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.
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.
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.
Cassandra Koplow MCPS Sligo Middle School
My name is Cassandra Koplow. I have a BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, held at the Universities of Shady Grove campus. I have worked for Excel Beyond the Bell program of Montgomery County in which I knew serving the youth of Montgomery County is my passion. I am proud to give back to the community I grew up in.
Michelle Haughton, YMCA Benchmarks
Born and raised in Kingston Jamaica, Michelle has been working in the field of education for 10+ years. Her experience includes working in the classroom, creating treatment plans for students with limited social/emotional skills and working in a residential program for underserved teens. She is excited about serving as a member of project CHANGE and volunteering with YMCA Benchmarks, an afterschool program that offers academic enrichment and life skills to middle school youth.
ALAN EVANS MCPS SLIGO MIDDLE SCHOOL
Alan is a member of project CHANGE serving Sligo Middle School as an AmeriCorps member. With an initial three years of experience as a camp counselor, he continued to work with youth as an assistant teaching artist and now takes on a role in the classroom throughout the year. Having grown up in the MCPS system, he hopes to make a positive impact on youth by not only assisting with academics and socialization post-pandemic, but also by encouraging and empowering them as well.
HANNAH NORMAN MCPS SLIGO MIDDLE SCHOOL
My name is Hannah Norman, and I am from North Carolina. I recently received my master’s degree from East Carolina University in Sociology. With this degree, I aspire to apply gained knowledge of sociological thought and techniques to social issues, social injustice, and or to the advocacy of underserved groups in our society. I am excited to be a member of AmeriCorps and look forward to making an impact on the lives I am working with.
LUCRESSE DJUIDJE GOUAROU MCPS HQ
Lucresse Djuidje Gouayou is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland with a Bachelors in Criminology and Criminal Justice. As someone who grew up in Montgomery County, she is excited to give back to her community and learn what goes into making Montgomery County Public School what it is. She looks forward to connecting students and their families to resources and bringing a youthful eye to the table. In her free time, she enjoys the arts, reading, and learning random facts or skills on youtube. Overall, Lucresse believes that education plays a pivotal role in determining a youth’s likelihood of interacting with the U.S Justice system hence her desire to assist students and their families.
MARINOBI MEDRANO MCPS OAKLAND TERRACE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Marinobi Medrano at Oakland Terrace Elementary School, Montgomery County Public Schools. Marinobi Medrano was born in the Dominican Republic. She has been in the United States for 7 years. As a Latina of African ancestry advocating for the rights of people is very important to her. Her native language is Spanish. Marinobi is studying at Montgomery College with a major in nursing and her goal is to become a pediatric nurse. She is married and a mother of two children a 6-year-old daughter, her younger child is one, and her husband works in higher education. In the summer of 2022, she was accepted into AmeriCorps Project Change, and she is serving at Oakland Terrace Elementary School.
Fatou Touray Community Bridges
My name is Fatou Touray, I was born and raised in The Gambia, West Africa. I moved to the US (Montgomery County) in March 2013. I went to Springbrook high school. In the fall of 2017, I attended Salisbury University and graduated recently in December 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health. However, prior to my graduation, as a final course requirement for my major, I had to complete a three-month internship. In the summer of 2021, I was accepted as an intern for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. Through this experience, I was given the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to serve and build a community. For instance, I was able to participate in vaccine clinics (assisted nurses in all their non-medical tasks), visited different food distribution sites, and assisted a nurse working on the hepatitis B prevention program for pregnant women by helping her call patients to get their vaccination status. I also interviewed some management officials and developed PowerPoint presentations on various occupational health issues like ergonomics, stress, workplace safety, and providing in-home care to patients, etc. I am currently an AmeriCorps member working for Community Bridges. For leisure, I like to listen to music and watch movies and tv shows (mostly Korean, Chinese, Thai, Taiwanese, etc). I love to cook and therefore I also use my free time to go grocery shopping with my mom. This is also the time I use to clean and organize.
Labella Moore Community Bridges
Lalebela is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland, where she received a B.S in Community Health . During her time at UMD she was a member of the Eta Sigma Gamma National Health Education Honorary, and Phi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society. She has volunteered in the healthcare system over the past few years. She plans to work with communities on their health and other social aspects of their lives. She wants to make a difference in the lives of underrepresented and oppressed populations in the U.S. In her downtime she enjoys taking dance classes, binging her favorite Netflix shows, and spending time with her family and friends.
Liam Jaehnigen -MCPS
Liam started working with children in the early years of high school at a violin summer camp, teaching them to play music. Music has remained a massive part of Liam’s life since he was young. Over the years he has developed an interest in music therapy and how it can be applied in schools and elsewhere. He is currently working in an elementary school, thinking of ways to apply said methods of music therapy. He values the quality of education in the school systems, and hopes to make a difference in the 2022-2023 school year.
Kelly Palmer Arts on the Block
As an ever growing creative, Kelly Palmer has allowed her strong passion for the arts to continually inspire her life. As a graduate from Coppin State University, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration and a minor in Nonprofit Leadership. During that time, her studies in the arts and nonprofit sector has developed her understanding of present day business tools, marketing strategies, and how to gather valuable resources for others to utilize. Working with individuals in her community has inspired her to continually represent and advocate for those from all walks of life.
Salena Geahwie Community Bridges
Salena earned a degree in political science with a minor in social work from Trinity Washington University. Salena interviewed Trinity alumni about their experiences at Trinity before it became a diverse institution for a program she took in her final year of college called “Herstory,” an oral history course that focused on the legacy and progress of Trinity. She learned about the disadvantages black and brown women experienced while attending a school with a lack of diversity throughout the course of the study. With a sizable DACA community, Trinity is now renowned for its diversity in all facets. Salena was motivated to pursue a career in nonprofit and social justice as a result of attending a university like Trinity, and this helped direct her to community bridges. She hopes to connect with each of the girls and make an impactful difference in their lives. Besides helping others, some of her hobbies include reading, writing poetry, and online shopping. Favorite book- African American historical fiction. Motivation to come to work- The amazing team at CB.
Kristy Ross – Community Bridges
Kristy Ross is a proud Maryland native excited to return to her home state after some time away. Kristy is a recent graduate of West Virginia University where she studied Child Development, English & History. While in West Virginia, Kristy dove headfirst into the challenges of that state by working with first-generation college students in Upward Bound and teens in foster care in drug/behavioral treatment centers. Kristy hopes to form a career in the crosssection of teaching and social work, as she simply loves to help others wherever that help may be needed. In her spare time, Kristy Volunteers with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Girl Scouts. She hopes to have a lasting impact on Community Bridges after her year of service is complete.