A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Elizabeth started her career at Population Services International (PSI) in Washington, DC. While there, she worked on a variety of social marketing projects for malaria prevention, clean water and HIV/AIDS prevention in the developing world.
Elizabeth earned a Master’s of International Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in 2001. She then devoted the next five years in the pharmaceutical industry at Bristol-Myers Squibb. As Product Manager in the company’s Virology Division, she marketed HIV/AIDS products in the United States. She successfully led the development and execution of marketing, training and public relations tactics for Reyataz, a leading protease inhibitor for HIV/AIDS. She was also responsible for leading the Virology Division’s Women’s Initiative and African American Initiative to better understand and address the impact of HIV/AIDS on these populations.
Elizabeth relocated to her hometown Portland, Oregon, in 2006 with her husband and two daughters and has held non-profit management positions at two organizations. Most recently, as the Vice President of Community Relations at Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest, she led all of the agency’s marketing, public relations and communications. Prior to this she served as the Executive Director of Marathon Education Partners, a Portland-based non-profit that seeks to improve low-income children’s awareness of and access to college.
Through her previous experiences, Elizabeth brings strong nonprofit management and marketing skills to her new role. In all facets of her career, she has demonstrated an ability to work successfully with numerous stakeholders and to achieve quick, yet sustainable results. Most importantly, she is driven by a passion to do what she can to make this world a better place for children, especially girls.
Contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Development
Yeruwelle de Rouen, Director of Programs
Relying on her educational background in Critical Race and Ethnic Feminist Theory, Yeruwelle works to effect cultural, systemic shifts in social equity through education. She has spent much of her career engaged in analytical assessment of gender and racial subjugation within our most impactful and sustained institutions. In addition to curriculum and program development, she has been a passionate professor of interdisciplinary studies regarding intersectional identity, place and social context.
During the course of her career Yeruwelle has established several collegiate program models that create, support, and sustain multicultural and socioeconomic educational inclusion at New Mexico State University, Oregon State University and Portland State University. Such initiatives work to promote inclusion through cohort community development, shape strength-based leaders and provide interaction with Engineering Design Process for women and other underrepresented students in STEM fields.
Yeruwelle continues to be a passionate volunteer with organizations such as CASA Voices for Children and Oregon MESA, while serving as a committee member for Woodburn 21st Century Community Learning Center, OR Black Student Summit, Business Education Compact’s STEM Connect, and as an Advisor for the PSU Women of Color Task Force.
Contact Yeruwelle at email@example.com
Megan Kovacs, Director of Community Relations
Megan comes to Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest as Director of Community Relations after more than a decade working in Portland-area non-profits to promote social justice, sexual and reproductive health, gender equity, and prevent dating and sexual violence. She is the recipient of the 2015 Judge Stephen B. Herrell award for Outstanding Collaborative Efforts to End Family Violence. In her spare time, Megan serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for Bitch Media, and volunteers on the Network for Reproductive Options hotline.
Contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Mercado, Events & Development Coordinator
Michelle is a Kansas City native, who comes to Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest by way of Brooklyn, New York. During her time on the East Coast, she worked as a Field Representative with Amnesty International, campaigning on behalf of women and children directly effected by conflict in developing areas.
From her experience in the field, she quickly decided that she wanted to continue working and advocating on behalf of marginalized groups. Leading her to take on further roles as Membership Coordinator for the Diaspora African Women's Network, as well as serving as a Fundraising Specialist for AIDS Walk New York.
She hopes to continue to combine her past experiences and passion for women's rights in her new home, and is excited to further the mission of Girls Inc.!
Contact Michelle at Michelle@girlsincpnw.org
Ellen Walkley, Grants Manager
Ellen Walkley is pleased to contribute to Girls Inc.’s mission of making girls strong, smart and bold. Since moving to Portland, she has written grants for the Community Justice Corps, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Centro Cultural of Washington County, In Mulieribus, and the Milwaukee Museum, among other social service and arts organizations. In other guises, she is an editor, lecturer, and dramaturg.
Contact Ellen at email@example.com
Lakia Davis, Eureka! Program Manager
Lakia grew up in the Bay Area. She is the second member in her family (after her mother) to grow up participating in a Girls Inc. program of Alameda County, CA. It was a place in which she could go after school and in the summer to meet new people and grow as an individual. She moved to Southern California and gained her Bachelor's in Psychology and Dance. She carries a Master's in Clinical Psychology with an LGBT-affirmative emphasis and is interested in working so that all are treated with equity. Prior to this position, Lakia was involved in political campaigns and social justice movements. She is excited to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold!
Contact Lakia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Lovincey, Program Coordinator
Special Lovincey kick started her passion for working with youth when she began volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and NW Outdoor Science School, during high school. She continued her work in community engagement throughout her time studying at Linfield College mentoring 8th grade girls and coordinating college students to mentor middle school students. Special spent much of her college experience organizing students to stand against campus inequalities by providing a safe space for students to voice concerns regarding gender, race and their intersections. Before joining the Girls Inc. team, Special worked in a number of cities across the country as a grassroots organizer fighting on campaigns for a more just economy, access to affordable healthcare and other issues concerning women, jobs and the environment. Special is thrilled to be able to provide her experience to the team and work alongside such passionate individuals.
Contact Special at email@example.com
Becca Lowry, Girls Group Manager
Becca completed her undergraduate degree at Seattle University, where her classes focused on fostering a concern for justice as well as the competence to promote it. In order to live out the values instilled in her through her education, she completed two years of service with AmeriCorps where she worked to meet critical community needs in low-income areas. She is excited to be a part of the team at Girls Inc. and to help make the vision of empowered girls and an equitable society a reality.
Contact Becca at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Zengel, Program Coordinator
Sarah grew up on the Jersey Shore, where she started an educational company as a teenager. This business afforded her the opportunity to attend Temple University in Philadelphia, where she received her bachelor's degree in public health. Sarah began working with several organizations that sought to serve disadvantaged communities with health education. The work with those organizations included traveling to Jamaica to work with The Women's Centre of Jamaica as well as the Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. After moving back to New Jersey, Sarah focused her attention on her homegrown business and integrating STEM curricula into local schools. She recently moved to Portland and found herself eager to work with another Girls Inc. affiliate. Sarah pairs her previous work with Girls Inc. and passion for providing quality programming to girls in her position here in the Pacific Northwest.
Contact Sarah at email@example.com
Kit Stuber, Operations Coordinator
Kit Lorraine Stuber has been active in service work in Portland since 2001. Her passions for social justice and the well-being of women and girls arise from what she personally encountered growing up female, queer, working class and as a first generation college graduate. A graduate of Portland State University’s Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Program, Kit focused much of her research and learning on affirming and reinforcing the strengths embodied by LGBTQQ homeless youth in Portland. The WGSS Program also provided Kit with the opportunity to critically reflect on her socialization so as to recognize her own areas of internalized oppression and begin to expunge them.
The professional positions Kit has held revolve around health and wellness, music and education, and increasing access to these resources in under-served communities. For five years, she worked at Ethos Music Center, a non-profit dedicated to the promotion of music and music based education. Additionally, she volunteered as a trained birth doula supporting women during labor. To be invited to perform this critical role is a great honor and has served to further empower her. Kit has also been a volunteer with p:ear, Artists For The Arts, Bark, Oregon NARAL, Oregon Nursing Mother’s Counsel. Kit is committed to informing herself and others of the intricacies of socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, and additional factors which influence the well-being of women, girls and all people with diverse backgrounds and identities.
Contact Kit at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Porchia, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
After serving two years in AmeriCorps with Campus Compact of Oregon, Tara was propelled onto a career path of creating a more equitable and just society for all of its members. Building on her educational background in Intersectional Feminism, Tara seeks to close the opportunity gap for historically oppressed groups through education and youth empowerment. She firmly believes that community service and civic engagement are powerful and necessary tools in achieving social justice, and so she is deeply committed to recruiting passionate and dedicated volunteers in order to empower and embolden the girls in Girls Inc. programs. In her spare time, Tara volunteers for a number of causes such as reproductive rights, immigrant and refugee rights, and the movement for black lives.