Staff

  • JENNIE ROBERTS

    Title: Literacy Facilitator

    Jennie Roberts is originally from the Midwest. She earned a BS in Early Childhood Education from Miami University and a Masters of Education in literacy from Queen’s University.   For the past seven years, Jennie has taught  in a variety of grade levels in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area.   Additionally, Jennie has completed her basic Orton Gillingham training at the Associate’s Level, and she enjoys utilizing this multi sensory approach to phonics instruction. Jennie now teaches a literacy course at Queen’s University, and she hopes to someday author a book.

    When she’s not working with students, Jennie enjoys traveling and reading.


  • JULIA CEDARHOLM

    Title: South Boulevard Site Director

    Julia was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. She is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied Global Studies and Spanish and minored in Social Entrepreneurship. She spent four summers working for Amigos de las Américas on sustainable community development and youth leadership programs in Peru, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Julia also gained experience working with Latino/a high school students on college readiness as a mentor and Co-Director for the organization Scholars’ Latino Initiative (SLI). Before coming to UrbanPromise Charlotte, Julia developed her project management skills as a Data Consultant for the healthcare company Premier Inc.

     As a Charlotte native, Julia feels very passionately about seeing community restoration in the city of Charlotte through the power of youth leadership.


  • ERIKA HERNANDEZ

    Title: StreetLeader Director

    Erika Hernandez was born and raised in Charlotte and takes pride in her family’s Salvadoran heritage.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Religion at Davidson College where she loved studying ancient Roman culture and Paul’s letters.

    Before arriving to UrbanPromise, Erika worked at the Center for Prevention Services promoting healthy lifestyles among youth through substance use prevention. During her time there, Erika coordinated the youth council for North Carolina’s first Latino drug free coalition, Alianza. 

    Erika strives to connect youth with opportunities, knowledge, and skills that allow them to be leaders, pursue their dreams, and change their communities.  


  • DIONTÉ GREY

    Title: Freedom Drive Site Director

    Dionté Grey grew up in Johnson City, TN. He earned a scholarship to play basketball while earning his Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from Tusculum College (Greeneville, TN).

    After graduation, Dionté moved to Charlotte, NC in 2012 and began a year long internship with UrbanLife Charlotte as an urban missionary. There, he served as a mentor and tutor to students at Ashley Park K-8 and focused on building relationships within the West Charlotte community.

    Before joining UrbanPromise Charlotte, Dionté worked as a Program Specialist at Right Moves for Youth, where he focused on helping students graduate from high school with a plan for their future success by directly facilitating and implementing a “life skills” curriculum with small groups at 7 CMS schools.

    Dionté is excited to be the Freedom Drive Site Director and to continue investing in the wonderful community of West Charlotte. He and his beautiful wife Meg welcomed their first child, Dove, in July 2016.


  • JIMMY McQUILKIN

    Title: Executive Director

    Jimmy was born and raised in Columbia, MD. He attended Wake Forest University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Spanish.

    Jimmy came to Charlotte in 2009 as a Teach For America corps member. He taught high school Spanish and coached basketball for four years at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology. During his teaching career, he was nominated and selected as a regional recipient for the Teach For America Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011, received the First Year Teacher of the Year award for high school teachers in the West Learning Community in CMS in 2010, and received the All-Star in Achievement award from the Charlotte Bobcats and Wells Fargo in 2010.

    Jimmy also received a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.


  • LAURA KATE GAMBLE

    Title: Middle School Director and Operations Manager

    Laura Kate was born and raised in Summerville, SC. She attended Wofford College, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and in Spanish as well as a Concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. During her final year at Wofford, she was selected as the school’s 30th Presidential Scholar. This scholarship allowed her to travel to Ghana, Tanzania, Peru and Haiti, while completing an independent study on best practices used by NGOs in the developing world.

    Laura Kate came to Charlotte in 2016 after spending time in Glasgow, Scotland with the PC(USA)’s Young Adult Volunteer program. During her time in Glasgow, she worked with a local church as it developed programs for the surrounding community.


  • Juan Pablo Soto

    Title: Assistant Director

    Juan Pablo was born and raised in Guatemala City. He moved to Charlotte, NC in January of 2002 and has made Charlotte his home. Juan Pablo has worked for the City of Charlotte Fire Department since 2003 and currently holds the position of Captain. Juan Pablo has a associates degree in Engineering in Fire Science from CPCC. He also works part-time as a professional photographer.

    Juan Pablo has been married to his beautiful wife Sonia for five years and they have two boys, Marcello and Niko. Juan Pablo is a Deacon at Forest Hill Church, where he and his family have attended since 2007. Juan Pablo has a passion for justice issues and is very active within the community. He has been on several mission trips to Latin America, Africa and Asia, and is currently organizing trips to Guatemala.


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