Danista E. Hunte
As executive director, I am responsible for strategic and financial planning, working with the board of directors, being an ambassador for Child First, and operating within the budget.
What I like about my job is the privilege to work with committed and talented folks who want the best for and give their best to the organization and the school communities that we serve.
My colleagues and work teams would say that I lead with compassion and care. I am strategic, collaborative, enjoy being surrounded by smart people, and sometimes funny.
When I am not working, I am lamenting about all the movies I haven’t seen, trying to get to the infrared sauna every chance I get, and fighting off my guilty pleasure of eating ice cream.
My role at Child First is to provide administrative support for the organization and I have worked at the organization for 11 years.
What I like about my job is being a part of an organization that cares about the communities we serve. I also enjoy learning new things and watching those around us grow in their purpose.
My colleagues and work teams would say that I am reliable and offer a quiet non-judgmental place to think things through.
When I am not working, I am enjoying spending time with my family and our new pandemic puppy.
Gayl M. Brooks
My role at Child First is to support, manage, and lead the out-of-school time administrative and site-based teams. I have worked at the organization for 22 years (7 years part-time and 15 years full-time)
What I like about my job is that I have the autonomy to be creative in my approach to providing high-quality expanded learning opportunities for the youth we serve.
My colleagues and work teams would say that I’m supportive, knowledgeable and I make things happen!
When I am not working I enjoy gardening and spending time with my family; especially my 100-year-old grandmother!
My role at Child First is to ensure that all CFA Out of School Time (OST) programs meet high standards of quality and meet the requirements of grants awarded to Child First. I have worked at the organization for five years.
What I like about my job is knowing that our youth are gaining meaningful experiences in the form of academics, enrichment activities, and field trips.
My colleagues and work teams would say that I am a team player that brings a lot of energy, dedication, and a sense of humor!
When I am not working, I spend time with my family, watch sports, and play video games.
My role at Child First is to work with the Out of School Time team to create after-school opportunities for youth and families in Baltimore City Public Schools. I have worked for the organization for over five years.
One of the many things that I love about my job is being able to provide students with a safe and structured after-school and summer program that exposes them to various cultural enrichment and college/career opportunities at a young age.
My colleagues would say that I am a team player who focuses on building trusting relationships with my students, families, and staff to support them best.
When I’m not working, I am spending time with family, traveling, and enhancing my skills by being a new plant mom.
Porsche Johnson, LMSW
My role at Child First is to manage and lead all of our Community School Coordinators, ensuring that they have the tools, supports and resources necessary to implement the community school strategy at their respective schools. I began my tenure at Child First as a Community School Coordinator in 2017 before starting my role as the director in November 2021.
As a former community school coordinator, I bring a unique perspective to the work. Having been in their shoes, I know what’s needed to implement this work efficiently and effectively. I enjoy being able to work shoulder to shoulder with the team to problem-solve and strategize, and opening their eyes and minds to what else could be possible.
My colleagues would say that I am supportive, knowledgeable and very fiery and passionate about this work. But at the end of the day, it’s the commitment to children and families that keep me going!
When I am not working, I’m enjoying my new found hobby of swimming and sneaking trips to Seattle, WA to visit my family
Community School Coordinators
Amanda M. Richardson
My role at Child First is to advocate for my school community by partnering with community and city-wide organizations to bring needed support and resources that may provide stability and growth to students and families, while also serving as a bridge connecting parents to their child(ren)’s school through engagements to ensure that students succeed, and I have worked at the organization for 6 GREAT years.
What I like about my job is that CFA stands behind the mission of the agency. Starting as a parent volunteer and now a Community School Coordinator, I have been able to see the support that is put into families firsthand. It feels great to work for an organization that truly cares about students and their family’s well-being in the communities as well as their staff. This is a wonderful organization!!
My colleagues and work teams would say I am the Queen of Engagements. It has been great working with families and making workshops/engagements opportunities an experience! Not only will families come for great resources, but they will have a great time as well.
My role at Child First is to connect with families, students, school staff, and community members, and support the collaborative design of our community school strategy. I help our school community connect to resources and each other, and advocate for the community’s vision
I have worked at the organization for about 1.5 years.
What I like about my job is getting to know people, promoting resources and initiatives, connecting dots throughout the city, the creative energy involved in building partnerships and programs
My colleagues and work teams would say I am always down to brainstorm together, easily amused and excitable, quick to dream big.
When I am not working, I can be found spending time with loved ones, cooking, being outdoors, reading, and working on classwork for a master’s in teaching program.
My role at Child First is to help meet the needs of the families and the community and to continue to grow the village. I have worked at the organization for 3 1/2 years.
What I like about my job is that I get to meet so many new people every day and put a smile on their faces.
My Colleagues and work team would say that I have a passion and a need to do this community work.
When I am not working, I am with my family. I am all about family because family is all that you have.
Mariyah Wright, LMSW
My role at Child First is to focus on partnerships, a list of driven needs within the community, high-quality programs and services in adherence with the community school model, and I have worked at the organization for 1 year.
What I like about my job is that I have the flexibility to build relationships and connections with not only the school but with different external organizations and businesses.
My colleagues and work teams would say I am seen as quiet but love to socialize.
When I am not working, I am traveling, spending time with family or friends, and trying new foods/restaurants.
My role at Child First is to provide support to the Baltimore City Communities and I have worked at the organization for three months.
I like that my job promotes positive change and gives a voice to the unheard.
My colleagues and work teams would say that my mantra is “Obstacles are Just Opportunities”
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and dancing.
My role at Child First is to support and implement the mission of Child First Authority and the Baltimore Community School Strategy at the school where I am assigned. I have worked at the organization for 7 years.
What I like about my job is having the opportunity to work with families, students, school staff, and community partners to build life-long learners, stronger families, and a better community.
My colleagues and work teams would say this about me; Bertha is a Servant- Leader. She is passionate about serving others and helping them to develop their gifts and talents.
When I am not working, I enjoy traveling throughout the United States and to other countries.
My role at Child First is to build strategic partnerships with local community organizations and agencies, strengthen school-wide family engagement, connect families to local supports, and much more. This is my first year working for Child First.
What I like about my job is that I am able to build close relationships with students and families in Baltimore City.
My colleagues and work teams would say that I have an extremely expressive face…I can’t hide my feelings!
When I am not working, I love to roller skate and go to local art shows and community events.
Office: 410-367-8520 | Fax: 410-225-7760
Child First Board
Jessica Reighard, Chair, Brookes Publishing Co.
Julia Baez, Baltimore’s Promise
Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger, Data Quality Campaign
Veronica M. Black, E 50 Solutions
Brian Gordon, Brown Advisory
Wayne Harris, Baltimore City Fire Department-911
Benjamin Orr, Maryland Center on Economic Policy
Dr. Carlyn E. Payton, COLA
Kate K. Shatzkin, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Melissa Stallings, Capital Impact Partners