Who We Are

Staff Members

Elizabeth Buckner, LCSW, is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Social Work. Hillary Mayers, LCSW is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work. They are the co-founders and co-directors of Chances For Children-NY (CFC). In addition to their individual private practices in Manhattan, they have worked together since 1995 in a variety of settings to address the needs of young children and families. They created CFC in 2000. Until 2008, CFC was affiliated with the New York City Department of Education. Since then, CFC has focused on community-based mental health projects for families with children up to five years old, and on training other mental health professionals in the CFC protocol.

Martha Alvarez, LCSW, graduate of Hunter College School of Social Work, learned the CFC protocol while working for the New York City Department of Education.
In 2010 she joined Chances for Children as a clinician at the Highbridge Community Life Center in the Bronx.
As a native Spanish speaker, she broadens CFC’s capacity to serve the families in the Highbridge community.

Lisa Beneventano, LMSW, is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work. Lisa joined the CFC staff in 2015 as an Associate Director. Prior to joining CFC, Lisa worked with parents involved in the child welfare system at a preventive agency and a public defender office.

Ariella Rodriguez, LCSW, is a graduate of the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. Ariella has years of experience working with children and adults and is a bilingual therapist, serving both Spanish and English speaking families. She completed her training with Chances for Children – NY and joined the CFC team in January of 2017.

Beatrice Kessler-Goldsmith, LCSW, is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work. As a native Spanish speaking clinician, she has had numerous years of experience working with children, families and adults in both individual and group modalities throughout the New York area. Beatrice also completed her training with Chances for Children – NY and joined the CFC team at Highbridge in 2015.

Board of Directors 

Dr. Yasmin Morales-Alexander, Chairperson

Dr. Karen McFadden, Vice Chairperson

Brant Wong, Vice Chairperson

Irina Babushkina, Treasurer

Barbara Green, Secretary

Beth Andrews

Elizabeth Buckner

Ralph Haro

Hillary Mayers

Gretchen Mol

Paul Philps

Jacqueline Shannon

Greg Worley