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


IMG_5913.jpg

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 Takoma Park with her husband, new baby, 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!"

 


 
IMG_6003.jpg

ERICKA BEST
Director of Operations & 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."

 

Generation_hope_headshot_Courtney-0488.jpg

COURTNEY WEBER
Scholar Program Coordinator

As a scholarship recipient at the University of Michigan, Courtney personally understands how financial support and mentorship in college can help our Scholars discover new passions and professional dreams. After pursuing degrees in Anthropology and Spanish, Courtney spent a year of service as a Jesuit Volunteer at the East Bay Community Law Center, where she worked directly with low-income clients in need of legal support. She has since worked as an advocate for anti-poverty initiatives related to agriculture policy and as a global studies teacher in Madrid, Spain with the Fulbright Program. Courtney feels incredibly grateful to have found a home at Generation Hope, where she is inspired daily by the dedication, sacrifice, and resilience of our Scholars. When Courtney's not meeting with our Scholars, she can usually be found out on a run or fiddling around in orchestra rehearsal. 

Why I chose this quote:

"Maya Angelou's quote reminds me that each of us has a deeply-rooted inner light that we must recognize, nurture, and empower. Letting this light unapologetically shine is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others!"

 


JAMILA WILLIAMS
Scholar 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!!”

 

 

Generation_Hope_Headshots_Naya-5596.jpg

NAYA PATTERSON
Scholar Program Coordinator

As a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship at Saint Augustine's University (Raleigh, NC) and the daughter of a teen mother, Naya understands the importance of financial support for Scholars and most importantly the endless opportunities afforded to one after earning their college degree. Naya's parents raised her in a household that prioritized education and valued family. After earning a B.S. in Criminal Justice, Naya pursued a Master of Public Policy degree with a specialization in Education Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. Naya's passion for equity in education and the well-being of children and families make her excited and grateful to support our Scholars who continue to leave her in awe by their perseverance, ambition, and sacrifice. When not working with Scholars, Naya loves to travel, try new foods, customize accessories with embroidery, and other fun DIY projects!

Why I Chose This Quote:

 "I chose this quote because it reminds us that the possibilities are endless, that we have the power to navigate our own destiny and impact the world, only if we let go of fearing what that looks like. Using your light from within, you can do more than you have imagined!"

 

 

Sophie Nathanson

SOPHIE NATHANSON
Family Program Coordinator

As a graduate of the College of Wooster, Sophie understands the opportunities education provides. After completing her undergraduate research project with the mentorship of her professor, Sophie experienced the impact a mentor can have on a students’ personal and academic life. Sophie spent a year severing as an AmeriCorps volunteer at New Legacy Charter School, a high school for pregnant and parenting students, in Denver, Colorado. There, she was able to develop her passion of supporting young parents as they earn their education. Sophie is excited to continue working with young parents at Generation Hope and striving for equity in education. When not supporting scholars, you can find Sophie cooking, traveling, or catching up on the latest Netflix show.

Why I chose this quote:

“I love this quote because it is a reminds us that education is the foundation for the a better tomorrow. Building a foundation is not always easy, but the stronger it is the more opportunities it can support. It is important to believe in the foundation you are building and go after your dreams while doing so!”

Photos donated by:  Erika Layne Photography