Board Members

Ama Osei Bonsu

Founder and President

I was born and raised in Ghana. In my youth, it was my long term dream to adopt a child. The inspiration of THS came to me when I heard the story of a young lady, who, while hospitalized, and battling for her life in Ghana, took upon herself to raise funds to assist a sick, elderly woman who could not afford her medical bills. Her exemplary display of compassion and selflessness inspired me. Over time, my desire to adopt a child turned into an aspiration to help marginalized children in Ghana.

For over two decades, I have lived and worked in the USA. I graduated from Mandl Allied Health, New York as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) in 1998, and worked for Diagnostic Health Services in New York as an intern. Later, I became a clinical laboratory supervisor for 2 years. I moved to Richmond, VA where I worked at Retreat Hospital from 2000-2004. I was voted laboratorian of the year in 2003. I graduated from J. Sergeant Reynolds College in 2003 with a certificate in Health Records Coding. After working for several years as a Clinical Laboratory Assistant at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital in San Antonio, TX, I made a life-changing decision to reduce my work hours to pursue my passion and dedicate my time to helping marginalized children.

Though I have been blessed with two children of my own, I have also been privileged to be a mother to fifty wonderful children and counting. God’s amazing grace has made it possible for me to live my dream and pursue a very rewarding and humbling journey. My desire to care for these children has become the sole purpose of my life. I am married to a wonderful man, Dr. Kofi Osei Bonsu, a pharmacist, who supports me every step of the way.

I have personal knowledge of how abject poverty can affect lives. It is my hope that this organization will make a difference to many a child, and bear fruit and multiply across the universe. This is my ultimate VISION!

Awards and Achievements

2011- GraceAnn Durr Humanitarian Award Winner through Methodist Healthcare

2015 – GraceAnn Durr Humanitarian Award Winner through Methodist Healthcare

Leah Ratliff

Vice President

I live in Boerne, TX with my husband and three children, Parker (5), Hudson (3) and Lynna (1.5). We have an adopted daughter, Alicia (22). We adopted Alicia when she was 17 years old. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker. I received my Bachelor and Master degree from Baylor University. My graduate school internship was with Children’s Emergency Relief International in Chisnau, Moldova. My internship involved creating curriculum for the social workers who taught life skills to the teenagers aging out of the orphanage. I lived in Moldova for 3 months. When I graduated I returned to San Antonio, Texas. I first worked as an Outreach Coordinator at The Rape Crisis Center. I was then fortunate to find a job that would forever change my view of and ignite a passions for young women in crisis situations. In 2010 I was hired as an Adoption Counselor for Providence Place, formerly Methodist Mission Home. During my time at Providence Place I worked with young women placing their babies for adoption, families wanting to adopt domestic infants, adopt internationally or adopt from the state’s foster care system. I am now a stay at home mom, but I continue my work with teen moms through Young Lives. I am excited to join The Heart Smiles organization.


Amber Meegan

Social Media Chair

Amber Meegan is the Social Media Chair for The Heart Smiles. This is her first year on the board, though she has been a fan of The Heart Smiles since a dear friend invited her to their annual gala three years ago. Amber works as the Community Curator for The Impact Guild, a co-working space with a focus on social entrepreneurship. She is also the Co-Founder of Shine On, an organization that supports the pregnancy and infant loss community. She is married to Kelly & mom to Finley, Ethan, and Emma. She is passionate about authentic conversations, community, and hope. She’s grateful to be part of an organization who cares for the beautiful children of Ghana.


Elaine Underwood


Elaine Underwood was born and raised in Seattle, WA. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management and a Minor in Psychology from Central Washington University. Elaine met her husband, Chris, at college and they have three children: Aidan, Dylan, and Ashlyn. Ten years ago, the military brought her family to San Antonio, Texas where they fell in love with the city and the community and decided to make San Antonio their permanent home. Elaine is the Director of Human Resources for Sundance Print Centers.
Elaine’s passion for helping others and her community started at a young age and has continued through her adult life. She is an active volunteer with numerous organizations that her children are involved in.
When Elaine heard of The Heart Smiles organization and the amazing work they were doing to help children in Ghana, she knew this was something special that I wanted to be a part of. Elaine has previously served on the gala committee and is currently serving as Secretary.


Rosario Yanez                 


My name is Rosario Yanez; I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and moved to San Antonio 17 years ago with my husband, Victor Zavala, and four children (3 boys and 1 girl), all teens.
We have a small Insurance brokerage in California; my husband still commutes. I have enjoyed being a stayed-at-home mom and being able to form part of my children’s events and activities and still be able to help our office from home. Now that my kids are all grown-up teens, I finally could start doing something that I have always felt passionate about, which is being a freelance Spanish Interpreter. I love what I do; I am grateful to be able to help serve as a bridge for someone who needs my help. Besides volunteering with The Heart Smiles, I also volunteer with Catholic Charities in San Antonio, California, and Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project.
I met Ama when my oldest kids were in Elementary School; I felt her passion to help and make a difference in these children’s lives. We sponsor Dora, Emmanuel, and Peter; we are very proud to see their growth and achievements.
I feel honored to forming part of this beautiful organization.

Pamela Ayon

Pamela Ayon was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. In her teenage years, she was involved in several pageants which helped build her confidence and self-esteem and also earned her scholarships for college.

After getting married, Pamela moved to California in 1990 and worked as a nurse at West Hills Hospital in West Hills, CA for 4 years. For 15 years, she was a stay-at-home mother to six children. After the birth of her twins, Pamela was ready to return to work as an entrepreneur. With the support and knowledge of her husband in the manufacturing industry, they have managed to nurture their company into a thriving business acquiring contracts with the federal government, the city of San Antonio, the state of Texas, and many national retail outlets. Pamela currently owns and operates World Wide Imaging Supplies.

Helping others has always been Pam’s life passion and she is honored and blessed to be a part of The HeartSmiles Organization.

Colleen Sample

Colleen Sample is a native of Ohio and grew up in Alabama. She inherited her love of community service and the desire to volunteer from her mother. A graduate of Southern Mississippi University, Colleen spent her career in the Air Force traveling the world. The birth of her son Gabriel was a turning point for Colleen, and she happily transitioned her focus to motherhood. Both mother and son became involved with the HeartSmiles Organization when he was in third grade. Reagan’s football mom, president of Gabe’s fan club, Colleen now focuses her incredible talents on making everyone she meets happy pursuing a spirit of volunteerism that inspires those around her.



Douglas Owusu

Douglas was born and raised in Koforidua, Ghana. He has been the Principal/Caretaker at The HeartSmiles Organization in Ghana since 2016.

He oversees the management, training, and supervision of staff and children at the orphanage at Manso Akropong. Douglas was a teacher at a junior high school, where he taught Information, Communications and Technology. He also worked at the National Disaster Management Organization as part of the IT team.

In October 2008, he participated in a self-development leadership conference organized by the Leadership Empowerment Consult in Accra, Ghana.

Douglas likes to play volleyball. He holds six individual volleyball championship titles. He graduated high school in 2009 with a general science diploma and continued to study Computer Hardware at IKE Computer Training Institute (ICL) at Koforidua, Ghana. He graduated with a diploma in Computer Science and Networking Management from  Koforidua Technical University in Ghana.

Douglas is positive about every aspect of life and loves to help others.