News Release: Riley Institute Announces 2021-22 Afterschool Policy Fellows

Katie Quine
Marketing and Communications Manager
The Riley Institute at Furman University




The White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship creates opportunities for a growing network of leaders to harness their collective expertise to expand and improve out-of-school time programming.

GREENVILLE, S.C.— As significant monies become available through the American Rescue Plan to support academic recovery, education leaders face a welcome challenge: determining how to best leverage funding to grow and strengthen evidence-based afterschool and expanded learning programs that improve student outcomes in school and life. At this critical juncture, the White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellowship, a program of Furman University’s Riley Institute, is equipping 19 newly-selected leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning with a real-world understanding of policymaking.

In its tenth year, 156 leaders from all 50 states have taken part in the WRP Fellowship, funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The newest class of WRP Fellows will participate in a hybrid program combining virtual and in-person classes for the span of 10 months. While afterschool is a time-tested approach proven to promote the social, emotional, and academic development of children, ensuring the accessibility of out-of-school time programs takes on a new urgency during the pandemic, said former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, for whom the Riley Institute is named.

“As we work to address learning loss as a result of COVID-19, afterschool and summer learning programs are critical partners toward gaining equity in education for all students. I am so proud to welcome 19 more policy leaders to this outstanding program,” Riley said.

Through the American Rescue Plan, up to $30 billion will be available nationally for out-of-school time programs over the next three years. This is a significant increase from the $1.25 billion awarded annually by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding stream, the only federal line item dedicated exclusively to supporting out-of-school time programs.

Over the course of a year, WRP Fellows study an intensive policy curriculum, learn from policy experts, and benefit from national networking opportunities made possible by the Afterschool Alliance, a national advocacy organization, as well as the 50 State Afterschool Network supported by the Mott Foundation. By putting new policy skills to use, WRP Fellows develop and implement afterschool-related policy projects in their home states that ultimately support expanded learning opportunities for children across the country.

Projects completed by WRP Fellows have calculated the return on investment of afterschool funding, mapped afterschool programs across states, improved afterschool quality standards, and forged partnerships with state departments of education working to address learning loss related to COVID-19.

“Afterschool and summer programs are indeed having ‘a moment’ as we all recognize how much support students need in the wake of a pandemic. Our bright and creative policy fellows will work to support students beyond the school day in ways that will help them achieve lifelong success,” said Cathy Stevens, director of the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship.

The 2021-22 White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows are: 

  • Jansen Azarias-Suzumoto (Tucson, Arizona) CEO/President and Co-Founder, Higher Ground a Resource Center
  • Nathan Beck (Madison, Wisconsin) Coordinator, Madison Out of School Time
  • Tony Deis (Sandy, Oregon) Founder, Trackers Earth
  • Deanna Dugan (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Assistant Director of Afterchool Programs, Propel Schools
  • Darnell Eaddy (Baltimore, Maryland) National Capital Region, Managing Director; Living Classrooms Foundation
  • Sara Plachta Elliott (Detroit, Michigan) Executive Director, Youth Development Resource Center
  • Roy Fowler (Hollis Center, Maine) Assistant Director, Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network
  • Jonathan Helms (Mount Pleasant, North Carolina) Grant Development Director, Boys and Girls Club of Cabarrus County
  • Brian Hickey (Tallahassee, Florida) Director, Florida Afterschool Network
  • Paddy Kauhane (Honolulu, Hawaii) CEO/President, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii
  • Lindsay Macik (Austin, Texas) Director of Outreach and Engagement, Texas Partnership for Out of School Time (TXPOST)
  • Billy Mawhiney (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) Director of Operations, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire
  • Lauren Mott (Lincoln, Nebraska) Community Investment and Project Coordinator, Beyond School Bells – Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
  • Sasha Pellerin (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Senior Policy Advisor, City of Albuquerque
  • Deanna Reed (Harrisonburg, Virginia) Director of Community and School Partnerships, On the Road Collaborative
  • Sheneika Simmons (Wake Forest, North Carolina) Program Manager, North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs
  • Stacie Strotman (Covington, Kentucky) Executive Director, Covington Partners
  • Ben Trentelman (Salt Lake City, Utah) Director of Operations, Utah Afterschool Network
  • Patrick Tuck (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) Executive Director, Louisiana 4-H Foundation

The White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship is named for Secretary Riley; William S. White, the late chairman of the board of trustees of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; and Terry Peterson, national board chair of the Afterschool Alliance and senior fellow at the Riley Institute and the College of Charleston.

For more information, contact Katie Quine at 864.294.3368 or

About the Riley Institute at Furman University

Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute advances social and economic progress in South Carolina and beyond by building leadership for a diverse society, hosting expert speakers to broaden perspectives on critical issues, supporting public education, and creating knowledge through community solutions-focused research. 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 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. In 2020, the Foundation made 413 grants totaling more than $133 million and had year-end assets of approximately $3.6 billion. For more information, visit