AFIL Professional Staff and Leadership Team

AFIL is governed by an eight member Board of Directors. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. The Program Director and Director of Residential Services report to the Executive Director. The House Parent and Life Skills Mentors report to the Director of Residential Services. Staff, interns and other volunteers work directly with the students providing educational and social/recreational support. Other volunteers work on Board committees consisting of Fundraising, Program, Governance, Finance and Long Range Planning.

We have four full-time staff and a talented group of PRN (as needed) staff to help with whatever needs to be done. The staff oversees the day-to-day operations of the AFIL organization. Each staff member works directly with each student, and they are responsible for their education and safety on a daily basis.


Sarah Causey, MSCRC,
Executive Director:

Sarah was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She grew up with dreams of helping others in some way, but how her passion would be applied was yet to be seen. Sarah earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2007. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and her Certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor both in 2013. Sarah began with AFIL as an Intern while attending the University of North Texas and feels blessed to have been given the opportunity to stay and grow with the organization. She first served as the Admissions and Assessment Coordinator upon hire, was soon promoted to Director of Admissions, and then regretfully left after accepting a different opportunity. It didn’t take long for Sarah to realize where her heart lies, and after being gone for a year, she returned in 2016 to serve as the Program Director. She was then offered the position of Executive Director in 2017, for which she is grateful. She is thrilled to now see how her passion can be applied and dreams fulfilled working with this wonderful population.

Nadja R. Esaw:
Program Director: 

Nadja attended The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS) from 2012-2014 as a Psychology major. She started with the AFIL team as a Life Skills Mentor in August 2014. She also served as an Administrative Clerical Assistant to the Executive Director. She was promoted to Program Coordinator in 2016 and then to Program Director in June of 2017. Nadja is an extremely talented and passionate individual who brings her fullest self and her heart to her work. She constantly seeks to improve the services we provide at AFIL, and takes on each challenge with energy and excitement.