Meet Our Team

The movers & shakers behind the scenes.

ELA surrounds ourselves with the brightest, most talented educators in the industry. Our team members share a passion to make a difference in the lives of all students we connect with. Our team's background in leadership and education, and a passion for supporting youth on their path to successful futures.

Flo Brett

Founder & Executive Director

Since serving as the Training and Development Lead and Clinical Governance Manager at University Hospitals of Leicester United Kingdom, Flo has built a reputation for developing and implementing action-based, team-building strategies, goal achievement plans and positive attitude programs that help individuals and teams reach their full potential.

Heather Lee

Director of Operations

Heather joined ELA after leading the charge in developing dynamic programs for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. With a master’s degree in education and over 18 years’ experience in education and nonprofit management, Heather has a passion for supporting students and educators in their journey of personal growth and development and she is dedicated to ELA’s mission. Heather has a significant impact on mission performance, financial success, internal team collaboration, and school relationships.

Jessica Vaughn

Lead Facilitator

Jessica is a dynamic leader in youth advocacy with over a decade of professional experience. She has a background in an array of culturally diverse leadership and academia from kindergarten through the collegiate level. She earned her Masters in Special Education and her Batchelor's of Arts in Elementary Education both from Kentucky State University. Jessica has a passion for equipping leaders, empowering learners, and cultivating collaboration that impacts communities.

Amaris Jones

Lead Facilitator

Amaris has a passion to provide a learning experience where children can celebrate their differences, feel empowered, and achieve their learning goals. Through her 12 years of experience in the educational field, Amaris has worked in an Autistic Support classroom, a trauma-informed care classroom, and as a director over the children's ministry at a local Cleveland church. Amaris also participated in a NASA Pre-Service teacher program during her undergrad at Hampton University where she learned to incorporate technology and science into the classroom.

Kiara Blake

Lead Facilitator

Kiara earned her Master's in Special Education at Cleveland State University. She obtained her Bachelors of Arts in English with and minor in Creative Writing. She has a passion to encourage, inspire, and make a lasting impact to all she encounters. She believes everyone has been born for a specific purpose; no matter their background, education, disability, or any other specificity of a situation. Kiara is thoroughly passionate about equipping our youth with tools to be great and succeed beyond what they see. She is very passionate about social emotional learning and truly believes it is pivotal for the educational and life development for all people; especially our youth.  She is a leader with the community; where she ministers, teaches, connects, and serves people from diverse backgrounds.

Susan Romano

Office Volunteer

Susan started with ELA in its beginning stages. She joined the team in 2010 as the office administrator. Susan is the linchpin behind supplies and equipment organization for programming.

Melanie Twomey


Melanie has over twenty years’ experience creating and supporting non-profit programs as a teacher, program coordinator and development officer. Her passion is creating sustainable programs that enrich child development. Located in the Washington DC metro area, she is both passionate about the ELA program offerings and looking forward to expanding its reach to new communities.

Sydnei Sellers

Lead Facilitator

Sydnei has a passion for community-based leadership, diversity and inclusion. She takes pride in her proven ability to encourage and empower the minds of youth which helps ignite their confidence to discover their voices, gifts and talents. Sydnei has over the years played a very important role in giving voices to youth and young adults. Her goal everyday is to help at least one young person feel heard and valued.

Terrance Richardson

Community Relations Coordinator

Terrance (Terri) comes to ELA with over 20 years of professional experience in community outreach, education, and program management. She attended college as a non-traditional student and earned degrees in Education (Ursuline College), Sociology (Cleveland State University) and Nonprofit Management (Case Western Reserve University). Her experience in program management includes community-based programs that help improve the lives of children and families in underserved communities throughout the greater Cleveland area. Terri has also taught on the collegiate-level for Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), and currently for Lorain County Community College (LCCC), educating students in Sociology. Terri was previously acquainted with ELA through her work with the Cleveland Clinic, managing a workforce readiness program. Her goal is to continue helping students learn 21st Century leadership skills that will enhance their workforce development.

Danielle Grays

Lead Facilitator

Bio coming soon!

Diamond Cruz

Office Administrator

Bio coming soon!

Tyelisha Johnson

Lead Facilitator & Reentry Coordinator

Bio coming soon!