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Staff

Senior Management Team

Leo Givs, Executive Director
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Leo joined TFS in September 2007, following over 25 years of senior executive experience with local, national and international nonprofit organizations. During his time with TFS, the organization has more than doubled the number of students served and more than doubled its operating budget.  Immediately prior to joining TFS, he served as Deputy Executive Director of Membership Mobilization for Amnesty International USA. He was a member of the organization’s senior management team that was responsible for guiding its work and managing a $45 million budget. He provided direct leadership to several national business units focused on youth membership development, advocacy, public education, volunteer recruitment, training and membership mobilization. His responsibilities also included leading national field operations and national program development in support of the organization’s 700,000 members and over 1,700 student and local chapters. Earlier in his career he served as a founding Deputy Director of the Doug Williams Foundation where he created and managed five city-wide youth programs that reached several thousand students in DC public schools. Leo received a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from Howard University and a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Grambling State University where he was a member of the famed Tiger football team coached by the legendary educator Eddie Robinson.

 

Quinci Moody, Director of Operations
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Quinci joined The Fishing School in August of 2011. Her work experience includes building capacity in organizations working to strengthen vulnerable or underserved communities, and developing nonprofit leaders of color. Quinci holds a Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida A&M University. Her past employment includes the Center for Minority Studies, where she launched her career in capacity building by creating and implementing successful fundraising, human resources, and board development infrastructures for the upstart organization and Fair Chance where she successfully led outreach and capacity building efforts in Washington, DC’s Wards 5 and 6. Quinci is also the founder of the Women Achieving Visionary Excellence Scholarship Fund, a scholarship fund for African American girls from Washington, DC.

 

Porsha Childs, Director of Programs
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Porsha joined The Fishing School this May and brings to TFS a broad set of experiences from her time teaching abroad, in high risk areas, and with adjudicated youth and adult learners. With over a decade of classroom experience, she has had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of students and student needs, and she is passionate about continuing to strive to improve outcomes for students from underserved and underrepresented communities. In her program management work, Porsha has designed, coordinated, and implemented more than a dozen co-curricular and experiential learning programs, using institutional data and engaging student advocates. Porsha holds a PhD from the University of Maryland and Masters degrees from Columbia University Teacher's College (Applied Linguistics) and Mercy College (Urban Education).

 

 

Elizabeth Spagnoletti, Director of Development and Communications
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Elizabeth joined TFS in April of 2015. She has worked in education nonprofits since 2010, first as an intern, then as Assistant Director of College Prep at Penn Charter. In 2012, she worked in the Development and Communications Offices of the William Penn Charter School in East Falls, Philadelphia and ran its $3 million annual giving program. She is a 2012 graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, MD.

Staff

Smriti Thapa, Development Operations Manager
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Smriti joined TFS in March of 2014.  She launched her career in development nearly four years ago.  She most recently served as Database Assistant in the development department at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN.  In addition, she previously served as Development Assistant for the Minnesota 4-H Foundation in Minneapolis.  Smriti is a 2009 honors graduate of Randolph College with a BA in Economics, Sociology/Anthropology.  She also is a 2012 graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota where she earned a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in International Development.

 

 

 

 

Joshua Brooks, Site Manager
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Joshua joined TFS in October of 2015. His professional experience includes youth advocacy, youth development, teaching, character building and enrichment.  Previously, he has served as a Lead After school Instructor for The Fishing School where he co-pioneered Middle School clubs and curriculum.  Joshua has also served as a Kindergarten Instructor for Bishop Walker School for Boys and a Youth Advocate II at Hillside Family of Agencies. Joshua is actively involved with SeMation Organization, Inc. as a Founder he is passionate about community outreach, college awareness and professional networking. Joshua received his undergraduate degree in Sociology at Bowie State University.  At Bowie State, Joshua participated in the Student Government Association and served as an ambassador to the student senate.

 

Marinda Blakely, Assistant Site Manager
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Marinda joined TFS in November of 2016.   Her professional experience includes Child Care and After School Programs.  Previously she has served as a Professional child care associate at The Boys & Girls Club, where she implemented activities that were designed to enhance the participant’s knowledge of healthy living and academic success. Marinda has also served as a Child Care Assistant at HB Child Care and a Front Desk Assistant for the office of Student Involvement and Residential Housing at Washington State University. Marinda is passionate about providing her services to enhance and encourage the lives of those who need assistance the most. Marinda received her Bachelors in Sociology from Washington State University.  At WSU, Marinda participated in clubs such as Black Student Union, Black Women’s Caucus, God’s Harmony Gospel Choir and the annual VIBES Conference.

Anyae Randolph, Site Manager
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Anyae Joined TFS in August of 2016. Her professional experience includes working with youth in Wards 7 and 8 to prevent Teen Pregnancy and increase how involved the youth are in civic engagement. Previously she has served as the Site Director at Kid Power Inc., where she increased attendance and participants' reading levels. Anyae also served as a full time facilitator for Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program and Group Leader for The Carrera Teen Pregnancy Prevention program. Anyae is actively involved with mentoring youth she comes into contact with on a daily basis and is passionate about the Balanced and Restorative justice framework for Juveniles. Anyae is currently a student at the University of Maryland in College Park pursuing a degree in Sociology.

 

Alexis Harmon, Programs and Operations Assistant
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Alexis joined TFS in May of 2016. Her professional experience includes organizing community service/outreach projects and mentoring youth. Previously, she served as an Assistant at the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Center at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she was responsible for facilitating workshops on substance abuse prevention, sex education, and other public health concerns relating to college students. Alexis has also worked as a Paraprofessional at St. Coletta of Greater Washington where she provided continuous behavior support to students with autism and other developmental disabilities. She currently serves as the Community Outreach Manager at her church and is pursuing certifications to become a doula and childbirth educator. Alexis earned her B.S. in Behavior Rehabilitation from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2012. At UMES, Alexis was an active member of many student organizations and received the Office of Student Activities’ “Excellence in Leadership” awards in both 2011 and 2012 for her work as Co-founder and President of Rhythm and Reason, a student organization which provides a platform for student artist to collaborate and showcase their talents.

 

Felicia Lane, Parent Engagement Associate
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Felicia Lane joined TFS in March of 2016.  Her professional experience includes 10 years of teaching in early childhood as well as elementary education. Previously, she has served as an assistant director at a full-time education center where she honed her administrative skills. Felicia has also served as a personal assistant for Linda Askari, Director of City Programs, in Spartanburg, SC where she worked closely on the Northside Community Initiative and oversaw all planning of important rallies and events as well as initiated comprehensive work and childcare initiatives for the residents of the Northside community. Felicia has always been a passionate activist starting in middle school. In high school, she received the Volunteer of the Year Award two years in a row. Felicia is a dedicated member of AmeriCorps, and she is  passionate about helping to build up her community through love and education. Her dedication to service is what drives her every day to be a better person. Felicia has an Associates degree in Business Administration/Management from City College (Gainesville) and is currently completing her Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education, concentrating in English.

 

Site Instructors

B. Dorothy Barksdale

Washington, DC

“My assistance helps the future and our kids are the future.”

Bettina Brown

Washington, DC

Saint Paul’s College, 2007, BA

Capella University, 2019, MA

“Teachers who love teaching… teach children to love learning.”

Katrice Campfield

Washington, DC

“I am passionate about engaged about this work because I want to show young children different ways to become a better person in life and the right path to take.”

Katie Cassidy

Cincinnati, OH

“I believe that every child deserves a chance.”

 

Otasha Clark

Clarendon, Jamaica

SIT Graduate Institute Sustainable Development, 2016, MA

“I am passionate because I believe in the power of the youth and the change they will create, especially when we invest positivity into their development.”

Michelle Craft

Maryland

Trinity Washington University, 2019, Communications

“I am passionate about what I do because I am determined to make a difference in society and I know making a difference starts with the youth.”

Brittany Danzy

Gary, IN

Howard, 2014, BA (Sociology, Anthropology)

Howard, 2019, M.E. (Public Policy)

“I am passionate about this work because I believe in the power of young people.”

Sakura Dobbs

Washington, DC

Lincoln University, 2016, BS (Business Management)

“As a woman I am a natural caregiver. I was raised in Washington, DC where I didn’t have a strong support system and yearned for attention. I wasn’t able to get all the nice things my friends had but I was smart and I knew that that was important. I never saw myself going to college because no one in my family has, but I came across a teacher in my high school who supported me, and pushed me and never gave up on my. She redirected my life and I feel like I owe it to somebody to do the same.”

Shanelle Foster

Windsor, NC

Chowan University, 2015, BA (Physical Education: Exercise Science)

“It’s a self reward to know I make a difference.”

Alexis Holmes

Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia

“I am passionate about this work because I love to work with kids to better their education while having fun.”

Imani House

Washington, DC

Howard University, 2017 (English / Military Science)

“It is extremely cliché but the children are our future, and I want their future to be filled with abundant possibilities.”

Ashley Johnson

Boston, MA

“I love making a difference in our young youth’s lives!”

 

Cato Johnson

Washington, DC

UDC, 2018, AA (Early Childhood Development)

“I enjoy the energy from the children while learning.”

Frederick-William Kenner

Largo, MD

University of Maryland, 2016, BS (Communications)

“I have a passion for working with young people because I believe they are the future, and I like that I’m shaping them for that part of their lives.”

LaNice Kilber

New York, NY

Claflin University, 2015, BA (Human Performance Recreation)

“I sincerely have a passion for all age children and being able to give back to the community.”

Antoinette Lee

Washington, DC

Morgan State University, 2016, BA (Public Relations)

“Teach the children… so it will not be necessary to teach the adults.” –Abraham Lincoln

Taquasha Riddick

Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia (Early Childhood Education)

“I am passionate about this work because I really enjoy working with people, and also I believe that I can really make a positive impact on a child’s life.”

Jade Shelton

Suitland, MD

CTI, Hospitality

“I love children. I’m passionate about making sure that when kids leave me at 6 o’clock, they leave with a smile.”

Patrice Sykes

Upper Marlboro, MD

Trinity Washington University, 2018, BA (English & Communications)

“I am passionate and engaged in this work because I would love to make a positive change in a child’s life.”

Terri Wright

Atlanta, GA

Spelman College, BA (English, concentration in Child Development)

“As Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’”

Brandon Young

Birmingham, AL

Howard University, Sociology/Community Development

“Worked in child development for nine years. Want to make a difference in the community.”

Amber Walton

St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands
Smith College, BA, 2016 (Education and Child Studies, minor in Sports and Exercise Studies)

I am passionate about teaching as it gives me the chance to help and assist students in realizing their dreams while preparing opportunities for them to be the change agents our communities need.

 

Interns and Volunteers

Aaron Franklin, Communications Intern

Aaron joined TFS in July of 2016. His professional experience includes communications outreach, social media, and professional writing in AP style. Previously he has served as a marketing intern with the University of Maryland athletic marketing office to plan and execute campaigns to increase student attendance at all sporting events. He has also served as the Operations Coordinator for the tour guide association, and as an Enrollment Management Intern at the University of Maryland. Aaron is actively involved with the Student Government Association at Maryland as an legislative and financial representative and is passionate about sports and wildlife. Aaron is pursuing his bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the University of Maryland.


Lisa Franzen, Grant Writer
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Lisa joined TFS as a grant writer in June of 2016.  She practiced law for years, first with Thompson Hine LLP, and then, in-house, as Associate General Counsel for Booz Allen Hamilton. An advocate for providing underserved youth with a range of opportunities, Lisa has served as a Big Sister/DC and is involved with Washington School for Girls, in Southeast DC, helping to develop a specialized reading program and organizing annual learn-to-ski/snow tubing trips for students. Lisa is also a ski instructor at Liberty Mountain Resort on winter weekends and is a volunteer EMT-B with Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue.  She received her BA with honors from Boston College and her JD from Catholic University, Columbus School of Law.