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Announcing the 2020 Summit Fellows

Anne Parish

REACH Mentoring Program
(Minnesota)

I have a multi-faceted background that includes a M.Ed. in Education from St. Catherine University and a M.Ed. in Youth Development from the University of Minnesota. I have intensive international and domestic experiences working with youth in a variety of cultures and communities; and lived and worked in Southern Europe with youth survivors of war. I consider myself a resourceful, positive youth development advocate. As REACH Mentoring’s Program Coordinator, I am committed to fostering authentic youth voice and action within rural Carlton County, Minnesota. I work with REACH Mentoring on mentor training development and implementation, grant writing, school and community service-learning collaborations, evaluation, and strengthening REACH’s Students Offering Support (SOS) youth leaders’ community of practice. I enjoy traveling, reading, watching documentaries, listening to vinyl records, shopping for vintage clothes and accessories, and trying to track down a hard-to-find tasty gluten-free donut. At the Summit, I am excited to meet youth advocates who share a passion to support youth voices, visions, and actions.”

Darius Ballinger

Chasing 23
(Illinois)

“Darius Ballinger, Founder of Chasing23 Youth Empowerment Group, 2019 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow, and University of Chicago Civic Leader Academy Fellow.”

Dave Williams

AGAPE Youth Mentorship
(Oregon)

“Dave’s unique background has stirred a passion to work with and serve at-risk and homeless populations. He has experienced what many of the populations Lane Leadership Foundation works with are currently in the middle of, whether it be time living on the streets, abusive and/or difficult adoption and foster experiences, or other struggles that no child should have to face. Along with serving as President of LLF, Dave served as the Executive Pastor at University Fellowship Church, currently on the Leadership Foundation National Board and as an advisor for many local civil initiatives. Dave firmly believes in the power of positive relationships, and is constantly working on opportunities to provide those relationships in the lives of youth.”

Davil Jackson

Young Visionaries
(California)

“Davil Jackson is a native of San Bernardino, California, where he also completed the majority of his schooling. He graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. It was during his college years that he first discovered his passion for youth development and, has since, worked with youth in various capacities. Davil’s work is not limited to his own community, as he also travels across the county empowering youth, mentoring and helping them navigate their way to achieving their goals.”

Ebony Young

Unique Interventions For Youth
(South Carolina)

“Ebony Young is a native of Newberry, South Carolina, a proud mother of four, and proud grandmother of one amazing grandson. Despite becoming a single mother young age, Ebony persevered and made sure that she not only provided for her children but that she kept pursing her personal and professional goals. Ebony is a sought out leader with nearly two decades experience in improving communities and proudly serves on boards of multiple organizations. With a heart dedicated to the neglected populations, she continually advocates for children in foster care as a National Child Advocate, Master Trainer in Trauma Inform Care and Guardian ad Litem. As the CEO of Unique Interventions for Youth and Families, a non-profit that educates families in holistic approaches to life success. Within this organization Ms. Young specializes in five key areas: youth development, behavior modification, social and life skills, family advocacy, and community engagement. She is also the founder and Senior Research Consulant at Shifting Solutions, a firm that specializes in business development and personal consultations on achieving operational excellence. Ms. Young is known as the money lady, helping organizations find and receive government contracts, grants and sponsorships. Ms. Young says her mission is help the body of Christ, to put their God learned or given gifts to work. Helping organizations and entrepreneurs grow their companies to successful winning companies.”

Hannah Knox

Norwalk Mentor Program
(Connecticut)

“Hannah Knox is the Program Coordinator for the Norwalk Mentor Program, the first school based mentoring program in the country. The Norwalk Mentor Program serves the diverse population of Norwalk Public School students grades K-12, and has recently been deployed by the district to tackle chronic absenteeism and problem behaviors. Aside from the impact of her own mentor, Hannah first experienced the power of mentoring when serving as an AmeriCorps member in Dallas, Texas. Her 2 terms of service with an educational non-profit organization helped light her passion for volunteerism and building strong communities. Hannah originally came to the Norwalk Mentor Program as a volunteer, and mentors a sweet and silly second grade girl. When she is not visiting schools and training new mentors, she can be found volunteering at her local nature center, caring for injured birds of prey.”

Hetal Jani

SPEAK Mentorship
(New York)

“Hetal Jani (she/her/hers) is a first generation South Asian American and New York City native, which has colored her experience as an educator and her interests in how culture, society, and interpersonal relationships affect people’s development. Ms. Jani is the Founding Executive Director of SPEAK Mentorship, a nonprofit that ensures all individuals have the means to achieve personal and professional goals by enhancing critical community connections that open the doors to opportunity. She actively engages the community to develop young women of diverse backgrounds into future workforce leaders by bridging their social support and filling the opportunity gaps in their lives so they have the tools to lift up their communities. For this work, Hetal was honored as a 2019 L’Oreal Paris Woman of Worth. She also holds a Masters in Education from Harvard University, a Masters in Psychology from Queens College of New York, an MBA from IE University, and a Bachelors in Behavioral Neuroscience from Lehigh University. Her life’s work involves developing a person’s unique voice and empowering marginalized communities to achieve whole person success, and her educational and professional trajectory has been in an effort to move the needle forward towards this goal. She works with other change agents and proudly furthers this mission by serving on the board of the New York Chapter of the New Leaders Council, and as part of Council of Urban Professionals and Coro New York.”

Justin Bertrand-Pitts

M.E.N Inc.
(Texas)

“Justin Bertrand-Pitts is The Executive Director of M.E.N. (Mentoring, Educating & Nurturing) Incorporated. He is a native of Tifton, Georgia. Graduating from High School in 2003. He currently holds degrees in Psychology and various certifications in Mental Health and Public Health, working in both fields for over 11 years. Justin has served on numerous community committees and boards. Justin currently resides in Houston, Texas with his husband Desmond. The Pair are active members of The Freedom Church of Houston, where Justin serves as Assistant Pastor. The couple founded M.E.N. Incorporated in 2011 from their home as a part time hobby. Now, a full-time job Justin spends his time focusing on mentoring and educating young men within the Greater Houston area. Mr. Bertrand-Pitts is currently working towards his Master of Science degree with a specialization in Professional Counseling.”

Katie B Temple

Kent Bellows Mentoring Program
(Nebraska)

“Katie B Temple is a visual artist and manager of Joslyn Art Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentoring Program, an interdisciplinary studio located in Omaha, Nebraska that encourages teens to explore, observe, think, and create in the arts. Three semesters per year, professional artist mentors are matched with teens who are provided an opportunity to find personal inspiration, gain technical skills, and build a portfolio. Katie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Fine Arts from Montana State University. She has worked with the youth population for over 10 years through teaching at universities, holding visual arts workshops in schools of underserved areas, and now managing Joslyn’s teen arts mentoring program.”

Kevin Sisson

Reach & Rise Mentoring Program
(Rhode Island)

“Kevin Lyn Sisson, M.Ed, LMHC, LPC, is a therapist whose current position is the Director of the Reach & Rise Therapeutic Mentoring program at the Ocean Community YMCA in Westerly, RI. As such, she recruits and trains adult mentors who commit to spending one year, once a week with an at-risk child. In her off hours she treats older adults who are suffering from anxiety and depression by using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques. Kevin graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Women’s Studies and Psychology, a MA Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.Ed in Counseling from Cambridge College in Boston.”

LaCrecia Day

IMPACT Mentoring
(Alabama)

“LaCrecia Day is the Mentoring Programs Director at Impact Family Counseling in Birmingham, AL. She has been with Impact for more than 14 years and has been instrumental in the growth various programs including Cribs for Kids, Mentoring New Moms, and Teen Moms Parenting Program. Before becoming the Mentoring Programs Director, LaCrecia served Impact in various capacities including Case Manager and Program Facilitator. LaCrecia has always had a heart for people which is shown in her volunteer work with Angel Tree through Prison Fellowship Ministries in Birmingham, where she has served as the Alabama Statewide Coordinator for over 10 years. LaCrecia has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Virginia College. She believes that she was led to her current line of work because of her huge desire to help others in any way she can.”

Latisha Owens

Guiding Light Mentoring
(Ohio)

“Latisha Owens is Founder & President of Guiding Light Mentoring, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving youth ages 8-18 in the Greater Cincinnati area by embracing youth from diverse backgrounds and providing the tools necessary to improve decision making, increase confidence and attain resilience. Latisha founded Guiding Light Mentoring in 2014 because she recognized the benefits of a caring and trusted adult who aids youth in personal development. Prior to Guiding Light Mentoring, Latisha had over 10 years of experience working with youth in the mental health field. Latisha Owens completed her education at Xavier University with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with a Minor in Criminal Justice. Latisha is devoted to empowering youth to know they are loved. Outside of Guiding Light Mentoring, Latisha enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, cooking and trying new experiences.”

Manishah Dixon

Valley Youth House
(Pennsylvania)

“Hello, my name is Manishah Dixon from Chester, Pennsylvania. I am a prestigious graduate from Delaware State University with a Bachelor degree in Psychology and Education. Growing up I’ve always had a passion to help, no matter how big or small the task was. I would jump through any hurdle to help those in need. As I’ve gotten older, my focus has leaned more towards youth and giving them the guidance needed to have a prospering future.”

Sabena Maiden

Avery Mentoring
(North Carolina)

“Sabena has spent her career working with kids; first as a preschool teacher, then middle school teacher, Communities InSchools program coordinator, and intervention tutor. She also wrote for an educational publishing company before arriving in her current role in the community of Avery County, NC as their Mentoring Program Coordinator through the Western Youth Network. The best part of her job? She loves connecting each youth and family with just the right mentor to ensure each child gets to better develop their unique spark and strengths.”

Sarah Kreisman

Rogue Valley Mentoring
(Oregon)

“Sarah graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and served in the Peace Corps in Panama. There she worked on community development in the jungles of the Ngabe-Bugle reservation and served as a Regional Coordinator on the Pacific Coast. After returning to Oregon, she focused on community engagement in the fields of youth empowerment and environmental conservation while completing a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies. Sarah currently lives in southern Oregon on a homestead with her husband and two daughters. She loves to dance, hike, sing and spend time with her family and friends. Sarah leads with her heart and her mind, thriving in times of growth and transition. She is excited and honored to play such an integral role in the upcoming Summit as mentoring enthusiasts convene to learn and be empowered together in the initiative to cultivate a better future for our country.”

Through the Summit Fellowship Program, MENTOR seeks to provide critical professional development and network building opportunities to practitioners who are making an impact on the mentoring field but are unable to attend the National Mentoring Summit due to financial barriers. To read about the 2019 Summit Fellows, click here.

Selected Fellows will receive: 

  • Complimentary admission to the National Mentoring Summit
  • A $1,000 travel and accommodations stipend
  • Access to exclusive networking and promotional opportunities
  • Collaborative learning opportunities after the Summit

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Full time employee for a mentoring program
  • Mentoring program:
    • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States in operation for at least three years 
    • Annual mentoring program budget (not organization budget) of $150,000 or less
    • Prior to submission, applicants must submit a request for their organization to be listed in the Mentoring Connector if they aren’t listed already.
    • Only one applicant per organization will be selected.

For more information:
For more information, contact Melissa English, Sr. Program Manager, NMRC amenglish@mentoring.org.