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Riley Institute announces afterschool and expanded learning policy fellows

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The Riley Institute at Furman University has selected 16 leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning to participate in the White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellowship. A partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the WRP Fellowship is a 10-month, national program designed to equip graduates with a real-world understanding of policymaking for afterschool and expanded learning.

“It is so important for young people to have access to high-quality academic enrichment opportunities during afterschool hours and in the summer – and we need policy leaders who can make that happen. The White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship is leading the way in developing afterschool advocates, future policymakers and advisors across the country. I’m so proud to welcome 16 more leaders to this outstanding program,” said former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.

As part of the fellowship, WRP Fellows will develop and implement state-level policy projects in partnership with their statewide afterschool networks and the national Afterschool Alliance.

The WRP Policy Fellowship is named for Riley and for William S. White, chairman and CEO of the C.S. Mott Foundation, and Terry Peterson, national board chair of the Afterschool Alliance and senior fellow at the Riley Institute and the College of Charleston.

The 2018-2019 White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows are:

Neal Barbour, director of youth education, Lawrence Arts Center (Lawrence, Kansas)
Graycen Colbert Bigger, communications coordinator, The Arkansas Out of School Network (Little Rock, Arkansas)
Jennifer Dietrich, policy manager, Partnership for Children and Youth (Oakland, California)
Stephanie Fitzgerald, program officer, United Way of Greater Rochester (Rochester, New York)
Sheronda Fleming, network lead, North Carolina Center For Afterschool Programs (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Amy Gorn, program officer, Mat-Su Health Foundation (Wasilla, Alaska)
Kamalisha Green, founder, ReThink Afterschool (Haleiwa, Hawaii)
Anna Harutyunyan, coordinator, Nashville After Zone Alliance (Nashville, Tennessee)
Karla Johnson, network lead, South Dakota Afterschool Network (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
Mavis Nimoh, senior project manager, United Way of Rhode Island and network lead, Rhode Island Afterschool Leadership Circle (Providence, Rhode Island)
Tamsyn Oakes, director, Kentucky Out of School Alliance (Berea, Kentucky)
Elyse Preston, associate director, Maryland Out of School Time Network (Baltimore, Maryland)
Betsy O. Saatman, technical assistance specialist, Pennsylvania Key (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
Eric VandenHeuvel, chief academic officer, Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
Cassie Willner, communications coordinator, Vermont Afterschool (Colchester, Vermont)
Jessica Woltjen, policy and outreach Manager, Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network (Atlanta, Georgia)

The new class of WRP Fellows will travel to Greenville in October to begin the program. The number of Fellows nationwide has grown to 106 in 49 states since the initiative launched in 2012.

Learn more about the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship, or contact Cathy Stevens at the Riley Institute at 864-294-3265 and

About the Riley Institute at Furman University
Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute broadens student and community perspectives about issues critical to South Carolina’s progress. It builds and engages present and future leaders, creates and shares data-supported information about the state’s core challenges, and links the leadership body to sustainable solutions. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. Learn more at

About the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 in Flint, Michigan, by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the United States and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Education, Environment and Flint Area. In addition to Flint, offices are located in metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg and London. With year-end assets of approximately $3 billion in 2017, the Foundation made 375 grants totaling more than $122 million. For more information, visit

Last updated July 25, 2018
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Clinton Colmenares
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