Staff

Meet Our Staff

NICOLE LYNN LEWIS
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

In 2003, Nicole graduated from the College of William & Mary as a teen mother who had overcome homelessness and a drug-infested environment to achieve the impossible.  After several years in the workforce honing her skills in communications and nonprofit management and learning about the needs of teen parents across the country, Nicole founded Generation Hope in Washington, D.C. in 2010.  Named a CNN Hero in 2014, Nicole has used her skills in social entrepreneurship to launch an organization that is making a real difference.  Read more of Nicole's story here.

Why I chose this quote:

"I love this quote because it reminds you that no matter who you are or what you've been through, you are the master of your destiny.  Fight for your dreams."

@NICOLELYNNLEWIS


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CAROLINE GRISWOLD SHORT
Director of Programming

As a 2010 graduate of Duke University, Caroline recognizes the incredible opportunities that she has had access to thanks to a great education. After pursuing her passion for the arts with a career in professional ballet and musical theatre, Caroline came across Generation Hope while recovering from an injury and realized she had found her life's true calling in working with Generation Hope's amazing Scholars. She feels incredibly grateful to play a part in our Scholar's lives and is completely passionate about helping teen parents become college graduates and create better lives for themselves and their children. When she's not working with Scholars, planning events, or playing with our Scholars' little ones, Caroline loves to travel, read, and exercise. She is active in the D.C. dance and theatre community and regularly performs around the region. Caroline lives in Arlington with her husband and their puppy! 

Why I chose this quote: 

"This quote is a great reminder that often, the bravest things we do aren't the things we do with huge fanfare. Often, the most courageous and meaningful things we do are the little things -- being kind to one another and ourselves, speaking out on someone's behalf, showing up for someone when the 'going gets tough.'  This quote inspires me!"

 


 
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ERICKA BEST
Operations Manager and Assistant to the CEO

A Trinity (Washington) University graduate and former teen mom, Ericka has always had a passion for helping others. Having first-hand knowledge of the struggles of and stigmatization surrounding teen parents, she is passionate about helping others along their journey. Joining Generation Hope allows her to fulfill her passion for philanthropy. Ericka is a thrill seeker who enjoys traveling, music, reading, and volunteering. Ericka lives in Maryland with her family. 

Why I chose this quote:

"I've learned that education is much more than going to school or earning a degree. Education has given me the power to rewrite my story. It has opened my eyes to new possibilities and opportunities. Education has the power to change lives."

 

JESSECA MYERS
Development & Events Manager

A University of Pittsburgh graduate and first-generation college student, Jesseca understands the importance of having a support system. As the proud sister of a current teen mom, Jesseca saw firsthand the lack of resources that are out there for teen parents and was so excited to find Generation Hope! Jesseca is "pumped" to be on a team that recognizes the importance of education as a tool for empowerment and a way to end generational poverty. Born and bred in Pennsylvania, on her days off, Jesseca can be found back home chasing around her niece, "jammin" to country music, and cheering on the Philadelphia Phillies.

Why I chose this quote:

"I LOVE AMY POEHLER. She is a strong, independent, successful, and hilarious woman.  She is my role model. This quote makes me smile. :)  I chose it because it's okay to be different, and it's okay to have fun!  Life is too short to worry about the 'haters', 'do you,' and you'll find happiness."


SILVANA RUEDA
Program Coordinator

A graduate of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie NY, Silvana is highly committed to making sure that students have the tools and resources that they need to be successful in college. Born to a young single mother in Costa Rica who was finishing her college degree, Silvana is intimately familiar with the obstacles facing young parents and their children. Generation Hope combines two of her passions – access to higher education and support for parenting teens. Before joining the Generation Hope family in July 2015, Silvana ran a college and career readiness program at a public high school in Washington D.C., and has been working with youth for as long as she can remember. She lives in Washington D.C., and can often be found making smoothies in her kitchen or daydreaming about international travel.

Why I chose this quote:

"This proverb translates to, 'there is no bad out of which good does not come.'  I was initially inspired by this proverb when I was in high school. To me, it has served as a powerful reminder that there are blessings even in the toughest and darkest moments."

 


JAMILA WILLIAMS
Program Coordinator

As a Marymount University graduate and an alumni of the Generation Hope program, Jamila understands the importance of education attainment to create a better future for our children. Briefly after graduating with a B.A. in Fashion Merchandising in May 2015, She became passionate about giving back to Generation Hope and her community. She truly enjoys helping other expectant teen parents exceed academically, financially, and as a parent. She became both inspired and moved to learn the stories of other scholars. When not working with scholars, Jamila loves to sightsee real estate properties with her husband and dance with her daughter, who she also learns her latest moves from.

Why I chose this quote:

“Courage is the strength in the face of fear. I love this quote because it is a daily reminder to continue to be courageous in the midst doubt. I believe it is important to have courage and to go after your dreams despite the ridicule you may receive. It’s also not about what you’ve done or the mistakes you’ve made along the way. It’s about what you are going to do next that’s going to make a difference. Have courage!!”

Photos donated by:  Erika Layne Photography