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What you probably know is FTC’s co-founder, Dr. Bonnie Paul, has been serving as the de-facto Executive Director on-and-off for many years (pro bono). As FTC has grown, it has become increasingly challenging for her to meet the leadership needs of our growing organization as a volunteer. A year ago, when FTC received two grants to support expansion into two new prisons, it became apparent that something needed to shift.

The lockdown on prison programs provided much-needed time for reflection. FTC’s co-founders were inspired to have a conversation with a long-time, super-duper dedicated volunteer, board member and a key facilitators: Dr. Karen Peterson. Here’s the (exciting!) bottom line: Karen’s work life allows her to step forward to fill the role of Executive Director quarter-time. That fits FTC’s budget, and adds Karen’s talents to our core team! ????

Here’s a message from Karen:

“From my very first FTC workshop, I knew I had found my ‘calling.’ During the COVID-19 crisis, I have had time to reflect on what fills my heart and brings me the most joy. What is clear to me is that FTC is my heart and soul and it is my greatest honor to step into this leadership role. I look forward to working with each of you in our shared commitment to taking FTC to the next level.” 

Karen has demonstrated her commitment to FTC since 2011 by serving in a variety of leadership roles including Team Captain, facilitator both in the large group workshops as well as weekly ILTAG groups at VSP and the Board of Directors. She has supported FTC in our commitment to provide relevant and meaningful curriculum to our participants and has been very active in our fundraising efforts. Karen earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology and is certificated in Traumatic Stress Studies. She completed the Master’s degree program in Spiritual Psychology from USM in 2003. Karen brings with her over three decades of experience in the corporate sector in Executive Leadership roles specifically in organizational development and business development.

Her roles as Executive Director will include:

  • Working with the Board in order to fulfill FTC’s mission to provided experiential education to people impacted by incarceration.
  • Successful fundraising and developing other revenues necessary to support FTC’s future.
  • Enhance the of image of FTC by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations.

In addition, Karen will continue to facilitate large group workshops and ILTAG groups. And she has already begun leading special projects, such as our Diversity/Inclusion Expansion Team.

Please join us in celebrating Karen’s new role and this exciting new development for FTC!


  • Dr. Janvie Cason says:

    Salutations, Karen!!! My heart was elated to see you step deeper into you joy work. I am knowing that all good and very good is rushing forth to support you in ways known and unknown for your highest good and the good of all concern with grace, love, and definitely ease. Ha! Ha! Life…what an adventure!

    Pssst…when I first met you I felt your unconditional LIGHT for loving, supporting and holding space for yourself and others. I appreciate you unconditionally! Thank you for honoring your heart. You are in my prayer book!

    Gratefully, Sharing the Same Sky…Auntie JC aka: Janvie

  • Ellie Gantt says:

    Thank you Dr. Peterson, for your loving, mindful service and expertise for all these years. Thank you for
    your expansion within FTC to bring forward even more blessings for us all at this time. Celebrating your
    excellence, and your joyful presence as you do this.

  • Oscar Oswaldo Figueroa says:

    Dr. Karen you’re a woman with a profound insightful wisdom that only comes with genuine interest in serving others.! I admire your willingness to shed your light of love and compassion!

  • John Payne says:

    Thanks for your great service.

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