Affinity appoints new Executive Director

April 19, 2022 | By Rachel Humphreys

Sharalla Ankrah, Executive Director of Affinity Mentoring

Affinity Mentoring’s Board of Directors has named Sharalle Ankrah the new Executive Director. Cassandra will remain on staff until May 13 to support the leadership transition.

Sharalle holds a wealth of experience in both education and mentoring. She’s worked as an educator within a GRPS-authorized charter school, a director of after school programming, and a director of other mentoring organizations.

“We look forward to how she will help move Affinity Mentoring forward with her strong skill set which includes grant writing, diversity, equity and inclusion, and leadership experience,” says John Robinson, Affinity Mentoring board president. “She is a passionate and  experienced leader who has a deep understanding of the community. She brings critical perspective and insight, and was unanimously chosen by both the Affinity Mentoring team and board to step into this role.”

Sharalle is a graduate from Grand Valley State University with a degree in English for Secondary Education. A Detroit native, Sharalle has always had a heart for community development through inspiring the forthcoming generation. She believes mentoring can help create equitable opportunities for growth and community impact among students and families who are often left in the margins.

“We have made incredible changes to so many aspects of Affinity Mentoring over the past two years, but I fully recognize that we are approaching the limits of what my leadership can offer to the organization,” said Cassandra, Affinity Mentoring’s outgoing executive director. “It is with true honor and joy that I pass the mic over to Sharalle as the next executive director of Affinity Mentoring.”

Sharalle has worked hard to develop curricula and facilitate programming that influences student’s conduct, decisions, leadership, and helped reveal identity. Sharalle  heavily enjoys directing youth ministry at her local church and spending quality time with family and friends. She values the relationships created with her students in Grand Rapids, South Africa, and West Africa, and being a continued resource for students and families. 

Sharalle’s personal mission statement is to aid in identity development through education and example. She has a vision to be a  leader in youth development in Grand Rapids with influence on a systematic level that brings revenue, impact, and action into Affinity Mentoring.

Download the Press Release.

Affinity Welcomes New Board Member

Mia Jankowia is the Director of Marketing & Events at the Grand Rapids Chamber. 

We’re pleased to welcome our newest board member, Mia Jankowiak! Mia is the Director of Marketing & Events at the Grand Rapids Chamber where she oversees the day to day operations of the marketing and events team and over 150 chamber events/programming, all while working to tell member stories and impact across the region.

With a background in non-profit and real estate, Mia is passionate about community work and volunteers her free time to be a Lead Graduate Coach for Dale Carnegie, sits on the Communications Strategy Council at Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan, and chairs the Next Gen Council for Silent Observer. Outside of Chamber and community work, Mia works as a professional photographer and enjoys spending time with family. Welcome to the Affinity family, Mia!

If you’re interested in learning more about joining our board of directors, please contact and check out our Board Opportunities.