First Cohort of Afterschool Leaders Named

The afterschool community has a new team of supporters who will be helping to advance afterschool and expanded learning over the next year.  Fifteen afterschool and expanded learning leaders from across the country have been announced as White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows, 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 policies and developing state-level policy plans in partnership with statewide afterschool networks and the Afterschool Alliance.

The 2012-2013 White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows 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, BeHive USA, and president, Central Texas Afterschool Network (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, 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 secretary of education under President Clinton; and Dr. Terry Peterson, national board chairman for the Afterschool Alliance and a senior fellow at the College of Charleston. 
“Providing more quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities for our young people is one good way to help more of them catch up, keep up and get ahead,” Peterson said. “We need more young leaders at all levels across America to be able to design these policies so that they work well for local children and families.”
Cherry Penn, Fellow and afterschool/21stCCLC programs supervisor for Baldwin County Public Schools in Alabama, said, “I am thrilled to have been selected as a participant in the inaugural year of the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship.  I am so excited to join a cross-section of national leaders from diverse organizations whose interests intersect in the promotion of afterschool and expanded learning opportunities.”  
Each of the 15 Fellows will attend an intensive week-long workshop in October at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. After returning home, the Fellows will create a policy plan that addresses the opportunities and challenges facing their states’ afterschool and expanded learning communities. Fellows will also participate in a series of online sessions and small-group conferences throughout their term before presenting individual policy plans in spring 2013.
Read more about the Fellowship online.

This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 13, Issue 7).

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