We here at dfoww, Incorporated pride ourselves on being an inclusive opportunity educational, nonprofit charity organization, and employer. Inclusion at dfoww, Inc. is about creating a culture where people’s differences are welcome!
Dr. Cynthia Molina – Committee Chair and Interim President
Dr. Molina earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Old Dominion University in 2019 and published two reading articles titled Incorporating IStation into Early Childhood Classrooms to Improve Reading Comprehension in 2017 and The Impact of a Teacher’s Implementation of the ReadWorks Digital Reading Program on Second Graders’ Reading Fluency and Comprehension Test Scores in 2018. She also earned a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Liberty University in 2004. Additionally, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from U.C. Berkeley California in 1997. She has earned a Paralegal certificate from Liberty University in 2020.
She learned to read, write and speak Spanish and some German while in high school and college. Bilingual in Spanish and English, language has always fascinated Dr. Molina, and she has also earned a degree in Paralegal Studies in October 2020 from Liberty University. She has taught elementary school subjects such as reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies for over 14 years. Currently, she teaches English to adult learners who are learning it as a second language through her volunteer work with Peninsula READS, a non-profit organization.
Ms. Tarra Carson MA; M.Ed. – Teaching Committee
Ms. Tarra Carson was born in Muskegon, Michigan. She received a B.S. degree in Leisure Studies from Grambling State University in 1999, an M.A. degree in Special Education and Education Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University in 2005, and a M.Ed. degree from West Michigan University in 2012.
Ms. Carson has served as a highly effective organizational leader and community advocate for over 20 years. She is accustomed to the rigors of fast-paced, highly regulated environments requiring sharp attention to detail, outstanding communication skills with students, parents, schools, and community leaders. Ms. Carson increased the test scores of students to show an average 1.5 year gain in their reading and math skills scores.
Ms. Carson is also the founder of the HBCU Club of Muskegon. The HBCU Club encourages West Michigan students in grades 7-12 and college-level students to succeed in college, especially foundational Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Sigma Alpha Iota International Fraternity, Delta Psi Kappa, Inc., Order of Eastern Stars, Crystal Chapter #34, and other community organizations.
Ms. Carson is the mother of 3 beautiful children: Taylor, John III, and Destiny. Tarra enjoys listening to jazz and classical music, going to concerts, traveling, sightseeing, and spending time with her family
Ms. Maya Evans– Teacher
Ms. Maya Evans is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, as well as a graduate of Cleveland State University, where she earned a Master of Education in Literacy Development and Instruction. She found her passion for volunteer work first as a Teacher of English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL), and then as an AmeriCorps member while serving as a College Completion Coach at Lakeland Community College. In her spare time, she thoroughly enjoys reading, listening to music and podcasts; singing, and watching true crime television.
Mrs. Miracle E. Brown, J.D. – Grants Manager
Mrs. Miracle Brown earned her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and earned a Juris Doctorate from Miles Law School. She currently serves as a Senior Billing Administrator at State Farm.
Mrs. Brown has extensive experience in criminal justice, probation and parole, court advocacy, public housing, and social services. She believes that with goal setting and encouragement anyone will overcome barriers to education and self-sufficiency. Mrs. Brown is passionate about social justice and advocacy. She wants to do all that she can to help dfoww, Inc. carry out its mission of creating and providing accessible literacy education resources to the community.
Mr. Praveen Kumar – Co-chair
Praveen Kumar was born and raised in India and resides in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Mr. Kumar is a senior executive in an investment management firm and has extensive experience managing technology for financial services companies. Mr. Kumar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and MBA in Finance from Stern School of Business, New York University. He is married for over 25 years and is raising three Gen Z kids. He believes education as a great equalizer and wants to focus on reading and writing as the foundation blocks to a person’s quality of life. He is committed to helping underprivileged and minorities individuals and communities achieve equality through literacy.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
Marketing and Social Media Outreach Committee
Mr. Paul S. Swanson – Social Media Manager
Mr. Swanson was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY, where he resides today. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Empire State College. He has spent the past 22 years working in the Health and Human Service Field in various positions.
Throughout this time, he has learned how to be a leader, advocate and mentor while serving populations within the OPWDD (Office of People with Developmental Disabilities), OASAS (Office of Addiction Services and Supports) and OMH (Office of Mental Health). Some hobbies he enjoys are reading, fishing and working on cars. He hopes to fulfill the mission of the organization by advocating literacy to underprivileged communities.
Ms. Jennifer Popadak – Advertising Manager
Ms. Popadak is a current student at Southern New Hampshire University pursuing a marketing degree. She has spent the last 10 years of her career in the healthcare industry leading teams and developing new leaders. Ms. Popadak enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, practicing yoga, and listening to live music. During her time as a leader at Denver Health, she cultivated a passion to promote literacy and a love of the written word, providing books for the pediatric patients. Ms. Popadak felt honored to be a part of that literacy initiative, especially when she saw the children enthusiastically opening their new books. Now, Ms. Popadak wants to make more of an impact to increase literacy across the United States.