Our Staff

Check and Connect Coach, 5th & 6th Grade

Chris joined City of Promise in October 2015 after spending almost two years at ReadyKids as the family education program manager. In his decade of experience working with children and families, Chris has been a group leader and supervisor at the Discovery School of Virginia and he also worked in therapeutic day treatment and therapeutic behavior support for Region Ten CSB.  Chris received his B.A. in History from the University of Virginia and is currently pursuing his M.Ed. in School Counseling through Liberty University. Chris and his wife Megan have been married for eight years and have two children.


Development Director

Mary joined City of Promise in 2017 to lead our fundraising strategies and donor stewardship.  After 22 years as a full-time homemaker, she launched her career in fundraising as Director of Donor Relations at Woodberry Forest School where she has lived for more than 20 years. Most recently, Mary served as Advancement Director at The Covenant School here in Charlottesville where she managed fundraising, special events, marketing, alumni and parent relations.  Mary and her husband Joe met while both were students at Princeton University. They have been married for 34 years, and they have seven children and two grandchildren.


Pathways Coach, 7th-12th grade
Enroll to Launch Coach (0-6 year olds)

Ashley Howard plays a dual role at City of Promise as both the Pathway Coach and Enroll to Launch Coach. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a B.A. in psychology and a concentration in early childhood developmental risk.  After UVA, Ashley served as a College Guide with the National Advising Corps.  She then worked from home as an editor and virtual assistant before joining the City of Promise staff in 2016. Ashley and her husband have been married for almost 10 years, and have two children.



Community Connections Coordinator

Janyce Lewis has been central to City of Promise since 2012. As a former resident of the neighborhood, she not only knows the community well, her sons and grandsons graduated under City of Promise programs. Janyce is a community leader who collaborated with Virginia Organizing for 3 years, speaking often on social justice issues. She directed and tutored at the Burnley Moran after school program for 3 years and enjoys catering in her spare time. Janyce received her associates degree in business administration from Chattanooga TN State College and attended Piedmont Virginia Community College for Adult & Early Childhood Developmental Psychology, Workforce service, and Leadership Administration.



Check and Connect Coach, K-4th Grade
Lead Facilitator, Sisters of Nia

Latara Ragland is a native of Albemarle County and became a part of the City of Promise team in 2011. In addition to her many roles at City of Promise,  Latara is Co-facilitator, of Girl Power at Burnley Moran, a Big Sister for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge, and a member of the Advisory Board for MACAA- Project Discovery, Inc.  Latara received her B.S. from Old Dominion University and a Master of Education in School Counseling from Liberty University. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Jonathan, and they are parents of an infant son.


Health & Wellness Consultant

Barbara joined City of Promise as the health and wellness consultant in 2015.  She led the installation of the community garden at 8th and Page Street and is now planting for the third season in 2017. She represents City of Promise on the Charlottesville Food Justice Network, M2H coalition and facilitates the Health practitioner work group.   For 24 years, Barbara worked at the Thomas Jefferson Health Department in Charlottesville, helping to run the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. In 1999 she launched the Community Action on Obesity Coalition. Barbara has served on multiple boards, including the National Association of WIC Directors, RISC Committee, and the Council for Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association. In 1999, she served as Chair of the Virginia Public Health Association Nutrition Section, and in 2003 as President of the Virginia Dietetic Association, which awarded her with the Distinguished Dietitian award in 2007. Barbara received her Masters in Nutrition Education from Lesley College.


Our Values

    Open Environment: We are committed to creating an inclusive, respectful, transparent environment that encourages full participation, where people are comfortable voicing their ideas and concerns without self-censorship or fear of reprisal. We will act with integrity in all we do.

    Mutual Accountability: We are committed to being accountable in all our words and actions to the mission of the City of Promise and to one another, and value this collective goal more than individual gain. We will hold the highest expectations of and support one another as we work collectively to improve outcomes for young people in the community.

    Child-Centered: We are committed to keeping the focus on our children and youth by engaging and educating them for leadership, success and progress for their future.

    Family-Driven: We are committed to honoring families as the experts on and the most important educators of their children, and to respecting them as the key decision-makers for their children’s success.

    Continuous Improvement: We are committed to learning and developing new skills that will help us accomplish our work more effectively. We will seek, receive and give feedback and continuously evaluate and adjust as necessary to doing things in new and better ways.