Our Staff

Elizabeth Levene

Executive Director
919-763-3061 ext. 700

Why I work at Helps Education Fund:

I was drawn to Helps Education Fund’s mission of bridging research to practice with an educational equity lens.

Read more about Elizabeth Levene

John Begeny, Ph.D.

Founder and Director of Programs & Research

Why I started Helps Education Fund:

Educational inequities are far too prevalent around the world. Such inequities hinder individual and community empowerment and opportunities, and they foster systems of oppression and poverty.

Read more about John Begeny, Ph.D.

Renaé Powell

Quality Assurance - Implementation & Management
919-763-3061 ext. 701

Why I work at Helps Education Fund:

Both my parents are teachers, so the value and importance of education has been instilled in me from an early age. Unfortunately, there is inequity in education. I know from personal experience that access to resources, or the lack thereof, has a huge impact on options available to you. I want to ensure that students have access to the resources and opportunities that will allow them to improve their lives.

Read more about Renaé Powell

Lauren Joyce, Ph.D.

Quality Assurance - Intervention & Data

Why I work at Helps Education Fund:

I joined Helps Education Fund to support the organization’s mission of providing free/low-cost research-based literacy resources to students and educators. I want to be a part of an organization that creates positive, meaningful change and work collaboratively with educators and other organizations to create opportunities for students to become successful readers.

Read more about Lauren Joyce, Ph.D.

Kim Perkins

Program Director, Charlotte
704-478-6056 ext. 705

Why I work at Helps Education Fund:

My time spent helping women who were survivors of human trafficking, and learning about the circumstances that led them to their current situations, reinforced my belief that education is the key to escaping the cycle of poverty that many disadvantaged communities fall victim to. At that point I realized I wanted to be proactive, rather than reactive, in fighting the problems Charlotte faces. I am so proud to be part of a team that not only works towards educational equity but also shows results in improving childhood literacy and is helping to break the cycle of poverty.

Read more about Kim Perkins

Shelleah Jackson

Tutor Manager, Charlotte
704-478-6056 ext. 706

Why I work at Helps Education Fund:

Helps Education Fund is an organization genuinely working towards closing the inequity gaps in education while sticking true to its values—day in and day out.

Read more about Shelleah Jackson

Stephanie White

Tutor Manager, Chatham County
919-763-3061 ext. 703

Why I work at Helps Education Fund:

I can improve communities through volunteer engagement and helping kids be better readers.

Read more about Stephanie White

Janice Pidgeon

Training Coordinator
919-763-3061 ext. 702

Why I work at Helps Education Fund:

I work for Helps Education Fund because I have experienced, through teaching and coaching, the HELPS programs’ success with helping young readers. I believe in its mission of educational equity. I have spent my career helping students from rural impoverished areas succeed, and Helps Education Fund provides a means to do so that’s researched based, effective, and free/low cost. I’m excited to be a part of this dynamic organization.

Read more about Janice Pidgeon

Charlotte Implementation Coaches & Site Coordinators

Charlotte Implementation Coaches

From left to right:
Katherine Kitchen, katherine@helpseducationfund.org;
Kristal Valcin, kristal@helpseducationfund.org;
Melissa Walker, melissa@helpseducationfund.org;
Jasmine Fuentes, jasmine@helpseducationfund.org;
Halo Paul (Lead Implementation Coach/Site Coordinator), halo@helpseducationfund.org