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.
Kyle Lake, a dedicated Detroit native, brings his roots to life as the Director of Programs at Central Detroit Christian Community Development. Committed to fostering positive change in his community, Kyle channels his passion for Youth into initiatives that drive growth and development. In Kyle’s perspective, the intertwining pillars of community development and youth ministry form the backbone of a healthy and vibrant city. His belief in the transformative power of these endeavors fuels his tireless efforts to create opportunities and build connections that will leave a lasting impact on the well-being of Detroit and its residents. Beyond his professional role, he finds profound joy in being a loving husband to Alexandria and a father to his son, Samuel.
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.
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.
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.
Kristen Bridges has been working in the Out of School Time and Early Childhood field for over a decade. She serves as the program director for a non-profit organization called the Winn Area Activity Center (WAAC Child Care Programs). She was raised in Farmington Hills, MI and graduated from Central Michigan University with a BS in Education. Kristen and her husband, Brad, have three children.
Kristen has a passion for providing safe, high-quality, and fun child care programs in the rural communities that WAAC serves. She believes a smile can go a long way and that it is the “small moments” we have with children that make the most impact. In addition to building connections with children and their families, she also finds great joy in managing the staff she has the privilege of working with. Kristen believes that building and maintaining a healthy work culture for the adults who serve children is a crucial component in the successful care of the next generation. She has considerable experience with licensing child care programs as well as collaborating with local school districts and community partners. Kristen is honored to be a part of MAA and is excited for the opportunity to advocate & learn more alongside her OST colleagues.
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.
Beverlee Wenzel is President and CEO of The ROCK Center for Youth Development and Discover You™. Wenzel led the creation of Discover You™, a unique social and emotional learning and positive psychology solution providing programs over 40,000 middle and high students. Wenzel has 35 years of intentional business and non-profit leadership. Her qualifications include: Certified Public Manager, Saginaw Valley State University; Certified Fundraising Manager, Lily Fundraising School; Applied Positive Psychology Practitioner. Wenzel is an active speaker and presenter in areas including positive psychology, social and emotional skills, fund development, and non-profit leadership. Recent presentations include state and national afterschool conferences, 5th World Congress on Positive Psychology, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In partnership with the Michelle McQuaid group, Wenzel co-created the Certificate in Creating Wellbeing and Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology which is being delivered on two continents and in both hemispheres.
Donyetta White is an Education Leadership Specialist with a 20-year track record in creating and implementing comprehensive programs that foster children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. As the Board President of The Learning Group, Donyetta has driven strategic initiatives to develop vocational skills in “at-risk” youth and families. Within this group, she provides after-school programing and youth mentorship. At Learning Links Academy, Donyetta spearheads efforts to provide excellent instruction. Her leadership has secured crucial funding for early education resources, and she has played a pivotal role in curriculum development and assessment tools to identify, determine, or demonstrate effectiveness. Donyetta is also a member of the Michigan Out of School Time Advisory Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Clark Atlanta University, a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, and a Master Education Leadership Specialist Certification from Oakland University. She is currently pursuing an Ed. D. in Organizational Leadership, expected to be completed in 2024.
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.