Meet Natasha Blake-McDowell
Originally from Brooklyn NY, Mrs. Blake-McDowell came to Baltimore to pursue an A.A.S degree in Cooking & Baking, B.S. in Business Management and a M.S. degree in International Business from Baltimore International College. She later completed another M.S. degree in School Counseling from The Johns Hopkins University and her certification in Leadership and Supervision in May of 2018 from Loyola University Maryland.
Her passion for educational growth for the youth of Baltimore City gave her the opportunity to work as the Assistant Director of Admissions at BIC and teach at Mergenthaler High School in Baltimore city where she was awarded “CTE Teacher of the Year” for the 2016-2017 school year. In her spare time you can find her teaching Culinary Theories at Stratford University as an adjunct professor or on Saturdays at UMBC teaching a college access course to students in the Upward Bound program. Her goal is to make sure every student is aware of all post-secondary educational opportunities.
Meet Nakia Green
Nakia is a native of Baltimore City. She received her B.A. in History at Clark Atlanta University and her M.A. in African American Studies from Morgan State University. Working with high school students is a passion Nakia has had since an undergraduate student in Atlanta, Ga. She was a four-year volunteer with the Atlanta Metro Urban Young Life Organization, ministering and mentoring youth in Decatur, Georgia.
She currently serves within her church as a member of the Bishop Harrison James Bryant Scholarship Committee. In addition, Nakia has also mentored teenage girls in the Sandtown-Winchester Community. Nakia has over 10 years in college access. She has had the opportunity to share with students across the DMV, leading workshops at local churches and with the Latino Fund in Washington, D.C.. Nakia is passionate about young people and their personal and educational success. She uses her gifts and pairs them with her passion to help impact the youth through promoting college and academic achievement. Nakia has a great interest in education and believes there is much potential in today’s youth.
Meet Melisa M. Hypolite, MBA
Melisa has diverse experiences working with learners from ages 5- 65 from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Her education career began as a substitute teacher in South Jersey and evolved into Assistant Director of Admissions at a trade school, and later an adjunct college instructor, resulting in expertise in supporting college, career, and life readiness. Driven by a passion for equity in education, Melisa currently serves as a college advisor at an innovative, STEM-focused public charter high school, sits on the board of a local non-profit organization which focuses on student athletes and is the founder and CEO of an educational non-profit based in Baltimore, Maryland.
Melisa recently put her expertise into the public domain as author and publisher of I’m Ready, a book she and others use to assist first-generation college families achieve their post-secondary goals. Melisa is often a featured presenter at college access events and has provided guidance to high schools, universities, and training facilities throughout the contiguous United States, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), Trinidad and Barbados. Born in Trinidad, Melisa puts her belief and lived experience that education changes lives into action in supporting families in the United States the Caribbean. After recent hurricanes in the USVI, she pooled resources, connected with like-minded organizations, and traveled to St. Thomas and St. Croix to assist with FAFSA completion. She has also extended her student-athlete support workshop to students in Trinidad considering continuing their studies in the United States. Melisa currently serves in a leadership role with the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC), was a 2018 PCACAC Counselor of the Year and is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).