Who’s who at Friends in Action?



Friends in Action Staff - Bryan, Ben, Holly, Wayne

Friends in Action Staff – Heidi and Amanda


Heidi Chase, Executive Director

Heidi began Friends in Action with the Portsmouth School Department and a group of parents in 2000 when it was called the Friends Project. She has a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of New Hampshire. Upon completing her Master’s Degree, Heidi worked for the Institute on Disability on a grant that placed her in the Portsmouth School System. After completion of the grant, the Portsmouth School Department hired Heidi to work with high-risk youth. During this time, Heidi started the Friends Project. Heidi enjoys time with her family and friends and has a passion for mountain bike riding, horses, and the outdoors.


Contact Heidi at 603-812-6832

Amanda DeGiovanni (Fawcett), Program Director

Amanda participated in Friends in Action for all four years of high school. After graduating from Portsmouth High in 2004, Amanda went to The University of Maine in Farmington for Early Childhood Special Education. She has been working for Friends in Action since returning to Portsmouth. She loves staffing programs, especially Dancer-cize. Amanda loves the beach, live music and spending quality time with her family.


Wayne Moulton, Supervisor Staff

Wayne started volunteering for Friends in Action as a high school student. Upon graduating from Portsmouth High in 2004, he started staffing Friday Night Socials on a regular basis. Wayne also works for New Heights as their STEM Program Coordinator.  Wayne loves games of all kinds and brings this passion to Friday Night Socials.

Casey McDaniel, Supervisor Staff

Casey McDaniel is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist. She has her B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of New Hampshire. Casey did her internship at Northeast Rehab Hospital in Salem, NH. She is a volunteer and will be filling in as supervisor of TR students at The Kremples Brain Injury Center. Casey loves basketball, especially when she playing with Friends in Action participants. Casey has been part of Friends in Action for the past four year and it has been such a rewarding experience. If Casey can make someone smile each day she is happy.

Kasey Darnell, Supervisor Staff

Kasey has been with Friends in Action since February 2013.  She graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2009 with a bachelors degree in Community Health Education, and again in 2012 with a K-12 Health Education degree. She currently works at Easter Seals as a DSP. Kasey loves being a part of FIA, especially basketball, cooking club, and Throwback Thursdays. She loves sports and will most likely be sweating profusely when you see her. Kasey looks forward to being a part of FIA for many years to come!

Rachel McKaig, Supervisor Staff



Alyssa Thiem, Staff

Alyssa has graduated as a psychology major from the University of New Hampshire. She began volunteering with Friends In Action as a sophomore, and has found her experience working with the program over the last three years worthwhile. After college Alyssa plans to work with children and young adults on the Autism spectrum. Ultimately she hopes to have a positive influence in the lives of others. During her free time she enjoys running, drawing, and spending time with friends and family.

Alex Cousins, Staff Heather Anderson, Wildcat Friends Teacher

Alex is a student at the University of New Hampshire studying Occupational Therapy. After college she hopes to work with young children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She was one of the founders of Best Buddies UNH which is continuing into its third year in the fall. Her work with Best Buddies UNH has been very rewarding up to this point and she looks forward to another semester. She has a younger sister with Down syndrome who she has found to be her inspiration and motivation to work with other children similar to her to better their quality of life. In her free time, Alex enjoys spending time outside, being with friends and family, and exploring the seacoast. Her work with the Friends in Action is very important to her and has only brought good people and opportunities into her life.

Heather Anderson, Wildcat Friends Teacher

Heather Anderson is a teacher with a wide variety of teaching experiences. She began teaching elementary school in Connecticut and Portsmouth, and now teaches classes for Wildcat Friends. Heather has a passion for knitting, teaching 50+ knitters every week and designing knitting patterns. She lives in Durham with her husband, two kids, dog, and chickens. 

Anne Kane, Wildcat Friends Teacher & Echo Thrift Shop

Anne is our newest Wild Cat Friends Teacher. She has a Masters Degree and is certified in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She also holds a NH Special Education Teaching certification. She completed her student teaching with Wild Cat Friends in 2010/2011.  Anne also works at  Echo Thrift store on Mondays and Tuesdays coaching participants and students with stocking, selling and displaying donations. Anne is an advocate for people with disabilities and enjoys when her students and participants have the opportunity to shine!

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