Copyright 2012 - Alternatives, Inc.359 Fenwick Road, Bldg. 263, Fort Monroe- Hampton, VA, 23651 - 757-838-2330
Click to follow us!
Board of Directors
Old Dominion University
Board Vice Chair
City of Newport News
City of Newport News
Dr. Paul Aravich
Eastern VA Medical School
Law Offices of Gregory C. Bane
Hampton City Council
C.E. Gardner Consulting, LLC
Mary C. Johnson
Junior League of Hampton Roads
City of Hampton
Kathy Johnson has been employed with Alternatives since 1991, has served in a variety of leadership roles and currently serves as Executive Director. She champions the development of strategic partnerships that will further the vision of Alternatives and oversees fund development and financial management. She is naturally gifted in group process and has been a Certified Professional Facilitator since 2003, using her skills to benefit not only Alternatives but other nonprofits and local government. In addition to her leadership role at Alternatives, she provides local, state, national, and international training on the principles of youth development and prevention; as well as serving as a contributor to nationally recognized prevention curricula. She also serves on the Leadership Council for the Virginia Partnership on Out of School Time and the Leadership Council for Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula. Deeply spiritual, she considers working in the field of positive youth development to be her life’s vocation in inspiring the potential of all children and youth.
Ally Graul is the Director of Youth leadership and Civic Engagement Programs, and a member of the Executive Team at Alternatives. Since 1984, she has served in a variety of roles including project director and lead writer for a school based leadership curriculum, and co-director of Alternative’s PASS AmeriCorps Program. Her passion in the work lies in helping young people gain the inspiration, confidence and skills necessary to create positive change in their community and in their own lives.
Linda Hansen has been with the agency since 1973 and is currently the Creativity Director and Human Resources Director. She is the lead trainer in Creativity and Youth Development and has developed a handbook to accompany the class. She loves to research the state of the art of the field of Youth Development to be incorporated into the agency programs. She has had a deep calling to work with children and youth especially in the area of Creativity. She herself is a self taught artist married for 41 years to Michael a musician artist himself.
Bernie Tennyson worked for Alternatives, Inc. for over 25 years and now serves as an Educational Consultant for the agency. She helped create the system where youth workers receive both training and educational resources to apply the principles of Youth Development in their practice of youth work, and has designed trainings, tools and curricula to assist in this effort. She is an adjunct professor at Thomas Nelson Community College where she helped create a 29-credit Career Studies Certificate in Youth Development. She has facilitated local, regional, national and international training. As an experiential trainer, her motto is: “Tell me…I forget. Show me…I remember. Involve me…I understand.”
David was first introduced to Alternatives as a senior in college. He served as an AmeriCorps member at the Hampton Teen Center, where he developed several youth programs focused on creativity and civic engagement. Through this service experience, David recognized his passion for youth development and gained the skills needed to enter the field. He is currently employed as a part-time Youth Development Coordinator, facilitating the York County Youth Leadership program.
Evelyn has been working in the administration field for over twenty years. She began working as the receptionist at Alternatives, Inc. since March 2008. She enjoys interacting with the young people that participate in the different programs at Alternatives. Evelyn was born and raised in Southampton County and now resides in Hampton, Virginia. She graduated from Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin, Virginia with an Associate Degree in Secretarial Science. She is married to Gerald Barnes and they have three children Kimetra, Marcus and Eric.
Mary Curran came to Alternatives in 1999 with an extensive background in school and community involvement. Currently she serves as a master Monart© instructor and as the Coordinator of Educational Services and Events. Her passion is in being able to craft - whether the result is a drawing or weaving together essential elements to ensure efficiency and harmony in the agency’s programs. Her most memorable moments are when one of her young students exclaims, “I did it!”
Maria Perkins works with Alternatives Inc. as a Youth and Community Development Director. Since 1993, her work involves training and group facilitation, cultivating healthy community development, and skill building with young people and adults who work with young people. She previously served 16 years as a Director for work force development programs in Hampton VA. Maria is a national and international trainer whose certifications and facilitation experience includes the Academy for Educational Development National Training Institute for Community Youth Work in Washington DC, NTI National Faculty and Wingspan LLC in Richmond VA.
Shireen is the Youth & Community Development Director at Alternatives Inc. and one of the AmeriCorps Supervisors. Shireen is the Director of the Hunter B. Andrews 21st Century afterschool program, 'GPS', where she works to engage youth in a variety of social and emotional enrichment programs, including Power up, Monart, Great Science, and 8 kinds of Minds. Shireen was born and raised in Newport News, attended Christopher Newport University, and has worked with young people in various ways throughout her career. She has a loving husband Christopher McHenry.
Ragen Johnson has participated in programs offered by Alternatives, Inc. since she was in middle school. She began working for the agency in 2001 and currently serves as the Program Coordinator over a nationally recognized early childhood program. In addition, she is a certified Monart teacher, national trainer and supervises agency interns. She has also facilitated high school leadership groups, developed curriculum and trainings, and worked with early childhood providers in the community. Ragen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Political Science and has a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Charles joined the Alternatives staff as a Youth Development Coordinator in 2014. Prior to coming to Alternatives, Charles worked at the Hampton Teen Center, often partnering with Alternatives staff on projects and programs for youth. Through his partnership with Alternatives, Charles noticed the relentless zeal of Alternatives staff to see youth positively engaged, motivating him to work for Alternatives one day. Charles is currently an AmeriCorps supervisor providing enrichment programming for Newport News schools. Charles received his B.S. from Hampton University and his M.A. from Liberty University. Charles is also an author, and an Elder at his local church. He loves to collect books, quotes, and pens!
Yolanda Earl is a part-time Youth Development Coordinator at Alternatives, joining the agency in September, 2014. Yolanda earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor's degree from Saint Paul's College in General Studies. Yolanda is currently working with middle school students in Newport News schools, facilitating the Botvin's Life Skills Curriculum.
Hattie received her BA degree in Psychology at the University of Virginia and a Master’s in Community/Clinical Psychology from Norfolk State University. Hattie has worked in the Childcare Field for over 25 years and served as a Director for 20 of those years, making her the perfect person to serve as preschool site coordinator for the Al's Pals Program. Hattie is very involved in her Church as a leader for the adult and young adult female population and chairperson of our Women’s Ministry. In her free time, Hattie likes to travel and spend time with family and friends.
Lamar Lynn is a part-time Youth Development Coordinator at Alternatives. From 2010-2014, he served as an AmeriCorps member with the agency, facilitating several youth programs dealing with creativity and social and emotional development. Through this service experience, he realized his true calling and passion for working with youth, and in 2016 He joined the Alternatives staff Lamar is currently working with Hampton City Schools 21st century programs. He is supervising a variety of enrichment programs including Monart, Great Science, Mindfulness, and Power up.
Brandon joined Alternatives staff as a Youth Development Coordinator in 2016. Before coming on staff, Brandon served as an AmeriCorps member under the great leadership of Charles Robinson. Brandon has a strong passion to see change in young people’s lives, and also believes that there is hope for all youth no matter the circumstance. Outside of Alternatives, Brandon serves at his church as the Lead Student Facilitator.
Jemal serves as AmeriCorps supervisor at Alternatives through their partnership with the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to engage Youth in Entrepreneurship and Community Leadership. At the Peninsula Chamber Jemal manages the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and the Youth Leadership Alliance with the support of Alternatives and their highly trained Americorps members. Jemal has been working in Youth Development for nearly a decade including serving two terms as an Americorps Member at Alternatives. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Jemal made the Hampton Roads region his home after attending Christopher Newport University for his Bachelors in Economics.
Michelle majored in Elementary Education and Dance at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). With a passion for the growth and development of young people she believes that if our youth are given supportive tools, experiences and opportunities, their creativity and outcomes are limitless.
Michelle is married with three children and one granddaughter. Her hobbies includes traveling, scrap booking, public speaking and shopping.
was introduced to Alternatives Inc. over 20 years ago, in 1997, when I founded Inspiring Minds Youth Development Center. We became partners. While they offered youth development programs, I offered children with open minds who were eager to explore. Here we are 20 years, still creating opportunities and Alternatives for our Youth. Now I'm happy to serve as staff member and Americorps Supervisor with this great Youth Development Agency, that constantly gives back to our Hampton Roads Communities.