Director of Alumni Engagement
Alison joined the College Mentors team in January 2014 after spending several years in the legal field. She graduated from Indiana University with a dual degree in History and Criminal Justice and earned a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. Alison enjoys traveling, UK basketball, musicals, and exploring new cities with her husband and dog. A native of Lexington, KY, Alison is excited to be part of a growing organization that impacts the lives of kids, college students, and communities!
“College Mentors helps kids envision amazing possibilities for the future, while simultaneously developing college students into tomorrow’s community leaders. I am thrilled to be part of such an impactful and unique program!”
Chief Operating Officer
Looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, Amanda Koushyar joined College Mentors as a program director in January 2005 and now serves as Chief Operating Officer. A native of Georgia, Amanda graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in management and a focus in finance and operation management. Amanda currently resides in Indiana with her husband and two little girls.
“I am touched on a daily basis with stories from mentors and children and how College Mentors has impacted them. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be involved in something so special! The passion of our volunteers is contagious and seeing the program in action is so rewarding!”
Associate Director of Programming
Carly joined the College Mentors team in September 2017 after spending several years in the education field. She graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Kindergarten/Primary Education. Carly and her husband Austin live in Indianapolis and enjoy spending their time outdoors.
“I am passionate about making a difference in a community and I am thrilled to be a part of the College Mentors for Kids team! What drew me to College Mentors was their enthusiasm for making difference in a child’s life. By connecting college students and children, they have created a unique program with the ability to change lives. I am so happy to be included in this journey!”
Senior Associate Director of Programming
Carina Grainey joined College Mentors for Kids in January 2014 after spending several years in South Korea working as a foreign language instructor. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a dual degree in communications and journalism and recently received a master’s degree in international development from Yonsei University. Carina is passionate about providing youth with the tools they need to succeed and thrilled to join the College Mentors for Kids team.
“The enthusiasm that everyone connected with College Mentors for Kids exudes is incredibly inspiring. By cultivating a link between college students and kids, this program has created something truly special with enormous potential to transform lives and communities. I am so excited to be a part of the story.”
Associate Director of Programming
Cody was absolutely ecstatic to join the College Mentors National Staff in 2016! He graduated from Virginia Tech in May of 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and served as the founding chapter president of College Mentors for Kids at Virginia Tech during its first year and a half of existence on campus in Blacksburg. Cody has been a semi-professional DJ for 7 years and has even opened for major artists, including T-Pain, Fetty Wap, and Sammy Adams. Native to Ridgeway, VA, he grew up in his local 4-H program and has worked with youth in multiple capacities focusing on leadership, life skills, and STEM-based initiatives. He’s so excited to continue his journey in youth development with his position on our team.
“I became a part of College Mentors for Kids because it became clear to me over all my years working with children that youth in our country don’t have many consistent or strong advocates. We all want “what’s best,” but that phrase does not have a universal meaning. College Mentors for Kids is dedicated to teaching kids how to think for themselves instead of what to think or making decisions for them and I believe that is an invaluable, incredible service. Children see the magic in the world because they look for it and we all have the amazing opportunity to be magicians.”
Emily Meyer joined the College Mentors team after graduating from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2005. As an undergraduate majoring in English, Emily spent three years volunteering for the university’s College Mentors chapter. After having lived it as a college student volunteer for the program at IU, I feel blessed to work in a fun, energizing, and supportive work environment with the best people in the world, doing the best work possible. Natives of Indianapolis, Emily and her husband Jack have known each other since elementary school and have four young kids: John, Thomas, Rose, and Mae. Emily’s oldest and youngest share a birthday, exactly six years apart.
“I love working for College Mentors because of all of the amazing people I get to interact with each day. From our dedicated university and school partners to our inspirational college students and children as well as our hardworking and enthusiastic headquarters staff and board, I continue to be inspired by the work and accomplishments of those involved with College Mentors for Kids.”
Director of Operations
Erin (Murphy) Cosler graduated from Butler University in 2011 with a dual degree in International Management and International Studies, as well as a minor in Spanish. Passionate about youth and education, Erin joined College Mentors in August 2011 and is excited to work with an organization committed to making a difference in the lives of children across the Midwest.
“The dedication of the College Mentors for Kids staff and volunteers is truly inspirational; it’s refreshing to work with people wholly committed to investing in the next generation of leaders. Children are the future, and through positive mentor relationships they will be equipped with the skills and confidence they need to impact the world.”
Jenna joined College Mentors for Kids in 2016 as an Operations Associate and enjoys working with a team of individuals who are both fun to be with and passionate about the power of mentoring. Jenna and her husband, Joey, have one daughter, Analie, two cats, and 13 chickens. Jenna attended Iowa State University before graduating from a smaller Bible college in Iowa, where Joey also graduated from. They have lived in Indianapolis since 2010 and love calling this city their home.
“I enjoy supporting the college students as they do the week to week mentoring; it’s rewarding to hear the stories from the Little Buddies. Mentoring is an important part of my growth story, and I love that my work empowers others to continue to pay that forward to kids around the country.”
Director of Programming
Julie Bowman joined College Mentors for Kids in 2012. After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in finance and international business, she spent a year in the corporate world gaining business experience. Julie is excited to now work for an organization committed to impacting the lives of children and developing the leadership skills of college students.
“Research shows that positive adult relationships are one of the key predictors of a child’s future success. College Mentors for Kids empowers college students to be those positive adult relationships to children in need of such an influence. I love that College Mentors for Kids improves communities in the Midwest by simultaneously empowering and inspiring children and young adults through its mentoring program.”
Laura Feldman Mishkin,
Director of Corporate and Foundation Development
Since Laura Feldman Mishkin joined College Mentors for Kids in 2005, she’s worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA and on the programming and development teams. Laura earned her degree in sociology at Wellesley College. Laura and her husband Ben are both natives of Tennessee.
“I enjoy the combined approach to mentoring and college access as well as working with a young and growing organization.”
Development and Community Engagement Manager
Macara joined College Mentors for Kids, originally as a program director, in 2007. Her passion for helping others quickly narrowed to focus on children who were potential first generation college students, as she is. She loves that at College Mentors she has a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and college students each year. Both Macara and her husband are graduates of Purdue University. They enjoy spending time together with their three young children and participating in sports and outdoor activities.
“College Mentors quickly became not just my job, but a major part of my life. I feel fulfilled and excited to work each day, knowing that the impact our program has is positively changing the life trajectory for thousands!”
Lindsay is so excited to be a part of the College Mentors for Kids team as an intern for the summer! She is going to be a senior at Purdue University and will be serving her second term as president. Lindsay is studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and hopes to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. She loves being involved with College Mentors for Kids at Purdue and seeing her little buddy grow each time they are together. In her free time, Lindsay likes to run or do yoga!
“College Mentors for Kids is changing so many lives every day and I am so lucky to be a part of it! The little buddies continue to teach me more than I can teach them, and I cannot wait to see how they change the world.”
AmeriCorps Programming VISTA
As a part of her gap year before Dental School, Morgan started serving as a VISTA for our College Mentors for Kids team in August of 2017. She graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Human Biology as well as a minor in Psychology. Morgan is excited to be a part of an organization that utilizes college students to empower children to aspire for brighter futures.
“Growing up my family had several resources that allowed me to receive a great education which gave me the power to strive towards my dream of becoming a Dentist. I’m so inspired by organizations like College Mentors for Kids that give children these same resources so they can strive for their dreams as well.”
AmeriCorps Development VISTA
A recent graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Nonprofit Management, Miranda wished to find a team of individuals devoted to creating a better present and future. Furthermore, she wanted to gain professional experience. An AmeriCorps VISTA placement at College Mentors was the perfect fit. She’s elated to be part of the team and eager to go on this year-long learning journey.
“From deciding to major in Nonprofit Management to the subsequent years of education, it has all culminated in me being a part of the College Mentors team. I love that College Mentors reaches kids at such a young age, enabling them picture themselves on a college campus and to plan for their future. I am excited to be a part of an organization that proves its civic-mindedness through daily acts and its mission!”
Shelley joined the College Mentors for Kids family in 2008 first as a board member and later as CEO in 2016. She received her B.A. in English Literature from DePauw University and her M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Shelley loves to watch Jeopardy and gets especially excited when the following categories are selected: state capitals, sports, and literature. It was Shelley’s passion for education that drove her to become involved with College Mentors as a volunteer. Now as CEO, she is excited to spearhead development and community engagement efforts to reach our 2020 goal of serving 5,000 kids and 5,000 college students.
“College Mentors is important because it opens the doors to higher education for young people who may not have even considered the possibility of attending college and succeeding.”
Molli has spent three years in various leadership roles in Butler University’s Chapter of College Mentors for Kids, including Chapter President. Working with the children in this program has completely changed her life and she is eager to give back to the organization this summer as an intern! She will be graduating from Butler in May 2019 with a degree in Elementary Education and plans to spend her career serving the future leaders and difference makers.
“This program has shown me how people of all ages from different backgrounds and environments can come together and leave a positive impact on this world. Many people think this program is for the kids, but I’ve learned more from the little buddies than I could ever teach them”
Regional Director of Development and Community Engagement
Stephanie was first introduced to the College Mentors program in January 2010 as a mentor to a Bloomington, Indiana fourth grader and has since had the pleasure of serving in many roles with College Mentors as both a volunteer and staff member. Stephanie lives in Washington, DC where she works to build support and awareness for the College Mentors for Kids program in the Mid-Atlantic region.
“College Mentors for Kids provides elementary students a vision for their future and college students leadership experience and the opportunity to connect with their community. I love being involved with an organization that facilitates meaningful mentoring relationships with proven outcomes and working with staff and volunteers dedicated to providing children and college students the resources and experiences to realize a bigger and brighter future!”