Meet the Fellows

Jansen Azarias-Suzumoto

Jansen Azarias-Suzumoto was born and raised in the Philippines and left for the United States when he was 18 years old. Jansen started Higher Ground a Resource Center at the age of 20, in 2007. He is the father of two sons and a husband to his wife, Barbie Azarias. He is a Judo and BJJ coach, and a national champion and Pan-American medalist.

Jansen is working to help 25 different low-income communities throughout the state of Arizona implement the community schools model to improve the educational and economic outcomes of their neighborhood. Through his community work at Higher Ground and with the State Network, he is advocating for this model for many others.

Nathan Beck

Nathan Beck is the current MOST (Madison Out of School Time) Coordinator for the City of Madison, Wisconsin, and the Madison Metropolitan School District. His current work focuses on coordinating the city-wide system of Out of School Time services that 16,000 young people in Madison rely on. His work has appeared in venues such as The Review of Research in Education, Routledge, and a range of other smaller publications.

Nathan is seeking to use a small portion of Wisconsin’s nearly $4 billion surplus to sustain the $50M Beyond the Classroom state grants for afterschool and expanded learning. These grants are used to support afterschool and youth-serving organizations. The Beyond the Classroom state grants were distributed to a variety of diverse organizations that support tens of thousands of Wisconsin children, but their impact will be limited if there are no sustaining strategies.

Tony Deis

Tony Deis is an outdoor program designer, author, and expert animal tracker. When he was a teenager, he walked out of the high school classroom and into the wilderness. His studies were the timeless arts of wilderness survival, tracking, and nature awareness. As a lifelong outdoor educator, Tony founded Trackers Earth in 2004.

Tony is working to aid afterschool programs and summer camps by helping them to recruit and retain the awesome educators who will assist in propelling their programs and camps forward. Tony intends to improve program staffing efforts through training, building careers, and increasing opportunities through better wages.

Deanna Dugan

Deanna Dugan is the Assistant Director of Afterschool Programs for Propel Schools located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Deanna has advocated for OST programming with PSAYDN and APOST at the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Harrisburg, for Afterschool Advocacy Day. Deanna was recently invited to sit on the 2021 Empower Youth Committee to assist in the development of the Youth portion of the Empower Conference in November 2021.

Deanna is working to formalize an out-of-school/afterschool high school youth-led advocacy effort into a year-long fellowship that would result in the creation of a youth-led and youth-staffed advocacy organization that engages policymakers at all levels of government.

D. Darnell Eaddy

D. Darnell Eaddy is a native of Baltimore, MD where he currently resides with his wife, Karen Eaddy, and two sons Dean and Kiran. He graduated from Morgan State University with a BA in Political Science and the University of Maryland School with a Masters in Social Work. Throughout Donald’s career as a program director within non-profit organizations, he has defined and executed high-quality programs that optimized operations.

Darnell is working to ensure that the Kirwant Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and the Concentration of Poverty Grant provide enough funds for afterschool implementation. Maryland now has more than 300 Community Schools, and that number will continue to grow to over 700 by 2025. One of the central pillars of Community Schools implementation is expanded learning, including afterschool and summer learning opportunities. The Blueprint does provide additional per-pupil funding; however, particularly in schools below the 75% FARM eligibility mark, the additional funding will likely not be sufficient to address the expanded learning pillar.

Sara Plachta Elliott

Sara is the founding executive director of the Youth Development Resource Center in Detroit with responsibility for leading the vision, development, and management of the organization. Sara began her career working in afterschool and summer programs, as well as in youth mentoring and neighborhood development organizations in Kalamazoo and Ypsilanti. Sara holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in social policy from Brandeis University, focused on children, youth and families.

Sarah is working to write and present a proposal to the Michigan Afterschool Partnership leadership team on how to increase racial equity in the distribution of 21st CCLC funding in Michigan. The main questions of the policy and implementation analysis are whether children and communities of color across the state are receiving their equitable share of program funding and if not, what the barriers might be. The analysis will also include an examination of whether there are equity-focused performance measures at the state or federal levels for 21st CCLC programming and if not, suggestions for what those could look like in the future.

Roy Fowler

In October of 2020, Roy accepted the Assistant Director position at the Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network. Over the course of his 25-year career, Roy has held a wide range of positions, including early intervention specialist, classroom teacher, consultant, center director, state early intervention technical advisor, and state IDEA Part C Coordinator in diverse locations such as inner-city Cleveland, a U.S. Army base in Germany, a U.S Air Force base in the U.K., and rural Maine.

Roy is working to provide significant financial incentives for afterschool programs to participate in Maine’s Child Care Subside Program (CCSP), become fully licensed, and participate in the technical assistance included in completing the process. In Maine, a large number of afterschool programs do not participate in the state’s CCSP and, as a result, cannot access its many benefits to children, families, staff, and programs. Roy believes that increasing the number of afterschool programs that are subsidy providers will positively impact access to those programs, the quality of those programs, and ultimately, significantly benefit children, families, staff, and the program itself.

Jonathan Helms

Jonathan is the Grant Development Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County located in Concord, North Carolina. Over the past ten years, Jonathan has dedicated his career to positive youth development in a range of programmatic and leadership management roles. He holds an M.S. in Youth Development Leadership from Clemson University.

Jonathan is working to acquire data to find inequities in the dispersion of North Carolina’s 21st CCLC funds. He will work with the network to utilize said data to ultimately ask for an increase in funding and develop more equitable, impartial awarding systems.

Paddy Kauhane

Paddy Kauhane is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii. Born in Honolulu, Paddy spent many years in British Columbia, Canada. She received her education from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Certified General Accountants Association. With over 35 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Paddy brings to BGCH a passion for service and a commitment to leaving the world a better place than she found it.

Paddy is working to create a formal inclusion statement that recognizes the value of, and need for, all afterschool organizations, school-based and non-school based. She would like to create direct opportunities for community-based OST organizations so that collectively the state of Hawaii may more effectively serve all children and teens.

Lindsay Macik

Lindsay Macik is the Director of Outreach and Engagement at the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time (TXPOST). Lindsay spent many years working in film publicity before transitioning into social impact and also brings that unique public relations background to her work. Lindsay graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Business.

Lindsay is working to develop a shared, statewide understanding of quality afterschool and expanded learning. Lindsay and TXPOST leadership are leveraging technical assistance and partner expertise to conduct a crosswalk of frequently used national and statewide quality standards; understand the impact quality standards have on youth outcomes; develop a plan to revise TXPOST quality standards; and facilitate statewide convenings with state agencies, state networks, regional networks, program providers, and other key partners for stakeholder input and feedback throughout the revision process.

Bill Mawhiney

Billy is a father to two young men (ages 19 and 6), a husband of 9 years, a mentor, a foodie, and an advocate for 23 years of afterschool programs. He spends his day finding creative and innovative ways to meet families and kids where they are. He loves to share the gospel about the impact of afterschool programs to legislators and donors or in his garden pruning some heirloom tomatoes. Billy has one goal each day, and that is to make it better than the day before.

Bill is working to achieve the long-term goal of building a system of champions and ambassadors from all walks of life that will elevate the voice of Out of School Time (OST) in South Dakota. The immediate goals for this campaign are to identify champions in the legislature who believe in the value of OST and provide advocacy tools and training for youth along with youth professionals.

Lauren Mott

Lauren is the Community Investment and Project Coordinator for Beyond School Bells, Nebraska’s Statewide Afterschool Network. Lauren is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She leads Nebraska’s branch of the national Million Girls Moonshot initiative, a movement by the STEM Next Opportunity Fund, which aims to engage one million more girls in STEM across the nation over the next five years.

Lauren is working to understand how to increase the retention of Nebraska students in Nebraska colleges and the Nebraska workforce. She aims to expand the existing Intern Nebraska program to include high school students, giving businesses an incentive to hire high school students as interns during the summers. This will be a unique opportunity for high school students to learn college and career readiness skills in a real work environment and will give Nebraska businesses direct connections with Nebraska students.

Sasha Pellerin

Native New Mexican, advocate, and educator Sasha Pellerin is passionate about changing outcomes for children who have been historically underserved. A granddaughter of immigrants and the first in her family to attend college, she has dedicated her life to improving education and outcomes for all children in New Mexico. She is the Senior Policy Advisor for the City of Albuquerque. Sasha holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.

Through her position in Albuquerque’s city government, Sasha is working to increase the wages of the part-time staff who work directly with children in their 22 plus community centers.

Deanna Reed

Mayor Deanna Reed was sworn into office for Harrisonburg City Council on January 3, 2017, and then selected by her fellow council members as mayor. Becoming mayor of Harrisonburg made her the first African American female mayor in Harrisonburg’s history. Mayor Reed currently serves as the Director of Community and School Partnerships for On the Road Collaborative. Mayor Reed has a Bachelor of Education degree from Liberty University. She has served as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. for over 32 years. She was featured in Essence Magazine on the top 100 WOKE list.

Deanna is working to ensure that local-level ARPA funds are distributed to afterschool and expanded learning organizations across the city of Harrisonburg, VA.

Sheneika Simmons

As the Program Manager of the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP), Sheneika works to develop, lead, coordinate, and drive the NC Network’s initiatives. Before joining NC CAP, Sheneika earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Ferrum College in Ferrum, VA, and a Master’s of Science in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Currently, she is working towards her Ph.D. in Human Services from Walden University.

Through a complex mapping project, Sheneika analyzes the existing funding streams that sustain the out-of-school time landscape in North Carolina. Her goal is to disseminate a fiscal map that will support out-of-school time programs in their advocacy efforts specifically related to funding.

Stacie Strotman

As the Executive Director of Covington Partners in Covington, Kentucky, Stacie Strotman serves as the lead for transforming Covington Schools into full-service Community Learning Centers that provide Out of School Time Programming, Mentoring, Family Engagement, Visual and Performing Arts, Academic Enrichment, College and Career Readiness, Health and Wellness, and Early Childhood opportunities. Ms. Strotman earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Kentucky and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Kentucky University, recognized as the program’s most outstanding graduate.

Stacie is working to find a solution to long-term sustainability concerns for afterschool programs in the commonwealth of Kentucky. She is researching successful state models that have used TANF dollars to support afterschool programming and completing an audit of states that have been successful in procuring public funding. This research will be utilized to create a diversified funding stream model that will be presented to change-makers within Kentucky.

Ben Trentelman

Ben Trentelman has been involved in the afterschool field since 2006. He has had the opportunity to run afterschool programs for numerous organizations throughout Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. Ben joined the Utah Afterschool Network as the Director of Operations in 2015. Ben spends his time with his wife, two children, and all of their pets enjoying the outdoors as well as taking photographs, writing for a local magazine, and engaging in various musical ventures.

Ben is working with his colleagues to survey afterschool programs throughout Utah to determine regional trends such as the amount employees are paid and how long they remain employed. Ben and his colleagues are requesting information for both pre-covid and current work environments. Once this data has been collected, Ben and his colleagues will crosswalk survey findings with existing School-Age Program Quality Assessment scores, determining if programs with higher compensation and rates of staff retention have higher levels of measurable program quality. Findings will be distributed regionally to both state and federal representatives, school districts, and local municipal leaders.

Patrick Tuck

Patrick Tuck, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation and a member of the Louisiana Center for Afterschool Learning (LACAL) Advisory Council. Dr. Tuck oversees policy and procedure for a statewide network of 4-H nonprofits and leads fundraising efforts throughout Louisiana for the 4-H program. Dr. Tuck is a career musician with a Ph.D. in music theory from Louisiana State University. Patrick is an expatriate Canadian who moved to Louisiana in 1996 to explore his advanced degrees in music.

Patrick is working to create a “4-H Youth Development Professional in Schools” model to facilitate informal, experiential learning opportunities and remove non-academic barriers to learning through existing 4-H initiatives and new partner agency collaborations. These new 4-H positions will serve up to three school sites within a given urban neighborhood/district. Program goals include promoting young people’s progress toward capable and productive adulthood, promoting supportive peer group relationships among young people, generating optimal parental and family involvement, and assisting young people to make effective use of community resources. Patrick is working with his colleagues in the LSU AgCenter to determine the most effective process for funding and supporting these in-school professionals. He is also working to identify the best local education association to serve as a pilot program.