Our Children... Our Communities...  Our Legacy...

At Ready for Life, our mission is fostering hope
and transforming lives, one child at a time.


Our Founders

The Panza's have over twenty years of experience with foster children and group home level children, office management and social work. Ready for Life embodies Rick and Nena's philosophy regarding the care and well-being of foster children. After years of working with displaced foster youth, they realized that traditional foster care was not always able to provide the children with adequate vocational, social, and life skills necessary to make them 'Ready for Life' after foster care ended. Their immediate needs were often met, but their spiritual and  long-term needs and goals were often left unattended. Ready for Life was founded in 2001 because of one family's compassion for children.

Our Board

We are governed by a small and cohesive Board of Directors who share a commitment to bettering the lives of children in Northern California. This group of community leaders brings wisdom and fiduciary oversight to our agency.





Our Philosophy

Our logo shows a butterfly emerging from a broken circle. It is a symbol of the transformation that can occur as we pray daily for children and place them in caring, structured, therapeutic foster homes.

We hold ourselves to the highest standards.

Ready for Life continuously improves, learns and strives for excellence in the provision of services to the children and families under the care and supervision of the agency. To learn more about how we continue to grow as a provider, read about our Performance and Quality Improvement Plan (PQI) for 2017.

Meet the Staff


Nena Panza,
Chief Executive Officer

has more than 20 years experience in foster family agency management and administration. In addition, she was a foster parent for ten years and had more than thirty children, ages 18 months to 18 years live in her home. Her vision is to see foster children be socially, vocationally and spiritually Ready for Life. She is dedicated to seeing children succeed and be responsible young adults.


Sarah Peery M.A.
Administrator/Supervising Social Worker

 joined Ready for Life in 2013.  Sarah received her BA in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University and MA in Counseling Psychology from Simpson University. Sarah is passionate about fostering strong therapeutic relationships between children and families at Ready for Life because every child deserves to know the love of a family. 


Megan Preller M.S.W
Supervising Social Worker

for Ready for Life has over eight years experience in the foster care system. She began her time at Ready for Life as Administrative Assistant, later becoming a Support Counselor where she worked with a number of Intensive Treatment Foster Children and now works as Supervising Social Worker. Megan graduated from Chico State where she received Master's in Social Work. Megan is passionate about the children and families of Ready for Life and has devoted her life’s work to loving and supporting them.  She joined the Ready for Life family in 2008.


Jennifer Daniel
Marketing & Quality Improvement Assistant

for Ready for Life has ten years of experience working with youth and families in ministry in the Midwest. She loves getting to see people discover and walk in who they truly are meant to be.  She is passionate about seeing healthy families develop and is excited to be a part of a team who invests into families.  She graduated with an A.A. in Digital Design and Graphics from Columbus State in Columbus, OH, and joined the Ready for Life family in 2016.


Nicole Ray B.A.
Social Worker

for Ready for Life has two years of experience working in the foster care system. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University and is currently attending Chico State, where she will obtain her Master’s degree in Social Work. She loves working with the families and children at Ready for Life. Her passion is to help children find happiness, know that they are loved, and reach their full potential as individuals.


Lindsey Kirch M.S.W.
Social Worker

for Ready for Life has 4 years of professional experience working with children and families.  She cares deeply about the children who become involved in the child welfare system and is wholeheartedly invested in their wellbeing.  Her social work internship placements at an elementary school and a law firm while in graduate school give her a broad and well-rounded perspective.  She obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work from CSU, Sacramento in 2015.  A kid at heart herself, she thrives when interacting with children.  Holding firm to the belief that every child has good qualities, but they must be found and drawn out by loving adults, she plans to spend her life on this endeavor.   


Adrienne Cushman M.S.
Social Worker

for Ready for Life has over six years of experience in the foster care system. She began her experience in foster care as a visitation supervisor for a local foster family agency while earning her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Simpson University. It was during that time that she learned working with children and families involved in the child welfare system was her passion. Adrienne has her M.S. in Psychology. Adrienne is committed to fostering healthy family relationships and ensuring that every child feels loved, protected and valued. Adrienne joined the Ready for Life family in 2016.


Courtney Panza
Staff Child Care Provider 

For Ready for Life has more than six years of experience working with children. In addition to child care, Courtney has also worked in the file room, transported children, and monitored visits. Out of all of the jobs, she enjoys this one the most because she gets to be with babies all day! One day soon she hopes to be a foster parent. Courtney joined the Ready for Life family in 2012.


Hilary Pursell
Administrative Assistant

for Ready for Life has 17 years in retail management and customer service experience. It was time for a change and she wanted to focus on her family. She loves kids, having four of her own, so she found a job with the opportunity to impact kids. She believes it's our job as parents and adults to better the lives of the children around us. This job is one of the ways she get to live that every day. She also does so by coaching volleyball at Junction Middle School. Hilary joined the Ready for Life family in 2017.