Jennifer is very passionate for youth and providing quality in the Out of School time field and the opportunities that it brings to all youth. Out of School Time is not just a latch key program, but a opportunity for youth to develop and become creative through youth leaders being trained through quality professional development that MAA provides along with some of their partners. It is a way that can provide children opportunities that extend after the school day We are at the crossroads of being able to make a difference in a child’s life by offering quality Out of School programming. We must let children have choices to be creative and learn that the sky is the limit. Out of School time can be the answer to children who needs a safe place to come when the bell rings at the end of the day. I am so honored to be part of MAA and to work with the Out of School Time field along with my colleagues who have the same passion that I have.
Shuna has been active in the youth development and after school community in Michigan since locating here in 1998. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology with a concentration in Child Development from Stanford University and earned her Master’s in Education from Harvard University. She has spent over 20 years working with youth serving programs and organizations including the Indiana Youth Institute and the Center for Leadership Development in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Medical Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts and the Youth Development Commission in Detroit, Michigan. Her background includes capacity building and evaluation of youth serving programs, youth development, program development and fundraising. Shuna currently works for City Connect Detroit over their children, youth and families programs.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Patrick-James has been working with families and youth for more than 30 years and is fully invested in the ideology of family centered activities, positive youth development and quality out-of-school time programs. A former K-12 grade public school administrator and 21st Century Community Learning Center director Jackie understands the power of after school programming. Over the years Jackie has served as a neighborhood center director, teen center director, a Parks and Recreation Department director and preschool director. An owner operator of child and adult care home for the disabled Jackie is knowledgeable and able to navigate through all areas of the mental health, foster care, education and medical system. Jackie holds an undergraduate degree in business administration and a master degree in family studies. She is also a certified grant writer and a passionate family advocate.
Brook is currently the Executive Director with the Youth Development Company. She has worked the field of expanded learning for a number of years. She has a passion for investing her time in afterschool programs and expanded learning, which helps children of rural communities break out of the cycle of poverty and creates opportunities for at-risk youth. Additionally, she knows and understands that rural schools have fewer financial resources – largely as a result of diminished local property tax bases and inequitable distributions of state funds where she knows that she must advocate for her community and the families and children that she serves. She will always advocate for children, pushing the limits beyond the barriers of rural communities restricted by the lack of information regarding resources that are available. She formerly served as a Coordinator/Counselor for the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Counseling Center, Women’s Shelter as a board member, as well as, a member of the Rotary Club. She is currently on the Lake Michigan Alumni Board and a member of the Kiwanis Club. She is a graduate of Lake Michigan College and the University of Phoenix.
DeShawaun “Dee” Mitchell serves as a Youth Mentor and has been active in supporting community, youth and youth focused initiatives since 2012. Dee is currently a community awareness advocate within Calhoun and Kalamazoo County with a focus on bringing awareness to health disparities and equity within the community. She received her Degree in Criminal Justice and Public Health from the University of Michigan. She currently holds a position as a Community Care Coordinator with allows her to not only serve her community but to also see first-hand the disparities and needs of the community. This position allows her to bridge the resource gaps while also being a voice for the most vulnerable populations. Dee has a passion for service and community, she has spent the last 15 years serving on boards and volunteering within the community such as Kids at hope program, youth substance abuse council and sexual assault services. Her background includes Health Coaching, Cultural Diversity, Motivational Interviewing and Community Advocacy. Dee currently works for Kalamazoo County Public Health Department and in the Physical Therapy department of Bronson Hospital.
Hailey has been working in the afterschool and youth programs sector for six years. Starting her career as a field staff member for 21st CCLC programs, Hailey found her passion for creating positive change in the world. She became more involved with the programs, moving on to become the administrative assistant and assisting with meeting grant goals and grant writing. Her experience both in the field and working in administration has shown her the profound impact that afterschool and OST programs have not only on the students they serve, but their families and communities as well. This has made her more passionate about afterschool and the opportunities they provide.
Shernita D. Rodgers is an award-winning educator and consultant with over 12 years of experience increasing district-wide student achievement at Michigan schools. She is a creative and dynamic strategist with proven expertise in fostering innovation, educational equity, teacher capacity, and a culture of success.
As a founding member of two schools, she consistently collaborates with team members and stakeholders to effectively utilize data-driven instruction. Scoring the highest in the nation on the Principal EPI for Understanding Teaching and Learning has fueled her desire to help more districts thrive.
As the CEO of Academic Advance Training & Consulting, LLC, Ms. Rodgers provides afterschool STEM programming, coaching for educators, and strategic planning for schools. She teaches students how to become self advocates while her partnerships with Michigan Learning Channel, the American Red Cross, and Wayne RESA speak to her love for the community.
She enjoys traveling and creative arts.
Terri D. Slaughter is the chief culture equity inclusion officer (CCEIO) at MDOT. She made the move from the Youth Development, Education, and Retention Strategy Group (YDER), where she was the founder and principal. As a chief executive with YDER, she assisted youth development organizations and colleges and universities in creating and implementing scalable diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies. She previously served as the chief diversity officer at Madonna University in Livonia, where she was responsible for DEI-related divisional performance management, strategic, and operational planning.
In her more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership, Terri has worked for and partnered with recognized organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Negro College Fund, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars, United Way International, the Michigan Department of Education, the New Mexico Department of Education, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and many others.
Terri holds a master’s degree in student affairs administration and a bachelor’s degree in English, both from Michigan State University. She also is certified in DEI in the workplace from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business.
Don is currently responsible for support coordination of (True North Community Services Project FOCUS/PACE) afterschool programs at 21st CCLC sites. He works with the sites to develop and implement grant goals and objectives as established in the grant, to meet annual measurable outcomes bench marks within each individual program site. He serves as liaison between the school day staff, community, teacher, TrueNorth staff and board members to assure program participants healthy growth and success. Don holds a B.A. in Family Life Education. He serves as steering committee member for Parenting Awareness Michigan (PAM); he is Veteran USAF and a former City Councilman.
Colliene Willison has been an educator for 24 years, serving all that time with Lakeview Community Schools in the small, rural community of Lakeview in central Michigan. Colliene taught 8th and 5th grade, respectively, in her earliest years in education and has spent the majority of her career as a reading and math interventionist with 4th through 7th grade students. Throughout the years, she has coached several sports at the middle school, serves on the school improvement team and is the extended day coordinator as well as sitting on several other committees that serve the school district.
She was born in Saginaw, MI but was raised in Onaway, a rural school in northern Michigan. After her graduation from Onaway HS, she went on to earn her BA in education from Saginaw Valley State University and a reading specialist degree from Grand Valley State University. Colliene and her family reside in Lakeview where she is an active member well beyond the walls of the school. As an educator in a small rural community, Colliene feels it is imperative to provide students with as many real world experiences as possible. Thinking “outside the box” is somewhat cliche, as Colliene would readily admit. However, if “the box” is the schoolhouse then it is imperative to provide as many activities outside the school itself to build relevance and concrete examples in an ever more virtual world in which our students are learning. After all, experience has always been the best teacher. Her passion for teaching is kept alive with her continual wish for the very best for all her students. Her love for her students is apparent with her extra time and attention she dedicates to assisting them both during and outside the school day. She is a positive infection in a world that needs a healthy dose of optimism.