BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Cindy Moore, Ph.D.

Learning Specialist,

Durham Academy

Cindy has a background in school psychology with an emphasis in learning differences and ADHD. For the past 10 years, she has been the Learning Specialist at Durham Academy.  She loves kids (especially middle schoolers!).  

Working with children and helping them unlock and identify their BRAVE and BRILLIANT selves is the best part of her job.  Cindy lives in Durham and loves hanging out with her two daughters, Camille and Cecilia. 

Carol Vergis

Director of Special Events,

Duke Athletics

 

Carol has a background in athletic events and marketing. She received her B.A. in Sports Sociology from George Washington, and Masters in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown. For the last 6 years, she has worked for the Duke Athletics department where she heads up the Special Events team.  She adores children and her office has been known to be the go-to place for co-workers children to come run around and play. When she is not working athletic events or games she can often times be found boxing (yes real boxing!) or reading, both of which she has a real passion for. Though originally from the big city of New York, she has come to find a real home in the heart of Durham.

Cynthia Moylan, M.D.

Gastroenterologist, 

Duke University School

of Medicine

A graduate of Yale, Harvard, Duke and the University of Miami, Cynthia  has advanced her research in chronic liver disease for the past 16 years at Duke. She is a mother of two, as well as an avid proponent of the Durham Nativity School.  Cynthia brings much to our board, not the least of which is an ability to balance reality and vision,  Hers is a voice that makes StrongHER TogetHER better.

Eboni Garvin

Administrative and Business Coordinator,

East Durham Children's Initiative

Eboni Garvin joined the EDCI team in 2017 as the Administrative and Business Coordinator. She is responsible for organizing and handling the daily office operations. Eboni holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business administration and management from South Carolina State University, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University.

Dan Gilson

Director of Extended Day,

Durham Academy

Dan has been a part of the Durham Academy family since 2004. The school's summer program has grown exponentially thanks largely to his leadership, supporting some 1200 campers and nearly 250 camps each year.  Dan provides invaluable support to StrongHER TogetHER and is instrumental in tailoring a host of fun summer camps for our girls.

Jazmin Garcia-Smith

Dean of College Counseling,

Durham Academy

Jazmin Garcia Smith was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. A proud first-generation college student, she earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and her law degree from DePaul University College of Law. She has more than 13 years’ experience working in the field of college admissions and college counseling. Jazmin currently serves as Dean of College Counseling at Durham Academy.  She and her husband have two children and enjoy spending time outdoors.

Sha'Ronn Brown

Owner,

Connect to Learning

Sha’Ronn has a background in education, and enjoys working with children that learn differently. She received her Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina Central University, and her Master of Science in Organizational Management from Pfeiffer University.  Sha’Ronn volunteers in various capacities around Durham, and is passionate about equal educational opportunities for all students.  She and her husband have two daughters, and love calling Durham home.

Kyle Brazile

General Counsel,

Saint Augustine University

 

Kyle received his undergraduate degree from Fisk University and his Master’s degree from the University of Chicago, with a focus on political science.

After graduate school, Kyle joined the Admissions Office at UNC Chapel Hill in 2006.  In 2013 he completed his law degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law’s evening program, and after working in private practice for several years, he returned to NCCU and served as the Law School’s Dean for Admissions.

Moussa N'Diaye

Entrepreneur and

Soccer Coach

Molly Punk

Science Teacher, Advisor

Durham Academy

 

For the past 4 years, Molly has been teaching science at Durham Academy. With a background in Chemistry, she witnessed first hand the gender inequality in STEM fields and careers. Molly strives to provide inspiration and opportunities for girls interested in pursuing a future in science. 

GROUP LEADERS

Jennifer Rogers

Learning Specialist,

Durham Academy

Jen has a background in child development and K-12 learning differences. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Special Education from James Madison University and Master of Education degree in Early Intervention and Family Support from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jen believes every child possesses genius. It is up to the adults around them to help them identify, appreciate, and nurture their gifts. Jen lives in Durham with her husband and son, a proud Durham Academy student.

Pam Hines

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Pamela is passionate about enriching the lives of women, children, and families through direct practice, advocacy, and education. She has extensive managerial and clinical experience along with more than 20 years of experience in victim advocacy, crisis intervention, education, and case management with women and children in the areas of sexual assault, abuse, domestic violence, and workforce re-entry. Pamela received a Master of Social Work degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Guilford College. She enjoys creating jewelry and reading in her spare time.

Regina Minnis

Extended Day Teacher,

Durham Academy

Gina was born and raised in Durham and has returned to the area after receiving her B.S. in Behavioral Health and Wellness, a specialization in Public Health, and a minor in Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. She plans to attend graduate school for nursing starting this Fall. For the last 9 years, she has worked for Durham Academy Summer Programs as a camp counselor helping kids improve their reading skills and discover their inner artist. Gina has always loved working with children from playing tag with preschoolers to helping middle schoolers discuss tough topics. She is so happy for the opportunity to be one of the group leaders for The Stars! When she’s not running around with kids, Gina can be found photographing architecture, writing, and hiking.

Bernadette Cooper Vereen

Graduate Student,

North Carolina State Univ

Bernadette graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Neuroscience, Leadership Studies, and Criminal Justice from Elon University. She is currently completing a 2-year Masters of Social Work program and Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) research assistantship at North Carolina State University. She has a passion for community involvement, equity, social justice and, perinatal and maternal health. She is a practicing doula and in the long term, hopes to become a perinatal social worker for an O.B. or NICU clinic.

In her free time, Bernadette enjoys trying new restaurants with her husband, volunteering at church, traveling, and playing with her  two furbabies, Rottweilers Roxie and Rello! 

YOUTH REPRESENTATIVES

Lee Jeffries (2019-2020)

Lee is a junior at Durham Academy. She was raised in Durham where she developed a passion for volunteering. Lee is currently the Vice President of the Durham Chapter of Jack and Jill of America and a member of the National Charity League. Both of these organizations are focused on philantrophy which allows Lee to meet her goal of at least 100 volunteer hours each summer. At school, Lee is involved in the Black Affinity Group amongst other advocacy groups and clubs. She is excited for this opportunity with StrongHER TogetHER and can’t wait to see what we accomplish this year!

Anna Brent-Levenstein

(2019-2020)

Anna is a junior at Durham Academy. She was raised in Chapel Hill and has developed a passion for social justice and politics. She is a RAISE leader at her school, an organization that fights for diversity and equity and works closely with SHE club. She is a member of the debate and varsity swim teams, as well as a member of the Student Action Board of Durham. She looks forward to meeting all of the girls and is very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of StrongHER TogetHER!

Emily Norry (2019-2020)

Emily is a junior at Durham Academy. Moving from Bethesda, Maryland when she was ten, she has spent the past six years in Durham with her parents and two siblings. Emily has always had a love for learning and has been able to explore her interests at DA. She not only enjoys her academic classes, but is also passionate about theater and excited for her third year in the SHE Club, helping to empower women at DA. Additionally, Emily is on the debate team, is an active member of the Girls Advancing in STEM Club, and will be leading a new club this year focused on both community service and exploring careers in medicine. She is so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the StrongHER TogetHER team!

Morgan Rogers

(2019-2020)

Morgan is a Senior at Jordan High School. She was born and raised in Durham, NC and enjoys studying animals.  Morgan is currently a member of the National and Spanish Honor Societies, captain of the JHS Step Team, and a participant of the JHS volleyball team. Morgan really looks forward to being able to use her leadership skills in helping develop young girls and their peers.

Sierra Brown (2019-2020)

Sierra was born and raised in Durham and is a 16-year-old junior at Durham Academy. She is one of the captains on the Durham Academy speech team, and enjoys helping people discover their voice to create positive change in the world. Sierra is passionate about photography and loves taking pictures wherever she goes. She is so excited to be part of StrongHer TogetHer this year and cannot wait to get to know all the girls.

Lana Kalfas (2018-2019)

Lana is a 17 year old high school senior at Durham Academy. She was born and raised in Durham and is passionate about ending social injustices, particularly gender inequity. Lana leads the SHE Club, which seeks to foster a supportive environment among girls at DA and collaborates with StrongHER TogetHER. She spent the fall of her junior year at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership in Washington DC, but is excited to be back in Durham this year and grateful to be a part of StrongHER TogetHER! 

Lauren Brown (2018-2019)

Lauren was born and raised in Durham, and is a 17 year old senior at Jordan High School. She is passionate about causes that affect her generation. She is a leader in her schools' American Sign Language Club (ASL), Vice President of the Black Student Union, and a varsity softball player. Lauren likes to sing, and has been a part of the Jordan chorus, and the Jordan gospel choir.  She is excited about meeting new girls, and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of StrongHER TogetHER.  

BUS DRIVER

Mac MacDonald (BIG MAC)

Maintenance,

Durham Academy

Big Mac is a Durham native born in the Haiti district.  He worked for several years for a fencing company before transitioning to the Durham Academy team, where he has been for over thirty years.  

Big Mac is a beloved member of our program.  Yes, he knows every street, so we are seldom lost.  But mostly he loves everyone in our program.  We feel really, really lucky to have our adventures alongside Big Mac!

ADVISORS

Katie Wyatt

Executive Director, El Sistema

Katie Wyatt is an accomplished musician, executive and innovator in social change through music. In July 2010, Katie co-founded and assumed the post of Executive Director of Kidznotes, North Carolina’s premiere “El Sistema” inspired organization. Including her work in El Sistema, Katie is a national leader in the orchestra field in creating programs for access and opportunity for all people to experience the transformative power of music. 

Janet Rose

Broker Associate,

Fonville Morrisey

CO-FOUNDERS

Veshana Ramiah, M.D.

Oncologist, UNC Hospital

A child of Apartheid, Veshana knows firsthand what it takes to achieve in the face of adversity. From her earliest years, she moved forward hand in hand with other girls, who, like her, were shooting for the stars.  

 

Today, Veshana is a well-respected oncologist with UNC Hospital.  And those girls from long ago?  They have achieved their dreams, same as Veshana.

 

And their friendships with one another are stronger than ever.

Stacey Donoghue

Artist, G.G. High Art

Though her background is in engineering and business, art and writing have always been her hidden loves.  After years in the corporate world and some business ventures of her own, Stacey currently spends her days creating oil portraits, using just her hands vs brushes.  

 

Outside of that, she's usually in the company of kids.  Taking in the tales they weave, the easy way they see things, the innocent depth of them. 

 

She'll hang out with the next generation as long as they'll have her!