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Our Team

Tom Pollak

Director

Tom is the founder of the Civic Leadership Project, including the DC Tutoring & Mentoring Initiative and the Civic Leadership Fellows program among other projects. Prior to this, he spent 20 years at the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy where he most recently led the National Center for Charitable Statistics. If this Ironman of Canvassing is not at farmers markets bringing out people’s passion for bettering our community, he’s probably zipping around DC/Arlington on his bike or at a local Trader Joe’s.

thania villatoro

Operations Manager

Thania Graduated from Trinity Washington University with a major in Business Management in 2022. Thania manages DCTMI’s database of volunteers and partner organizations. She also runs farmers’ markets and other outreach events in the community and oversees interns and Fellows. Thania loves to meet new people and help them in any way she can. Her hobbies include painting, discovering contemporary upcoming artists, and yoga. A native of El Salvador, Thania speaks English and Spanish and is currently learning French. Watch this Staff Spotlight featuring Thania!

Nala King

outreach Coordinator

Nala is a senior at Howard University majoring in Political Science and Economics with a minor in Latin, and is currently Co-Director of Outreach at DCTMI. Nala’s history of community work has shaped her career track to focusing on making quality education resources more accessible. Her lifelong passion for supporting community-based education initiatives is what drew her to DCTMI, and she joined the team as a volunteer tutor in 2022 before becoming part of the leadership team! Nala comes from Chicago, IL, and practices self-care by going on jogs with her dog!

Tull Osman

Outreach Coordinator

Tull is currently a Master’s student at American University, studying International Development. Growing up in the UAE as a Sudanese girl, Tull has always enjoyed being active in her communities, and was drawn to DCTMI’s community-centered objectives. She joined the team in February 2023, and supports DCTMI’s outreach work and partnerships. Tull’s favorite forms of self-care are running, Pilates, and meditation/prayer!

Amina Wague

Civic Leadership Fellow

Amina comes from Philadelphia and joined the DCTMI team in February 2023! She is currently studying Human Development and Psychology at Howard University, and has always been a strong advocate and supporter of her community, volunteering with her neighborhood library for over three years. Amina aspires to become a clinical social worker and is passionate about community involvement because she knows that it can make a real difference. Her favorite form of self-care are crocheting and skateboarding!

Ammi Cabrera

Civic Leadership Fellow

Originally from Mexico, Ammi joined DCTMI in June 2023. She graduated from Trinity Washington University with a major in English and a minor in both religious and Africana studies. Ammi is passionate about connecting with people and was previously a volunteer tutor at Path United. Upon realizing the significant impact her role as a tutor had on future generations, Ammi felt compelled to become a part of DCTMI, where she could further contribute to the development and support of the youth in Washington, D.C! Her favorite form of self-care is going out in nature for walks or hikes!

Aniré Nikoro

Civic Leadership Fellow​

Aniré, a Senior Sports Medicine Major at Howard University from Las Vegas, NV, has spent her time in DCTMI supporting canvassing work, as well as significantly contributing to social media and to the CivLead Project since February 2023. When it comes to community building, Aniré is passionate about making everyone feel like they are a part of a whole. She says, “the kids are a reflection of the future, for that reason we must pour into them”. For self-care, Aniré appreciates a good nap!

 

Desiree Amokwaw

Civic Leadership Fellow

Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Desiree joined DCTMI in February 2023 and is a graduate of Howard University. She started at DCTMI as a volunteer, and continued on as a Civic Fellowship Leader. Desiree also supports DCTMI’s social media and outreach work, and has had so much fun canvassing, meeting new people, and helping support DC students! Her go-to self-care activities include listening to music and working out. 

Josh Chrobak

Civic Leadership Fellow

Josh joined DCTMI in September 2023 after working with a youth mentoring program in Baltimore City, looking to make an impact on DC youth! He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Arts Infusion at Towson University and will be graduating in May 2024. Originally from Massachusetts, Josh has resided in the DMV area for 9 years. His favorite form of self-care is doing full body stretches for 30 minutes when waking up and before bed!

Makena Umoja

Civic Leadership Fellow

Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Makena joined the DCTMI team in August 2023 and is currently a Marketing major at Howard University. Makena has been invested in community work since she was in high school, where she volunteered at a local food pantry. Self-care is something both Makena and DCTMI prioritize, convincing her that becoming a Civic Leadership Fellow here was not a coincidence. Her favorite form of self-care is reading!

Maurice Green

Civic Leadership Fellow

Maurice joined DCTMI in December 2022, and is currently a senior at Howard University, majoring in Political Science. Maurice comes from Virginia Beach, VA, bringing with him a passion for community building which stems from the belief “that, in today’s interconnected world facing global crises, fostering solidarity is the first step towards overcoming challenges”. Maurice’s background includes community organizing, canvassing for political campaigns, and collaborating to form a tenants union to protect rights. His go-to forms of self-care are sleeping, reading, and meditating!

Moolu Tesfai

Civic Leadership Fellow

Moolu is a graduate student from Silver Spring, MD, who is exploring the digital world at Indiana University as a Cybersecurity Risk Management major. Moolu, who joined DCTMI in December 2022, supports our administrative work, as well as our outreach & communication with volunteers. She believes in the power of community building to unite people from all walks of life, creating a space where everyone thrives together. Her favorite self-care activities include walking and reflecting!

Nora Dudley

Civic Leadership Fellow

Nora Dudley, a Baltimore native, is a junior at American University, studying political science and Literature. She joined DCTMI in May 2024, supporting our administrative and canvassing work. Nora was drawn to DCTMI because her previous experiences working within underfunded school programs made her want to support education, and she also appreciated DCTMI’s emphasis on community building within DC. Outside of DCTMI, she volunteers around the DC area and supports political campaigns on her campus. Her favorite self-care activities are exercise and crocheting!

Numan Joseph

Civic Leadership Fellow

Numan is a senior Finance major at Howard University from New Orleans, LA, by way of Haiti, and has been essential to DCTMI’s canvassing, specifically at metro stations. Having joined DCTMI in September 2022, most of his prior work experience focused on the corporate world. While he was interested in that, he knew that his long-term passion was towards helping others in any way possible and saw DCTMI as the perfect opportunity to grow. His main goal is to provide people with the help they need to strive to be comfortable with who they are. His favorite form of self-care is meditating.

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Aaron Shires

Civic Leadership Fellow

TBA

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Civic Leadership Fellow

Mamadou Keita

Animation Consultant

Mamadou Lamin Keita is from the Gambia in West Africa, and moved to the US when he was 5 years old. He’s lived in Maryland ever since then, and visits the Gambia often, usually once a year. Mamadou is currently a banker at M&T Bank, but is passionate about animation, which is what he consults for at DCTMI. His favorite self care activity is meditating: “It really helps clear my mind and calm any unnecessary anxiety!”

 

Colleen Kiernan

Social Media & Marketing Consultant

Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colo., Colleen Kiernan joined the DCTMI team in October 2023. She is the founder and owner of Pink Sheep Co., a social media marketing agency that helps brands stand out from the crowd. She believes that every person should be proud of the things that make them different and unique and is passionate about mental health awareness. Her go-to self-care activities including listening to music, running, and spending time outdoors with her family.

matt mullenix

Matthew Mullenix

Board Member

Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Matt Mullenix is a writer and communications consultant to nonprofits, municipalities, and small businesses. Prior to this, he directed Louisiana’s statewide nonprofit association, a state government job search website, a university research publication, and the daily activities of two small children who have since grown up. Mullenix is honored to serve on the Civic Leadership Project’s board of directors and to help support its much-needed work.

johanna schneider

Johanna Schneider

Board Member

Johanna Schneider has played a key role in successfully managing communications, moving from a CBS reporter and anchor to top government and private posts. Schneider was a Leadership Press Secretary in Congress; a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs in the Cabinet; the Senior Advisor to the National Institutes of Health Director. She also spent 18 years as the Executive Director of the Business Roundtable, an organization representing hundreds of Fortune 50 CEO’s. She currently commits her time to her position as Board Member for DCTMI and tutoring DC public school students.

Sarah Ribaldo

Civic Leadership Fellow

Sarah is a student at American University (Class of 2023) majoring in psychology. 

Anjali Singh

Civic Leadership Fellow

Anjali is a student at American University majoring in political science. 

Anjali Singh

Civic Leadership Fellow

Anjali is a student at American University majoring in political science. 

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