2023 Healing-Centered Mentoring™ Fellowship

What is Healing-Centered Mentoring™?

Healing-Centered Mentoring™ (HCM) is a framework that will build the capacity of mentoring organizations to increase the number of youth receiving evidence-based mental health services through mentoring, simultaneously reducing the burden on existing systems of care, and reducing the barriers to mental health services, particularly for BIPOC youth.

Healing-Centered Mentoring™ Fellowship

Healing-Centered Mentoring™ fellows will receive training, technical assistance, and capacity-building services. Throughout the course of the Fellowship, which runs from April to October, participants will receive coaching to apply HCM skills within their organization or program; a $2,500 stipend to compensate practitioners for their commitment to the HCM cohort; access and training on utilizing ROSA to support youth mental health outcomes; and peer learning opportunities with supportive and accountable professionals.

Learn more about the HCM Fellows below.

2023 Healing-Centered Mentoring™ Fellows

Tyson Ashe headshot

 Tyson Ashe

Occupational Course of Studies Teacher, Heritage High School

Tyson Ashe is currently an Occupational Course of Studies Teacher at Heritage High School. He was inspired to Major in Special Education after his high school football coach asked him to volunteer for the Special Olympics and he had a rewarding experience.   He received his Bachelor’s Degree from  NC A&T State University and his Masters’ Degree from Concordia University.  He is a first generation graduate. Tyson spent the early part of his career teaching in Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina.

He then took a break from education to work in mental health, primarily with adults with developmental disabilities. He chose to return to education in 2008 and began teaching at Heritage High School in 2014. While at Heritage he assisted the Intervention Coordinator by initiating mentoring groups, specifically The Men of Distinction and The Male Leadership Summit. Shortly thereafter, he decided to start a Helping Hands mentoring group at Heritage Middle School in order to mentor students that would matriculate to Heritage High School. Additionally, Tyson joined the 100 Black Men of America in order to provide community mentoring.  He now serves as the Mentoring Committee Chairperson  He believes that intentionally caring enough to do something different so that someone else doesn’t have to feel different, fosters mentoring that builds relationships that will enhance the lives of young men of color. He strives to build and preserve human dignity. Tyson’s personal goal is to be a mission-focused, flexible leader while remaining authentic.


Shaneka Bynum headshot

Shaneka Bynum

National Director of Employee Development, YAP, Inc.

Shaneka Bynum is a NC native, where she grew up in Northampton County. She attended Hollins University and graduated as a Women's Studies major.

Shaneka resided in Southwest Virginia for 15 years, where she launched her career as an advocate with Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP, Inc.) working in the community supporting youth and families involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice system. She is currently the National Director of Employee Development for YAP, Inc.

This winter, she will be graduating with a Master of Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Outside of her passion for building healthy communities, she is an avid reader of Black history and supporting Black and women's small businesses. She currently resides in Durham with her ten-year-old son, Yaniv, and her partner, Brian.

Brittani Clark

Brittani Clark

Founder and Executive Director, The Black Girls for Liberation Collective

The Black Girls for Liberation Collective is a non-profit organization founded in 2021 in response to a community need that was left unmet by Durham resident Brittani Clark. Brittani is a mother of two of her own Black girls, has a professional background as an educator, and considers herself a community activist. Brittani AND the Black Girls for LIberation space is dedicated to nurturing Black girls and grounded in an ethic of care and acceptance of our individual ways of being. BGfL prioritizes cultivating co-created spaces of joy, healing, and liberation with and for Black girls. At The Black Girls for Liberation Collective, we recognize the brilliance of Black girls and the need for them to have sacred spaces to convene, develop, understand self, build relationships with one another, be affirmed, and dream out loud. The Black Girls for Liberation Collective was developed alongside Black adolescent girls, particularly those navigating the transitions from elementary to middle school. Honoring the voice and brilliance of Black girls, the Black Girls for Liberation Collective envisions a future of a liberated generation of Black girls who have an in-depth understanding of self and their stories -living unapologetically and free.

Sharon Decoster headshot

Sharon Decoster

Executive Director, Building a Better You

Sharon Y. Decoster is a graduate of Athens Drive High School and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management from St. Augustine’s University. She is a change agent, visionary, consultant, producer, mentor, author, professional grant writer, certified life coach, and motivational speaker.

Harnessing her passion, in 2002, Sharon started Building A Better You. The program was formed and piloted at Right Direction, a group home serving girls in Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina. She then went on to serve as a liaison and facilitator for the P.R.O.U.D. program, an intervention/prevention program for at-risk girls referred by the Durham County Juvenile Court system. For over 20+ years, Sharon has worked in various capacities serving youth across the Triangle and beyond. Her experience is vast and includes working with the Durham after-school Encore program, Durham T.E.A.S., SISTERS, YES program, the YWCA of the Greater Triangle, Passage Homes, Haven House, Torchlight Academy, Garner Flames AAU, and the City of Raleigh to name a few.

Building A Better You, was structured as a nonprofit organization in 2018, where Sharon serves as the Executive Director. The organization’s mission is to empower teen girls and young adult women to develop character, confidence, a positive body image, self-esteem, and strong leadership skills. Sharon has mentored and served well over 3000+ youth throughout her career. She is proud and grateful to see youth who have gone through the program grow into productive, independent, and confident adults.

Dr. Iwinosa Idahor headshot

Dr. Iwinosa Idahor

Student Engagement & Opportunity Coordinator, Durham Public Schools

Iwinosa Idahor serves as the Student Equity, Engagement and Opportunity Coordinator for Durham Public Schools. In this role, she primarily provides support and facilitates additional professional learning for boys/girls of color programs and coordinators across the district. Along with supporting coordinators, in collaboration with various stakeholders, she also supports the design/development, implementation and evaluation of equity-focused initiatives that centers students from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups. Her myriad of experiences with students spans over 10 years and includes work at the K-12 and college levels, in traditional and non-traditional settings. Iwinosa is dedicated to amplifying the voices and experiences of students through (counter)narratives, advocacy and creating/cultivating spaces and access to meaningful, impacting opportunities and resources. She hopes that her work and impact will lead to equitable and optimal educational experiences and outcomes for students and their families.


Tiffany McKoy headshot

Tiffany P. McCoy

Program Director, EmpowerU Community Services, INC

Tiffany discovered her passion for youth in 2009 when she began working as a community support team member in the mental health sector. Since then, Tiffany has worked tirelessly to create programming for school-age youth in underserved populations, those with behavioral health diagnoses, and justice-involved youth. Being a part of community initiatives such as Reclaiming Futures, Tiffany helped build community interest and facilitated forums with members of local law enforcement and local judicial branches, public school educators, and mental health professionals. In November 2021 Tiffany founded Empower U Community Services, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed to empower and equip underserved communities to overcome economic disparities by providing targeted programming to engage, educate and empower.


Dr. Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Dr. Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Chairperson and Mentoring Program Director, Leadership LINKS, Inc.
Nina Spinelli

Nina Spinelli

Mentor and Board Member, Brothers & Sisters of Aiken County

Nina Spinelli is a dedicated and passionate advocate for child welfare, working tirelessly to protect and improve the lives of vulnerable children. With a deep commitment to ensuring the well-being and rights of every child, Nina has made a significant impact on the field through her advocacy efforts, expertise, and unwavering dedication.

Nina holds her BA in Political Science from the University of South Carolina Aiken and her Master of Public Administration from Augusta State University. Nina is an Adverse Childhood Experience trainer and works to help bridge the gap between the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

Nina serves on several boards and is a Guardian-ad-Litem advocate for child permanency and safety.

Tiffany Swoope headshot

Tiffany Swoope

 Founder and CEO, Greater Ascension Community and Economic Development (GRACED), Inc.

Ms. Tiffany Swoope is the Founder and CEO of Greater Ascension Community and Economic Development, Inc. (“GRACED, Inc.”), a community-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to empowering underserved youth in Durham, NC by providing advocacy, case management, and life-enhancing programs that support self-reliance while breaking trauma cycles.

GRACED, Inc. is rooted in bringing healing to people who have been through extreme trauma. Born to an undereducated and underemployed single mother who was a former sharecropper, our founder was once one of the youths whom the organization aims to reach. Educated as a rocket scientist, Ms. Swoope connected with mentors and received effective support which allowed her to overcome the perils of trauma and intergenerational poverty after she became a single mother at the age of fifteen. Ms. Swoope went on to establish a successful career in the affordable housing industry as she and her daughter worked to break the chains of trauma in their lives.  Today, Ms. Swoope’s daughter is a college graduate, a successful entrepreneur, a loving wife, and a phenomenal mother.

GRACED, Inc. is changing the trajectory of others who have similar personal encounters but need sound direction, support, and strategy to overcome life’s obstacles to live their lives intentionally.

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Learn more about our new Healing-Centered Mentoring™ framework.

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Why Mentoring?

Mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity