Patricia joined IEL in 2008. As the Deputy Director for Innovation and Development, she works across IEL to develop innovative solutions that build the capacity of community leaders and increase educational and workforce opportunities for youth, families, and communities. Over the past decade at IEL, Patricia led development, grant writing, and implementation for IEL’s two career-focused youth transition initiatives: the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program, a multi-site career-focused mentoring program for all youth, including those with disabilities, involved in the juvenile justice system, or connected to foster care, and the Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative, a reentry program for young adults that incorporates career pathways, apprenticeship, and civic engagement.
She also served as the lead workforce development and professional development liaison for two IEL-led national technical assistance centers focused on Disability: National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth and the Vocational Rehabilitation Youth Technical Assistance Center. As such, Patricia conducts research and evaluation of policies, programs, and practices, and provides guidance to the workforce development field. Her other responsibilities include creating training materials and conducting workshops, trainings, and symposia, and leading the organization’s Youth Service Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills & Abilities efforts.
Prior to joining IEL, Patricia was the Civic Justice Corps program director at The Corps Network, the national association of service and conservation corps, in Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities included providing technical assistance to a service and conservation corps network of over 20 sites that are demonstrating a community service-based model for the effective reentry of formerly incarcerated and court-affiliated youth. Previously, Patricia led professional development and standards-based organizational capacity building efforts in the U.S. and Haiti at the National Youth Employment Coalition. She also provided training and technical assistance for 14 sites establishing systems of youth worker professional development at the Academy for Educational Development. She directed youth programs in Chicago, Illinois (the Youth and Family Resource Center) and Washington, D.C. (the Duke Ellington School of the Arts’ Shepherding Program). In addition to her front line youth work experience, Patricia has created curricula and facilitated courses for both adults and youth in youth development, community mapping, mentoring, college preparation youth employment skills, conflict resolution, and positive discipline.
Patricia holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Speech and Communication from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is a Certified Workforce Development Professional with a Youth Endorsement and a Master Facilitator of the Advancing Youth Development Curriculum.