Gabriel martinez cabrera
Gabe joined LCMC in August 2017. He has worked in under-served communities in New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Over the years, his work evolved into workforce development, where he was in charge of a federally funded program that helped young returning citizens find family sustaining employment. He brings to his work a belief that education is more than teaching; it is an act of building community.
More recently, he worked for a research firm called Digital Promise, where he continued his communications and advocacy work to create a coalition of forward thinking adult education programs called The Beacon Project. Through the Beacon Project, he was able to bring to light the work of over 500 adult education sites across the country raising the profile of low-skilled adult learners with a culminating advocacy event that brought together the Joyce Foundation, the Barbara Bush foundation, and the X-Prize Foundation and that convened over 300 participants in 5 cities across the US. Since Digital Promise, he returned to grassroots community work as Deputy Chief Program Officer at the Academy of Hope where he oversaw recruitment, workforce development and non-academic programming.
Director of Community Impact
Denise Hill has been an educator for over 20 years. She believes in the power of education to empower the individuals she serves. Denise is also a highly sought-after motivational speaker and resource in media, education, and activist circles for creative, engaging, and effective presentations. Her work addresses individual, cultural, and national triumphs and tragedies and is designed to provoke thought, compel dialogue, and most importantly, foster change.
Director, Academic Programming
Born and raised in Turkey, Ahu has been calling Maryland home since 2004. She was an English Instructor for many years at a private university in Istanbul, Turkey before moving to the States to pursue her master’s degree. Ahu has a B.A in English as a Foreign Language and Education. She holds a M.Ed in Adult Education from Strayer University. She is currently pursuing her Ed.D degree in Adult Education. Ahu has worked in Adult Ed programs in various roles since 2007. She became the Intake Assessment Specialist at LCMC in 2015; later changing to a different role as an Instructional Specialist. In addition to her responsibilities at work, she participates in different committees, and professional development groups throughout the State and locally.
Her areas of expertise are: Curriculum and Instruction, ESL/EFL Instruction, Assessments, and GED, Mentoring and Coaching. If you ask her why she loves working at LCMC, the first thing she will tell is that she feels that she is helping the community by working with teachers closely for better instruction so that students could reach their potential, and be a part of the community without language barriers.
When Ahu is not busy with work responsibilities, she loves to spend time with her family.
Assistant Director, Training and Curriculum Design
Alexandra joined the LCMC in November 2016 as the Programs Manager. Her journey in the ESL field dates back to when she came to the United States for the first time to learn English. She, herself, was an adult ESL student. After studying English for two years, she went back to her home country Colombia, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Alexandra decided to return to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree in TESOL. Alexandra has over six years of experience teaching adult ESL classes in Maryland and Virginia. She has also taught Spanish at the college level.
Alexandra loves to work in the adult ESL field because she believes there is no career more rewarding than helping adult ESL students improve their language skills in order to reach their goals and have better lives. In her free time, she enjoys visiting new places, listening to music, and reading.
Assistant Director, Development
Geneva, who goes by “Nevie,” earned her BA in English literature and theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park, and holds an MA in Communications from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining the Literacy Council, Nevie spent several years at the Humane Society of the United States, where she worked on the direct marketing team at its headquarters and even spent a year in rural Texas doing outreach and education for Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch wildlife sanctuary. Before that, she got her start in fundraising as the Development Intern for Active Minds, Inc., in Washington, DC.
Having grown up in Montgomery County, she cares deeply about her home community. She volunteers regularly walking dogs at her local animal shelter (MCASAC), and she’s proud to be part of the Emerging Leaders Class of 2018 with Leadership Montgomery.
Nina Pashkina is a Data Analyst, who worked for non-profit organizations and marketing agencies. She has an analytical background that helped her to successfully accomplish developing of databases for Coca-Cola, Unilever and Audubon Naturalist Society.
She is motivated in her work by the opportunity to make our students’ data flow smoother, and be more accessible, through designing and implementing our databases. She develops and maintains our data system with the priority goal of making tracking and analyzing student progress and determining student needs as clear as possible.
Nina holds a Bachelor of Science in social psychology, and is a cat-lover and a passion mushroom hunter from Russia.
Intake and Assessment Manager
Rishan has been with the Literacy Council since March 2017. She has worked in both the tutoring program and classroom program. As the Intake and Assessment Manager, her duties include assessing and placing students into the classroom program. In addition to assessing students, Rishan is on LCMC's communication and outreach team. In this role, she creates and disseminates all promotional materials for the ESL classroom program. Rishan has taught in the Adult Ed Program at Prince George’s Community College, Montgomery College, and The Suburban Maryland Welcome Back Center.
Rishan understands the need for organization like LCMC as she and her family came to America as refugees. It is organizations like this helped her family and many others achieve the American dream. Prior to working in Adult Ed, Rishan worked as a journalist and has been published in The Guardian.
GED Site Manager/Master Teacher
Darrel comes to LCMC with a true sense of service. He was an educator with PGPS before coming to LCMC to lead our GED program. Darrell’s expertise is with students with learning differences.
HR/Operations Project Manager
Serving and giving back has been an integral part of Ashley’s life for as long as she could remember. After receiving her B.A. in Strategic Communications from Elon University, Ashley’s first look into adult education began at a small literacy council in North Carolina where she served as an AmeriCorps member for two years. While there, she worked with the workplace literacy program, where she helped students with GED prep. She taught ESL classes. Seeing the positive impact that she had on the students fueled her desire to keep giving back. After Ashley’s AmeriCorps service terms were up, she moved back to Maryland in search of the next opportunity. She found LCMC, and has been here since February of 2017.
Tutoring Program Manager
Ruth began teaching ESL classes for the Literacy Council in the fall of 2015. She spent 2 concurrent years teaching at the International Language Institute of MD. In September of 2018, Ruth joined the LCMC staff full-time as the Tutoring Program Manager. Since she can’t seem to get enough of the experience, she also continues to teach evening ESL classes as well as LCMC’s pilot workplace ESL classes at a local McDonald’s restaurant.
Helping both English and Basic Literacy learners to share their stories, strengthen their communities and increase their opportunities in life has been one of the most personally rewarding experiences imaginable for Ruth. She loves meeting all the interesting new people every day and hearing about their cultures, their lives and their goals and dreams for the future.
Ruth obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Human Resources, and a Graduate TESOL Certificate. She is fascinated by human behavior, learning, cultures, language and communication.
Community Resource Manager
Raul joined the Literacy Council in August 2019 as the Community Resource Manager. His experience in education started in 2009 as an adjunct ESL instructor for Prince George's Community College. Since then, he has worked in education as an instructor, tutor, youth development worker, admissions representative, and now as a community resource manager.
No matter what his role is, he loves to serve the community because there is nothing more rewarding than helping others to achieve their goals and dreams. He also loves working in this field because we never stop learning. Education is the key to success.
He earned his Master's degree in Technology in Education, his Bachelor's degree in Spanish Language and Literature, and his Associate's degree in Radio Broadcasting. When he's not impacting lives, he loves to watch films, run, hike mountains, dance salsa, read books, and his new hobby is painting.