Prior to creating the Institute, Ms. Alphonso served in various management positions that included, Grants Specialist, the Executive Director of the Maryland Governor’s Council on Adolescent Pregnancy (GCAP) within the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families and Juvenile Justice Specialist with the Governor’s Office of Crime, Control, & Prevention. With her diverse professional experience, Ms. Alphonso has established a unique expertise in both the public and private arenas, at the local, state, and federal levels while maintaining a strong presence in and relationship with the community.
Robin Boone enjoyed a 20-year tenure with the former Maryland Mentoring Partnership (MMP) and spent the last few years of her career with MMP as the Training and Technical Assistance Consultant for the Eastern Shore satellite office of the State Mentoring Resource Center (MMP). Through Robin’s ability to build strong collaborations, she established the Eastern Shore Mentoring Leadership Council, comprised of local leaders, facilitated regional mentoring roundtables and National Mentoring Month (NMM) events which included NMM proclamations for eight Eastern Shore counties, and provided training and technical assistance consultation to programs (school- and faith-based, and community).
Dr. La’Sondrick Bridges
La’Sondrick Bridges has a proven track record of pushing students toward success. His influence on students grew out of his early coaching experience. More prominently, La’ Sondrick served students as a mentor with CBM CARES National Organization (CBM), a nonprofit organization supported by the U.S. Department of Juvenile Justice and Justice Delinquency Prevention that aims to provide positive male role models to youth. He has presented at several youth conferences including the National Mentoring Summit, Steve Harvey Mentoring Conference, and the Fatherhood and Male conference. He has spent over 15 years working in education in different capacities including teaching, mentoring, and training. La’Sondrick says that mentoring is all about compassion and showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others: “You have to look past where the kids come from and look at where they can go.” “They want to be challenged. More than that, they want to know you care”. La’Sondrick Bridges utilizes the knowledge and experiences that he has gained through his host of educational and professional experiences to help young people realize their potential and reach their goals.
Dr. Clara Carter
Dr. Clara Giles Carter is known across the country for her knowledge, skills, expertise and commitment to youth mentoring. As a former Director of the Maryland Mentoring Resource Center, she contributed to the successful efforts in making mentoring an integral part of Maryland’s social fabric.
Dr. Michelle Kaufman
Michelle Kaufman, PhD, is a social psychologist by training and faculty in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on how factors related to the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and socio-economic status contribute to health disparities, particularly for youth of color. She leads two grants from the National Institutes of Health exploring how youth mentoring can improve health outcomes for African American males in large urban settings in the U.S. She has extensive experience conducting large-scale evaluations on health outcomes for marginalized populations internationally, with expertise in both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.
Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler
Dr. Jeffrey Kranzler, Ph.D., LCSW-C is the founder of Leaf Mentoring and has created multiple school-based mentoring programs and consulted for Johns Hopkins University’s A-Level Capital and Covenant House of New York. Dr. Kranzler’s programs have been statistically analyzed to show significant improvements in behavior, academic achievement, confidence, social success, peer relationships and family relationships for mentees and in leadership skills for mentors.
A proven leader with a track record for execution & building sustainable ecosystems of people, processes, & tools, Jeanne Martin is President of JMar Enterprises; founded to address the growing talent pipeline gap in STEM-related fields, with a focus on the inclusion of our diverse community. Employing the adage, the rising tide lifts all boats, JMar provides an opportunity for business & education to come together to develop current and future employees for mutual and sustainable success.
Through JMar, Jeanne now merges her education roots with her corporate knowledge & experience, to build local ecosystems of shared visions. Through consulting, speaking, & facilitating, Jeanne creates inclusive practices and sustainable mentoring programs that empower more individuals to pursue STEM-related careers, while providing local businesses with a larger, better-skilled talent pool to address their workforce development and business requirements.
Kera Ritter, founder of The Ritter Group, LLC., has spent the past two decades giving voice to the voiceless and helping organizations maximize their service to others. She brings a breadth of experience ranging from covering social services issues as a reporter to serving as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake, before launching a consulting firm dedicated to nonprofit capacity building. She believes mentoring can be the difference between surviving and thriving for young people all over the world.
Jeannette Simon, Founder/CEO of ANANIZACH LLC, is a 25-year mentoring professional that brings a unique perspective having been a mentor and still is, a corporate and nonprofit program manager, program director, trainer, mentor to program managers, technical assistance provider, program developer, event planner and creator/manager of special projects on the local, state and national level. Couple the experience with a real passion for the work and you have the opportunity to spend time with someone who can help you grow and be successful!
Kat Stork is a community development and organizational management consultant with 20+ years of direct nonprofit and public sector experience in initiating and fortifying strong programs, organizations and partnerships that support environments and human relationships that are safe, nurturing, and enriching. She is the principal partner in Shore Strategies LLC and provides a variety of services for organizations from start-up through program evaluation. Among other projects, she currently provides Technical Assistance to mentoring programs through Maryland MENTOR, an affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. She is trained to administer and provide support for the quality assessment of mentoring programs through the National Quality Mentor System.
Kat lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with her husband and their dogs. She is blessed to be mother of two young men and stepmom to two young women. In addition to her passion for supporting quality programs for children, youth and families, she enjoys the outdoors, camping, gardening, knitting, reading, and music. She is a Baltimore Orioles fan and loves nothing more than a baseball game on a summer evening.
Jeffrey is a rising administrative leader, program specialist, Mentor Trainer, Youth Developer, and currently a full-time Program Manager at Latin American Youth (LAYC). At LAYC, he oversees the Full Circle Brotherhood (FCB) mentoring program. FCB is a unique group mentoring model where Jeffrey trains and develops disconnected transitional aged youth to mentor middle school-aged students in Montgomery County, Maryland
Jeffrey began his career as a Prevention Counselor at the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia. Working on the front lines of those challenges, he managed a school-based program for students providing services such as facilitating a 16-week anti-violence curriculum, student counseling, and trauma therapy for students affected by violence. He has a deep understanding of counseling, trauma-informed care, mentoring, and positive youth development. Jeffrey brings his expertise in working with diverse populations and research-based intervention and prevention approaches to the mentoring field.
Imani Yasin is a youth advocate, educator, mentor, and facilitator who has committed herself to developing catalysts for positive change by leading and working alongside Baltimore City youth since 2007. She is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, and a minor in Law & Society. Her passion and drive for youth development and mentorship is a direct result of the impact that supportive adults and mentors had on her own life. Her professional track record includes completing 2 terms of service as an AmeriCorps Member, serving as a social and emotional learning Program Coordinator and Athletic Coach, working as a Baltimore City Teacher, being an international group leader, and leading as the Director of High School Programs at Sisters Circle, a non-profit mentoring organization based in northeast Baltimore.