12 Afterschool Leaders Chosen as 2012 Afterschool Ambassadors

The Afterschool Alliance announced the selection of 12 afterschool providers and advocates from around the nation to serve as 2012-2013 Afterschool Ambassadors this month. The dozen local leaders hail from 12 different states. Each Ambassador will continue directing or supporting a local afterschool program while also serving a one-year Afterschool Ambassador term organizing public events, communicating with policy makers, and building support for afterschool programs.

“Quality afterschool programs are essential to students, families and communities,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “These programs keep kids safe during the afternoon hours, help working families and inspire students to learn by offering hands-on science, math and other activities as well as homework help, mentoring opportunities, and much more. But in Washington, D.C. and all across the country, the afterschool programs that families rely on are being threatened by budget cuts and efforts to divert afterschool funds to other programs. As Afterschool Ambassadors, each of these talented local leaders will bring great energy to the work to build even stronger support for afterschool programs among parents, business and community leaders, lawmakers and others. I look forward to working with each of them this year.”

This year’s class of Afterschool Ambassadors is the 13th group selected for the honor. Past Ambassadors include a variety of state and local afterschool leaders – more than 175 in all who are still active in the field.

The 2012-2013 Afterschool Ambassadors are:

  • California, Oakland: Kasey Blackburn, After School Program Manager, Oakland Unified School District;
  • Delaware, Newark: Fontella Taylor, Youth Development Extension Educator, University of Delaware, 4-H Afterschool;
  • Florida, Titusville: Jacalyn Francisco, Assistant District Coordinator, Brevard Public Schools;
  • Georgia, Riceboro: Christopher Stacy, CEO, Georgia Coastal Youth, Inc.;
  • Indiana, Indianapolis: Milele Kennedy, Manager, City of Indianapolis Department of Parks & Recreation;
  • New York, Forest Hills: Patrick Pinchinat, Beacon Director, Queens Community House;
  • North Dakota, Mandan: Andrew Jordan, Program Director, Missouri River Educational Cooperative;
  • Rhode Island, Cranston: Kelly Whaley, Program Manager, Cranston Community Learning Center;
  • South Dakota, Sioux Falls: Heather DeWit, Director of Childcare and Education Services, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota;
  • Vermont, North Clarendon: Carrie Becker, Director, Rutland South Supervisory Union Afterschool;
  • Washington, Lynwood: Victoria Raya, Diversity Program Manager, National Girls Collaborative Project; and
  • Wyoming, Thermopolis: Jenny Davis, Program Coordinator, Hot Springs County School District #1.

The Robert Bowne Foundation is sponsoring the Ambassadorship of Patrick Pinchinat of New York; Bright House Networks is sponsoring the Ambassadorship of Jacalyn Francisco of Florida; and the Noyce Foundation is sponsoring the Ambassadorships of Kasey Blackburn of California and Victoria Raya of Washington.

Each Ambassador will organize a major event for Lights On Afterschool. Read more about the Afterschool Ambassadors online.

This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 13, Issue 9).

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