Stronger Staff, Stronger Matches
Our staff members are highly qualified, with degrees in social work and public administration, which enables us to navigate the larger system and effectively advocate for our students. A major goal of Affinity is building strong relationships with the school administration and teachers, which makes us a critical partner that is routinely invited to work closely and proactively in at-risk students’ support teams. This expertise leads to greater retention rates among mentor matches and greater outcomes for youth. Only 3% of Affinity matches close prematurely, compared to an approximately 50% premature closure rate among mentoring programs nationally.
Cassandra Kiger joined the Affinity Mentoring team in May of 2020. As a homeowner and active participant in the 49507, Garfield Park neighborhood she is excited to work alongside local residents and schools to support equitable growth and change through Affinity Mentoring. Cassandra has her Master of Social Work from Grand Valley State University and brings a decade of experience in program development and management; research and data utilization; development and sustainability work; and diversity, equity and inclusion training, programming and leadership to the team. Cassandra has dedicated her career to advocating for equitable opportunities for youth in settings with unaccompanied refugee and immigrant minors, in child sexual abuse prevention, and in education support. She also works in the Language Services department of the Hispanic Center of West Michigan providing language access services to the community. Cassandra enjoys playing soccer in the GR Champs League, reading, urban gardening, salsa dancing, and snuggling with her spouse and puppy.
616.209.8435 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel joined our team in May 2018. She brings with her 10 years of experience from the nonprofit and philanthropic sector as well as a passion for racial equity and social justice. Rachel has a Master of Science in Communication Studies from Grand Valley State University. Her emphasis is in organizational leadership and inclusion initiatives. She is passionate about community-building and empowering youth through mentorship. She has strong ties with the Hispanic community and local community leaders. Before joining Affinity she served as the Director of Youth Services at the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan and as a consultant for the DeVos Foundation. Rachel is currently Board Co-Chair of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids (YNPN-GR), a mentor at Burton Elementary, and former Chair of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Outreach Committee at YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin. Rachel is bilingual in English and Spanish. She lives in Wyoming with her twin daughters and rescue animals. She enjoys family bike-rides, refinishing furniture, and supporting local events.
616.215.0888 | email@example.com
SWCC Site Coordinator
Monica joined Affinity in September 2018. She brings with her 7 years of experience working in the Grand Rapids’ Hispanic community. Her focus has been on developing programs that help students and families discover their strengths and overcome challenges. Before joining our team she worked at Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities (GAAH) as the Program Manager for the Cook Library Center (CLC). Her passion is to serve, learn, and empower the local community. Monica is an advocate and leader in the Hispanic Community, she has served as a Parent Action Leader (PALS) for Cesar E. Chavez Elementary and received the Independent Spirit Award from LINC Up. Monica is constantly working on personal growth and taking advantage of opportunities to learn. She is currently pursuing her degree in Social Work at Grand Rapids Community College. In her spare time she enjoys learning about technology, psychology, parenting skills, and much more.
616.819.6799 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Burton Site Coordinator
Rocio joined the Affinity team in April 2017. She has a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Hope College and her Master’s in Social Work from Grand Vally State University. Rocio is bilingual in Spanish/English and has experience working with children using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Rocio Moreno currently lives in Holland MI. During her free time, she enjoys exercising, cooking, and playing with her two sons.
616.819.1901 | email@example.com
|ANGELA REYNA PEREZ
Mentoring Program Assistant
Angela joined the Affinity team in February 2018. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Social Work at Grand Valley State University. Angela attended Burton Elementary in 2003 and was one of the first matches for the mentoring program. Through first-hand experience, she understands the positive impact that a mentor can have on youth experiencing poverty. Angela believes that a long lasting relationship between a mentor and a mentee is impactful – she still keeps in touch with the mentor she had in elementary school. Living in Grand Rapids throughout her life, she enjoys interacting and creating relationships with the Hispanic community. Angela hopes to emphasize and promote the importance of the mentoring program to future mentors, students, and their families. During her free time, she enjoys playing soccer and going on adventures with her youngest sister, Sophia.
616.819.1901 (Burton) | 616.819.6799 (SWCC) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Godfrey-Lee ECC Site Coordinator
Keyla joined our team in July 2019 to help launch our expansion to Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center [ECC]. She brings a broad experience of community engagement and volunteer coordination. Keyla is bilingual in Spanish/English, has experience coordinating programs and volunteers through her church’s Family Leadership Initiative and other programs. She’s an active community member who has been connected at Godfrey-Lee ECC for some time. In her spare time, she likes to work on her garden, get involved in her church, and spend time with her husband and four children.
616.241.4722 ext.1336 | email@example.com
Holly joined the Affinity team in June 2020. She holds a Bachelor’s in English, Elementary Education from Grand Valley State University. With a desire to provide social emotional and hands-on learning opportunities for youth and children, she turned her efforts away from the traditional classroom and invested her career in out-of-school time programming. Her passion for equity is at the root of all her work. Holly is currently seeking a Master’s in Social Innovation at GVSU. In her free time she loves to play soccer, eat delicious food, and kayak.
616.209.8510 | firstname.lastname@example.org
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PRESIDENTJOHN ROBINSON | Head Start for Kent County
VICE PRESIDENTADAM RUSSO | COM 616
TREASURERBENJAMIN BORISCH | DWH, LLC
JATNNA ABREU | Amway
MARCIA BOYCE | Attorney
VERONICA BRADFORD | Spectrum Health
ABIGAIL BRUINS | Canopy Resources
MIA JANKOWIAK | Grand Rapids Chamber
JASON LOEPP | Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI
CHRISTINE MWANGI | Kent District Library