Peri Stone-Palmquist, LMSW, MPP
peri at studentadvocacycenter.org Peri Stone-Palmquist has been Executive Director since 2012 and been an advocate for children and youth since 2005. She has a master’s in social work and public policy, and received certification as a trauma specialist. Stone-Palmquist is a statewide expert in school discipline and the educational rights of homeless children and youth. She has been trained in and implemented Check and Connect, an evidence-based education mentoring model. Previously, she led Washtenaw County’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Education project, served as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disorders and was a newspaper reporter at several papers.
Kimberly Brown, MA
B2S Family Advocate Kim came to SAC in 2018 with a lengthy career working in human services. Kim has worked more than 15 years with families and primarily with youth and juveniles. Kim has certifications in DLA-20 (Train the Trainer) assessments, CAFAS assessments and First Aid/CPR training.
Kristina Cosgrove, BSW
Check and Connect Mentor / Education Advocate for Court-Involved Youth
Kristina, BSW, has 10 years experience working with youth and families. Kristina has been passionate about working with youth and families since high school when she volunteered with Jackson County, Community Action Agency’s Family and Schools Together and interned at Lutheran Social Services. As a college student, Kristina’s passion to work with youth and families continued. She participated in volunteer, internship and employment positions, with agencies such as Avalon Housing, Family Learning Institute, Helpsource Agency, Americorps and GEAR UP. In 2010, Kristina received her Bachelor degree in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University. She returned as a Foster Care Case Manager to Lutheran Social Services from 2010-2013 and has been a mentor with SAC since 2017.
Check and Connect Mentor
Al attended Central Michigan University and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts. Most recently he completed his Graduate Certificate from Pennsylvania State University with a focus in Community and Economic Development. He came to SAC in 2018 after working for non-profit organizations in both Michigan and Pennsylvania. Through his experience, Al facilitated a variety of school-based programs in the field of youth development. During his off-hours, Al enjoys playing video games, practicing Jiu-Jitsu, and watching sports.
Danielle Flint, LMSW, SSW
danielle at studentadvocacycenter.org
Danielle is a former child welfare worker, who has experience in foster care, adoption, and Family Preservation. Danielle’s commitment to trauma focused, culturally responsive and youth driven social justice work brought her to SAC in February 2014. Danielle graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Master’s degree in Social Work, with a focus on Children and Families, and a School Social Work certification. Danielle has been a lifelong advocate for people living with disabilities and followed her passion to the field of social work nearly 10 years ago.
Myron Hardy Check and Connect Mentor
Myron has made a career of teaching and mentoring youth, primarily through public education and the arts, and joined SAC in 2019 as a Check and Connect Mentor. He graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts and California College of Arts with a Masters in Fine Arts. When he isn’t teaching or mentoring, he enjoys reading nonfiction, listening to music, and playing chess.
LaKeya Martin, BS Education Advocate LaKeya started working with SAC in March 2019. She has been dedicated in working with children and families to create positive change for 19 years. LaKeya has been an education advocate for 14 years and is currently, the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), Chairperson for Southfield Public Schools. She is a parent of a child with autism.
Ben Murphy-Smith, JD
Ben joined SAC in 2018. Previously, Ben worked for the Ypsilanti Community School district both as an administrator and an elementary school librarian. He also has worked with the Bright Futures after-school program in Ypsilanti. Ben is an attorney and formerly taught middle school social studies and coached debate in Baltimore, MD. Ben has a BA in Political Science from Concordia University in Montreal, and a JD from Vermont Law School.
Jenna Pickman, LLMSW, SSW
Jenna Pickman started at SAC in August 2018. Her passion for education and advocating for at-risk youth is what brought her to SAC. She has a bachelors degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics from Michigan State University. Jenna received her Masters of Social Work degree from The University of Michigan in 2018 with a focus on Children, Youth and Families, and a School Social Work Certification.
Shakel Raiford, MaEd., Educational Psychology Education Advocate
Shakel Raiford started at SAC in November 2017. Shakel is former child welfare worker who also has experience working in the mental health field and multiple education programs. Shakel has a passion for advocating for the educational and academic rights for at-risk youth. Shakel has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from The University of Florida and a Masters degree in Educational Psychology from Eastern Michigan University.
Brianna Slavens, BS Administrative Coordinator Brianna joined SAC in 2019. She formerly worked for Washtenaw Community College, Dawn Farm, and Pittsfield Charter Township as an Administrative Assistant. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Eastern Michigan University in 2018.
Amy Wilhelm, BSW, MSW
amy at studentadvocacycenter.org
Amy Wilhelm does so much for SAC, overseeing Bridges to School in Jackson, our statewide Students Rights Helpline and Education Advocacy in Washtenaw and Jackson counties. She worked in Lincoln Consolidated Schools on and off between 2003 and 2015 in a variety of roles, including McKinney-Vento School Ally, behavior specialist, Title I Parent Coordinator, assistant secretary and substitute teacher. She is a former school-based at-risk social worker, children’s ministry director, and in-home daycare owner.
Tina Woods, LLMSW
Tina Woods became a Programs Manager, overseeing Check and Connect and Youth Action Michigan, in September 2019. She started at SAC in November 2017 as our Education Advocate for Court-Involved Youth. She serves on the federal review team for JBS International and the Children’s Bureau for National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD). Tina served on the board of SAC’s Student Rights Project at University of Michigan, where she earned her MSW. Tina earned her BSW at University of Kansas, where she was a research assistant for the Kansas Serves Substance-Affected Families Project. Tina served on the Kansas Youth Advisory Council for six years, serving as president for two of those years. In that role, she helped to advocate for the rights of youth in care and supported work on Senate Bill 23, which established specific graduation requirements for youth in care. She helped to write a Bill of Rights for youth in care, presented to the Kansas Governor’s Conference and represented Kansas in Washington, D.C. several times.