Our organizational infrastructure is configured to address the specific needs of the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Schools. Accordingly, our board members have expertise in key fields, including education, community service and nonprofit management, parenting and community engagement, finance, law, communications and corporate governance. There are ad hoc and standing committees of each board who engage in more in-depth organizational planning, support, and operations. Following, is a listing of board members of the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Schools:
See Forever Board
Fred L. Bollerer
J. Robby Gregg, Jr.
Dr. Peter Leone
Heather Wathington, Ph.D
Heather D. Wathington
David Domenici is the Director of the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. David has been working with at-risk and court-involved youth for 15 years. In 1997, he quit his job as a corporate lawyer, and along with James Forman Jr., started the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Public Charter School. Over the next 10 years, David served as the organization’s Executive Director, as well as the Principal of its initial campus. In 2007, Maya Angelou was asked to take over the school at Oak Hill, Washington, DC’s long-term juvenile correctional facility. David designed the school program, hired all the staff, and became the founding Principal of the school, called the Maya Angelou Academy. David left the Maya Angelou Academy in the fall of 2011 to start the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings. David is an Ashoka and Echoing Green Fellow and is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the University of Virginia.
James Forman Jr. is a Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Prof. Forman is a graduate of Atlanta’s Roosevelt High School, Brown University, and Yale Law School, and was a law clerk for Judge William Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court. After clerking, he joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented both juveniles and adults charged with crimes. During his time as a public defender, Professor Forman became frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients. So in 1997, along with David Domenici, he started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for school dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested. Professor Forman teaches and writes in the areas of criminal procedure and criminal law policy, constitutional law, juvenile justice, and education law and policy. His particular interests are schools, prisons, and police, and those institutions’ race and class dimensions. With the support of the Open Society Foundations, Professor Forman is currently writing a book about African-American attitudes towards crime and punishment in the age of mass incarceration.
SEE Forever Staff
Dr. Heather Wathington CEO
Charles (Chuck) Jackson
Dr. Kamal Wright-Cunningham
Dr. Heather Wathington, Chief Executive Officer
Heather Wathington is the chief executive officer of the Maya Angelou Schools and the See Forever Foundation. The Maya Angelou Schools are a multi-campus collaboration of charter schools for disconnected youth dedicated to empowering young people to reach their potential and to transition to college, career, and a lifetime of success; the See Forever Foundation supports the schools to accomplish this mission. Prior to her recent appointment at the See Forever Foundation, Dr. Wathington was an assistant professor of education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Her scholarship focuses on the academic achievement of low-income students and students of color in postsecondary education, with a specific focus on understanding the educational contexts, levers, and practices that promote greater academic success for these students. Wathington’s research spans the areas of college access, matriculation, and persistence into higher education as well as postgraduate study and research training. Her research has been supported by more than $2.1 million in grants from the Institute for Education Sciences, the Houston Endowment, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.
Wathington is an honors graduate of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and earned a master’s degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. She has her doctorate from the University of Michigan in Higher and Postsecondary Education.
Emma Chen, Accounting Associate
Xiaoying (Emma) Chen joined See Forever and the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools as an Accounting Associate in March 2015, where she supports payroll and accounting activities for SFF and MAPCS. Prior to joining the organization, Emma served as staff accountant of Ariix LLC which is a nutritional supplements company in Bountiful, Utah since 2013. Emma earned her Master of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Colorado in 2012. She received her undergraduate degreeÂ from Shanghai Normal University with a major in Construction Management in 2008.
Robin Crawford, Data Specialist
Robin Crawford currently serves as a Data Systems Specialist/ PowerSchool Administrator. Born and raised in NE Washington DC. Robin Crawford attended Richardson Elementary School (Arts & Technology), Evans Junior High School (Maya Angelou PCS) and HD Woodson Senior High School. After High School, she attended Computer Learning Center in Springfield, VA in 1982. Upon graduation, she went to work at American University. After years of working in the computer industry Crawford decided to make a career change and got into the world of Finance working for companies; The Special Olympics, WMATA, The State Department, The Department of Commerce and others. In 2004, she joined Friendship Public Charter Schools as a Registrar. After working for FPCS she went to work for Center City PCS as a Student Information Systems Specialist. After two years with CCPCS, she left to join the See Forever Foundation/MAPCS.
Jahleezah Eskew, Office Manager
Jahleezah serves as the Office Manager for the See Forever Foundation. She is responsible for the overall management of the office and providing staff support for the central office, the High School, Young Adult Learning Center, and The Academy. Jahleezah is also directly responsible for maintaining the Chief Executive Officer’s calendar. Originally from Newport, RI, Jahleeza grew up in Berkeley/Oakland, CA. She Graduated from UC-Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Afro-American Studies, attended the African Studies graduate program at Howard University, and is presently enrolled in the School Counseling program at Trinity Washington University. Jahleezah enjoys live music, coffee shops, art, culture, reading, dancing, and going to the beach. She has a passion for jewelry making and has necklaces in various countries.
Marvin Harden, Managing Director
Marvin joined See Forever Foundation as Director of Information Technology in December 2012. In May 2015 he was promoted to Managing Director, serving as a leader on organization-wide strategic projects spanning operations, academics, and support functions. He’s also no stranger to the charter school community. He was the financial compliance officer as a sponsor to eight charter schools in Ohio and headed all aspects of technology while working at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, DC. Marvin also formerly owned and operated his own business, which provided IT support and desktop publishing services. His career spans over 25 years, with the majority of that experience in the nonprofit sector.
Charles Jackson, Chief Operations Officer
Charles (Chuck) Jackson is the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Maya Angelou Schools and the See Forever Foundation. Mr. Jackson has more than a dozen years of significant experience bridging school operations and academic programming, managing budgets, building systems and processes to support the work of educators and the students they serve. Prior to his appointment as COO, Mr. Jackson was the Chief Performance Officer at the Department of Public Works, Deputy Chief of Operations at District of Columbia Public Schools, a senior administrator of a community organization that managed a charter school and multiple early childhood education centers, and he was the founding executive director of a charter school. Before finding his calling in education, Mr. Jackson was a lawyer specializing in civil rights and employment law.
He is a long-time DC resident, raising his three children in public charter and traditional public schools. He received his JD from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and his BA from the University of Chicago.
Katia Jones, College Prep Coordinator
Katia Jones serves as the Lead College and Career Coordinator with the See Forever Foundation/Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools. Katia has been a part of the Maya Angelou community since 2002 and has served in many different roles including Technology Center Manager, Community and Outreach Coordinator, and Transition Counselor. In her current position, Katia works closely with students and families to develop and implement their post-secondary plans and focuses heavily on the individual student’s’ strengths and passions. She earned her undergraduate degree in Human Development with a concentration in African Diaspora from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Katia is a native Washingtonian and continues to reside in the city with her daughter.
Leah Lamb, Chief Development Officer
Leah Lamb currently serves as the Chief Development Officer for the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools where she provides strategic direction and leadership for all fundraising, special events, marketing, and communications functions. She has over 20 years of nonprofit, management, resource development, and communications experience. She previously served as Chief Development Officer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington where she led the organization through its 125th-anniversary celebration. She has also worked as a Non-Profit Consultant, Senior Vice President of Resource Development for the United Way of New York City, and Director for Advancement for the New Jersey Historical Society. Leah currently serves on the Local Advisory Board of Clear Channel Communications and as a member of the board of the EnVest Fund. She is a Founding Member and former board Secretary for the VGAH Scholarship Fund, Founding Member & former Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the St. Matthew Community Development Corporation, and a member of the Board of Director for the Delta Torch Fund. Leah has been mentoring young women in various capacities for over 15 years, and she still keeps in contact with many of her “little sisters.” Leah is a Hampton University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications.
Mary Okowi, Coordinator-Career Academy
Mary Okowi started with Maya Angelou PCS in December of 2012, as an AmeriCorps Vista working with the after school enrichment program as an Evaluation Specialist. Through this position, she developed strong relationships with students, which inspired her to further her career by joining the Post-Secondary Department. There, she held the role of College and Career Readiness Counselor and is now the Coordinator of the Career Academy. She comes to us from Southern California and obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. In Mary’s spare time, she loves to shop, listen to music, and enjoy good company.
Clarisse Mendoza, Chief of Schools
Clarisse has spent the last ten years working in urban public education, serving students and families as a classroom teacher, a school leader, and a system-level leader in both traditional district and charter management organization (CMO) settings in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Indianapolis. At present, Clarisse is completing her doctoral studies in Education Leadership at Columbia University as a member of the Teachers College Urban Education Leaders Program; her dissertation research seeks to highlight the most critical internal and external factors that CMOs must consider when growing their organizations to scale. Clarisse also holds a M.Ed. in Education Leadership from Columbia University, a M.A.T. in Secondary Education from American University, and a B.A. in English and Music from Loyola University Chicago. She also serves on the board of Restore the Role in Indianapolis – a parent advocacy organization working to strengthen collaboration between schools and families.
Adriana Rodriguez, Director of Data, Evaluation and Analysis
For the past ten years, Adriana Rodriguez has supported the organization’s youth work by serving in a variety of staff roles. In her current role as Director of Data, Analysis, and Evaluation, she is responsible for building the infrastructure for data collection, analysis, and evaluation in support of achieving our organizational outcomes. Prior to this role, she spent six years supporting the charter campuses with their college and career readiness programs, as well as guiding services for graduates. Her other endeavors include working for five years at Raising Hispanic Academic Achievement, Inc, a non-profit in Montgomery County, Maryland and serving as volunteer and board member for Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect, a non-profit organization serving Northern Virginia. She holds a Bachelors degree from American University.
Julia Rodriguez, Director of Human Resources
Julia’s passion for the mission of See Forever/Maya Angelou Schools began early on when she had the opportunity to intern at MAPCS High School the Summer of 2004. This experience opened her eyes to the challenges our students face but also all of the successes and triumphs they are capable of achieving. From an early age, she has known that working with young people, directly or indirectly, was something that she was meant to do. Since her internship at Maya, she has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cornell University. She has worked at Cornell’s Conference and Event Services and with Delta-T Group, a local staffing agency. These experiences have allowed her to develop her skills coordinating large and small projects, streamlining processes, and working with various stakeholders and populations. Julia made her way back to the Maya Family, first as the Office Manager, then in Finance and Operations at See Forever, and later became the Academic Operations Manager at MAPCS High School. She is now serving as the Director of Human Resources.
Anne Schoolcraft, Development & Volunteer Services Manager
Anne Schoolcraft serves as the Development Manager and Americorps VISTA Program Coordinator at the See Forever Foundation & Maya Angelou Schools. In this role, she supports all aspects of fundraising, communications, and volunteer/ partner engagement, with the end of goal of increasing supporters and advocates for the students and school community. Prior to joining the organization, Anne served as an Americorps VISTA member at Ashoka’s Youth Venture, where she supported youth social entrepreneurship and service learning opportunities at schools across the country. Prior to that, she served two terms as an Americorps member supporting the Ohio/ West Virginia Youth Leadership Association and YMCA Camp Horseshoe. With over fifteen years of experience working with disadvantaged youth, she has a passion for seeing that all youth have every opportunity to succeed and to become leaders in their communities. Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing and Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Nora Shetty, Evaluation Specialist
Nora Shetty serves as Evaluation Specialist for the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools. She works across school programs to develop systems of analysis for measuring programmatic impacts and to collect data for internal and external reporting. Prior to this position, Nora supported the Maya Angelou Public Charter High School and Young Adult Learning Center as the School Data Manager. Nora brings more than 10 years of research and evaluation experience to her position garnered in diverse fields including museums, continuing professional education, international development, and humanitarian emergency programming. In her most recent position as the Manager of Monitoring and Evaluation for International Medical Corps in Jordan, she managed grant fundraising and evaluated programming for Syrian refugees residing in Jordan’s refugee camps and host communities. She holds a Bachelors of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters in Education from George Washington University.
Michael Walker, Director of Post-Secondary Success
Michael Walker is the Director of Post-Secondary Success with the See Forever Foundation/Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools. Michael’s primary areas of responsibility are supporting the charter campuses’ college and career readiness programs, and establishing and maintaining the organizational relationships that provide postsecondary opportunities for our graduates and alumni. His previous positions include Technology Director and Dean of Students with SFF/MAPCS, Behavior Coach with DCPS under the DC-State Improvement Grant and Academic Coordinator with the TRIO Upward Bound programs at both the University of Maryland College Park and Prince George’s Community College. Michael received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland with a double major in Criminal Justice and African-American Studies in 1997 and his Master’s in Educational Administration from Trinity University in Washington, DC in 2006. He is a hard luck Philadelphia sports fan and married with two children and a beagle.
Akoshia Yoba, Director- Career Academy
Akoshia Yoba serves as the Director of Hospitality and Tourism Career Academy, a new program to begin in Fall 2016 at Maya Angelou Public Charter High School. An educator and communications specialist for over fifteen years, Yoba is the co-author of Please Return My Phone Call! Preventing the Demise of Personal and Professional Relationships, a handbook on communications etiquette she wrote with her brother, actor, and educator, Malik Yoba. Using the principles of their book they have consulted with corporate and educational organizations nationwide, to design and implement professional development seminars and corporate training geared to enhance employee skill sets, work habits, and business acumen to increase company profitability. Yoba has worked with organizations including, the Marriott Marquis Workforce Development Program, The Morgan’s Hotel Group, Goodwill Industries, New York City’s Board of Education; Washington DC’s Hospitality High School, the Teaneck Community Charter School of New Jersey, and The International Woman Artists Conference at Barnard College in New York City. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Yoba has also worked with Essence magazine editor emeritus, Susan L. Taylor, on A New Way Forward: Healing What’s Hurting Black Americans, a training manual for The National Cares Mentoring Movement’s initiative on mentor recruitment. She was also a contributing writer for Stedman Graham’s Insight for Youth, a print and digital lifestyle publication for the millennial generation.
Dr. Kamal Wright-Cunningham- Director of S.E.L. & Culture
Kamal Wright-Cunningham has more than fifteen years of experience working with at-risk adolescents in underserved communities in Boston, New York City, and the Washington, DC metro area. Kamal has served as a mental health clinician, program developer, researcher and school administrator. A large part of his work has focused on the intersection between the impact of untreated trauma, externalizing behaviors and resilience. More specifically, his work has primarily been in the service of students and families who have been traditionally underserved. Additionally, he has participated in the restructuring of schools, developed and administered programs in schools, and provided direct clinical services to students and families. Early in his career, Kamal’s work was primarily in working with at-risk adolescents who had a history of adjudication. This work included providing individual and group counseling support to adolescents residing in group homes and non-secure detention facilities. Additionally, Kamal was instrumental in providing individual and familial clinical intervention to survivors of sexual trauma at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland. Kamal was the first and only male to work at the Sexual Assault Center at PG Hospital Center and found this work especially rewarding because of the lack of therapeutic support traditionally available for male survivors of sexual trauma.
Most recently, Kamal serves as the Director of Social Emotional Learning and Culture for the Maya Angelou Schools. With this most recent post, Kamal is responsible for the delivery of clinical services and wrap-a-round supports for all students within the Maya Angelou Schools’ network. Kamal leads a dynamic team of mental health clinicians who are committed to creating a model for providing educational services for students who have not been successful in more traditional schools.
Kamal holds the following degrees: Ph.D. in Mental Health Counseling and Human Development from George Washington University; M.S.Ed. in Counseling from Hunter College and a B.A. in Eastern Religion from Boston University. He is currently licensed in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Kamal is also a certified (children & adolescents) trauma specialist.
Click here to view See Forever Foundation’s 2014 Tax Income Return.
Click here to view Maya Angelou Schools’ 2014 Tax Income Return.