Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University (Florida). Miguel is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Health & Wellness Counseling. Miguel has a passion for helping those in under-served populations.


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