SEEDS is led by a dynamic board of community volunteers who guide our mission, support our programs, and help us grow.
Julie Wells – Treasurer
Julie Wells has made her career in non-profit work- from community advocacy to institutional change, Julie has immersed herself in non-profit culture and issues that affect disenfranchised populations for 27 years. She began her career working with students with development disabilities, moved into work with students in the criminal justice system and has created replicated models of programs that support the most vulnerable populations in central North Carolina.
Through her work with difficult to engage populations, Julie has focused on research-based practices that help her connect with adolescents who are traditionally wary of adults, particularly those coming from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Hired as an Executive Director for a small non-profit in 2011, Julie took a community program and built it into one of the most effective and impactful full-scale non-profits for youth who struggle to meet their educational and vocational potential because of access to opportunities and systemic oppression. She led 2 mergers to grow impact and during her tenure as an Executive Director she raised in excess of $4 million to support youth in Durham.
She is a Duke University Durham Community Fellow, a 2016 Goodman Fellow and the recipient of the 2017 Community Service Award though Leadership Triangle. Julie is also the founder of the UNITY Fellowship, a capacity building and strategic leadership development program for nonprofit leaders designed to address the over-saturation and underdevelopment of the Durham non-profit community. Through the creation of the UNITY Fellowship, she has worked with 30 small non-profits- mostly led by women and BIPOC Executive Directors- to define their theory of change, their impact, and how to create funding strategies and growth metrics that are sustainable.
Julie worked with the Latino Community Credit Union as a community partner for years- developing a nationally recognized youth asset development model- pairing non-custodial accounts with financial capability training and jobs. In the Fall of 2021, she joined their team as the Vice President of the Latino Community Development Center- the non-profit membership organization that builds out community initiatives.
Stephanie Minor – Secretary
Stephanie is the Studio Manager & Director at Liberty Arts, a 20 year old Durham nonprofit origination dedicated to making art accessible to everyone in our community. She grew up in Connecticut and attended Hartford Art School, graduating Magna Cum Laude with dual concentrations in Sculpture and Illustration. She spent 6.5 years working as a Project Manager at a prestigious sculpture foundry in New York where she fell in love with details, process, and improving methods & practices for a better and more effective outcome.
She is a passionate environmentalist who feels that even the smallest effort to make our planet a greener, more sustainable place to live can make a difference; through that passion, she adopted a vegan lifestyle to minimize the negative impact of factory farming on our planet. Her mother is a master gardener & lifelong advocate for Mother Earth, which imprinted upon her at a very young age. Stephanie is a mother to her two children & two dogs, a wife to a hardworking chef, and loves fitness and running. She promises to bring her enthusiasm for sustainable living and contagious positive attitude to the community at SEEDS.
Joe Corsaro – Fuqua on Board Member
Joe is a former consultant who is an MBA candidate at The Fuqua School of Business. Joe is serving as a member of the Fuqua on Board program and hopes to be able to apply his past governance experiences. As someone who loves to cook and is passionate about the sustainability of food, Joe is excited to help SEEDS grow the next generation of our community.
Vanessa Vargo – Fuqua on Board Member
Vanessa, a former consultant, is an MBA candidate at The Fuqua School of Business. She is serving as a member of the Fuqua on Board program and is excited to be able to apply her past experience at the East Boston community farm in Durham. Vanessa is extremely passionate about urban sustainability and farming and is looking forward to joining the SEEDS board.
Dan is studying at Peabody College/Vanderbilt University for a Doctor of Education and has a Master of Science in Management from NYU. He has been volunteering at SEEDS for the last seven years in many capacities. He also has volunteered at other non-profits in teaching technology for children and adults, and his passion is helping people learn. With a 25-year professional history working in large tech companies, Dan is keenly aware of the digital divide that negatively impacts Durham’s underserved youth communities, and he wants to help SEEDS connect STEAM concepts to community gardening to enrich the great programming SEEDS is already delivering.
Brittani Clark has been a Durham resident for the past 12 years and is happy to call this thriving city home. She is a mother to six children, two of whom have attended SEEDS after-school and summer programming. Brittani is heavily involved in the community and believes that it is her duty to serve the community in ways that benefit us all. She serves as a board member for a number of organizations. Professionally, Brittani Clark has worked as an educator with over 10 years of experience. Most recently, she has transitioned out of the classroom to work in the non-profit sector where her work focuses on advocacy for more equitable school solutions for Black children. Brittani holds a masters degree in teaching special education and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Equity. In her free time, if ever there is any, Brittani enjoys reading novels, visiting cozy coffee shops, and traveling.
Jameca has worked in finance for Duke University for over 20 years and is a native Durhamite. She brings to the table over ten years of nonprofit management and enjoys working in her community. With her unique perspective, combined with love of her community, and business background, she hopes to make a positive impact as a member of the SEEDS board.
Cornelius was born and raised in NYC before moving to the Triangle in July 2010. He started working at Duke as the support lead of a proprietary psychiatric assessment tool for children and adolescents. Since then he has been at many big firms in the area such as NetFriends, NC Mutual Life, and COCG before finding his calling in education at The Exploris School and has now been the Director of Technology at Research Triangle High School for the past 5 years. He has over 15 years of technical support experience and is one of those millennials without a college degree. He is married with two kids, loves Durham, misses good pizza/bagels/bodegas, and loves gardening, hiking/camping, video games, and anything Marvel-related.
Erin developed a close relationship to the land and the natural world while being raised in the heart of Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of N.C. Attending UNC-CH brought her to the area and she has called Durham home for over 20 years now. Erin has a passion for teaching others about our natural world through gardening. Her focus is on building community, supporting native habitats, improving access to fresh foods, and personal empowerment through gardening.
Born in Peru, Paola is a mixed media artist and dancer who resides in Durham since 2005. A fierce advocate for human, social, gender rights and Neurodiversity inclusion, she believes strongly in intentional active community collaboration and participation to increase the levels of emotional intelligence and mental health. She lives in downtown Durham with her husband and their two dogs.
Tiayonna Liska (on maternity leave)
Tiayonna is the owner and Lead Garden Educator for Carolina Garden Coaching, LLC. She enjoys sharing her passion for healthy living, social awareness, and eco-consciousness everywhere she goes. Growing up in many southeastern states, she has a fondness for being outdoors surrounded by nature. After graduating from NCSU in Animal Science she decided to pursue further education in Agricultural Education and Extension, which led her to discover her true calling in teaching. Currently, she enjoys spending days working in her home garden with her 3 year old and teaching others how to grow their own food.
Brittney Moore (on maternity leave)
Brittney graduated with a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has a particular interest in educating people on the importance of exercise in their lives and is passionate about promoting the concept of health and wellness to lead an overall good quality of life. Interest in the SEEDS program stemmed from this passion and a desire to get involved in a program that educated kids on the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables, which can promote healthy weight and encourage life-long healthy habits. She feels that adolescence is an optimal time to do so and hopes to make an impact on the SEEDS program and in the Durham community by dedicating resources and knowledge to increase awareness and empower youth to take an active role in their health and wellness.
David has been at Duke the last 20 years, running science and ed tech programs for Durham students. His students have created a video shown at DPAC, published two books, written plays, taught history of medicine online, and even completed a work project at SEEDS, because few things are as satisfying as nurturing plants (and children)! He hopes to add some high-tech, like augmented reality to the high-touch of gardening.