Akufuna Ngonda at MCPS Sligo Middle School
A member of project CHANGE Montgomery currently serving the AmeriCorps Sligo Middle School program and the George B. Thomas Learning Academy’s Saturday School Program. I have over 18 years of youth mentoring experience in a faith-based organization, in civil society organizations and also with the private sector. My area of expertise is in the logical framework approach, instructional design methodology, project monitoring and evaluation of education systems. My experience revolves around collaborative advocacy as it pertains to organizational strategic development, citizen engagement, participatory democracy, sustainable development, economic, social and cultural rights. I have provided qualitative analysis in formulating and leading training programs along with organizing multidisciplinary and geographically dispersed teams at home office and in the field.Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy from the University of Maryland University College Europe.
Alanna Taylor at MCPS with Saturday School
Alanna Taylor brings over 24 years of work experience in program management, proposal writing, and event planning and promotion. She began her career as a project manager for real estate developers in affordable housing after working for several years as a community organizer. In 2010, she left her career in real estate that was constantly impacted by the volatility of the financial markets. Using her skills developed in real estate project and construction management, Ms. Taylor has assisted social entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and faith-based institutions in writing grant proposals, organizing events and workshops, creating administrative systems and protocols, and managing daily operations. Through her lived experience with clinical depression and anxiety, she is passionate about developing initiatives that empower others to create holistic healthy lifestyles and safe spaces for healing.
Hector Catano- Arts on the Block
Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Hector Catano is a visual artist and art educator with more than 20 years of teaching experience with different communities in Colombia and The U.S. His experience includes teaching arts in social development programs funded by the Colombian government to children in poverty, children with disabilities, and homeless people. He has also taught college, primary, middle, and high school students.As an artist, he has been featured in more than 30 national and international group exhibitions, as well as four solo art shows. He holds two master’s degrees in Art Production and Art and Creation Research from Spain.As an AmeriCorp Project Change alumnus, he became the YAM (Youth Arts Movement) Coordinator at Arts on the Block, an initiative focused on arts education with K to 8-grade students from all over Maryland.
Oneyda Hernandez -Family Learning Solutions
Oneyda is a graduate of the University of Maryland where she finished a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. Oneyda credits a high school internship at an optometry office for exposing her to career opportunities in the medical field and influencing her passion for optometry early on. After undergrad, she plans on attending optometry school with the goal of one day opening her own optometry clinic to aid underprivileged communities. Oneyda is passionate about increasing minority representation in the medical field and believes that she can make a difference by exposing young people to a wide variety of career paths and opportunities early on.
Linda Grimmer Sligo Middle School
Linda Grimmer has over a decade of experience working in classrooms in Public Schools in Maryland. She is passionate about finding new ways to support her students’ success. For this reason, Linda pursued special certifications in Autism Awareness, Dyslexia Awareness, and Special Educational Needs. Linda enjoys discussing history, adding to her library, crocheting, and spending time with her husband. She resides in Glen Burnie.
John Zachary Gordon MCPS Headquarters
Hi there! My name is Zachary Gordon, and I am originally from Seattle, Washington. I recently received my Master’s degree from Drexel University in Education Leadership, Improvement, and Transformation in August 2021. Post-graduation, I aspire to work with community stakeholders to create long-term systemic pathways that open the door for equitable and affordable education for all. I look forward to creating collaborative systems that foster systemic change for past, present, and future students.
Jakobe Cotton Sligo Middle School
Jakobe Cotton is a project CHANGE member currently assisting AmeriCorps with their volunteer efforts at Sligo Middle School. From Texas City, Texas, he is excited to help bridge the gaps in the Montgomery county community. He is interested in pursuing an education in culinary arts, and teaching younger generations the importance of being able to use everyday cooking skills to support loved ones and family. He is also enthused to help the community become more invested in what type of foods they are consuming and making sure everyone is getting a proper nutritious diet.
Nadine Bisnath MCPS Paige ES and Fairland ES
Love to help the community and the people around me. Proud supporter of the WeLoveU Foundation which helps with matters big and small. Serving in two Elementary schools to help children learn in a comfortable and understanding environment. While pushing their limits we also have their back when it gets tough. On the road to becoming a Psychologist Counselor for individuals, families, spouses, and the like. Expanding my education on social, emotional learning, and narrative thinking. I believe in using art music, and singing in everyday life to express and release our emotions and pent up stress.
Yajaira Gonzalez Montgomery Housing Partnership
Ayla Wilhite Family Learning Solutions
Diana Alvarez Community Bridges
Gabrielle Vincent YMCA
Walter Cancamo Montgomery Housing Partnership
Cassandra Koplow Arts on the Block