The Riley Institute Announces 2023-24 Afterschool Policy Fellows

Claudia Winkler
Director, Marketing and Communications
The Riley Institute at Furman University




The White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship creates opportunities for a nationwide network of leaders to harness their collective expertise to expand and improve afterschool and summer learning programming.

GREENVILLE, S.C.— The White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellowship has selected 17 afterschool leaders from across the country to participate in this prestigious program, designed to equip fellows with the policy knowledge to successfully advocate for afterschool programs. Afterschool programs are in high demand and play an important role in student success, and WRP fellows will receive training to help ensure that policies protect and sustain these vital programs.

Offered by the Riley Institute at Furman University and funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the WRP Fellowship is in its twelfth year and has graduated 175 leaders from all 50 states. The newest class of WRP Fellows will participate in a hybrid program combining virtual and in-person classes for the span of 10 months. Training will focus on how to establish state-level funding mechanisms and funding streams, as well as how to identify and set state priorities to support expanded and afterschool learning.

Namesake of the Riley Institute, former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, says the role of afterschool and summer learning policy advocates is more important than ever:

“Afterschool and summer learning programs are vital to student success. Research has shown that these learning opportunities enrich and expand education offered in schools in ways that fill critical gaps and combat disengagement. This fellowship equips creative leaders with the tools to ensure that these essential programs remain accessible and grow in quality for the benefit of all children.”

Over the course of 10 months, WRP fellows will learn from policy experts from across the country and receive national networking opportunities made possible by the Afterschool Alliance and the 50 State Afterschool Network. WRP fellows will put these new policy skills to use as they develop and implement afterschool-related policy projects in their home states that ultimately support expanded learning opportunities for children across the country.

“Afterschool and summer learning programs continue to confront ongoing challenges with funding, staffing, and access,” said Sara Beanblossom, director of the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship. “Strong collaborations play a pivotal role in building robust community systems that support the long-term success of these programs. Fostering a nationwide network of leaders becomes paramount in expanding and enhancing high-quality community systems and guaranteeing positive outcomes for students.”


The 2023-24 White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows are:

  • Elizabeth Anderson (Raleigh, North Carolina) Network Lead, North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs, Public School Forum
  • Roslyn Copeland (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) School Board Director, Harrisburg School District
  • Maya Dorsey (Dayton, Ohio) Director K-12 Strategies, Learn to Earn Dayton
  • Sheryll Famularcano (Honolulu, Hawaii) Program Manager, Hawaii Afterschool Alliance
  • Stephanie Hansen (Thornton, Colorado) Extended Learning Manager, Adams 12 Five Star School
  • Jahaziel Hiriart (Oklahoma) Network Lead, Oklahoma Partnership for Expanded Learning
  • Melanie Hooper (Anchorage, Alaska) CEO, Camp Fire Alaska
  • Shawn Jean-Louis (New York, New York) Policy Director, ExpandED Schools
  • Ashlee Liska (Republic, Missouri) Associate Director, Missouri AfterSchool Network
  • Hannah McDowell (West Des Moines, Iowa) Policy and Partnership Coordinator, Iowa Afterschool Alliance
  • Aimee Moody (Hollis, Maine) Maine 21st CCLC Program Consultant, Maine Department of Education
  • Angelique Nichols (Lansing, Michigan) Policy Coordinator, Michigan Afterschool Partnership
  • Holly Phillips (Salt Lake City, Utah) Director of Operations, Utah Afterschool Network
  • Troy Selvey (Sacramento, California) Manager, Equity & Quality, California AfterSchool Network
  • Shané Tate (Germantown, Maryland) Chief Vision Designer and Developer, Six Tool Solutions LLC
  • Stephanie Vadnais (Lincoln, Nebraska) Program and Compliance Specialist, Beyond School Bells
  • Rachel Wanderscheid (Polson, Montana) Network Lead, Montana Afterschool Alliance

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.


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. For more information, visit