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The Riverside Project

About Us

We were founded in 2018 with a vision to strengthen foster families and their communities through training and collaboration. Our first initiative, the Babysitting Collaborative launched in partnership with 4 child-placing agencies. Since then, 27 additional agencies have joined the collaborative, and 500+ babysitters have been equipped to provide quality, trauma-informed support for families parenting children in the foster system. 

In August 2020, we launched a city-wide strategic initiative to mobilize Houstonians to address the various social issues facing their neighborhoods. Today, we are a collaborative network of agencies, congregations, nonprofits, school districts, and passionate individuals working together to transform the foster care system in Houston. 

Watch the video below to learn more.

Our Team

Amber Knowles

Executive Director

Amber is a mother of 4, including 2 children adopted through foster care. She has a BSN from Baylor and an MSN from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Prior to founding The Riverside Project, Amber worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in pediatric community heath and school-based healthcare. She is also a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner. Her husband, Drew, is a pastor in the Houston area.

Megan Mark

Director of Development

Megan received both her Bachelors and Masters from Texas A&M. She has experience working as an Individual Giving Coordinator for Hermann Park Conservancy and Community Relations / Event Manager for Kendra Scott. She specializes in donor relations and fundraising, but she also has experience with event coordination, marketing, and social media. Megan and her husband, Calvin, are licensed foster parents.

Kathleen Cowie

Director of Agency Partnerships

Kathleen earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston, following a degree in Family and Human Services from John Brown University. She has served as a research assistant focusing on child welfare, as a direct care provider at an emergency shelter for children and youth in foster care, and as a Therapeutic Case Manager for the homeless population. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner.

Caitlin Simpson

Project Coordinator

Caitlin earned her bachelors degree in International Studies from Texas A&M University and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Houston. She previously worked with international nonprofits in sub-Saharan African and South Asia addressing humanitarian aid, poverty, and human trafficking. She also worked as a pediatric social worker in emergency medicine and labor/delivery.

Board of

  • Mark Felder – President
  • Rachel Lake – Vice President
  • Amber Robinson – Treasurer
  • Hiji Washington – Secretary
  • Jennifer Clifford
  • Chelsea Rebollar
  • Megan Mark

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