Heather Goodlett, Executive Director
Heather Brown Goodlett graduated from the University of Richmond in 1994 with a B.A. in Speech and Communications and an elementary teacher’s certificate in Early Childhood Education. After teaching for 4 years, she earned a Masters of Education in Reading from Virginia Commonwealth University in May of 2000. Heather began teaching at Glen Lea Elementary School in the fall of 2000 where she was a Title One-Reading teacher and yearned for real change in the futures of her students. In 2000, Mrs. Goodlett became aware of the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation (DGYLF) and Learning Centers in Washington, D.C. She soon began the process of fact-finding, researching, and relationship building, and in late 2001 attended a National Training Institute for DGYLF to begin launching an affiliate program in Richmond. By September 2002, the quest to establish the organization soon became a full-time position. She resigned from her position with Henrico County Public Schools and began the search for a building in the neighborhoods around Glen Lea Elementary School. The Youth Life Learning Center of Richmond officially began in Delmont Plaza Apartments, a subsidized housing community, in July 2003. Today she continues to invest in the Northside, now her own neighborhood, as Executive Director over YLFR and its four LCs.
Leahna Sullivan, Staff and Family Support Coordinator
Leahna has been with Youth Life since 2008, starting as a teacher at the Highland Park LC, then serving as Program Director for many years. She holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Liberty University and in 2020, earned a Master of Science in Family Studies with a Specialization in Christian Counseling. An encourager by nature, she is excited to work with individuals of all ages and stages in life, in helping them to realize their potential and live their best life possible. As Staff & Family Support Coordinator at Youth Life she gets the opportunity to do just that and also employ many of her administrative/managerial skills. In her free time, she loves spending time with her kids, grandkids, and Jesus (not necessarily in that order). She also enjoys bird watching, cooking, gardening, and basketball (Go Hoos!). She has lived in the Highland Park community that she loves since 2010 and is committed to listening and learning.
Maggie Cusumano, Community Engagement Coordinator
Maggie graduated from Elon University in 2016 with a bachelor’s in English and Professional Writing and moved to Richmond shortly thereafter. Through working with neighborhood kids in Richmond’s East End during a year-long program, Maggie realized the Lord had given her a passion for serving youth and teaching them about Jesus. She worked as a teacher for four years at Youth Life’s Delmont Learning Center and has recently transitioned into an administrative role where she can use her writing and communication skills while still furthering the mission of Youth Life. In addition to kids and Jesus, Maggie also loves writing fiction, building things, and gardening−basically anything where she gets to be creative. She believes that God has called every one of his people to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.
Amber Smith, Program Director, Delmont LC
Amber graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2010 with a degree in Elementary Education. Following graduation, she taught in a public school for three years, then moved to Richmond and began working for Youth Life in 2014. When she was teaching in the public schools, she always felt there was a relational and Biblical aspect missing. Her former students needed more from her both academically and emotionally, but she didn’t feel she was able to meet those needs as a classroom teacher. Working for Youth Life, Amber now gets to share the gospel with each of her students on a daily basis, provide academic remediation, and be an emotional support for her students. She also loves that she has the opportunity to build relationships not only with students, but also with their families. As a Youth Life teacher, she is better able to help her students improve academically, develop emotionally, and grow spiritually.
Danny DuCap, Teacher, Delmont LC
Danny grew up and went to school in Michigan. After moving around and playing music for a while, he ended up at an after school art program in Pittsburgh where he worked for almost four years. After moving to Richmond, he got connected with Youth Life Foundation through his church. Danny has a deep love for communicating and sharing beauty. He loves art, birds, kids, and reading his Bible.
Haley Pavie, Program Director, Highland Park LC
Haley moved to Richmond in 2016 and attended Randolph-Macon College, where she earned her Bachelors in Psychology with certificates in Elementary and Special Education. For the past two years, she has served as a reading intervention teacher in Hanover County, where she fostered a love for helping children unlock the gift of reading. She believes literacy is a social justice issue and her goal is to bring awareness to these issues and to try to bridge the gap between awareness and action. Haley is passionate about making sure that all children feel seen, heard, and loved, and she is excited to build lasting relationships with her students through Youth Life.
Kate Webster, Teacher, Highland Park LC
Kate is a 2014 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan University with a degree in Elementary Education with a focus in Child Development and Psychology. In addition, she holds an Associates in Early Childhood Education from Montgomery County Community College (PA) and a Bachelors in Theology from Life Christian University. Kate has been working in Youth Development programming for the last 15 years with predominantly students and families from the inner-cities. Kate is a firm believer of a holistic approach to teaching, guiding, and growing with the child and family to reach their spirit, mind, and body. Outside of YLFR, Kate, her husband Ronnie, son Oliver, and their two dogs live in Highland Park. Together Ronnie and Kate pastor Highland Park Community Church hosted at the Northside Outreach Center. She loves spending time in the Word, singing and leading worship, and arts and crafts.
Jackie Jiménez, Program Director, Southwood LC
Jackie became a Spanish teacher to bring together her passions for teaching and the Spanish language. She was a student teacher during her freshman year of college, which ignited her love for teaching children. As a native speaker (being of Cuban decent), Jackie has always had a love for the Spanish language, its rich history, and its people. She is thrilled to be able to bring her gifts to Youth Life and is very grateful to God for opening this door. “I’m so excited to work with the Spanish-speaking community in Richmond and share God’s love for us. What a privilege.” When she is not teaching, Jackie spends as much time as possible with her husband of 28 years and her three adult daughters.
Cayla Jiménez, Teacher, Southwood LC
Cayla has lived with her family in the Richmond area for the past 20+ years. After finishing up college in 2016 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, she moved back to Richmond and has worked with children since as a full-time nanny. She has always had a passion for teaching and working with children. Cayla has a heart for the Hispanic and Latino community as a member of it herself. She is looking forward to coming alongside the students of Southwood Learning Center, along with her mother, Jackie, and ensuring they are given the tools to succeed. She is excited to continue the family tradition of working at YLFR!
Tim Hamlette, Staff, Remix Programming
Tim has a huge heart for discipleship and holistic growth of people through the love of Jesus. Tim graduated from Liberty University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Sport Management and then graduated from Seminary in 2015 with a Master’s in Theological Studies. He has served as a Pastor and a member of the founding team for a local church plant in Lynchburg called Hill City Community Church for 3 years. While in Lynchburg, He also has served the youth of his local community for several years, through mentorship, youth camps, coaching and working as a Mental Health Associate at Rivermont School. He married his lovely wife Bianca in 2020. Recently, he has moved from Lynchburg to Richmond to work as the Head of the LC Remix Program at Youth Life Foundation. For fun, he enjoys playing Madden and 2k, hip hop, hanging with friends, finding the best hot wings around, and watching his favorite TV shows, Martin and The Office.