Congratulate our Opportunity Grant recipients!
Find out about recipients of YNPN Atlanta's Opportunity Grants, and consider applying for the next round!
Remember: only YNPN Atlanta Members can apply and receive funds - so join today for just $35!
2019 Grant Recipients
The Fall 2019 Opportunity Grant funds went to Kelli Colter and Bradley Firchow.
Kelli Colter: United Way of Greater Atlanta
Kelli Colter works on the Donor Engagement team at United Way of Greater Atlanta as a Corporate Relations Associate. She completed her MPA from the University of Colorado Denver in August 2019 with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. While in Denver she worked at ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Field Operations, and was on the Young Leaders board for Warren Village, a Denver-based nonprofit. She also volunteers with La Amistad, Inc. in Atlanta and worked as the social media lead for 48in48.
Previously, Kelli worked in communications at Phase 3 Marketing and Communications and Weber Shandwick Worldwide. She worked with a variety of clients including Bank of America, IHG, True Story Brands, city of College Park and city of Dunwoody.
Bradley Firchow: Childspring International
Bradley Firchow is a case manager and public health researcher who is passionate about rural medicine. He is excited to improve health
outcomes for patients in medically underserved areas. His interest stems from spending his formative years in Appalachia and the rural
South. Someday, he will practice medicine as a family doctor in one of these regions to give back to communities that made him who he is.
As a student at Oglethorpe University, Bradley studied Biopsychology and Public Health and was a Supplemental Instructor for Genetics. He held a two-year internship at the Centers for Disease Control in Prevention doing child development research and psychometric tool
development and validation. Bradley worked on development of the web-enabled version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children V (DISC-V), CDC’s Legacy for Children Project, and the Vanderbilt Attention Deficit Parent Report Survey validation study.
The Spring 2019 Opportunity Grant funds went to Aaron Lichkay, Angel Mills, Catherine Warren, Haley Carlson, Nia Darville, Nisa Floyd, and Sarina Marsh.
Aaron Lichkay: Citizen Advocacy of Atlanta and Dekalb
Aaron Lichkay is currently the Associate Coordinator at Citizen Advocacy of Atlanta and DeKalb working to provide protection and advocacy for people with developmental disabilities through matching an ordinary citizen in a relationship with a person vulnerable to abuse, neglect, or social isolation due to a disability label. Before joining Citizen Advocacy, Aaron worked in the refugee community in Clarkston and received his masters in Public Administration: Nonprofit Management from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. His passion is to help create welcoming and inclusive communities for everyone in our society. Outside of work, Aaron is the current board chair of CISV Atlanta Area, which is the local chapter of CISV an international peace education organization and is a season ticket holder for the 2018 MLS champion Atlanta United.
Angel Mills: Georgia Organics
Angel is a trained journalist and intercultural communicator. She has a Masters of Education degree in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Howard University. She is passionate about education and food justice and has had the pleasure of traveling to Mali and Haiti to assist communities there in increasing educational opportunities for children. Currently, she is the Communications Coordinator at Georgia Organics. My work includes creating content highlighting the various stories and faces of food advocacy here in Georgia and helping to strengthen Georgia Organics’ brand.
Catherine Warren: Latin American Association
Catherine Warren is a native Atlantan and daughter and granddaughter of public servants. She currently is the Development Coordinator at the Latin American Association (LAA). Before that, she served as an Americorps VISTA at the LAA in their Economic Empowerment Department. Catherine also spent a year of service in Lima, Peru as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) for the Presbyterian Church (USA) working alongside two Peruvian NGOs, Joining Hands Network Peru and the Center for Development of Afro-Peruvian Women. She’s new to fundraising and development and is constantly learning. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Anthropology. At the end of the workday, you can find Catherine at any Atlanta or Decatur independent bookstore or library.
Haley Carlson: Dream Warriors Foundation
Haley Carlson is a dedicated arts leader, advocate, and enthusiast, with a passion to advance opportunities for creatives in Metro Atlanta and beyond. She has worked at large and small arts institutions alike, such as Dia: Beacon, Southern Highland Craft Guild, BluBus Screen Printing, and the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. She received her master’s in Arts Leadership & Cultural Management from the LEAP Institute for the Arts at Colorado State University in 2017. Haley is the Firm Manager at the Seay firm, an independent contractor in the creative industries, and serves on the board of S.T.A.M.P. (Sustainable Touring for Artists, Musicians, and Performers). She is also the co-founder & co-executive director of the Dream Warriors Foundation, a public charity that awards four grants annually in the area of the Arts, Community Impact, Personal Crisis, and Entrepreneurship.
Nia Darville: Per Scholas
Nia Darville is a rising leader who is passionate about creating opportunities for others to follow their dreams. She graduated summa cum laude from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI, and serves as the Manager of Recruitment and Admissions at Per Scholas Atlanta. In her current role, Nia creates strategies to recruit, interview, and select unemployed/underemployed candidates from underrepresented communities in the tech industry for tuition-free technology training courses. She identifies and secures referral partnerships to establish pipelines of curious and motivated candidates for Per Scholas’ courses specifically targeting people of color, women, veterans, and young adults. Outside of work, Nia enjoys spending time in the sunshine and exploring new parts of Atlanta every chance she can get.
Nisa Floyd is originally from Brooklyn, New York but moved to Georgia at the age of 9. She received her Bachelors of Arts in English from Georgia State University in January 2017. Floyd was published in Georgia’s Best Emerging Poets in 2017 and currently writes for The Morning After Zine. Upon graduating, she became a Programs Coordinator at the Montessori School of Emory, interned with Spirited Pursuit as an Editorial Intern, and is currently an Intern at Atlanta Contemporary (AC) working to enhance the educational programs. Outside of work she likes to attend festivals, visit museums, and spend time with her Grandma in Bed-Stuy.
Sarina Marsh: Big Brothers Big Sisters
Sarina Marsh is an Enrollment Specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, with a history of providing services to children, adults, and families in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining BBBSMA, Sarina worked for the Urban League of Greater Atlanta supporting youth and young adults at the At-Promise Center in Atlanta’s Vine City. Sarina received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Georgia State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Sarina is a licensed master social worker for the state of Georgia. In her free time, Sarina enjoys finding fun ways to stay physically active and spending quality time with family and friends.
2018 Grant Recipients
The Fall 2018 Opportunity Grant funds went to YNPN Atlanta members Abby Bullard, Megan Arthur, Rachael Kurtz, Mikaela Houghton, and Whitley Rogers.
Abby Bullard: Atlanta Contemporary
Abby Bullard, originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, moved to Atlanta in 2014. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Savannah College of Art and Design in June 2016. Upon graduating, she became the Visitor Services Associate at Atlanta Contemporary (AC) working to build deeper audience engagement, increase donations and membership activity, and successfully end AC's fiscal year in the black. Bullard played an instrumental role in the increase in donations at the Welcome Desk by 800% and subsequently became the Development and Grants Coordinator in July 2017 to identify and implement key fundraising strategies in support of donor and member cultivation and retention at the $1000 giving level and below, the annual campaign, as well as management of government and foundation grants. She was promoted to Development Manager in July 2018 in an effort to elevate her profile as an emerging nonprofit leader within the arts and culture community in Atlanta, as well as streamline operational efficiencies related to development processes and ensure long-term financial stability for the organization.
Megan Arthur, Customer Relations and Enrollment Program Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta; 2018 30 under 30 awardee
Megan Arthur is currently the Customer Relations and Enrollment Program Manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, with a history of working in the nonprofit organization industry and child development. Megan began her career at BBBS following her graduation from the University of Florida where she attained her bachelor’s degree in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences, with minors and specializations in Nonprofit Organizational Leadership, Communication Studies, and Family Life Education. Outside of work, Megan enjoys spending time outside at local yoga classes and festivals, and at the beach when she’s home in St. Augustine, FL. She has also been known to often point out how beautiful the moon is, no matter its phase.
Rachael Kurtz, Match Support Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta; 2018 30 under 30 awardee
An experienced nonprofit professional specializing in volunteer management, program development, program management, and Asset Based Community Development strategies. I consistently look for ways to connect people and to provide tools for people to empower themselves. I care about this because we, as people, have such an incredible opportunity to be connected and I value that potential. My current role at Big Brothers Big Sisters has helped me develop this passion through tangible evidence that, when we work together, incredible things can happen. Coaching mentoring relationships give me an opportunity to help volunteers work through barriers that sometimes feel embarrassing or insignificant. When we can talk about how we feel and the things we care about we are fueling that connection!
Mikaela Houghton: Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN); 2018 30 under 30 awardee
Mikaela Houghton is the Development & Operations Associate at Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN), a 501(c)(3) organization based in Atlanta with a mission of providing free immigration legal services to victims of crime and persecution. In this position, she implements grant management, fundraising, event planning as well as marketing and administrative activities of GAIN. She spearheads several initiatives, including Georgia Gives Day, GAIN’s Annual Report, as well as marketing and communications for GAIN’s annual gala, which produced over $240,000 for GAIN in 2018. She is the organizational representative for Atlanta’s Coalition for Refugee Serving Agencies and in 2018, she was named “30 Under 30” by YNPN Atlanta for her dedication and commitment to GAIN’s success. Ms.Houghton received a BA in Global Studies with a concentration in Education from Long Island University’s Global College in 2016 where she studied abroad in Costa Rica, India, and China, each for one academic year. Her senior thesis examined the academic and cultural challenges faced by Burmese refugee girls within educational institutions in the United States. She is currently enrolled in Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, where she will receive her MS in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in Global Studies in 2020.
Whitley Rogers, Recruiter, American Cancer Society
Whitley Rodgers is a Recruiter at the American Cancer Society Global Headquarters in Atlanta, GA. She has been a part of the organization for going on a year but has been an avid supporter for quite some time. Whitley received her Bachelor of Science in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations from Kennesaw State University. When not recruiting top talent for the American Cancer Society, she actively enjoys quality time with family and friends, outdoor activities and traveling. She also enjoys taking part in volunteer opportunities with the American Cancer Society such as Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, as well as volunteering with other nonprofit organizations.
2017 Grant Recipients
2017 1st Round Grant Recipients
The first round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2017 went to YNPN Atlanta Members Allison Hood, Jordyne Krumroy, Jillian Madden, and Tynese St. Cyr.
Allison Hood, Development Director at VOX Teen Communications
Allison Hood works for VOX Teen Communications, a nonprofit that focuses on self-expression and leadership development for teens in metro Atlanta. Prior to joining VOX, Allison worked for Lutheran Services of Georgia as the Special Events Manager, She began her non-profit career in Atlanta as the Program Coordinator for youthSpark, a non-profit organization that works to end child sex trafficking through prevention and early intervention. Allison is also involved with New Leaders Council-Atlanta, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Atlanta, and the Young Professionals for Care-Atlanta. She is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Allison is passionate about building community in Atlanta, young adult fiction and doughnuts.
Jordyne Krumroy, Communications & Outreach Manager for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
Jordyne Krumroy role at the Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to communicating how the bicycle can be used as a tool to usher in social and environmental justice. Previously, she served as the Community Engagement & Marketing Manager for Nicholas House, a shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Atlanta.
Jordyne received her Master of Social Work from Georgia State University and her Bachelor of Spanish and Sociology from Appalachian State University. She is incredibly passionate about immigration reform, and serves as a Coordinator for El Refugio, a hospitality house located outside the gates of Stewart Detention Center.
Jillian Madden, Development Director at Midtown Assistance Center
Jillian Madden is the Development Director at Midtown Assistance Center, where she started as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps member in 2013 doing volunteer management and program coordination. After her volunteer year, Jillian worked as a case manager for homeless veterans on the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program and as a project manager for United Way of Atlanta before returning to Midtown Assistance Center in January 2016. In November 2016, Jillian was named a "30 Under 30" award recipient from YNPN Atlanta and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
Jillian sits on the board of the University of Michigan Atlanta Alumni Association as the Student Recruitment and Scholarship chair, serves as a mentor at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, is a member of YNPN's professional development and mentorship program committees, and is a provisional member for the Junior League of Atlanta.
Tynese St.Cyr, AmeriCorps Intern for US Human Rights Network
Tynese St.Cyr is a recent graduate of Georgia State University with a B.A. in International Studies. She is currently serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer in a local refugee resettlement agency in Atlanta, Ga. She serves the refugee community with English language services, focusing on women and people with disabilities. When she completes her service she plans to teach English as a second language in South Korea. After, she plans to attend graduate school at American University in Washington D.C. specializing in International Social Services. Long term, she wants to work with an international humanitarian organization empowering women through education. Outside of teaching and social services, Tynese enjoys salsa dancing, hiking and learning foreign languages.
2016 Grant Recipients
2016 4th Round Grant Recipients
The fourth round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2016 went to YNPN Atlanta members Caroline Benefield, Cristina Cummings, Rebecca Pogue, and Chelsea Steverson.
Caroline Benefield, Development Coordinator at Georgia Organics
Caroline has been a nonprofit professional since 2012, with an emphasis on fund development since 2013. She has worked with organizations such as the Atlanta Humane Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Georgia Organics. Her favorite aspects of fundraising include special events and grant writing. She is finishing a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Kennesaw State University, and looks forward to graduating in May. In her final year, Caroline is conducting research into the marketing practices around cancer treatment centers, and their effect on patient care. Hopefully this research will be presented and/or published in 2017.
When Caroline is not fundraising or studying, she spends a large portion of her time volunteering as a member of the Junior League of Atlanta. Additionally, Caroline has personally fundraised for the Team in Training and the Light the Night Walk with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, totaling over $1,700 in 2015 and 2016. In her down time, Caroline enjoys reading, crocheting, playing trivia with friends and going to yoga and spin classes.
Christina Graff Cummings, Director of Programs for kidz2leaders
Since 2013 Christina has been the Director of Programs for kidz2leaders, inc., a non-profit serving children of inmates in Georgia. In this capacity she manages an annual summer camp for more than 200 campers, volunteers and staff, oversees family programming and a mentoring program, provides job training for high school students, manages a food pantry for hungry families, and plans teen retreats and various other year-round youth field trips and events. She has devoted her career to serving at-risk children and families, both locally and internationally. Christina formerly worked for non-profit camp organizations serving children with serious medical conditions in California and Ireland, as well as in volunteer management for a non-profit serving victims of domestic violence in Athens, Ga. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia. In October of 2014, she was named a “30 Under 30” award recipient from YNPN Atlanta and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
Rebecca Pogue, Program Coordinator at Alliance Theatre
Rebecca is an Atlanta native and serves as a Program Coordinator for the Alliance Arts for Learning Institute at the Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She facilitates the design, administration, and efficient delivery of arts integrated in-school residency programs and leads professional learning workshops for classroom teachers. Rebecca previously worked as a Program Coordinator with Arts for Learning, Woodruff Arts Center and a Development Intern with the Center for Puppetry Arts. She graduated from the University of Georgia with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Spanish. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys taking dance classes in the Atlanta community and loves cheering on her beloved Bulldogs in Sanford Stadium.
Chelsea Steverson, Operations Manager for C4 Atlanta
Chelsea works for C4 Atlanta, a service and professional development organization for artists. She has worked as an arts administrator in Atlanta for the last 4 years with organizations such as the Atlanta History Center, Arts for Learning at the Woodruff Arts Center, and Actor’s Express theatre. Prior to becoming an arts administrator, Chelsea was a regional Shakespeare actor performing around the country. She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007 with a B.F.A in Media and Performance Arts and again in 2015 with an M.A in Arts Administration. Currently, Chelsea serves as the Chair of the Ambassador program at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and runs a producing arts collective, Catalyst Arts Atlanta. Chelsea continues to work in the Atlanta theatre and film scene as an actor, fight combatant, and set designer.
2016 3rd Round Grant Recipients
The third round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2016 went to YNPN Atlanta members Chelsea Folds, Elaine Hudson, and Jacquelyn Ulrich.
Chelsea Folds, Executive Director for Good Shepherd Clinic
Chelsea Folds has a long history with Good Shepherd Clinic in Morrow, GA, an organization providing no-cost primary health care to low-income, uninsured residents of Clayton County. In 2000, when Chelsea was a mere middle school student, she attended the ground breaking for this local non-profit agency. Years later she secured a summer job at Good Shepherd and was hooked! In 2006 she officially joined the staff while finishing her undergraduate degree at Mercer University.
In 2011 she decided to pursue her graduate degree in order to advance her career and be a further asset to the Clinic. She graduated in 2013 with a Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. In 2013 she was also chosen as a “30 Under 30” award recipient from YNPN Atlanta and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
In her ten years at the clinic, she has held many titles and performed numerous jobs. From finances, facilities & marketing, to event coordination, grant writing, & development, she has truly done it all. In 2015 she was asked to be the organization’s first-ever Executive Director and is excited to begin the newest chapter of her career.
Elaine Hudson, Associate Director of Nonprofit Services for Hands on Atlanta
Elaine Hudson joined Hands On Atlanta in January of 2015. She is responsible for implementing the affiliate's new comprehensive program, Hands On Partner Services. Her responsibilities include recruiting, screening and engaging nonprofit agencies, and developing and implementing services created to fulfill partners' volunteer needs. She also develops and maintains relationships with Atlanta community-based organizations for the purpose of mobilizing volunteers. Elaine also manages the Civic Leadership Program, a leadership development series for experienced volunteers.
Prior to joining Hands On Atlanta, Elaine served as Manager of Marketing and Programs at Leadership Atlanta where she was responsible for communications, branding, and media relations for the organization and its events. In addition, she also planned and executed programs for both Leadership Atlanta and LEAD Atlanta classes.
As an active member of the community, Elaine serves on the board of directors for VOX Teen Communications, a nonprofit dedicated to helping youth express themselves in healthy ways. She also serves as an officer on the board of Adair Park Today, her neighborhood association. She regularly volunteers at Aluma Farm located on the Westside trail of the Atlanta BeltLine.
Jacquelyn Ulrich, Program Manager for the International Rescue Committee Atlanta
Jacquelyn Ulrich is a Program Manager with the International Rescue Committee of Atlanta, and has over six years of experience of working with refugee resettlement organizations in Atlanta in various capacities including employment assistance, education, and program management. She is a licensed master social worker whose professional interests center on program development for educational and therapeutic interventions for newly arrived refugees. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Arabic from the University of Florida and a Masters in Social Work from Georgia State University. She enjoys hiking with her husband and three dogs, gardening, and exploring the best food Atlanta has to offer.
2016 2nd Round Grant Recipients
The second round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2016 went to YNPN Atlanta member Sergio Rubio.
Sergio A. Rubio, Program Manager for Teatro Aurora, Aurora Theatre
Sergio is a full-time staff member of the Aurora Theatre, an activist, and advocate of the arts, education, and the Latino/Hispanic community. Combining his career goals with his passions, he holds leadership positions that concentrate his efforts in integrating the community and creating the next generation of theatergoers, leaders, and entrepreneurs. As Teatro Aurora Project Manager he oversees the planning, development, and execution of Teatro Aurora programming, showcasing Latin-American arts, cultures, and traditions. Using his own life experiences, he has become a powerful motivational speaker in the Gwinnett County school system and with organizations like H.o.P.e and Glance Gwinnett.
2016 1st Round Grant Recipients
The first round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2016 went to YNPN Atlanta members Audrey Gámez and Stephanie Sorquira.
Audrey Gámez, Education Manager, C4 Atlanta
Audrey Gámez joined the C4 Atlanta staff as Education Manager in October 2015. She was formerly a facilitator for the Ignite class and had previously served as Education Coordinator for MASS Collective. Her interest in arts administration and social change was sparked while working as a volunteer, and later as Programming Intern, for WonderRoot. Audrey moved to Atlanta in 2010 to pursue her singing and teaching career, but ultimately stayed because of the rich, diverse and vibrant arts community. She has worked as an arts educator and opera performer for the last 11 years, and continues to maintain a private voice, violin and viola studio. She lives in the cutest house ever in Grant Park, and enjoys practicing yoga and destroying her kitchen cooking yummy vegan food.
Stephanie Sorquira, Associate Program Coordinator, Center for Civil and Human Rights
Stephanie Sorquira is a graduate of Rollins College where she majored in International Affairs, with ample coursework completed in Political Science. Her research focus was on armed-conflicts in Latin America and their subsequent human rights violations, historically and presently. Sorquira spent the spring semester of 2013 attending University of Oxford, Keble College, studying international law and political philosophy. At Rollins College she served as both the Social Activism Coordinator and the Secretary of the Latin American Student Association. Throughout college, Sorquira fulfilled her interest in activism and human rights by volunteering and serving as a committee member with the Youth & Young Adult Network of the National Farm Worker Ministry (YAYA), an organization that focuses on farmworker’s rights.
2015 Grant Recipients
2015 4th Round Grant Recipients
The fourth round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2015 went to YNPN Atlanta members Michelle Arrington, Ethan Messere, and Jordyne Krumroy.
Michelle Arrington, Staff Attorney, State Court of Fulton County
Michelle Arrington is a Staff Attorney in the State Court of Fulton County. A native of Atlanta, she earned her Juris Doctor at DePaul University and her Bachelor of Arts from Howard University.
While an Attorney by profession, Michelle is actively involved in the non-profit community where she currently serves as a board member for Sporty Girls, Inc., whose mission is dedicated to introducing minority girls to non-traditional sports and providing leadership skills. Additionally, she is a member for the YWCA’s Legislative & Advocacy committee where she helps to develop policy on issues of domestic violence and human trafficking. She is also involved in the legal community, serving as the Chair for the Committee to Promote Inclusion in the Profession for the State Bar, where she is responsible for implementing programming for minorities in the legal profession. She is also a member of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys.
Ethan Messere, Assistant Director of Presenting and Touring, South Arts
Ethan Messere is the Assistant Director of Presenting and Touring at South Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a better South through the arts. In this role, he is responsible for registration and showcasing programs for the Performing Arts Exchange, a performing arts conference and trade show that attracts over 600 participants annually. He also works on South Arts’ grants, providing assistance for participants in the Dance Touring Initiative, and Regional Touring programs.
Ethan holds a Masters of Music in Orchestral Performance from Georgia State University and a Bachelors in Music from Syracuse University. Prior to his work in arts administration, he worked as a freelance trumpet player in Atlanta and in his home region of Upstate New York. Outside of working hours, Ethan can often be found climbing rocks or listening to The Clash a little too loudly.
Jordyne Krumroy, Community Engagement & Marketing Manager, Nicholas House, Inc.
Jordyne Krumroy is the Community Engagement & Marketing Manager for Nicholas House, a nonprofit that helps homeless families achieve self-sufficiency. In her role, she is responsible for planning and executing communications and PR initiatives to increase agency visibility and community resource allocation. Jordyne combines service learning and marketing campaigns to decrease stigma around vulner
able populations and to promote community empowerment. She received her Master of Social Work from Georgia State University and her Bachelor of Spanish and Sociology from Appalachian State University.
In her free time, she advocates for detained immigrants and their families through El Refugio, a hospitality house located outside the gates of Stewart Detention Center. She is also an avid cyclist and can be found biking in pursuit of good food and social justice lectures.
The third round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2015 went to six amazing YNPN Atlanta members Kaden Borseth, Amy Hogan, Christina Graff, Nicole Michalec, and Jasmine Okafor.
Kaden Borseth, Education Programs Manager – Earth Science Programs, Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Kaden Borseth is the Education Programs Manager – Earth Science Programs for Fernbank Museum of Natural History. In his role, he creates and teaches science programming for schools and museum guests, works on exhibit content, and is in the process of creating a new outdoor museum space. Kaden also manages a teen volunteer program of more than 90 teenagers who commit to at least one year of volunteer time. He is passionate about teaching science in fun, innovative, and interactive ways.
Before moving to Atlanta, he attended University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Earth Science. After graduating, he served as an informal science educator, teaching the public on a variety of science-related topics for the National Park Service and the Science Center of Iowa.
Christina Graff, Director of Programs, kidz2leaders, inc.
Christina Graff is the Director of Programs for kidz2leaders, inc., a nonprofit serving children in Georgia who have an incarcerated parent. In her role, she manages an annual summer camp, mentoring program, food pantry, teen retreat programming, and various other youth field trips and events. She has devoted her career to serving at-risk children and families, both locally and internationally. Christina formerly worked for nonprofit camp organizations serving children with serious medical conditions in California and Ireland, as well as in volunteer management for a nonprofit serving victims of domestic violence in Athens, Ga. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia. In October of 2014, she was named a “30 Under 30” award recipient from YNPN Atlanta and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
Amy Hogan, Board and Resource Development Coordinator, Communities in Schools of Georgia
Amy Hogan is the Board and Resource Development Coordinator at Communities In Schools of Georgia, the leader of a statewide network of 32 affiliates dedicated to keeping students in school and increasing graduation rates. In this role, she works closely with the President and the Board of Directors on board governance and development, as well as advancing the organization’s resource development program. Prior to joining Communities In Schools of Georgia, she held various resource development roles in nonprofits in her hometown of New Orleans and later Seattle. Before entering the nonprofit world, Amy served as a legislative staffer for the New Orleans City Council in post-Katrina rebuilding efforts. She is a graduate of the University of New Orleans. Amy and her husband moved to Atlanta in 2013 and recently welcomed a daughter.
Nicole Michalec, Campaign Coordinator/Long-Term Giving, Woodruff Arts Center
Nicole is the Campaign and Long-Term Giving Coordinator at the Woodruff Arts Center. She is currently working on the $100 million Transformation Campaign, which will physically transform the campus and provide greater access to the arts. Previously she was a Programs Educator at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, where she managed their children’s exhibit, as well as coordinating a variety of drop-in programs, educational carts, and special exhibit interactive spaces. Nicole has a Bachelor’s degree in studio art with a focus on sculpture as well as degree in art education. She is certified to teach art to K-12th grade students in the state of Georgia.
Jasmine Okafor, Development Specialist, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
Jasmine Terry Okafor is a non-profit professional committed to connecting her theological insights with her passion for the independent sector. She is an Atlanta native, and is currently the development specialist for the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), a national multi-faith, multi-cultural organization that provides ministry training experiences to spiritual caregivers of all faiths. Jasmine holds a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology. While at Candler, she coordinated student-led fundraising strategies to endow a scholarship fund for Black students, and taught theology courses to incarcerated women. Prior to Candler, Jasmine completed a two year fellowship with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in Jacksonville, Florida. Jasmine is a 2009 graduate of Agnes Scott College, and holds non-profit executive leadership certificates from the United Way of Atlanta and Georgetown University. Jasmine lives in Decatur with her husband Nnamdi and cat Tubby.
Karen Webster, Executive Director, The Healthy Seminarians-Healthy Church Initiative (HSHC)
The Rev. Karen Webster is the co-founder and executive director of the recently founded Healthy Seminarians-Healthy Church Initiative (HSHC), the goal of which is to help seminary communities, clergy, and church members think about health (in all aspects of the word) both theologically and practically.
Karen is an ordained Presbyterian PC(USA) pastor and is certified as an Exercise Physiologist (American College of Sports Medicine), a Nutrition Specialist (American Academy of Sports Dietitians and Nutritionists), and a South Carolina Master Gardener. She is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA.
Her hobbies include plant-based cooking, homebrewing, organic gardening, and spending time outdoors (hiking, biking, running, etc.). Karen and her husband, Travis, reside in Decatur, GA, with their three cats (Marie, Daisy, and Bingen).
The second round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2015 went to YNPN Atlanta Members Becky Katz and Mary-Kate Starkel!
Becky Katz, Visioning Project Manager, Park Pride
Becky Katz is the Visioning and Grants Project manager at the non-profit organization Park Pride, where she collaborates with communities to re-envision their green-spaces. In her role, she leads public meetings, creates conceptual master plans for parks and authors project books that are tools for fundraising. Also, she is the grant coordinator for Park Pride. She awards and manages over $600,000 a year for capital improvements in parks to deserving communities throughout the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County. She is passionate about creating inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable parks and public spaces in Atlanta.
Before moving to Atlanta, she attended Cornell University for environmental engineering. After graduating she went on to complete her Masters in environmental engineering at Kind Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Her academic research focused on human oriented sustainable design for Native American communities.
Mary-Kate Starkel, Institutional Giving Manager, KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools
Mary-Kate Starkel serves as the Institutional Giving Manager for KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools, a network of eight tuition-free charter schools serving Atlanta’s most underserved communities. A native Atlantan, Mary-Kate has previously served as the Director for Youth Leadership and Engagement for GUIDE, Inc. and on the board of trustees for the YMCA at WSU, positions which ignited her passion for positive youth development and creative, supportive learning environments in school and beyond school hours. Mary-Kate has managed annual giving programs resulting in $1.2M/year and a foundation portfolio of $3M/year, and looks forward to continuing her career in resource development for innovative educational programs. She holds a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) and Masters of Public Administration (MPA) in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University.
The first round of Opportunity Grant funds in 2015 went to YNPN Atlanta Members Laura Heiman and Adena Hill!
Laura Heiman, Grants & Sponsorship Coordinator for the Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Laura Heiman is currently the Grants & Sponsorship Coordinator at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. She has been involved with the museum field for the past 8 years. When not working on a grant proposal, she actively enjoys reading science fiction and swimming.
Adena Hill, Advocacy Manager at the Atlanta Community Food Bank
Adena Hill is the Advocacy Manager for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, an organization committed to fighting hunger by engaging, educating and empowering the community. Adena has served in the role since 2013, and facilitates the organization’s advocacy activities. Prior to joining the Food Bank, Adena served as a Social Worker and legal intern in multiple settings including a law firm, shelter, foster family agency and behavioral center. Adena’s goals are to build relationships in the community, organize for social and economic justice, and help develop sound policies for the state of Georgia. Adena received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Spelman College, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California, and a law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, CA. YNPN has assisted Adena on her path to Georgia State Bar licensure and enhanced Adena's ability to advocate for anti-poverty policies and improve equity in the state.[custom_headline type="center" level="h3" looks_like="h4" accent="true"] 2014 Grant Recipients [/custom_headline]
The inaugural round of YNPN Atlanta's Opportunity Grant program was, without doubt, a huge success. Four YNPN Atlanta Members were awarded funding for projects to further their professional careers.
Find out all about them below.
2014 Grant Recipients
Sarah secures multi-million-dollar funding for health and human rights programs from government, foundation, corporate, and individual donors. Her portfolio focuses on neglected tropical diseases, including Guinea worm disease, river blindness, and trachoma, and on women’s and girls’ human rights. She has traveled internationally with President and Mrs. Carter, served as an election monitor in Liberia, and travels frequently to Africa. Sarah reinvigorated a then-dormant YNPN Atlanta in 2008 and co-chaired the board of directors from 2008 to 2010. She was Atlanta’s delegate to the 2008 YNPN Annual Leaders conference in Chicago. She holds a BA from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Mandy is a native Atlantan who returned home after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May. Growing up, Mandy was avid about community service and volunteer work. During high school she earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by leading a 200-person Empty Bowls event to promote hunger awareness and raise food donations for the Atlanta Community Food Bank. In college, Mandy continued to serve her community by tutoring local students, volunteering with campus groups, and participating in UNC’s Public Service Scholars program. Mandy is thrilled to be back in Atlanta and working as a Fund Development Coordinator for the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, where she was hired in August 2014. As a former English major, she especially enjoys putting her writing skills to use for grant applications and donor communications. Mandy looks forward to a career in the nonprofit sector and is thankful for the opportunity to hone her professional skills with YNPN Atlanta’s support.
Emmalee is responsible for all of the organization’s fundraising and financial development operations. Prior to her work with ICS, Emmalee worked as a development consultant where her clients included Georgia Public Broadcasting, Atlanta Public Schools, and Moving in the Spirit. Prior to her consultant work, Emmalee was with The Atlanta Opera where she served in various capacities, and ultimately served as a key member of the senior management team as Director of Community Engagement. During that time she developed the nationally recognized 24-Hour Opera Project® , the High School Opera Institute, and a number of other successful educational programs. She also led the company in their first opera commission and world premier.
A former teacher, Emmalee is an active musician in the Atlanta area. Since 2002, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Liberia Orphan Education Project (LOEP), a nonprofit organization she also co-founded. LOEP provides educational support and professional development for teachers, and sends school supplies, textbooks, and supplementary reading materials to partner schools in Liberia, West Africa. Emmalee is also an active member of the Jefferson Park Neighbors Association, and serves on the Board of Directors as Vice President. Emmalee holds degrees from East Carolina University and Shenandoah University. In her spare time, she enjoys tutoring international students at the Fugees Academy in Clarkston, running, tennis, and knitting.
The Frazer Center is an inclusive community where people of all levels of ability and disability gather, learn and flourish together. Dan manages the organization's overall communications strategies. Previously, he helped strengthen Georgia’s nonprofit community at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits where he served as Marketing and Communication Coordinator through the AmeriCorp VISTA program. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Dan worked in publishing for The History Press in Charleston, South Carolina. A native of Iowa, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Iowa.