Welcome to Donna, Patti, Marissa, Anthony, Marylin, and Zanny!
November 10, 2021
We are so excited to introduce our board members who joined us in 2021! We are grateful to have this new group of individuals who will bring their unique talents, expertise, and perspectives to our work.
Donna EllistonDonna Elliston, DrPH, MSPH is a Senior Consultant with JSI, where she provides technical assistance to teen pregnancy prevention grantees in the Reproductive Health National Training Center (RHNTC) project. Dr. Elliston completed her academic career obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College, a Master of Science in Public Health from Meharry Medical College, and a Doctorate in Public Health from Morgan State University. Dr. Elliston is a Public Health Executive with almost 20 years of experience in applied research, technical assistance, and program evaluation serving as a subject matter expert in teen pregnancy prevention, adolescent and maternal and child health, where she managed project teams for federal, state, and local partners. Over the course of her public health career, Dr. Elliston has been committed to advocating for women and girls of color residing in under-served communities. Her commitment to reproductive justice in the implementation of evidence-based programs providing adaptations when necessary and promoting equal access to care and contraceptives has been a targeted focus in her list of accomplishments.
After a nine-year stint in software customer support and training, Patti decided that she wanted a change. After learning about the role of a Health Educator, Patti knew it would be the field of public health. She received her MHS from The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in 1993 and began a 20-year career focused on adolescent health in local and state government, community college, and private school settings. From 1996 to 2000 Patti served as the Director of the Maryland Governor’s Council on Adolescent Pregnancy—which is where she became acquainted with Healthy Teen Network—and honed skills and found resources to share across the state. After several years of teaching parents and students about developmental risk-taking and sexuality at Baltimore area private schools, she changed paths to become the administrator for BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development). BUILD’s 40+ years of successful community organizing helps improve social determinants of health in many Baltimore neighborhoods. Patti recently began a position as a Retention Specialist with Turnaround Tuesday, Inc, a second chance jobs movement with over 1,150 placements since 2014 with an 80% retention rate. In this role, she helps individuals with barriers to employment to stay and advance in employment. To fulfill her continuing passion for working with youth, Patti also volunteers for Thread—an initiative focused on creating connections between and among young people in city schools and adult volunteers to increase graduation rates and post-high school career or educational attainment.
Marissa LatiniAs a recent graduate of the Loyola University Chicago dual master’s in Social Work and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies program, Marissa worked as a child welfare advocate for adolescents across the Chicagoland area, a sexual assault advocate for the Loyola campus’s Wellness Center, and most recently, as a domestic violence advocate at Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network in Gainesville, Florida. Marissa focused her academic course work on trauma-informed interventions for adolescents, young adults, and people across the gender spectrum. While at Loyola, Marissa also participated in a year-long opioid workforce expansion training program and served as a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu honor society. She earned the School of Social Work’s President’s Medallion and the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies program’s Mary Griffin award. Marissa is now the Associate Director of Development at My Friend’s Place in Los Angeles, a nonprofit resource center in Hollywood offering a comprehensive continuum of care for homeless youth, helping 1,400 young people each year.
Anthony MotylAnthony Motyl, LICSW, Associate Director of Grants and Sponsored Research at Springfield College, has wide-ranging experience in the nonprofit and health care sector as a youth worker, clinical social worker, program director, grant writer, college-level instructor, and consultant. His areas of expertise include winning grants, program design, youth development, public policy analysis, medical education, social determinants of health, primary care integration, mental health and substance use disorders, public health, child welfare, workforce development, prevention programs, homelessness services, trauma-informed practice, clinical supervision, and juvenile justice. Mr. Motyl has a BA in Psychology from Westfield State University and an MSW from Boston College School of Social Work.
Marilyn PrestonMarilyn Preston, PhD, Associate Professor of Human Services at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been involved in adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive well-being for over twenty years. She has experience as a youth worker, case manager, sexuality educator, nonprofit administrator, and professor. Her research focuses on the pedagogy of sexuality education, the use of queer theory in sexuality education, and innovation in delivering sexual health information. Her work has been published in various venues, including the American Journal of Sexuality Education and the Journal of LGBT Youth. Over the last decade, she has worked with several colleges and universities to increase their programmatic and academic offerings around sexual justice, sexual health, and sexual health resources. Marilyn has a BA in Community Studies from Goddard College, an MS in Human Services Administration and Nonprofit Management, and a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies both from the University of Missouri.
Zanny RegasZanny Regas is a current nursing student in Philadelphia. Prior to attending nursing school, she worked as a sexuality educator in various schools. In her most recent position as the Human Development Coordinator at a 4-12 school, she partnered with fellow educators to design and implement a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum rooted in principles of bodily autonomy, consent, harm reduction, and pleasure. An essential pedagogical motive of the sexuality education curriculum was to provide students with an opportunity to get to know their bodies through a rights-based education. The insatiable curiosity and hunger for knowledge displayed by her students inspired Zanny to return to school for nursing. She spent her free time during her first year of nursing school volunteering for a local organization and performing nasal swabs for COVID-19. She learned a lot about how to make COVID tests a fun and tolerable experience for nervous kids. After graduation, she hopes to work as a pediatric nurse. Eventually, Zanny hopes to provide accessible primary preventative care that ensures that young people have access to a health story free of shame and flowing with educational moments.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Street on Unsplash
At Healthy Teen Network, we believe that every young person has a right to live their authentic sexuality. And we see you, the professionals and caring adults, helping them do this. We know you do your best when you're connected to great opportunities and resources. That's why we're here...to help make those connections and support you. Read more about us.