A World For Children began in April of 1997, with a dream and a desire to make a better world for Texas’ most vulnerable children. From a humble beginning, God has blessed A World For Children and entrusted the agency with the care of thousands of children throughout the years. Currently, we are serving hundreds of children, in foster homes, across the State. Though the size of the agency has grown, the leadership works diligently with the staff to ensure that all foster parents and children are treated with a personal touch and that all staff is hands on. The leadership team wants every family to know not only direct care staff, but management and other agency staff. This “family” philosophy has been maintained as the agency has continued growth.
Paul Willis – President
Dr. Paul R. Willis cofounded AWFC in 1997. After retiring from a career in education, culminating as a Superintendent of Schools for 20 years, he stepped out on faith to create and administer a child placing agency – A World for Children. He was prepared for this role educationally with a bachelor degree from Macalester University, a master degree from LSU and a doctorate from Texas A&M. As President of AWFC for the past 20 years, he has guided AWFC into becoming one of the flagship agencies in Texas. He regards his role as a mission from God. Never does AWFC have a meal without a blessing, never is a major decision made without seeking God’s guidance, never is a child denied a need or desire if it comes to Paul’s attention and Paul reminds us that this agency belongs to God and we are His hands and feet. Paul treats families and staff with respect and always has time for a chat and a hug. So often Paul ends his talk to foster parent and staff with the statement a foster parent once said “Ain’t God good – He is good all the time!”
Sharon Willis – Vice President
Sharon Willis cofounded AWFC in 1997. She served as Executive Director until 2015, and then moved into the role of Vice President. Prior to working with foster children, she was an educator working as an administrator, counselor and teacher. Sharon attended Lamar University and received her bachelor and master degree in child related studies. Her wide array of teaching experience – a special education teacher, English teacher, Speech and Drama teacher, Earth Science teacher, Vocational Adjustment teacher, middle school counselor, and elementary administrator prepared her as she entered a social work career. In addition, in 1997 she completed her doctorate in Child and Youth Studies. One of her passions is ensuring foster parents are always treated with respect and valued for the great job they do.
In addition, in serving foster children, Sharon has been instrumental creating and generating funding for our Bridging the Gap program which gives AWFC’s children in care wonderful experiences including awesome Christmas parties complete with gifts from the individual child’s wish list, a trip to Fiesta for the whole family to enjoy, brand new school supplies and new beginning of school outfits and the list goes on. According to Sharon, “Foster children are God’s very special children and I am blessed to work closely to ensure each child’s physical needs as well emotional are addressed and/or met. God handpicked a staff and families who have special gifts to share with His children.”
Ashleigh Wilkes – Executive Director
Ashleigh Wilkes received her Bachelor in Business Administration, with a focus in Finance, from the University of Texas, and then went on to pursue her Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Texas Tech School of Law. After finishing her education, she practiced commercial litigation and Family Law. Though the legal field was interesting, it did not fulfill her passion of working with children in need. She joined A World For Children as General Counsel in 2010, and took the position of Executive Director in 2015. Her legal and business backgrounds give her a unique perspective in the field of child welfare.
Marni Morgan – Statewide Program Administrator
Marni Morgan has been working with children and families for the last 22 years, and has been part of the AWFC family since 1999. Marni has experienced working as a case manager, a foster home developer, Regional Director, and Statewide Program Administrator in her tenure at AWFC. Marni has worked with families and children in a residential treatment setting, as well as serving as a CPS state caseworker. She has built her career in serving “at risk” youth and families and her passion revolves around helping others.
Marni received her Bachelor of Arts from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Behavioral Science. She received her Masters in Counseling from Wayland Baptist University in which she was awarded the Outstanding Graduate for the Masters of Arts in Counseling program. Marni also is a Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator. She received the highest award that can be given to a civilian from the Chief Master Sargent from the United States Airforce at Randolph for “what she does for the children.” Marni believes strongly in working with the community and has been an active member in working with many collaborative groups including serving as the IFCC President from 2006-2011. Marni uses her sense of humor to connect with others in an effort to form a collaboration that has a common interest in helping abused and neglected children.