Creating Opportunities:
Talent is Universal, Opportunities are Not!

Our Staff

Please click staff names to learn more.

 

Name: Alika Hope, M.A. 

 

Title: Director, Legacy Leaders 

Start Date: July 2017

Education History: B.A., Sociology and Dance, University of Notre Dame; M.A., Early Childhood Special Education, Columbia University; Registered COS-P Trainer, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional

Previous Professional Experience: Alika is originally from Oregon, where she grew up immersed in nature and music. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame and minored in dance at St. Mary’s College. She earned her Master of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Alika is a Registered Circle of Security Parenting Trainer (COS-P), and has received certification from the Autism Certification Center. Alika has had a variety of experiences as an educator, including working with Early Head Start, Head Start, private and parochial schools, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Northside Center for Children, and New York City public schools. She is a published author and was previously a full-time faculty member at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Alika is the founder of The Ray of Hope Project, and her last album won several awards, including a Gold Global Music Award. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, EWTN, The New Yorker, Time Out NY, Opera News, and Opera Now. Alika is co-host of “Perspective TV,” which airs on Fox-61. 

In my spare time, I like to: Find warm and sunny beaches

Thoughts about being involved in Legacy: I’m grateful to work with a non-profit that truly believes in empowering our youth to meet their potential in unique and creative ways. 

Dennis

Name: Denise Patterson

Title: Program Coordinator and Parent Liaison

Start Date: 2012

Education History: Bachelor of Science from Springfield College

Previous Professional Experience: I have worked as a Community Service representative for over 20 years for a non-profit agency, and have significant experience in crisis intervention and counseling.  I have assisted with the needs of the working and under-served population finding resources for people in need. I have raised $10,000 for Walk Against Hunger and have spearheaded various community projects such as; “Blessing in the Backpack”, Community Coat, Toys’ and Turkey drives for over 10 years. 

In my spare time, I like to: I am deeply involved in the Greater Hartford community and is a board member of The Women’s League Child Development Center and also a deaconess at The First Cathedral. In my spare time, I enjoy crocheting, gardening and spending time with my family- my children Kevaughn and Elyece, and husband.

Thoughts about being involved in Legacy: My motto when it comes to community service is, “one person can’t do everything, …but one person can do something”.

 

Start Date: Erin is one of Legacy’s first employees, hired to manage development and support programming in 2015.  She joined Legacy due to its unique approach to closing the education gap.

 

Education:

J.D. – Brooklyn Law School, Editor-in-Chief of the Brooklyn Journal of International Law
M.A., History – New York University, New York, NY
B.A.  – Smith College, Northampton, MA

Past Experience: Erin was an attorney focusing on family law. 

Erin is active in alumnae recruiting for Smith.  She lives in West Hartford with her husband and three children. 

Start Date: March 2016

Education History: University of Connecticut, Bachelor of Arts, English

Previous Professional Experience: Development Assistant, Cornell University, Development Assistant, The Ethel Walker School, Campaign Staff – State Rep Matt Ritter, Freelance Writer

In my spare time, I like to: Read, write, try new wines, meet interesting people

What it means to work at Legacy: I love working at Legacy more than any other job I’ve had as I know there is a difference being made with the students. I am able to bring professionals from a variety of backgrounds into Legacy to meet with the students and allow them to see how bright their future really can be, and for me, that means so much. Greg’s dedication to this program, to each student and staff member, shows through and through. It is a privilege to work with The Legacy Foundation.

Role(s) at Legacy:  College Counselor

Start Date:  Jan. 1, 2017

Education History:  Certificate in College Counseling, UCLA; B.A. Music History & Theory, Hunter College

Previous Professional Experience: 

Prior to relocating to Connecticut from Minnesota in the fall of 2015, Lynne she was a contract speaker for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education’s Outreach Program in rural East Central Minnesota educating low-income and first generation students and their families on the benefits of higher education, paying for college and financial aid, and conducting college and career exploration workshops. She is a former member of the Minnesota Association for College Admissions Counseling’s Committee on Inclusion, Access and Success and its Camp College subcommittee.  Her professional affiliations include the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC), the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), and the Independent Association for Educational Consultants (IECA).  Lynne also serves on the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee.  Lynne is the founder of Muse College Consulting LLC, an independent college advising service and a Connecticut Certified Woman Owned Small/Minority Business Enterprise.

In my spare time, I like to:  travel, hike, cook, read and play with my cat, Marcel

Please share a few sentences about you, your passion and commitment to the Legacy vision. 

A long-time advocate of literacy, education and college access, I am excited to join Legacy in serving our students by developing a college counseling program that furthers Legacy’s supportive environment, introduces students to the opportunities available through focused career and college exploration, educates them on post-secondary options and guides them through the daunting college admission process. The earlier we begin educating our students, the easier it will be for them to break down the barriers and overcome the obstacles to college access that these first-generation students face so that we may, collectively, help them to succeed in realizing their potential and their dreams. 

 

 

EDUCATION HISTORY:   I received my BA from Nasson College in Springvale,  Maine  and continued my education with courses from the University of Connecticut,Central Connecticut State University,The University of Hartford and St.Joseph’s College.

PREVIOUS PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE : Although I have enjoyed participating in a variety of occupations, including a year as an employment consultant  for the Battered Womens’ Shelter in Hartford,CT and several years as manager for a Real Estate Office in Houston ,Texas, for twenty five years my professional career has been as an English teacher. I have taught grades six through college in several states including Connecticut, Massachusetts , Arizona and Texas.  My last full time teaching position was in the inner city of the island of Galveston, TX, where I taught seventh grade English to students who,up to that point, had not yet been able to pass the state writing exam. During the seven years that I worked with these students, I realized that my passion for teaching was further defined in that I became dedicated to focusing on the success of inner city students.

IN MY SPARE TIME I LIKE TO:

Enjoy the beautiful Connecticut River in our small Stingray boat

Attend plays, musicals and live concerts- my favorite venue is Infinity Hall

Spend time with my grandchildren- often done via Face Time

Read self help books – a favorite -“Power Freedom and Grace” by Deepak Chopra

Have dinner with friends

WHAT IT MEANS TO ME TO WORK FOR LEGACY:

Working for The Legacy Foundation is an absolute blessing in my life -literally! 

When  I retired from teaching full time, I found myself missing the interaction I had had with my “inner city”, disadvantaged, Galveston students.  I began looking for part-time work in the Hartford area and found myself as one of two finalists for what seemed like a perfect position only to find out that the other person was chosen. That evening, in my heartbroken state of mind, I prayed saying, “Father, if it’s your will for me to do this, you will have to drop the position in my lap. I don’t know where else to look.” 

The very next day while I was shopping in a small local business, the owner engaged me in conversation and asked me what I was interested in doing. When I expressed my desire to work with inner-city children, he said he knew exactly who I should talk to. The following morning, I found myself at a Dunkin’ Donut’s shop talking with Greg Jones about teaching for the Legacy Foundation. No words can express how grateful I am that I did not get the first job and that I was blessed to have been led to a meeting with Greg. I can honestly say that I wish I had been involved in an organization like The Legacy Foundation for my entire teaching career. 

Start Date: March 2016

Education:

M.P.P, Public Policy, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

B.A., Public Communications & Marketing, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

What Legacy Means to Me: Legacy is doing innovative and exciting work to support a challenged population to rise above their circumstances.  Legacy’s founder, Greg Jones, inspires us all to believe that circumstances should never dictate outcomes.  We support our Legacy scholars and others who we touch through our programs, to see what they want their future to look like and set a plan to achieve it.  No excuses!”

Marjori enjoys traveling, volunteer vacations, working out and spending time with her family.

 

Start Date: Spring 2016

Education History:

Currently enrolled at Central Connecticut State University

B.A. in Mathematics, Education

Previous Professional Experience:

Vietnamese Language Teacher (2012- 2016)

Sundays at St. Lawrence O’Toole

 Assistant Teacher (Summer 2016)

Lincoln Elementary with the Summer S.E.E Program through the YWCA

Tutor (2014- current)

                  Elementary mathematics, Algebra, Geometry, Calculus 1-3.

VEYS Leader of Seeding Group ( 2016- 2019)

In my spare time I like to:

                  In my spare time, I enjoy drawing and calligraphing inspiring quotes and songs. I also love learning new recipes and cooking for my family.   

Thoughts about being involved in Legacy:

                  Legacy continues to be one of the most rewarding experiences that I have been able to be a part of. Legacy is a community. It promotes and provides positive opportunities and experiences for so many in this community. I have been able to meet so many great scholars and I am grateful to be a part of something so special.

Role at Legacy: Science Teacher

Start Date: January 2017

Education History and Previous Experience:

I graduated with my bachelors in Biology and minor in Psychology in 2014 from Central Connecticut State University and graduated with my Masters in Education in 2015 from Central Connecticut State University. Although I am only a second-year teacher my first teaching experience was as a Public Health Instructor at Hartford Public High School during an internship with Area Health Educational Careers. I went on to become an after school art enrichment teacher at Classical Magnet High School and was a summer school teacher at Bristol Central High School. I completed my student teaching at New Britain High School and I volunteered as a substitute teacher at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School. Last year I was the 7th and 8th-grade science teacher at Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts and now I work as a Biology teacher at Journalism and Media Academy. My career goal is to start a sixth-year program within the next year and be an administrator in a Hartford School.

In my spare time, I like to: In my spare time I enjoy knitting.

What Legacy Means to Me:

As a teacher in an urban environment, at times I found myself losing hope. Sometimes it is disheartening when you read the Hartford Courant or compare scores between urban and suburban environments. Prior to Legacy I desired to get involved in the Hartford community, however I wanted to find a program that had both an educational component as well as a social emotional component while also holding students accountable for their actions. Legacy has the perfect combination of both. Legacy restored my hope for teaching. Not only are Legacy students intelligent, trustworthy and responsible, they are wonderful people who care about their community, their education and others.

 

Start Date: August 2016

Education History:

Master of Public Health, University of New Hampshire
Healthcare Management post-grad certificate-UMass Lowell
Bachelor of Liberal Arts- dual concentrations in Psychology/Sociology- UMass Lowell
Associate of Arts and Polysomnography certification- NECC

Previous Professional Experience: Before accepting a public health role at The Legacy Foundation in 2016, I primarily worked in mental and behavioral health with adolescents and their families for many years. I have also had an administrative position with a university Graduate Admissions office and completed an internship with the NH Public Health Association working on state policy implementation.

In my spare time I like to: I believe in investing in experiences, so I spend as much time traveling as I can. I am an avid animal lover and like to spend time at home with my husband and our pets. I enjoy crafting, doing fun outdoor activities, and spending time with friends and family.

What it means to work at Legacy: I am very proud to say that I am part of the Legacy team. I have always been motivated to get involved with the community. As a newer CT resident, I have learned that North Hartford does not have the same health and educational outcomes as other neighborhoods. As Director of Health and Administration, my hope is to invest my time and partner with other organizations, such as Hartford Hospital, to make an impact with the underserved population in this community. This includes empowering people to live healthier lifestyles, eat better, exercise, and get annual check-ups. I am also passionate about addressing and improving social determinants of health among the residents we provide outreach to. I believe this aligns with the Legacy vision of “Take Charge of Your Health.”

 

Start Date: July 2016

Education History:

M.S.W., Social Work Salem State University
B.A., Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Previous Professional Experience: Prior to joining Legacy, Tahina worked with Wayside Youth and Family Support Network as a Program Coordinator and College Success Coach.

In my spare time, I like to: Create… this can be in the form of planning events, creating decorative crafts and furniture or creating meals with my husband.

What it means to work at Legacy: Tahina shares “I’ve always had a passion for helping people but was not sure in what capacity. Since graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2006 as Psychology major and
then graduating from Salem State University with an MSW in 2012, my passion for working with
and for youth developed and caught fire. Unhappy with the educational system for youth, I
instantly became driven to work to reverse and improve some of the pitfalls and roadblocks
that many youths face. As a new implant to the greater Hartford area, Legacy Foundation of
Hartford was a perfect organization to join as my passions are aligned directly with the mission
to empower youth by providing them with opportunities to succeed academically and socially.”