About

Our Mission

created by educators for educators

We Can Make a Difference (WCMAD) is an IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to educate and support the youth through our proven and signature programs, events and award-winning team.

WCMAD helps students to identify and build upon their personal skills and talents, and prepare for college and career readiness. Our goals are to empower and guide the youth through career exploration and skills development to prepare them for future success.

Our activities and programs to support the youth include educational workshops and events, e-learning and mentorship to prepare the youth for the workforce, career planning, goal setting and life success.

WCMAD programs are created by educators to optimize learning for the youth in a fun and engaging way. Altogether our team of educators has over 100 years of classroom experience teaching and guiding the youth.

Our Programs

eGirl Power

This program helps girl to identify and build upon their personal strengths, develop leadership skills and prepare for career readiness through educational workshops, youth leadership summits, career exploration, mentorship and more, with an additional focus on online safety and cybersecurity basics.

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Cyber Security

Cybersecurity is a growing and imminent need in our nation and throughout the world, and there is a critical talent shortage. Our Cyber Security program helps the youth learn best practices for online safety, learn key concepts of cybersecurity basics, and explore career pathways in the cybersecurity field.

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Superhero 9

Did you know? Students who complete our programs with "Superhero 9" learning materials showed average gains of 20% improvement in self-esteem, as measured in self-esteem surveys provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Project Pay It Forward

Our Project Pay It Forward program helps young individuals to gain a sense of belonging, instill a sense of community as well as promote the spirit of paying it forward and giving back, so that the youth and community as a whole can benefit and thrive.

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Events

 Gala

The Yale Club NYC

Awards Gala

Held in The Yale Club NYC's Grand Ballroom, our Awards Gala is a special event to recognize and honor outstanding individuals who have dedicated their lives to giving back, and celebrate paying it forward and inspire others to take action. more

film screening community event

Film Screening

Manhattan Community Event

Our community events bring together nonprofit leaders, local representatives and educators to support the youth making a positive impact in the community. more

girls leadership

Empowering the Youth

Educational Workshops

Empowering the youth with the tools and knowledge to build confidence and self-esteem, identify and develop personal strengths, explore potential careers, social causes and more. more

youth summit

Youth Leadership Summit

Youth Leadership Summit

This special summit for the youth helps them to develop leadership skills through guidance and mentorship with positive role models. Above, Keynote Speaker Loreen Arbus mentors attendees at the Youth Summit in Manhattan. more

scholarships for youth

Student Contests

Scholarship Competitions

Past programs of our 501(c)3 nonprofit organization include student competition events for scholarship funds for college and high school students. Held at select cities across the U.S., finalists were eligible to earn money for tuition, books and supplies, and even student loans.

filming

Filming at Battery Park in NYC

Interviews & Filming

Filming & video productions with our 501(c)3 nonprofit organization have spanned the continent from NYC to Mexico, Hawaii, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Indiana and more. more

Our Team

We Can Make a Difference (WCMAD) is an IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. WCMAD is the latest chapter for the DMV area to continue and spread our mission of supporting education and empowering the youth through our signature programs.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Amy Mintz

As Founder of WCMAD, Amy Mintz supervises, oversees and directs all affairs of the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, events and programs. She serves as the Gala Chair of the nonprofit's PIFA Awards Gala; and is the Best-Selling Author and Executive Producer of the educational series MI9 Team. more

Anna Rivera de Martinez

BOARD MEMBER

Anna Rivera de Martinez

Anna Rivera de Martinez has extensive experience as an educator in the Hawaii Department of Education Public Schools. She has worked directly with students in middle schools and high schools for over 30 years.

Wanda Samson

BOARD MEMBER

Wanda Samson

Wanda Samson supports disadvantaged families through placement into housing and guidance to improve their economic security.

Nicole Mahool

BOARD MEMBER

Nicole Mahool

Nicole Mahool currently serves as the Dean of Students at Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce in New York City. She has over 13 years of experience as a learning and education professional; and designs and leads educational programs that measurably increase student and staff performance.

Joyce Kong

BOARD MEMBER EMERITUS

Joyce Kong

Joyce Kong has taught students in Pre-K through 12 in New York City Public Schools since 2000. She is a founding teacher at the Millennium High School, an Adjunct Professor at PACE University, a Teacher Fellow of Pace University STEM Center Collaboratory, and a 2013 Math for America Master Teacher.

Maria Santiago-Valentin

BOARD MEMBER

Maria Santiago-Valentin

Maria Santiago-Valentín is a Learning Disabilities Consultant, Behavior Technician, Bilingual columnist and writer of the digital magazines My Trending Stories and Negocios Hispanos USA, Mindfulness practitioner and facilitator, mother of two daughters, and an environmental, education and social justice activist.

ADVISORY BOARD


Malek Ben Salem play video

Malek Ben Salem, PhD was a fellow in New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative. Ben Salem is a cybersecurity researcher based in Washington, D.C. She leads a security research team at Accenture Labs, where her research focuses on behavioral biometrics, IoT security, data protection, security analytics, Blockchain, and cloud and mobile security. She has been a co-principal investigator on several DARPA projects, including active authentication and the Integrated Cyber Analysis System (ICAS). Ben Salem’s research has been featured in DarkReading, NeoworkWorld, and the New York Times, among others. She currently helps clients from various industries (critical Infrastructure, resources, financial services, etc.) adopt innovative security technologies to achieve real cyber risk reduction and to proactively adhere to digital ethics principles in order to earn client’s digital trust—going beyond a compliance-driven security approach. She is also developing AI-based security offerings. Ben Salem is deeply skilled in security vision and leadership, c-suite collaboration, research and development, technology strategy, data science, and security innovation. She has authored several peer-reviewed publications and patents.


Rahul Kashyap play video

Rahul has a proven track record of establishing and building disruptive cyber security companies. Prior to Awake, Rahul was the Global CTO at Cylance, a pioneer of AI-based security. He drove the vision and strategy that led to major disruption of the endpoint security market. Before that, Rahul was EVP of products at Bromium, a leading endpoint virtualization-based security start-up. He was also a key leader at McAfee driving the advancement of the Network Intrusion Prevention technology. Rahul sits on multiple advisory boards and has actively worked with several government agencies to prevent cyberattacks. Rahul is a frequent keynote speaker, author of numerous security publications and was named one of Silicon Valley’s 40 under 40.


Lysa Myers play video

Lysa Myers began her tenure in malware research labs in the weeks before the Melissa virus outbreak in 1999. She watched as the Internet grew from small, local bulletin board systems to the World Wide Web, and computer security incidents evolved from virtual urban myth to daily reality. As the landscape has changed, she’s seen how both cybersecurity hiring and education efforts have not quite kept pace, and created a talent gap that continues to widen.

Since then, Myers has used her experiences to help spread awareness of what people can do to maintain an effective security culture. As a Security Researcher for ESET, Vice Chair of CompTIA’s IT Security Community Executive Council, and a frequent contributor to security magazines such as Dark Reading and CSOonline, she continues to advocate for improvements in the security industry.

Allan Luks

ADVISORY BOARD

Allan Luks

Allan Luks is Founding Director of the Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Fordham University. A leading expert on volunteerism and named "Nonprofit Leader of the Year" by Crain's New York Business Magazine, he has directed major nonprofit institutions for four decades.

ADVISORY BOARD EMERITUS

Lucia Kaiser

Kaiser is a two-time Emmy Award-Winning Producer whose years of experience scaling the heights of the entertainment industry has won her the respect, accolades, and camaraderie of socialites, business moguls, and celebrities who share her passion for affecting positive change.

ADVISORY BOARD EMERITUS

Dr. Stephen Post

Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. is a renowned public intellectual, speaker, professor of preventive medicine, and best-selling author. He is Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

PAY IT FORWARD COMMITTEE


COMMITTEE MEMBER

Morgan Douglas

Morgan Douglas was born and raised in Maryland. Seeking a change and admiring diverse atmospheres she ventured to New York City to attend Pace University. During her time there, studying Business and majoring in Marketing, she was exposed to the international landscape of NYC. It was during those four years, that a new side of her started to appear. Becoming more concerned with the opportunities that some children growing up in urban settings lack, she participated in a Guerrilla theater course that was not only challenging but allowed her to connect to the urban youth by visiting high school classes as a surprise and acting out small scenes from popular stories.

Morgan has always had a strong passion to help others. As someone who was privileged to gain a primary, secondary and college education, she knows the opportunities education can give to girls worldwide that will make their lives better and their own. With education, you have opportunities and equality and with opportunities and equality you have a voice, which is something every girl, in every country should be given as a right.


COMMITTEE MEMBER

Geoffrey Huys, LFACHE

Geoffrey Huys, a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has devoted his professional career to work in healthcare marketing, public relations and communications. During his career he has served healthcare systems in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. He has worked extensively in market research, strategic planning, marketing/advertising, community relations, internal communications and public relations.

Throughout his career Geoffrey has continually worked to engage the community by serving on community organization committees and boards. Some of that work includes the Hansel Neighborhood Center, Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce, Raue Center for the Arts, Center for the Visual Arts, Wausau Events and the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. He has also served on the board of directors as an officer for state Healthcare and Public Relations societies in both Indiana and Illinois.

He has been a member of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development and the American College of Healthcare Executives where he recently achieved Life Fellow status.


COMMITTEE MEMBER

Becky Lodewyck

As a lifelong learner and educator, Dr. Becky Lodewyck’s driving belief is that education is the key to improving individual lives and supporting the social and economic success of our global community. From driving ongoing improvement in teaching and learning in her leadership roles within higher education, serving as a faculty member, collaborating on committees to redesign state program approval processes or improve educator professional preparation and continuing development, or serving as skill-based volunteer, the common theme threading through her work has been to drive ongoing improvement to make a difference in the lives of others. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband of 30 years where she is able to engage in a variety of interests including history, road cycling (she loves the downhill!), reading, and quilting in any order.


COMMITTEE MEMBER

Nancy Roman

Accomplished professional with a background in information technology, infrastructure operations, business strategy, IT transformation, service delivery, and vendor management. Presently serving as a volunteer for nonprofit organizations to make a positive impact in local communities.

Endorsements

 

"Amy Mintz is a nonprofit founder and an educator who incorporates MI in her lessons as a means to improve students' self-esteem and performance.

She has also drawn upon MI to create a [program] about superheroes entitled MI9 Team."

—Dr. Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner is Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He presented the theory of multiple intelligences for the first time in 1983 in the book Frames of Mind. Since then, the theory has been used in a wide variety of contexts and most frequently in education with students of all levels.

"The challenge for youth is to feel as smart as their peers and that they have the chances to use this intelligence. This is especially true for youngsters who lack encouragement where and how they live. Discuss Amy Mintz's new book with youngsters and let them recognize the super hero in themselves."

— Allan Luks, Founding Director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Fordham University
Allan Luks is considered a top expert on volunteerism, and how helping others can benefit one's emotions and physical health. For decades he has directed well-known organizations dedicated to helping others. Luks has authored important books which are credited with having significant national impact, and has initiated and led the passage of laws that have had a significant impact on society.

 

"I strongly endorse Amy's work."

—Stephen G. Post, Ph.D.
Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. is a renowned public intellectual, speaker, professor of preventive medicine, and best-selling author. He is Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

"I am so impressed with the work of this [nonprofit]."

— Paul Hovitz, Community Board #1 Manhattan

 

 

 

Help Make a Difference with WCMAD

There are many ways you can get involved! Learn more about our programs and opportunities.