Welcome to CYC’s 2023 Dream Makers Celebration!  We are thrilled you are joining us to celebrate the inspiring success and hard work of our students and those caring adults who have supported them along the way.     

Tonight, we will showcase the positive impact that can be made for generations to come, when all stakeholders – business, academia, community, and volunteers – come together and focus their efforts on empowering youth to excel in education, career and life. 

Presenting Sponsor


5:30 – Registration, Cocktails
and Dinner by the Bite

7:00 – Program:

Welcome with Special Student Performers
Hall of Fame Induction
Live Auction
Student Performance
Outstanding Student Recognition
Paddle Raise

8:00 – Coffee and Desserts

Deanna Smith 

North College Hill High School, 2023

Xavier University 

Nominated by 
Trish Meridy, JCG Career Specialist 

“Despite enduring serious obstacles since elementary school, Deanna has shown incredible resilience and determination to excel in her studies and extracurricular activities. Her ability to stay focused, determined, and resilient in the face of adversity is truly awe-inspiring. “ 

Demontay Campbell

Oyler High School , 2023

The University of Cincinnati

Nominated by
Bryan Talber, GRAD Cincinnati

I can’t think of a student who embodies the CYC’s core values more than De’montay. He is passionate about his school and community, giving a voice to people who might feel like they don’t have one, and his influence empowers others to stand up for themselves and fight to make the school and community a better place.”

Mohagany Wooten 

Oyler High School, 2023

The University of Cincinnati

Nominated by
Bryan Talbert, GRAD Cincinnati

Mohagany is a charismatic young woman who people are naturally drawn to. In addition to her charisma, she is an incredibly hard worker, has integrity, and she motivates others around her. She is probably the most natural leader I have seen in my time at Oyler. I’ve seen it in action as well. There’s no doubt in my mind that Mohagany possesses all the tools and the grit it takes to accomplish whatever she sets her mind to.”

Marquis Barren 

North College Hill High School, 2023

Institute of Advanced Manufacturing, Kroger  

Nominated by
Keya Neeley, JCG Career Specialist

Marquis has grown into an amazing young man. When I met him, he didn’t fully understand his potential or didn’t really believe in himself. I watched him try to give up so many times, but he didn’t. He struggled with his grades but that never stopped him. Marquis embodies Empowerment because he is a role model to the younger kids at NCH High School and he serves his community without having to be asked. Because he committed to a goal he made for himself he has become passionate about his success.” 

Mia Wright  

Shroder High School, 2023 

Northern Kentucky University 

Nominated by
Vanessa Kurtzer, CYC Community Engagement Leader

Life was not easy for Mia as a kid but that did not stop her from believing in herself and staying focused. I am proud of Mia, and I know she will make a difference in so many people’s lives. She was the best guest speaker at Saturday Hoops delivering a message on the importance of not giving up on your dreams by working hard at school, staying out of trouble and knowing that there are people who want to help you.”

Shalyla Elms 

Oyler High School, 2023

Cincinnati State Technical College 

Nominated by
Alexia Zigoris Wellington, Saturday Hoops Mentor

“Shalyla is a hard worker, cheerful giver, and an overcomer who believes she can accomplish anything. She is an excellent student, is good with people, and is always prepared to work hard. She has an uncanny ability to stay positive through even the most challenging times. “

Kaleb Sherrer 

Mt. Healthy High School, 2023 

Centre College

Nominated by
Miguel Garcia, GEARUP Advisor

“Kaleb is a very outgoing student and always ensures those who may not always speak up are included and feel they can speak their mind without judgment. Whether it be on the football field or in the classroom, he looks to push those around him to be the very best version of themselves. Even when that means he must make self-sacrifices, he wants to continue knowing that he’s making a difference. Through more in-depth conversations with Kaleb, he is willing to admit when he is wrong or when he may have not thought thoroughly of everything and come up short.He wants to work in education and help future students that come from similar backgrounds.”

Dylan Cooke

Shroder High School, 2023

Esthetician School

Nominated by
Mike Davis, JCG Career Specialist:

Dylan is a young adult that is on the move and has become very intentional regarding her post secondary plans and ambitions. She has the swagger of an adult that has longevity and veteran status in life. She will go on to do big things and I can’t wait for her phone call when she makes her first million dollars.”

Ke’Orland Harrison 

Western Hills University High School, 2023

University of Cincinnati

Nominated by
Warren Weber, PNC Mentor

“Ke’Orland is a natural leader, and his peers gravitate to his quiet confidence and his positive attitude. He is a first-generation college student and embodies the ideal of improving himself and his community. His academic choice of Nursing demonstrates these qualities with a desire to help others especially those most vulnerable.”

CYC’s Hall of Fame recognizes groups and individuals who have had sustained, transformational impact for CYC students, CYC programs and the Greater Cincinnati Community.

Miriam West, Retired CYC Mentor Director 

Miriam West embodies the spirit of mentoring in all she does. For over a decade, she served as the Mentor Director for Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. Miriam was the driving force behind the growth and expansion of CYC’s mentoring program. Under her leadership CYC became the premier mentoring organization serving young people in Greater Cincinnati. CYC continues to utilize some of her recruitment and programming principals to this day.

Ed Berg, Founder of Saturday Hoops

In 2004 Ed, with the support of his wife Sally, made a one-year commitment to venture into the inner city of Cincinnati as “urban missionaries” to support a church struggling in Over-The-Rhine. Ed and a small but dedicated group of community members developed a strategy to connect with young people in the neighborhood through basketball (a huge passion for Ed). Through this simple concept Saturday Hoops was born. Ed’s passion for sports, the community and serving others was the fuel that turned Hoops into a program now serving over 800 young people across Cincinnati each year through basketball, soccer, reading, yoga, art and more.

Dr. Wan Lim & Dr Charlie Cavallo, UC Med Mentors Founder & Leader

UC Med Mentors is led by Dr. Charles Cavallo, and was founded in 2001 by Dr. Wan Lim as an opportunity for UC medical students, to serve as mentors to the youth of Cincinnati. The program serves as a cultural exchange for the medical students, and provides opportunities for them to gain insight into the lives of children growing up in adverse conditions. The mentoring relationship exposes the mentees to new and different experiences, and provides positive reinforcement and encouragement and focuses on enhancing the mentee’s literacy. In its 22 years, the program has served 564 mentees and 824 mentors.

 Procter & Gamble   

Over 35 years ago, as Cincinnati was facing exceedingly high dropout rates, concerned community and school leaders pioneered the idea of collaboration that created a game-changing model for intervention, and founded the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. These partners were led by then P&G executive John Pepper. John proposed a model where local business leaders would collaborate with educators and community leaders to support young people through the challenges of adolescence.  Since then P&G has provided unwavering and unparalleled support in both time, talent and treasure to CYC. Thousands of P&G staff and alumni have served as volunteers, mentors and funders all working to advance the mission of CYC and to support the young people of Greater Cincinnati.

Susan Johnson, CAI, AARE, BAS, CES is President and Founder of Susan’s Auction Service, she currently has clients in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and Michigan. She enjoys consulting with her clients to increase the giving at events while the guests have fun as she entertains them. She appears at over 40 events each year; and over the past 25 years has raised over $2 Billion dollars for her clients.

She is the first woman and currently the only woman to win the Ohio Champion Bid Calling Contest held annually and has done so twice.

Susan continues to invest in herself to better her clients fundraising events. She has received CAI (Certified Auctioneer Institute), BAS (Benefit Auctioneer Specialist) from the National Auctioneer’s Association. She is a Lifetime member of the Ohio Auctioneer’s Association where she currently serves as the 2023 President. She is also a member of the Indiana and Kentucky Auctioneer Associations.

Live Auction

We’re thrilled to announce our exciting live auction items, each one is a unique opportunity to make a difference in our cause. From luxury getaways to exclusive experiences, these items promise unforgettable moments. Let’s make tonight’s auction an unforgettable success! 

Cincinnati State Culinary Experience
VIP Concert Experience
Orlando, Florida Vacation
Bengals Ultimate Fan Package

Silent Auction

Get ready to be amazed! Our online silent auction is packed with treasures waiting for your bids. Dive into a world of stunning art pieces, indulgent spa packages, and much more. Whether you’re seeking a gift, family enjoyment, or a treat for yourself, our silent auction has something for everyone. Bid now, and let the excitement begin as you secure these incredible items while supporting our worthy cause!

Dean's List​

Jack and Kay Geiger

Amy Thompson & Family

Honor Roll

Nina and Edward Paul


Cap & Gown

Kerri and Matthew Finke

What Impact Will You Make Tonight?

Your impact tonight at Dream Makers matters to so many young people and programs at CYC. Your generous donations will support programs and resources for over 4,000 young people this school year alone. Thank you for your support at any level during tonight’s exciting “$100,000 Pyramid of Dreams” themed paddle raise.

Thanks for being a Dream Maker

  • $2,500 will change outcomes for FOUR young people by providing life-changing support of CYC’s mentoring programs.
  • $1,000 empowers a field trip to a college campus for an entire classroom of CYC students.
  • $500 provides nourishing meals to CYC programs for over 100 young people.
  • $250 empowers career success by providing hands-on field trips to Greater Cincinnati Area Employers.
  • $100 helps prepare mentors by covering the cost of 10 mentor background checks.
  • Text “CYC” @366283 to donate any amount and fund the dreams of CYC’s young people.

CYC Staff

#FF00F9 #D053AD

Rabina Anand
Workforce Engagement Manager

Karla Arango
Mentor Coordinator

Dumariyea Ballew
HS Career Specialist

Marjorie Bazin
MS Career Specialist

Steven Benson
Mentor Program Manager

Christina Black
Data & Program Services Coordinator

Lamont Bohannon
MS Career Specialist

Jason Brown
Saturday Hoops Program Coordinator

Karen Connell
Assistant to CEO

Timothy Crooks
MS Career Specialist

Michael Davis
HS Career Specialist

Dubonna Dawkins
Director of HR & Risk Management

Eileene Douthard-Harris
Mentor Volunteer Administrator

Lauren Faircloth
Gear-Up Advisor

Anita Felton
JCG Program Coordinator

Miguel Garcia Espinoza
Gear-Up Advisor

Morgan Gerber
Gear-Up Site Manager

Talor Hall
Resource Coordinator

Genard Hassell
MS Career Specialist

Bryan Hatcher
Training & Innovation Manager

Whayne Herriford
HR Consultant

Stephanie Hoffman
Finance Manager

Jenny Jostworth
Chief Finance Officer

Jamie Kemp
College & Career Administrator

Abasi Key
HS Career Specialist

Vanessa Kurtzer
Community Engagement Leader

Christopher Lipscombe
IT Manager

Kaitlin Lott
Gear-Up Director

Patricia Meridy
HS Career Specialist

Stephen Mosby
Lead Resource Coordinator

Gregory Myles
HS Career Specialist

Keya Neeley
Gear-Up Advisor

Marie Nicks
HS Career Specialist

Stephanie Parker
JCG MS Program Director

Victoria Perkins
HS Career Specialist

Azaria Pittman-Carter
Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Marie Rusincovitch
Chief Advancement Officer

Kimberly Schmahl
Resource Coordinator

Patti Shepard
Events & Donor Engagement Manager

Aaron Smith
Campus Success Coach

Kimberly Thomas
HS Career Specialist

Amy Thompson

Judith Moore Tucker
JCG Consultant

Reagan Turpeau
Gear-Up Advisor

Tammy West-Gilmore
Director of Corporate & Community Engagement

Leta White
JCG HS Sr. Program Director

James Williams II
HS Career Specialist- Career Association Coordinator

Amber Woody
HS Career Specialist

CYC Board

Michelle Hershey
Managing Director
Deloitte Tax LLP

Tom Marth
GTM Advisor

Jack Geiger

Marcus Thompson
Regional Vendor Diversity Manager

John Fickle
Team Leader
Keller Williams Advisors

Ellie J. Reiser
Senior Sales Vice President
Comey and Shepherd Realtors

Terence Daniels
Senior eCommerce Relationship Manager

Ashleigh DuBois
Director of DEI
NKY Chamber of Commerce

Kerri Finke
Senior Director, Development
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Monica Foxx
Chief Operating Officer
FX Facility Group

Kevin Gade
Chief Operating Officer
Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel

DeJuan Gossett
VP/Employee Benefits Consultant
USI Insurance

Lieutenant Colonel Mike John
Assistant Police Chief
City of Cincinnati

Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney
Vice Mayor
City Council

Tony McDaniel
Senior Preconstruction Executive
Messer Construction Company

Terry McManus
Fifth Third Private Bank

Greg Metz
Awesome All Around Life and Learning Coach

Laura Mitchell
President and CEO
Beech Acres Parenting Center

Amanda Penick
Graydon Law

Laura Phillips
President and Partner
Vehr Communications

Stephanie S. Shepherd
NA Senior Director – Home Care
Procter & Gamble

Hammad Siddiqi
Vice President
PNC Bank Community Development Banking

Rob Thornton
Area Director – Financial Services

Adam Turer
Robbins, Kelly, Patterson and Tucker

Jesse Turner
Senior Director, Southwest Regional Supply Chain
The Kroger Company

Pam Webb
Retired, CHRO

YP Board

Board President
Autumn Richards
Xavier University

Board Vice-President
Meggan Thompson
Merrill Lynch

Alicia Barnache
Robbins Kelly Patterson & Tucker LPA

Olivia Blanton
Bank of America

Joe Boteler
Office of Chief Counsel for IRS

Austin Brown, Macy’s

Laura Castillo, City of Cincinnati

Kabrella Clark, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

Patrick Fluegeman
Operating Officer ABX Air, Inc.

Andrew Jacob

Ryan James

Lucien Kidd
Procter and Gamble

Cam Lane

Brittany Long
Total Quality Logistics

Jake McGinty
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati

Jon Murphy

Natalie Nielsen
Myriad Neuroscience

Caroline Trennepohl
EW Scripps

Taylor Young
Crayons to Computers

John Simmons
Fifth Third Bank


Matches caring adults with students (grades 2-16) to help them attend school regularly, improve their self-esteem and interpersonal relationships, and encourage post-secondary employment. Options include one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, worksite mentoring, and college mentoring.

One-to-one Mentoring: Matches caring adult mentors with students on a one-to-one basis; grades 2-12 and students within their first two years of college.

Co-Mentoring: An opportunity where two adults share in the mentoring of a student. This mentoring option offers great flexibility and is oftentimes the preferred choice for young professionals. Enjoy all the elements of one-to-one mentoring but share it with someone else (co-worker, spouse, friend)

Group Mentoring: This program offers exceptional flexibility. A team of mentors shares the responsibility of meeting with a group of students on a regular basis. Focus areas can include social-emotional competencies, life skills, anti-drug, financial literacy, and more. Programs vary based on the group of mentors, students, and school needs.

Girls Club: Serves girls grades 4&5 with a focus on self-care, career exploration, academic success, and social-emotional well-being.

Saturday Hoops: Supports students of all ages, focuses on positive role modeling, and includes activities such as basketball, arts, crafts, and reading more.

Corporate Mentoring: Matches corporate partners with students to focus on academic success, work readiness skills, and job site visits. Examples include PNC Scholars and P&G FAAN Mentors.

UC Med Mentors: Matches elementary students with 1st year medical students from The University of Cincinnati. Focuses on computer literacy, academic success, and exposure to new opportunities for students. Medical students increase their cultural competency and can use the mentoring experiences as an elective credit toward their degree.  

College and Career Success

Beginning in middle school, CYC provides comprehensive career and college guidance to partner schools. Programs supply individualized support and mentoring to ensure graduation and a successful post-secondary education transition. CYC AmeriCorps College Guides and GEAR UP Ohio Advisors provide:

  • ACT/SAT test prep support
  • Financial aid (FAFSA), college application support, scholarships and grants
  • College visits and college application support
  • Career exploration and planning
  • 12-month follow-up services to support the transition from high school

Resource Coordination

CYC Resource Coordinators support local school districts in implementing the Community Learning Center (CLC), a nationally recognized model of engaging school and community stakeholders to align resources to impact student success and promote vibrant communities.

  • Educational assistance through the implementation of tutoring, after-school, and academic success programming
  • Career guidance by facilitating college and career fairs, field trips, workshops, and more
  • Social-emotional support by providing access to physical and mental health services and a positive environment for all to express themselves

Work Readiness

The CYC Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates (JCG) Program is a nationally accredited year-round in-school program that prepares students for post-secondary career pursuits through career awareness, exploration, guidance, and placement. Specific focus areas include:

  • Classroom experiences for both middle school and high school students via a 1-credit hour class that meets every day of the school year
  • Leadership and self-development via the JCG Career Association, the Career Development Conference, and both professional and personal core competency skills
  • Summer work experiences for high school seniors and rising 9th graders that build employability skills and career learning through on-site experiences, including compensation
  • 12-month follow-up services to support the transition from high school

21C Museum Hotel  


Bread Smith  


Cafe Alma 

Cincinnati Cyclones  

Cincinnati State Technical and Community C


Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra  

Class Axe Throwing  

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants  

Delta Hotel  

FC Cincinnati 

Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel  

JCC- Jewish Community Center  

Jeff Ruby Foundation  

Kevin Gade  

Marc Braufman 

Music and Event Management Inc. 

New Riff Distilling  

Nina and Eddie Paul 

Nothing Bundt Cakes  

Orange Theory 

Paycor Community Impact Fund  

Perfect North Slopes  

PNC Financial Services Group 

Skyline Chili  


Trenton Irwin 

Woodhouse Spa