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First class of White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows selected

Fifteen leaders in the afterschool and expanded learning fields nationwide have been selected as White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows as part of a partnership between The Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Beginning in October, the fellows will spend 10 months studying afterschool and expanded learning policy and developing state-level policy plans in partnership with their Statewide Afterschool Networks and the national Afterschool Alliance.

The 2012-2013 White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows come from such diverse states as Alaska, Hawaii, Alabama and Connecticut. They are:

Paula Adams, Program Manager, Fun 5 Program, Kahoomiki (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Ken Anthony, Director of Professional Development, Connecticut Afterschool Network (Branford, Conn.)

Monica Armendariz, Director of Education/President BeHive USA/ Central Texas Afterschool (Austin, Texas)

Eric Billiet, Expanded Learning Education Specialist, Minnesota Department of Education (Roseville, Minn.)

Erin Bofenkamp, Director, South Dakota Afterschool Partnership (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Sonja Currie, Program Administrator, 21st CCLC and LEAPS Program, Memphis City Schools (Memphis, Tenn.)

Blaire Denson, Director, Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time (Richmond, Va.)

Rebecca Kelley, Executive Director of Community Services, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Katie Kross, Project Coordinator, Georgia Afterschool Investment Council (Atlanta, Ga.)


Cherry Penn, Afterschool/21st CCLC Programs Supervisor, Baldwin County Public Schools (Loxley, Ala.)

Michelle Rich, Senior Program Manager, SPPG State Public Policy Group (Des Moines, Iowa)


Amanda Scott Thomas, Education Policy Director, School’s Out Washington (Seattle, Wash.)


Nyeema Watson, Administrative Director, Center for Children and Childhood Studies at Rutgers University, Camden Campus (Camden, N.J.)

Julie Wild-Curry, Program Director, 21st CCLC, Community Afterschool Programs (Fairbanks, Alaska)

Nicole Wilkins, Senior Communications and Policy Associate, Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (Boston, Mass.)

The fellowship is named for William S. White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation; Richard W. Riley, former South Carolina governor and U.S. Secretary of Education under President Clinton; and Dr. Terry Peterson, national board chair with the Afterschool Alliance and a senior fellow at the College of Charleston.  The fellowship is made possible by a $200,000 grant awarded to the Riley Institute earlier this year by the Mott Foundation.

For more information, visit or contact Cathy Stevens at the Riley Institute, 864-294-3265 or

Last updated February 11, 2016
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director