Charlotte Cline-Smith, Program Director for Workforce Development
When she isn’t teaching and planning for Excelerate, Charlotte works as a community organizer in Midtown and contracts as an English academic writing coach for non-native Masters’ and PhD students around the country. She has an undergraduate degree in Applied Linguistics, a Masters’ in Intercultural Communication, and a deep commitment to critical pedagogy as a way of life. Charlotte has eight years of teaching and training experience in business, small group, private tutoring, and a variety of classroom settings. She is passionate about sustainability and loves hosting intentional discussions around colorful dinners with her community.
Jerry Rose, Director of Community Outreach and Partnerships
Jerry recently retired from the FBI, moved to Kansas City and is now dedicating his time to helping young people find success. Along with developing new partnerships and potential expansion opportunities, Jerry also serves as an assistant instructor for Excelerate. Jerry volunteers with 100 Black Men, serves on the board of the Linwood YMCA, and mentors former inmates in Johnson County. A native New Yorker, Jerry has an undergraduate degree in History and a law degree from the University of California Hastings School of Law.
Kate Corwin, President and Founder
Kate is responsible for leading the fundraising and marketing efforts for Green Works, planning new programs and expansion opportunities and handling administration. She also serves as an assistant instructor for the Excelerate program. Kate is an active community volunteer who believes in the power of persistence, passion, good data and humor to improve both physical and social environments. Kate has undergraduate degrees in IT and Finance and an MA in Economics. She serves on the board of Green Works.
Patrice Gonzalez, Lead Instructor ECOS
Patrice has a BA in Sustainability, Society and Resource Management and an MA in Education for Global Sustainability. She has served two, service year terms in AmeriCorps, where she got her start in environmental education. As a Community Garden Coordinator/AmeriCorps VISTA, she created an internship program for youth in a transitional housing program to promote environmental stewardship. She also served in Peace Corps, Ethiopia as an Agricultural and Environmental Extension Specialist. Patrice is currently in the Master Naturalist program, as she believes in life-long learning, especially when it comes to environmental education. She also enjoys working at Blue River Watershed Association as a Water Quality Educator.
Roberta Vogel-Leutung, Lead Instructor ECOS
Roberta recently retired from the Environmental Protection Agency where she began as a chemist and finished as a community engagement specialist in urban waters, and community revitalization. She lives in Kansas City, in the Squier Park neighborhood, and loves being in nature, community facilitation, and integrating direct experience, natural sciences, and social sciences for coherent understanding of contemporary issues. She recently led Green Works students through a Reimagine ECOS process for a capstone project towards a graduate certificate in Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement. Roberta has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science – Biology and is a Missouri certified Mediator.
Jorge Ramirez, Intern and Assistant Instructor Excelerate
Jorge attends the University of Kansas and is studying Accounting. He hopes to obtain his CPA certification within the next few years. Jorge grew up in Kansas City, KS and attended Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences. It was during his high school years where he developed a passion for community service and volunteering and learned the importance of higher education. Jorge is also a Kauffman Scholar. His experiences within the community and the guidance he received as a high school and college student are what drives Jorge to help students just like him. During his free time, he enjoys trying local coffee shops, reading, going on walks, and listening to music.
Quoleshna Elbert, Assistant Instructor ECOS
Raised in Kansas City, Quoleshna earned her B.A. at the University of Missouri-Columbia studying Human Environmental Sciences, Art and Marketing. Exposure to a therapeutic farm for kids in upstate New York and time spent while residing in Los Angeles grew her appreciation for the impact that the environment has on humans, (including the natural environment). Quoleshna currently spends her days supporting a local mentor program targeting needs found in the urban core. She is an advocate for cultivating natural beauty, relevant educational opportunities and hubs for healthy community engagement within reach of historically marginalized communities.
Brittany Martinez, Assistant Instructor ECOS
Brittany is finishing her double major in Environmental Science and Biology at the University of Missouri Kansas City and agrees with Albert Schweitzer when he said, “In the hopes of reaching the moon, we fail to see the flowers that blossom at our feet.” Now, more than ever she is determined to engage others in the act of working green. She is the President of the Missouri Mycological Society in Kansas City, a Missouri Master Naturalist, and a botanical artist. When she is not diligently protecting the Earth, she is hanging out with her three daughters and wonderful husband, camping, cooking, and maintaining their sustainable front yard garden. She is currently a stream assistant at Blue River Watershed Association, helping kids determine water quality, convinced that our youth are the key to a healthy environmental future.
Kellie Case, Assistant Instructor for ECOS
Kellie is on course to complete her double degree in Environmental Science and Geology at the University of Missouri Kansas City along with two minors, Sustainability and Business. She is currently the President of the Student Environmental Coalition at UMKC with the goal of getting all students in direct contact with their environment. With this “boots on the ground” mentality she and her team have hosted numerous Missouri River clean up events in cooperation with Missouri River Relief and Healthy Rivers Partnerships. This proud mother of two recent college graduates is currently renovating a 100 year-old over/under duplex in the Midtown neighborhood of Volker using her 25 years of design experience blended with principles of sustainability.
D’Vontai Fields, Assistant Instructor ECOS
D’vontai is a former Green Works student and 2012 graduate of North Kansas City High School. We’re excited that D’Vontai is back in the Kansas City area and is working with us as an ECOS assistant. Along with helping Green Works D’vontai spends his time working for his family coffee business, studying coding and rehabbing a house he owns in a neighborhood near Brush Creek. He enjoys listening to music, watching sports and discovering local food.
Victoria Marcklinger, Assistant Instructor ECOS and Photographer
Victoria gets excited about the intersection of environmental activism and education. She’s Dominican-Ecuadorian but lived several years of high-school and college in Kansas City and now calls Midtown KC home. Victoria spent a semester working on an organic farm on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast and traveling around Latin America and the Caribbean. Upon completing her undergraduate degree she spent time in South Florida working in refugee resettlement and taught community gardening at the Milagro Teen Center in Delray Beach, Florida. Her non-profit experience has inspired and fueled her deep passion for education through community visual art.