TEAM

We proudly collaborate across varied life experiences, backgrounds,
skill-sets and passions to practice and demonstrate 
Variations of Excellence⁠—as a part of the BRAVE way (in our name BRAVE - Building Resilience Awareness & Variations of Excellence).

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YOUNG PEOPLE

PARTICIPANTS

BRAVE youth provide peer support in community with each other along their learning journey. Youth collaborate to create and share with their educators and administrators as a part of BRAVE programs.

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EDUCATORS

PARTNERS

Principals, administrators and teachers partnering with BRAVE are valuable team members working with youth, within schools and nonprofits, and with BRAVE staff.

STAFF

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THERESA HARDY

FOUNDER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Theresa Hardy is a credible messenger as an example of how someone can turn tragedies into triumphs. As a Black youth in the Seattle Public School District, she was provided with standardized curriculum and wasn't embraced to believe that she could do more and be more—both in school and beyond school. She suffered as a result—emotionally, mentally, socially, and academically—and perpetuated racial biases including becoming a high school drop-out.

 

Through hard work and grit, Theresa found and navigated her own path to success, which has included multiple college degrees and a fulfilling career journeying with people who experience similar struggles. Her goal is to help individuals and groups find a path to their own success. Theresa has used the tools and resources offered in BRAVE programsdedicated to individuals accessing into their greatest potential. Theresa is a visionary and leader in social justice and personal development in schools and the workplace.

 

Theresa earned her Master of Arts in Information Technology Administrative Management at Central Washington University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science with a minor in Information Technology Administrative Management from the same institution.

 

For the past seven years, Theresa has developed personal development curriculum, facilitating personal development workshops, and empowering young people to embrace their brilliance. Recently, Theresa founded her own consulting agency—Spark Performance—with offerings both for adults and young people optimizing their career performance.

MARISSA MCDOWELL

DIRECTOR, TRAILBLAZERS PROGRAM

Marissa McDowell is a Seattle native, having grown up in the Central District. She is the oldest child born to Lolita and Darnell McDowell. As a bi-racial (Black and Filipino) woman, Marissa found her way to the south to attend Clark Atlanta University, a Historically Black College. Marissa comes to us from an extensive background in education, working with students of all grades from PreK to 12th, specializing in Special Education and Early Intervention. She currently serves as the Director of the BRAVE Trailblazers program. Marissa is dedicated to bringing deeper awareness of Black history, and broadened educational curriculum that reflects the identities of students. Her day-to-day responsibilities include managing operations, cultivating relationships, curriculum development, designing programming for students and families and facilitating programs. 

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Makayla McGhee

Trailblazers Wrap-around coordinator, TRAILBLAZERS PROGRAM

Makayla McGhee is a Seattle native born and raised in the Mt. Baker area. Makayla is the youngest of four and enjoys family time and being around loved ones. She is a graduate of Garfield High School class of 2012 where she discovered her voice in being a social justice advocate. Makayla has over 10 years of tutoring scholars and adults in various subject matters including Spanish, dance instructor and choreographer in several genres, a poet, and writing. She loves the art of dancing, drawing, music for she has perfected the craft of tap dancing for 22 years. She joined the Trailblazers Program as the Wraparound Coordinator to help serve ethnic families and help provide with resources or support. Makayla values family and community engagement and is passionate about uplift our black and brown community to reach their full potential. She is currently going to school at Highline College for Criminal Justice and Math.

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ALICIA CUNNINGHAM

BOARD PROJECT MANAGER

Alicia Cunningham was born and raised in the Skyway / Bryn Mawr area of South Seattle. She attended Renton High School where she was involved in many extracurricular activities including soccer, gymnastics, and fastpitch. She pursued a degree in biology at Washington State University. Upon returning to Seattle, she began working for the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs—tutoring students in the Early Scholars Outreach Program. For the last 13 years, she has served people of all ages through University of Washington Medicine at Harborview Medical Center. Alicia has invested in her own Renton High School community—coaching the school's gymnastics team for 5 years. She has since transitioned to coach soccer and basketball for her son's teams. She is very involved at her son's Talbot Hill Elementary School, and has a passion for helping kids in her community and advocating for the rights of others. Her son is a participant in BRAVE's Trailblazer program at Talbot Hill as a fourth grader.

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