Meet the Team
Reveca Torres | Founder and Executive Director
Reveca Torres was paralyzed in a car accident as a teenager. After completing degrees in Fashion Design and Theatre Arts, she worked as a costume designer and simultaneously with organizations doing disability work in health, advocacy, recreation, and peer support. She started BACKBONES after realizing that years of interaction and friendship with others living with spinal injuries (SCI) made a significant impact in her own life. Reveca wanted to ensure that others, especially those newly injured, had access to resources, information, and the same type of support she has had. She is a contributor to New Mobiliity magazine and has served on boards to United Spinal Association and North American SCI Consortium. In 2020 she was awarded the Craig Neilsen Visionary Award for her art and advocacy work. Reveca is a multi-media artist who uses painting, illustration, photography, film, movement, and other media as a form of expression and a tool for advocacy and social justice.
Monique Stamps | PeerConnect Coordinator
Monique was injured at 16 yrs old in a car accident that resulted in a C6/7 spinal cord injury in 1995. She earned her BSW from Winthrop University in 2001, and became a disability rights advocate. Monique worked for the Independent Living (IL) sector for 10 years. She was also a licensed Zumba Gold Chair instructor for 9 years. She serves as Program Director for a sister chapter of Women Embracing Abilities Now (W.E.A.N), a volunteer led mentoring and support program for women with disabilities in Charlotte NC. She is an Outreach Coordinator for the Raw Beauty Project and the Raw Beauty Project Health initiative. Through WEAN and Raw Beauty, she serves to empower women and girls with disabilities to thrive, and advocate for healthcare access. She serves as an Ambassador for Open Style Lab to continue the movement of accessibility and inclusion in fashion. Monique also serves on the North Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association's Board of Directors. Being mom to her daughter Camryn and son Jordan is what she is most proud of.
Monica Quimby | Leaders Program Coordinator
Monica Quimby was a motivated sophomore in college as a Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology major when a tragic skiing accident left her paralyzed with a spinal cord injury after attempting her 30th back-flip. After feeling like an outlier, she stayed focused on her goals through philanthropic ventures to bring awareness to the public about people with disabilities including Ms. Wheelchair America, a board member for Alpha One (Maine’s only independent living center), an ambassador for the Boston Abilities Expo and launched Wheel Sister retreats. Professionally, she became a biological sciences professor and is now the Coordinator for the BACKBONES Leaders Program (for persons with SCI), receiving two Forty Under 40 awards for her efforts. After trying many sports, her elite competitive athletic career started with Paracanoe, which she won silver at the 2014 Lake Placid International and cross-trained with sled hockey. She is currently on the USA Women’s Sled Hockey Team for her 8th season with World Championship gold medals, a USA Hockey committee member, a co-captain on the Tampa Bay Lightning Sled Hockey team with National titles.
Amanda Russel | Youth Program Coordinator
Amanda Russel has worn many hats over the years, including painter/illustrator, LGBTQ+ youth-focused nonprofit board member and fundraiser, art teacher for people in acute rehab, satire writer, storyteller, and personal essayist. She carries years of experience with, and appreciation, for youth/adult partnership-focused programming, both as a former youth and an adult. She also brings the lived experience of living from spinal cord damage (roughly T6-T8 complete) that was caused by Transverse Myelitis in 2010. BACKBONES has been a part of her journey in the past and now she is excited to contribute to its programming. Amanda lives in Portland, Oregon with her partner, Deirdre, and their two cats, Basia and Abby. She cooks and bakes bread for fun and has spent the pandemic growing many vining plants that are slowly taking over her apartment. She graduated with a BFA in General Fine Arts from Pacific NW College of Art in 2012, with a focus on painting and illustration.