Meet our staff! We're a small and powerful team with many years of combined experience working with and advocating for youth worldwide.
Virginia Emmons McNaught
Virginia co-founded and was CEO of Educate Tomorrow from 2003-2010. She co-led the movement to bring the SEED school to Miami. Today she continues to offer guidance and advising to Educate Tomorrow's leadership and program team on a weekly basis and leads key initiatives like Educate Tomorrow's summer programs and strategic partnerships. She was awarded the Junior League's Women Who Make A Difference Award and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Everyday Freedom Hero Award. She was featured in the book America's Way to Change and was recognized at the White House by President Obama as developing one of twenty-five Programs With Promise. Virginia served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a remote village in Niger, West Africa and continues to support the schools she helped establish. She has represented the Peace Corps as a spokesperson for White House events. Raised as the youngest of eight from humble beginnings in Greendale, Wisconsin, she has traveled to over 45 countries. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she was student body President and captain of the soccer team. She is a graduate of the University of Miami with a M.S. Ed in Community& Social Change. In 2012 Virginia was a finalist for the White House Fellowship. She is married to Brett McNaught and has a daughter Emma and son Miles.
Before becoming CEO of Educate Tomorrow in 2012 Brett McNaught was the leader of International Programs for the NGO buildOn from 2005-2012 overseeing growth from 30 schools per year to 72 per year and a staff of 10 in 2 countries to 40 in 6 countries during that time. He has called Miami home since 2007 and has been active in the community as a volunteer, donor and advisor with Educate Tomorrow, City Year and Upward Bound. Mr. McNaught was selected to be a part of the first cohort of an innovative Master's program in Community and Social Change at the University of Miami's Graduate school of Education and Human Development and is expected to graduate in 2012. He is currently a board member of the Community Based Care Alliance in Miami and for buildOn. Brett's career in service started in the Peace Corps in Niger West Africa where he lived in a rural village for 2 years and learned to speak the local language, Hausa, fluently enough to build a school, run adult literacy programs and institute multiple health and agriculture based projects. Brett oversaw his first school construction project in West Africa in 2001 and since then he has overseen the construction of more than 345 primary schools in Haiti, India, Mali, Malawi, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger and Senegal for buildOn. Those schools provide access to education for more than 40,000 children and 3,000 adults each day. Brett also served as an Americorps volunteer in New Orleans in 2003-04 which led to his hire as Construction Manager of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity in 2004. Brett wrote an historical fiction novel about life in Niger called The Man and the Storyteller. He is married to Virginia Emmons, co-founder of Educate Tomorrow and has a daughter named Emma and a son Miles.
Alison joined Educate Tomorrow in the fall of 2013 as a life coach for her mentee and for the Educate Tomorrow team. Alison was the CEO of the Belafonte TACOLCY center in Liberty City from 2006-2013, a center the she attended programs at during her childhood. Alison has had an impressive career marked by experiences in international community development work, education, ecotourism, community outreach, project management and marketing. Alison studied Radio and TV broadcasting at Miami Dade College, where she was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2007. She earned a B.A. in speech communications/public realtions from the University of South Florida, a MS degree in Hospitality Management from FIU, a Certificate from the Harvard Business School in Leadership Development and a M.S. Ed in Community and Social Change from the University of Miami in 2013.
Marissa joined Educate Tomorrow in February 2014 as Director of Community & Legal Affairs after practicing nine years as a senior program attorney at the Guardian ad Litem Program in Miami-Dade County. She appeared in court representing the best interests of abused, neglected and abandoned children and helped them and their families navigate the child welfare system. In 2013, Governor Scott appointed Marissa to the Board of Directors of The Children's Trust. Marissa was selected as a Miami Fellow 2011-2012 by the Miami Foundation and has since served on the Foundation's Engaged Youth Committee. She earned a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, an M.P.A. from Florida International University, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Sara Camacho comes from Boston and is a Program Coordinator with Educate Tomorrow. She is a recent graduate from the University of Miami's Masters in Community and Social Change program. Her passion is working directly with teens and young adults on their education and career goals and she has been charged with launching Educate Tomorrow's new Mentee Resource Center, a drop-in center at Educate Tomorrow's office designed to provide direct guided academic and career placement support.
Devin ended up in Miami in 2010. Working for the AmeriCorps VISTA program, he served the Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau for two consecutive years. Now, he joins the Educate Tomorrow staff as a Program Coordinator. Devin intends to use his life experience and challenges he faced in order to teach others and guide youth concerning the dangers of falling into "risky" behaviors.
Born in North Carolina Ashley moved to Miami at the age of 3. She has a daughter, Damaya and is currently a resident at Casa Valentina housing program for mommy and baby. In 2012 Ashley graduated from Miami Killian Senior High and became a mentee at Educate Tomorrow. In the summer of 2013 Ashley applied for a competetive summer internship program at Educate Tomorrow and was selected. She was also selected to the Elite Explorers program with Educate Tomorrow in August 2013 where she joined 4 other Educate Tomorrow students along with 3 generations of the McNaught family on a camping and RV tour of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, an 8 day 1,800 mile journey that changed her life. Ashley is a full-time student at Miami-Dade College majoring in Nursing.
In 2011, Erica moved to Miami. She is extremely passionate about serving disadvantaged youth and addressing educational disparities. Through her training in the Community and Social Change Master's Program , she was exposed to organizational theory and practices to help strengthen her work within community settings. As Program Coordinator, she hopes to help strengthen mentor and mentee relationships and foster new community partnerships.
Martha is Educate Tomorrow's Office Manager. She was born and raised in Miami and has been an Educate Tomorrow supporter since its founding in 2003. Martha received an undergraduate degree from University of Florida and a master's degree from Florida International University. She has served on the Board of a Prestigious Private School for 6 years. She currently has two daughters in the Miami Dade public school system and is active in their school's PTA having served on various board positions over the last 6 years.