Board of Directors
Sister Ellen Burkhardt, O.P.
Greg Cascione, Ph.D
Pastor Corey Kennard
William "Bill" McKnight
"What we do is a call that touches the individual, their family, and our community."
Former Board Chair
MEET OUR STAFF
Yolanda has more than 25 years experience in accounting and finance. She attended Wayne State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Master of Arts degree in Industrial Relations. Her hobbies are singing and roller skating. She enjoys entertaining her family and friends at her home. She also enjoys nice vacations to warm climates, especially with beaches. Yolanda believes in living life to the fullest. Her motto is you only get one life to live so live it to the fullest.
Program Support Associate
Katie has worked with students from children to adults in special education, social studies, math, phonics, and art programming. Other experience includes working in elder care, coordinating young adult volunteers, event planning, copy writing, and editing. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Florida.
Moni comes to Siena with a customer service background and more than 10 years experience in medical billing, data entry, and building networks for medical offices. In her free time, she is an artist who draws and writes poetry. Moni was born in Detroit and has returned to the city after living in Arizona and North Carolina.
Derek has been an educator for more than 25 years, working with ABE, ESL, and GED students. He is a graduate from Spring Arbor University. Derek is pleased to have this opportunity to continue to educate and assist adult learners to accomplish their goals.
Community Resource Navigator
Juliet has 25 years of experience in the social services field. She has a bachelor's degree of human services from Siena Heights University. Juliet will assist students in bridging the gap in connecting to resources in the community. She has expertise in helping to navigate our students to better outcomes in addition to a successful educational experience at Siena Literacy Center.
Social Work Intern
Marissa is our MSW intern. She is in her first year of Wayne State University's social work program. She has her BA in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. She aspires to be an elementary school social worker after she completes her degree. She is currently working in schools as an ASD paraprofessional. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband and three children going on adventures to local attractions and ending the day reading them bedtime stories.
Computer Lab Manager
Abdualsalam is our Computer Lab Manager. Abdual provides support in the computer lab to learners and tutors. He also provides support in the registration and retention of new learners. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Siena Literacy Center. He is married and the father of seven beautiful children.
Jermaine Minor is the Building Custodian. Jermaine works to maintain Siena Literacy Center as a clean and welcoming place to visit. He is very helpful to staff, tutors, and learners and always has a warm smile or greeting for all who enter the building. He is very committed to doing a great job!
Caitlyn Pisarski believes education is society’s most powerful tool to challenge oppression and injustice. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has over 11 years of experience in the field of adult education. Caitlyn coaches staff in a program delivery approach grounded in person-centered and trauma-informed methods. She received her BSW and BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MSW from the University of Michigan, specializing in community and social systems with a minor in the management of human services. Caitlyn lives in Detroit, teaches soapmaking classes with Motor City Soap Company to clean chemistry enthusiasts and enjoys exploring the woods of Northern Michigan.
Assessment and Data Management Coordinator
Employed at Siena Literacy Center since August 2002, Sr. Mary Anna is a Certified ProLiteracy Action Tutor. She has taught and administered in elementary schools for 35 years, has a Master's of Education degree and an Associate's degree in Occupational Therapy. Sr. Mary Anna really loves traveling, taking pictures, and cooking, especially creating new brunch dishes.
Mary graduated from Wayne State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. She has experience in education from Detroit Public Schools and various Oakland County schools. Other experience includes volunteering in an outreach ministry through her church, at the Detroit Rescue Mission, and various nursing homes. She has also volunteered at the John Dingell VA Medical Center. Mary enjoys traveling, especially in and around the United States on land, sea, or air. She is glad for this opportunity to help in assisting adult learners achieve their goals.
Eva joined Siena Literacy Center in February 2022. Before joining Siena, Eva worked with foster care kids in Livonia, Michigan. Eva's passion for nonprofit and advocacy work stemmed from her experiences serving in the Washington, D.C., public schools as an AmeriCorps member. Her degrees are in history and criminal justice. Eva is a proud military wife, a coffee lover, and a bookworm. When she is not at work, she can be found in her favorite reading chair and drinking coffee. Eva's dream is to start an alpaca sanctuary one day in a very distant future....
A life-long resident of southeast Michigan, Bill joined the Siena Literacy team in June 2023 as a math instructor. He holds a BA and an MSW from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). Prior to retirement, Bill served as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Administrator for two Fortune 500 companies, both of which received national recognition for contributions to the field for joint labor/management programming. In retirement Bill has taught adult education math in Southwest Detroit and worked seasonally for UPS and the Detroit Tigers.
Social Work Intern
Crystal is our BSW intern from Wayne State University. She is in her second year of her social work program. She has her Associate of Arts degree from Wayne County Community College. Upon completion of her BSW, with a minor in psychology, she will begin her MSW program with advanced standing status. Crystal aspires to work in child welfare or school social work. She is currently working in schools as a social studies teacher. Crystal is a licensed cosmetologist and enjoys being creative with unique clothing designs and making desserts. In her free time, she can often be seen spending time with her new fiancé or being a sports mom to her two children.