Sarah Hemminger – Co-Founder and CEO
As the CEO and Co-Founder, Sarah oversees major organizational decisions and the overall operations and resources of the organization. She is responsible for giving strategic direction for implementing long and short term plans that create a vision for success. She also serves as the direct liaison between the Board and the Executive Team communicating to the Board on behalf of management. Her drive to do this work rests in witnessing Thread students, who have experienced extenuating life circumstances, break the cycle of hopelessness and become responsible adults.
Sarah Hemminger is a social entrepreneur, scientist, and ice dancer who co-founded Thread with her husband Ryan Hemminger in 2004. Equipped with the fundamental understanding that we all need deep interpersonal bonds to thrive, Sarah knows that caring relationships have the power to radically and permanently alter the social support structure of everyone involved. She has fourteen years of experience in nonprofit management and expertise in the development, expansion, and replication of innovative, paradigm-shifting models of forming relationships across lines of difference between high school students, volunteers and collaborators. Sarah was awarded fellowships from Ashoka, Echoing Green Foundation, Open Society Institute, and the Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program, which support social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. In 2010, Sarah received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University for her work on the role of the cerebellum and the primary motor cortex on the time scales of consolidation of motor memory. She received the prestigious Siebel Scholars Award for outstanding work in the field of technology and engineering. Her research was published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology, and Cerebral Cortex and she has lectured internationally on her work. Sarah received her undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 2002, and prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked as an engineer for Medtronic XOMED.
Sarah enjoys figure skating and teaching aerobics. She also loves to run, dance, go to Navy football games and travel.
Monique Fofana – Executive Assistant to the CEO
As the Executive Assistant to the CEO, Monique is responsible for managing multiple, changing priorities with a high level of confidentiality. She serve as the gatekeeper by managing the CEO’s complex meeting schedule and logistics, coordinating travel arrangements, reconciling expenses and working on high level projects and special assignments as assigned. What drives Monique to do this work is her passion for helping others succeed. She believes that the gift of joy will come when you give yourself to others.
Monique has over 20 years of Executive Level support, office management, and meeting planning experience. She is originally from New York City but relocated to Maryland in 2002. She is currently a student at Strayer University studying Business Management.
Monique enjoys volunteering at her church, walking, exploring nature, writing and reading.
Amber Earl – Special Assistant to the CEO
As the Special Assistant, Amber provides high-level process and project management, coordination, and administrative support to the CEO and her team. She supports through preparing internal and external materials, providing guidance to the Executive Team, managing multiple special projects, and more. Amber believes in actively and intentionally working to bridge Thread’s vision and her personal passions to result in a 100% high-performing and happy team.
After graduating with her Master’s and working as a Graduate Research Assistant to evaluate and implement a statewide sustainable health and educational systems change initiative, Amber moved to Baltimore when she accepted a research position with the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in 2012. She spent two years at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center coordinating a clinical trial for women with Schizophrenia, during which time she became a volunteer with Thread, serving as a Head of Family for a year and a half. In March of 2014 Amber transitioned into her first staff role on at Thread.
Amber is a cat enthusiast, novice, but enthusiastic cook, and WNBA fan. She spends her free time soaking up all of the amazing events, food, and outdoor adventure Maryland has to offer.
Nick Greer – Vice President of Interconnection
As the VP of Interconnection, Nick is responsible for developing the strategy and overseeing the creation, deployment, and ongoing evaluation of Thread’s products and curriculum for all members of the Thread community. This includes students, volunteers, volunteer leaders, staff, board members, and collaborators. He is responsible for the development of streamlined, intentional curricula. He also creates a series of interwoven, intentional, meaningful experiences that lend themselves to accomplishing our overarching Organizational goals, mission, and vision, aligned with the Thread Logic Model and business processes.
Nick grew up in rural Pennsylvania, halfway between Baltimore and Philadelphia. He is a first generation college student who went to the University of Pittsburgh completing his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Art Teaching. He taught high school science for 8 years, 1 in Pittsburgh Public Schools and 7 in Baltimore City. He has also coached science teachers, been the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, the Director of Science for the Baltimore City Public Schools, and advised the policymakers at the United States Department of Education as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow.
Outside of work, Nick enjoys spending time with his daughter, Bea, and completing daily crossword puzzles. He also likes participating in all outdoor activities, from leisurely activities such as biking to more extreme activities like snowboarding.
Toni Fletcher – Vice President of Infrastructure
As the VP of Infrastructure, Toni is responsible for acting as our chief process manager, steering the team toward achieving our strategic priorities as detailed in our Strategic Plan. This includes developing and implementing a yearly operational plan with input from the CEO, Executive team and the Board of Directors that addresses yearly budget, staffing, communications and the operational optimization of programs. She also oversees the preparation of financial reports including quarterly balance sheet, income statement and cash flow projections, and other ad hoc reports for the CEO and Board of Directors.
Toni grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She relocated to Baltimore and attended Morgan State University, receiving her bachelors in Television Production. She has an extensive hospitality background, holding positions in operations and revenue management. She was also the Chief of Staff for Sean “P.Diddy” Combs for 6 years.
Toni loves movies and enjoys cooking. She even owns her own catering company!
Lea Ferguson – Vice President of Inspiration
As the VP of Inspiration, Lea is responsible for leading her team in ensuring resources, including dollars, volunteers, collaborators, services, staff, interns and students are sourced and on boarded efficiently, effectively, and congruently. She is also responsible for ensuring that all resources are sufficient in meeting organizational needs and executing Thread’s mission successfully. She establishes and communicates clear goals and metrics for all recruitment areas and is responsible for identifying, creating and managing relationships with major resource hubs, including universities, corporations, governmental agencies, nonprofits, businesses and other organizations.
Lea holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and a Masters in Teaching, both from Johns Hopkins University. Her BA in political science is from the University of Southern California, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to her current role at Thread, Lea held many positions in Baltimore City. She was a high school Social Studies teacher and Teach for America corps member. She worked in the Chief of Staff Office for Baltimore City Public Schools. She also led a college and career readiness pilot program with BridgeEdU.
Outside of work, you can find Lea taking her two children on adventures around the city .
Allison Buchalter – Vice President of Involvement
As the VP of Involvement, Allison is responsible for overseeing the strategy, implementation and ongoing evaluation of all Thread-run experiences and events, called TouchPoints. She ensures seamless team management and development, program delivery, and quality control. Additionally, she directs Thread’s communications and community engagement strategies, mapping the Thread network of stakeholders, customizing messages for various constituents, and implementing strategies through various communications channels. She creates all source content and ensures the consistent dissemination of Thread’s message and, in partnership with the CEO, identifies approaches to connect with all stakeholders.
Allison holds a B.A. in International Relations from Tulane University and an M.P.H. in Health Education from Emory University. She joined Thread in August 2016, bringing with her extensive expertise in communications and community outreach, as well as program development and implementation. She was the Director of Special Projects at Sandy Hillman Communications where she executed multiple large-scale health campaigns. Earlier in her career, Allison worked for several youth serving organizations, where she had the opportunity to create programs and develop curricula teaching important asset building skills, encouraging students to believe in themselves and lead others.
When not working, Allison enjoys traveling with her family, watching her kids plays sports, reading, and cooking.
Delshan Baker – Vice President of Investment
As the VP of Investment, Delshan is responsible for all program areas and ensures seamless team management and development, program delivery, quality control and evaluation. She is responsible for taking the strategic lead on engaging, developing and retaining Thread’s key constituents—students, volunteers, and staff. Additionally, she ensures that people (staff, volunteers and students) are adequately on-boarded, trained, developed and set up to work within their practice areas; and beyond that, ensure continued success once those people are working.
Delshan was born and raised in Baltimore. After graduating from Western High School, she moved to California where she attended Stanford University, receiving her bachelor’s degree in Studio art. She then returned to Baltimore and received her MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Upon completing her education, she held a position with the Center for Urban families, providing technical assistance and grant writing. She has also held positions in health and human services in New York and in finance, operations, and technology systems in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon.
Delshan is very artistic and enjoys sketching. She boldly likes to burst into spontaneous dance because she believes in thoroughly enjoying every small moment. She also enjoys reality TV shows like Storage Wars.
Brian Nelson – Products Manager
As the Products and Curriculum Manager, Brian is responsible for the project management, data collection, and quality assurance of Thread’s products and curriculum for all members of the Thread community. This includes students, volunteers, volunteer leaders, staff, board members, and collaborators. He also ensures all aspects of the Thread curricula are grounded in a strong relationship-building framework and supports the personal, vocational, and professional growth and development of each and every person it touches.
Brian grew up in Pittsburgh, rooting for the Steelers and Penguins. He completed his undergrad at Case Western Reserve University with a dual degree Economics and Chemical Engineering. He came to Baltimore through Teach for America where he taught middle school science in Northwest Baltimore for 3 years. While he was teaching he completed his Masters of Education at Johns Hopkins University.
Outside of work, Brian enjoys board game nights, staying involved at his church, and watching fantasy and suspenseful movies and TV shows.
Patrick Locklin – Accounting Coordinator
As the Accounting Manager, Patrick is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of Thread’s financial processes, information and reporting. He ensures that the financial and compliance (rule-following) resources are accessible and understandable. He also certifies the smooth running of administrative program operations, including purchasing and management/execution of the reimbursements processes for both staff and volunteers.
Patrick obtained his Masters Degree in Music Performance from Boston University. His path led him through program management at a few arts organizations in the Baltimore area that taught him how to manage a budget, project, and the internal workings of an organization. He then transitioned to administrative work at Equality Maryland for a year before finding Thread.
Patrick loves to run and although he is not a coffee connoisseur, he does love to drink it.
Annie Eddy – Operations Manager
As the Operations Manager, Annie acts as the in-house HR generalist. She and serves as a key point of contact for personnel matters, including both individual and organization-wide compliance activities. She manages all aspect of the TouchPoint facility including assignment and access of all TouchPoint employee and corporate partner key cards and lockers, ensuring all TouchPoint employees have access to all functions of shared office technology, and monitoring our risk management and compliance. She also project plans and manages systems and supplies set-up for new employees.
Annie is originally from New England and moved to Baltimore four years ago. She has a background in administrative work in both nonprofit and for-profit healthcare. She also has experience as a freelance writer, editor and tutor. She coauthored the Appalachian Mountain Club’s guide to the best day hikes around Baltimore and D.C. Prior to joining the Thread team, she worked as the Office Manager at the Inner Harbor Project, a youth-led organization working to improve relations between teens, police, store owners, and others in the Inner Harbor.
Annie loves hiking and camping. She also loves to read novels, specifically regency romance, Jane Austen, civil war and military history. She also really enjoys 80’s vintage.
Katie Koudelka – Database and Systems Manager
As the Database and Systems Manager, Katie has the primary responsibility for managing our Salesforce database system, which houses student case management and academic information, as well as volunteer, donor and collaborator information. Additionally, she works to structure our database so that it best meets organizational needs around data collection, case management and process management. She also works actively with the data managers in the organization to ensure that our database system, organizational processes and people processes all work in concert with one another.
Katie ended up in Baltimore by way of Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and DC. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, obtaining her degree in Urban Studies with a focus on design and architecture. Prior to coming to Thread, she was the Prospect Research and Portfolio Manager at League of Conservation Voters, where she developed systems for identifying individuals with the means and motivation to encourage political action on environmental issues. Katie’s interest in understanding the discrete systems and decisions that influence behavior is the underlying path between her academic interests and professional career.
In her free time, Katie enjoys being outside, learning new recipes, attempting to make crafts, and disagreeing with opinion columnists.
Fortune Diwe – Data Management Specialist
As the Data Coordinator, Fortune aids in the evaluation of Thread programs for purposes of internal evaluation and tracking the improvement and representing Thread’s impact in the community. Additionally, he supports the Database and Systems Manager in updating and maintaining our SalesForce database, ensuring it best meets our organizational needs around data collection, case management and process management. This includes, but is not limited to, work inside the administrative panel, managing logins, rights and security; training staff members on use of the system and ensuring that integrations are working properly.
Fortune is a Nigerian national who moved to the US to attend school in January of 2013. He graduated from Towson University with a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics in May of 2017. While at Towson, he was heavily involved with the African Organization and served on the board for 2 years. He also worked as a Towson University SAGE mentor for 3 years where he helped incoming freshmen and transfers assimilate to life at Towson both academically and socially.
Outside of work, Fortune enjoys playing/watching soccer, listening to good music, and basking in the company of friends.
Marie Brown – Senior Director of Government and Corporate Relations
As the Senior Director of Government and Corporate Relations, Marie is primarily responsibility for supporting Thread’s development by providing high quality stewardship through researching, identifying, securing, tracking and monitoring government and corporate-based donors. She builds and ensures relationships that are congruent with Thread’s values, including that they are meaningful and enduring. Additionally, she leads the creation of content for submissions, including grant writing, donor communications, event cultivation and management of pledges and donations, as they relate to government and corporate funding.
Marie is originally from Providence, RI. She received a BA from Columbia University and a Master’s in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She has over a decade of experience in international development, economic growth, and risk management. She spent six years working in the federal government at the Treasury Department (as an International Economist) and White House, where she was the Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She also has experience working in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Marie loves Baltimore’s awesome food scene. Her favorite places are Salt, The Elephant, the food markets, and of course fried chicken from Royal Farms. She also enjoys running the reservoir at Druid Hill, and biking with her kids.
Irene Tai – Grants Manager
As the Grants Manager, Irene is primarily responsible for coordinating Thread resources to write compelling proposals to foundation, government, corporate, and individual funders. She works closely with her Thread team members to translate Thread’s story and data into grant proposals, and manages the calendar and process to ensure that highest-quality grant proposals are delivered on time. In addition, she supports the organization’s short- and long-term growth by actively growing its funding portfolio and keeping current funders apprised of organizational growth through informative and timely reporting.
Irene holds a Master of Arts in Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a grant writer and nonprofit professional hailing from Vienna, VA. She started her career in the arts and culture industry, and has worked with museums and dance companies in the Washington metropolitan area; Pittsburgh, PA; the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts; and most recently, Miami Beach, FL.
In her free time, Irene enjoys exploring national parks and the great outdoors, sitting down for a good documentary, and getting in touch with her Taiwanese roots by sampling dumplings and noodles from around the world.
Adrienne Johnson – Development Specialist
As the Development Coordinator, Adrienne is responsible for creating the strategy and leading the execution of Thread’s meaningful TouchPoints with our collaborator-base, with a particular emphasis on donors. Her position provides a wide range of support, from creative input, including design of communications, tokens of appreciation and events, to tactical execution of Thread’s gratitude process for a subset of donors and other key collaborators. Adrienne maximizes Thread’s reach and maintains a consistent and intentional presence in our collaborators’ lives.
Adrienne was born and raised in Delaware. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Biology. She was also an intern for Thread before joining our staff.
Adrienne enjoys being active especially playing soccer, getting crafty, and trying new brunch spots.
Helene Kahn – Director of Community Growth
As the Director of Inspiration, Helene is responsible for identifying and engaging all human capital resources and onboarding new additions into our Thread community in a way that is responsible, intentional and aligned with Thread’s Organizational Values and Core Competencies. These human capital resources include new collaborators, volunteers, students, staff, interns and fellows. Through building authentic relationships with new community members, she and her team uncover the places where a community member’s interest area(s) and sphere of impact matches with an expertise, human capital and other resource gap in the Thread community.
Helene is proud to have been born and raised right here in Baltimore. She went to Syracuse University where she completed her BA in Policy Studies and Entrepreneurship. She has held several different roles in fundraising, marketing creating impact by connecting people and resources to community and needs.
When not at work you’ll find her spending time with friends and family, cooking, traveling and hiking with her dog Cooper!
Kendall Jamison – Community Growth Associate
As a Community Growth Associate, Kendall is responsible for identifying and engaging new students, collaborators and volunteers. Through building authentic relationships with new community members, he works to support student, volunteer and collaborator recruiting efforts, data entry and ongoing communications. Additionally, he supports with the planning and execution of new volunteer and student orientations, information sessions, and student enrollment related events, ensuring all new members of the Thread community are armed with a strong understanding of Thread’s model and specific expectations.
Kendall came to Thread with an extensive sales background, being in sales for over 5 years. Kendall also has a unique relationship with Thread in that he is a student alumnus from our first cohort. Upon graduating from high school, he attended Morgan State University where he studied Business and played football as a defensive back.
In his spare time, Kendall enjoys exploring the city with his 7-year-old daughter. He considers himself a free spirit who loves to try new things. He is also a sports fanatic and will watch as much of it as time allows.
Maurice Portee – Community Growth Associate
As a Community Growth Associate (GRA), Maurice is responsible for identifying and engaging new students, collaborators and volunteers. Through building authentic relationships with new community members, he works to support student, volunteer and collaborator recruiting efforts, data entry and ongoing communications. Additionally, he supports with the planning and execution of new volunteer and student orientations, information sessions, and student enrollment related events. Maurice is driven by the city, its people, and the enjoyment he gets from doing his part to help our youth.
Maurice was born and raised in Baltimore City. He graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar high school and went on to become a student alumnus of Thread. He attended Coppin State University, graduating with a B.S in Criminal Justice. He went on to intern at the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services, work as an inventory specialist at Under Armour, volunteer with Thread, and join our Board of Directors before stepping into his current role.
Maurice enjoys spending time with family and friends. He loves sports and sporting events, especially basketball. He spends most of his free time enjoying Baltimore and trying new foods.
Casey Lawson – Program Coordinator, Academics
As the Program Coordinator of Academics, Casey develops and executes programming that supports the academic progression of Thread’s students throughout the entire ten-year arc of engagement with Thread. Casey also works very closely with the Community Managers to determine academic program needs, evaluate the challenges and gaps that will impede achievement of goals, and update programming regularly to address changing needs of our students. Casey does this work to ensure that Thread students push themselves in and outside of the classroom.
Casey grew up in Maine with a family of educators. After teaching in the Northeast for four years, he moved to Baltimore County and decided to pursue a graduate degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. Through his studies and research focusing on Leadership for School, Family, and his Collaboration for School Improvement, he became familiar with Thread, its mission, and its results.
Casey enjoys all things nature related such as hiking, camping, and just plain being in the woods.
Neekta Khorsand – Program Coordinator, Professional Development
As the Program Coordinator of Professional Development, Neekta focuses on the professional and social development of Thread’s students, throughout the entire arc of engagement with Thread. She specializes in building relationships with employers interested in providing our students with tangible career opportunities. Additionally, she builds out year-round programming with the support of community-based volunteers centered on professional development and team building. Neekta does this work because she believes that there is a wealth of potential within our students and this city.
Originally from Southern California, Neekta has made a series of wonderful choices that have brought her to Baltimore. These choices include completing undergraduate work in San Francisco, graduate work in Norwich, England, a VISTA year in East Tennessee and three beautiful years as a member of the Programs team at a creative writing non-profit, 826DC.
Neekta enjoys admiring Baltimore with her husband, Mario, frequenting the Enoch Pratt library system, and watching every detective show on Netflix, particularly the British InterWar dramas a la Agatha Christie. She’s still trying to learn Spanish.
Halley Thompson, AmeriCorps Manager
As the Program Coordinator of AmeriCorps, Halley is responsible for selecting, training, coaching and developing a cohort of Thread AmeriCorps members called ThreadHours Programming Associates. She leads the AmeriCorps members as they work side-by-side with students, staff, volunteers, and collaborators to support our youth in successfully graduating from high school, engaging in internships and employment, accessing individualized support services in the community, and beyond. Additionally, she ensures that the AmeriCorps members are efficiently and effectively fulfilling the responsibilities of their roles, while ensuring they are developing both personally and professionally.
Halley grew up in the triangle area of North Carolina. After graduating from UNC-Asheville with a BA in English Literature and a Secondary English teaching certification, she worked in rural North Carolina as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and then as a site coordinator with Communities in Schools. She began her classroom-teaching career in Baltimore, where she worked in schools for five years. Prior to working for Thread, she was the Program Manager for Reading Partners, where she coordinated a team of AmeriCorps members.
Outside of work, Halley loves to travel with her husband. She is currently pursuing an understanding of differential equations through math classes at BCCC. She also loves her dogs.
Katherine Schmidt – Manager of Community Involvement
As the Community Engagement Manager, Katherine is primarily responsible for engaging and maintaining Thread’s network by executing programs, tools and events to support high quality TouchPoints across the entire Thread community of stakeholders. She works closely with colleagues throughout the organization to implement impactful community engagement strategies and vehicles, including social media posts, and newsletter publications. She also runs the Tong Zhang Innovation Fellowship. In addition to these vehicles, she is responsible for the planning, leading and executing events, activities, programs and dialogues that support Thread’s mission and vision.
Prior to coming to Thread, Katherine led civic engagement and social justice programs for students at the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, and The New School. While studying American Studies at the University of Richmond, she found her academic home blending social theory with grassroots practice in Richmond’s vibrant communities. She received her Master’s in Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago, where she wrote her thesis on race and public monuments in American cities.
Katherine believes deeply in the power of doodles, big Sunday dinners, and rooftop gardening.
Rodney Burris – Director of Community Management
As one of the Directors of Community Mobilization, Rodney is responsible for ensuring that we achieve exemplary student and volunteer outcomes by providing coaching, support and training to members of our Thread community, with a particular focus Community Mobilizers. He develops customized solutions that encourage continual growth and development throughout his team and builds relationships with Community Mobilizers that are empathetic, enduring and equitable. Additionally, Rodney serves as a project manager for both site-specific projects, as well as projects that relate to specific areas of expertise.
Before joining Thread, Rodney was a national motivational speaker, trainer and facilitator, working with groups regarding leadership and development. Additionally, he was a consultant assisting organizations and schools around goal-defining, strategic planning, and tactical assistance.
Rodney is a huge MMA fan and spends some of his free time watching UFC. He also enjoys listening to various audio and lecture series on Youtube.
Aaryn McCutchan – Director of Community Management
As one of the Directors of Community Mobilization, Aaryn is responsible for ensuring that we achieve exemplary student and volunteer outcomes by providing coaching, support and training to members of our Thread community, with a particular focus Community Mobilizers. She develops customized solutions that encourage continual growth and development throughout her team and builds relationships with Community Mobilizers that are empathetic, enduring and equitable. Additionally, Aaryn serves as a project manager for both site-specific projects, as well as projects that relate to specific areas of expertise.
Aaryn was raised in San Francisco, California. She came to Baltimore to attend Johns Hopkins for undergrad and never left. After graduating, she remained at the JHU School of Education. During her internship, she was placed at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School where she learned about Thread and its mission.
Outside of work, Aaryn loves to plan experiences, travel and eat with her family and friends.
Hope Burke – Community Manager
As the Community Manager for one of our Thread Sites, Hope has primary responsibility of ensuring that we achieve exemplary student and volunteer outcomes for Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. She oversees 300+ undergraduate, graduate, and community-based volunteers from the Baltimore area, who provide tutoring, academic, professional and social support to as many as 96 Thread students. Hope believes this work is important because she knows how desperately some of our students need the love, care, and services provided by Thread in order to see their dreams become a reality.
Hope calls Central Pennsylvania home, but has also lived in California, Texas, and Maryland. She earned her BA in History and African & African American Studies from Stanford University. She earned her Master’s of Science in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University while completing her two-year corps commitment with Teach For America Baltimore. Hope taught 11th and 12th grade English for three years in Baltimore and Houston before coming to Thread.
Hope enjoy playing field hockey, spending time with friends, and eating her way across Baltimore.
Devin Morton – Community Manager
As the Community Manager for one of our Thread Sites, Devin has primary responsibility of ensuring that we achieve exemplary student and volunteer outcomes for our post high school students from Frederick Douglass High School. He works with Program Coordinators in helping drive student and volunteer outcomes for Thread-specific events. Devin is a very family-oriented and people loving person who values the strength of networking relationships. His passion for helping, caring, and working with people is a big part of what drives him to do this work.
Devin has been in relationship with Thread for over 10 years; he began his journey as a Thread student in our very first cohort. He obtained a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, then joined the staff team as a program Associate, supporting with students and volunteer re-engagement.
Devin enjoys watching sports, especially football. He also enjoys spending time with his friends and family, experiencing all of the events Baltimore has to offer.
Cynthia Douglas – Community Manager
As the Community Manager for one of our Thread Sites, Cynthia has primary responsibility of ensuring that we achieve exemplary student and volunteer outcomes for the Academy for College and Career Exploration (ACCE). She provides coaching, support and training to members of our Thread community, with a particular focus on the volunteer leaders. In addition, she oversees 300+ undergraduate, graduate, and community-based volunteers from the Baltimore area, who provide tutoring, academic, professional and social support to as many as 96 Thread students.
Cynthia hails from New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and gained professional experience working with college organizations such as LLEGO and SHADES Theater (an interactive, improvisational, multicultural peer theater ensemble). She also was an AmeriCorps Member with the Bonner Foundation and managed the ASPIRE Mentoring Program with the Community Leadership Center in Camden, NJ. Cynthia attained a Masters of Science in Education through the NYC Teaching Fellows program and was a special education teacher for 4+ years in New York City.
In addition to her love of working with children, Cynthia loves to read, write and listen to podcasts. She also enjoys listening to music and spending time playing party games with friends.
Jordan Wagner – Community Manager
As the Community Manager for one of our Thread Sites, Jordan has primary responsibility of ensuring that we achieve exemplary student and volunteer outcomes for our post high school students from the Academy for College and Career Exploration (ACCE). He provides coaching, support and training to members of our Thread community, with a particular focus on the volunteer leaders. He believes that the best part of his job is to see the continuous growth of his volunteers, students and himself.
Jordan came to Baltimore from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to attend school at Johns Hopkins. Prior to joining Thread on staff, he was working towards his PhD in Physiology while volunteering with a Thread student. He chose to stay because he loved Baltimore and many of the people who live here.
When he is not at the office, you can find Jordan walking his dog, playing volleyball with friends, or getting out and enjoying Baltimore.
Nikhil Gupta – Community Manager
As the Community Manager for one of our Thread Sites, Nikhil has primary responsibility of ensuring that we achieve exemplary student and volunteer outcomes for Digital Harbor High School. He oversees 300+ undergraduate, graduate, and community-based volunteers from the Baltimore area, who provide tutoring, academic, professional and social support to as many as 96 Thread students. Nikhil believes that Baltimore has incredible raw energy that can be turned into economic opportunity, and that the young people are capable of immeasurable things.
With a background in international policy and urban development, Nikhil worked as Economic Development Specialist for the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Jakarta, Indonesia and was an Emerging Markets analyst for the Rock Creek Group in Washington, D.C. Still, his Maryland roots run strong. Nikhil returned to Maryland after grad school to manage its statewide volunteer operation as a campaign staffer for Hillary for America and then served as the acting Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County. Nikhil is a proud alum of Johns Hopkins, having earned both his B.A. and M.A. from the institution.
Nikhil eats all foods, watches too much Netflix, and loves to dance like no one’s watching.
Donnaya Vassel – Communications Coordinator
As the Communications Coordinator, Donnaya participates in various Thread activities and events and ensuring that students are aware of the intention of the events and how they might participate in ways that contribute to their own growth, success and relationship building. She also implements impactful community engagement strategies and vehicles, including social media posts, newsletter publications, as well as running our student and volunteer alumni programs. Additionally she supports the planning, leading and executing events, activities, programs and dialogues that support Thread’s mission and vision.
Donnaya obtained her B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Central Florida. After graduating, she worked for a small CPA membership organization in Orlando, Florida. She then applied to Teach for America, and upon acceptance, moved to Baltimore. She taught secondary English for two years while obtaining her Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Donnaya learned about Thread and its mission through her teaching career.
Donnaya enjoys exploring Baltimore and D.C. with her friends in search of new Caribbean and African cuisine, art, apparel, music and more. She is also a bit nutty about all of the Marvel superheroes.
Terrance Holmes – Reconnection Specialist
As the Reconnection Specialist, Terrance is responsible for implementing engagement and re-engagement strategies, focusing specifically on ensuring that volunteer-student relationships can be formed or reinforced. He supports his team through reaching out to and re-connecting with students who are disengaged, and in parallel to that, working with the volunteers who are assigned to those students to provide one-on-one support around connecting to re-engaged students. Additionally, he takes on a key support role for the Investment lane, including coordinating key logistics before, during and after programs and events.
Terrance graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar high school and went on to become a student alumnus of Thread. He then attended school at the University of Maryland- Eastern Shore. Upon returning to Baltimore, he held various positions including working in welding. He then returned to Thread as an intern before stepping into his current role.
Terrance enjoys reading, stage plays, and sports, especially basketball.