©Lynn Renee Photography

©Lynn Renee Photography

“I am because we are and because we are, I am.”

Ubuntu Proverb

Celina Ornelas

A More Perfect Union PROJECT Lead & Field Support COORDINATOR
Senior Trainer

(800) 805-2505, ext. 9


Dena Chapman has dedicated much of her professional and personal life to being an advocate for parents and more specifically, to parents of children with special needs. As a parent of a child with special healthcare needs herself, she understands first-hand the rigorous demands of care and the emotional and mental challenges parents face daily. Dena’s body of work within the early intervention system reflects her belief that parents are the experts of their family. While working as a parent liaison in the early intervention system, Dena created a parent support community rich with viable resources. She fought to implement forums for parent training and education and served on the Steering Committee for ADORE – A Day of Recognition Event for parents of children with special needs.

Prior to her work in the early intervention system, Dena worked with families struggling with substance abuse and recovery issues. In an effort to assist mothers to re-gain custody of their children, Dena taught parenting skills to the women. Additionally, Dena was one of the lead facilitators for a unique project, “The Mother’s Journal.”  As a literary specialist, she helped to guide the women to write about their experiences as a mother in transition from addiction to recovery.

Dena joined Be Strong Families in 2012. Currently, she is Field Support Coordinator and Team Lead for A More Perfect Union. With the protective factors as a solid foundation, A More Perfect Union focuses on parenting through the lens of social justice.

Dena Chapman received her B.A. in Psychology from Loyola University (Chicago) in 1990.