Meet Our Staff
Abigail Wells is the Director of the federally funded Drug Free Communities (DFC) Vibrant Future Coalition with Northwest Family Services. Abigail has a passion for prevention science and for applying evidence based strategies that focus on upstream and forward thinking to address the root causes of substance abuse. She uses a community wide approach, with an emphasis on aligning systems, to help create a collaborative continuum of care that better aligns prevention, treatment, and ultimately, recovery for people with substance abuse disorders.
Abigail is an alumna of Menlo College in Atherton, CA where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Humanities. After this, she returned to her lifelong home of Portland, Oregon where earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland. Abigail began her career as a Language Arts Teacher before moving into the field of Prevention, where she has remained for the last 7 years, earning her Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) license along the way. Abby is very involved in her field, as the former Chair of the Oregon Coalition of Prevention Professionals (OCPP) for 3 years and more recently, as the current Co-Chair and one of the founders of the Oregon Public Health Association – Addiction Prevention Section (OPHA-APS).
Rachel currently serves as the Coordinator (and informally the graphic designer) for Vibrant Future Coalition , where her role is to educate and collaborate with local youth, schools, government entities, and other nonprofits and cultural organizations surrounding the topic of substance use prevention. She is passionate about community outreach and even more so about working with and furthering the rights of queer youth. Rachel leads the Prevention Equity Committee at VFC.
Rachel grew up in SW Portland as person always extremely involved in social justice and human rights activism. She pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, specializing in immigration politics within and between the Americas. In her free time, Rachel trains as a nationally competitive powerlifter, blogs about vegan sports nutrition, and is heavily involved in LGBTQ2SIA+ activism.
Lilli came on as the Policy and Prevention Coordinator for VFCin June 2019. Her role involves coalition building, outreach, and planning projects to decrease youth substance use in Clackamas County. Lilli believes that the opioid crisis is one of the greatest challenges facing communities today, and that young people will play a key role in solving it. Lilli leads the Macro Committee at VFC.
Lilli previously spent three years at the Lines for Life Youthline as a volunteer, outreach coordinator, advisory committee member and trainer for new youth volunteers. After leaving Portland, Lilli graduated from Quest University Canada in Squamish, BC with a Bachelor’s degree in conflict studies and international relations. When she isn’t working she enjoys being outside, baking, and painting.
Brita Bolter Catoe
Brita is our Coalition Coordinator for the new east Multnomah County coalition under the SPF-PFS grant. Her role involves spearheading the creation of a coalition on the east side to prevent and reduce youth alcohol and marijuana use. Brita is passionate about public health and sees herself as a lifelong learner, especially regarding cultural competence.
Brita grew up in New Mexico (where she learned Spanish) and Wisconsin, and she received her BA in Community Health and Spanish from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. She began her career in public health working at a health department in Wisconsin for four years before moving to Portland with her husband in 2017, where she earned her MA in Community Psychology from Concordia University. In her free time Brita enjoys exploring Oregon’s nature.
Olga works in our east Multnomah County coalition as our bilingual English/Spanish Prevention Specialist Community Health Worker with a focus on substance abuse prevention. She provides prevention education to increase community awareness about substance abuse. This includes providing parenting classes about detection, prevention, and risks of substance abuse among youth.
Olga has served as a Community Health Worker and Health Care Navigator for seven years, and has been at Northwest Family Services for ten years. She connects families with the health care system and resources in the community in order to meet their needs. She has also taught Taking Control & Living Well workshops for people with chronic conditions, as well as one-on-one diabetes intervention classes. She is passionate about helping families apply for health coverage through the state and providing assistance to women to obtain mammogram screenings. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with my family, outdoor activities and cooking our special meals.