Welcome to the 2020 Digital Inclusion Fellows! These eleven emerging leaders in our sixth cohort join the fellowship to hone their professional skills and develop new and enhanced digital literacy programs for adults.
These professionals from Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah work at nonprofits and social service agencies ranging from youth education to public libraries. Together they’re committed to empowering individuals and communities by helping them get online.
Angela E O'Neil
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama
Angela is currently the STEM Director for Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama where she develops and coordinates science and technology programming for the past 4 years in Huntsville, Alabama. Originally from Sydney, Australia she has been living in the United States since the age of 5 and holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences and an M.S. in Educational Psychology. Angela also has over 21 years experience in STEM Education and has worked in Science Museums in Atlanta and Huntsville which has shaped her love and passion for informal STEM education. She believes that access to high quality digital experiences are key for undeserved communities and that they have the potential to give people tools that are necessary for success in current and future careers.
Angelina Marie Cortes
Librarian II Adult Services
San Antonio Public Library
San Antonio, TX
Angelina is an Adult Librarian and current Interim Manager within a branch of the San Antonio Public Library system. Her work revolves around creating and researching resources in the areas of healthcare, homelessness, immigrant rights and digital and media literacy. Her library is the site of a “Learn” Center which addresses the knowledge gap in adults of marginalized identities in technological and continuing education fields. She believes the role of public libraries should be an “open for all” community-driven model that welcomes and advocates social change in all of its services.
Brenda Montecinos Villa
Financial Capability Coordinator
Salt Lake City, UT
Brenda is a current graduate from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology working as the Financial Capability Coordinator at the IRC. Growing up as an immigrant, she saw and experienced the hurdles New Americans faced in their everyday life. Her experience in research, human rights fields, and anthropological background propelled her to work in the field of economic empowerment. Digital financial literacy is a skill she wishes to provide to the refugee and asylee community with her work at the International Rescue Committee.
Cheryl L. Johnson
Community Education Manager
Thea Bowman Center
Shaker Heights, OH
I am manager of the Community Education Programs at the Thea Bowman Center in Cleveland, OH. I have a M.Ed in Adult Education and Development and have spent over 25 years in higher education. Currently, and for the past six years, I am the instructor of the Adult Education/GED Program and coordinator of the Adult Beginners and Advanced Computer classes. My purpose is to promote digital inclusion throughout the Mt. Pleasant community in Cleveland, OH, so that as many people as possible will have access to communication technology within their homes and have digital equity for full participation in today's society.
Director of Workforce Development
Southern Oregon Goodwill Ind
Erin has enjoyed a 15 plus year career in Workforce Development working for Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries being part of a team developing and providing job training services to the most vulnerable individuals in the community. Most recently Erin supported the development and launch of Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries Digital Skills program working closely with Goodwill Industries International® through its partnership with Google. Erin is a member of the United Way’s WILL Council, a group that supports women and children’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of women and she is a member of the United Way’s Special Transportation Committee which focuses on inclusive and accessible transportation for special populations. Erin has a Master’s in Business and Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology. She has lived in Southern Oregon her entire life where she enjoys training her horses for barrel racing, teaching horseback riding to people of all ages, and raising Border Collies.
Gabriela Beatriz Peden
Juntos Aprendemos Program Manager
High Desert Education Service District
Juntos Aprendemos Coordinator Gabriela Peden has dedicated her career to working with the Latino community since leaving college. Her past work includes serving as the Latino Services Specialist with the Deschutes public library, and extensive service as a board, and committee member for various community organizations and nonprofits that directly impact the Latino community in Central Oregon. She is passionate about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work as well as working directly with Latino families and organizations to break down barriers that exist in our education systems.
Gabriela is excited to be leading the Juntos Aprendemos program at the High Desert service District. A new program in Central Oregon to help 3-5-year-olds and their parents be ready for Kindergarten all in Spanish.
Josh Everett is the Education Specialist at Project Return, a nonprofit organization committed to helping people living a full and free life after incarceration. Josh graduated from Vanderbilt University, and he originally hails from Leeds, Alabama. Prior to working at Project Return, Josh worked in community organizing and helped build issue campaigns around criminal justice reform, healthcare, economic justice, and more. Since joining Project Return in 2019, Josh has helped administer and develop the job readiness curriculum and the hard skill classes.
Volunteer Center Manager
United Way of Utah County
Kayla Bradshaw is the Volunteer Center Manager at United Way of Utah County. As the volunteer center manager, she coordinates programs such as Digital Inclusion, Day of Caring, Sub for Santa, and other literacy efforts. Though relatively new to digital inclusion, Kayla helped Provo City receive an NTEN Trailblazer designation and has with United Way, lead the digital inclusion effort in Utah county.
As a native Utahn, Kayla has a love for the mountains and her family. She likes to try new things and meet people along the way. Her most recent efforts include cycling, rock climbing, participating as a violinist in a community symphony orchestra, gardening, and woodworking. Her passion is for people and serving them. In 2019 she spent six weeks in Moira Refugee Camp in Greece implementing a laundry system and providing educational programs. She is still on a break from pita bread.
Tech Access Coordinator
Kansas City Public Library
Kansas City, MO
As the new Tech Access Coordinator for the Kansas City Public Library, I am so excited to be a part of the Digital Inclusion Fellowship! The KC Public Library has been consistently expanding its program offerings for the last few years, so this fellowship will allow me the chance to be an integral part of that growth. Programming that can bridge the digital divide in Kansas City has to be dynamic, engaging, and available for every knowledge level, from beginner to expert. This means that there will be plenty of opportunities to improve our communication with our patrons and build out programs that best meet their needs. In my free time, I enjoy listening to podcasts, exploring the great outdoors, and playing board games with my friends.
TechCentral Assistant Manager
Cleveland Public Library
Melissa is currently the TechCentral Assistant Manager at Cleveland Public Library. As someone with previous education experience, she knows the importance that digital inclusion plays in lifelong learning. She is looking forward to the opportunities available as a Digital Inclusion Fellow, including learning from the rest of the cohort, and how this experience will benefit our patrons.
Stephanie De Leon
Development and Communications Manager
Stephanie De Leon is currently supporting hundreds of low-income, Latinx parents of young children as Development and Communications Manager at AVANCE-Austin. She is passionate about her pursuits to help break the cycle of poverty through 2-generation education as a parent of two young children, herself. Lack of digital access and literacy are huge barriers Stephanie feels many parents face as first teachers to their child(ren) especially as the rise of Covid-19 continues, creating more virtual classrooms, online interviews, and little-to-no in-person interaction with peers, educators and leaders for support. She received a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, as the first college graduate within her family, and is dedicated to helping others reach their goals.
Meet the 2019 fellows
Meet the 2018 fellows
Meet the 2017 fellows
Meet the 2016 fellows
Meet the 2015 fellows