Barbara Duffield, Policy Director, began her involvement in homeless issues in 1990 as a tutor for homeless children in Washington, DC. She subsequently joined the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and served as Director of Education for NCH from 1994-2003, working closely with educators, service providers, federal agencies and Congressional offices to strengthen policy and practice on children’s issues. Barbara has conducted hundreds of trainings around the United States for school districts, community organizations, and local, state, and national groups to assist in the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act. She is a frequently-quoted source in print media, and has appeared on television and radio news programs to discuss issues relating to homeless children. In addition, she has published several academic articles on policy and advocacy issues relating to the education of homeless children and youth. She is co-author of Educating Children Without Housing, published by the American Bar Association.'In addition to her work with NAEHCY and NCH, Barbara is a founding and continuing Advisory Committee member for the LeTendre Education Fund for Homeless Children, which provides scholarships for homeless and formerly homeless young people who wish to pursue post-secondary education.
Barbara Duffield was born and raised in Michigan, and she received her Bachelor's degree summa cum laude in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Christina Dukes, Volunteer Webmaster, has worked at the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) at The SERVE Center since 2003, using her knowledge of highly-mobile lifestyles to help schools and homeless families learn about the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness. She also oversees many of NCHE's technology activities, including maintaining the NCHE website and facilitating online trainings. Christina began working at The SERVE Center in October 2000 for the Anchor School Project, a migrant technology project funded through the Office of Migrant Education. She taught technology to migrant families to help the children excel in school and help the parents acquire skills that would increase their employability and knowledge of English. She then worked for Project Kaleidoscope, a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant serving families in southwest Florida. Kaleidoscope provided extended-day learning activities throughout the county, including after-school and family literacy programs. Christina was born in South Carolina but has spent most of her life living in South Florida. She received a BA in Spanish from Tulane University and an MA in Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt University.
Darlyne Erickson, Business Manager, is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) who manages NAEHCY's conference and association logistics, along with several other organizations. She has worked with non-profit associations for the past 17 years as a business manager, and has also volunteered for several organizations starting 25 years ago with Women for Change, Inc. and Girl's Club of Dallas.
Since 1990, Darlyne has participated with a non-profit group called the Minneapolis Aqua Jesters, a group of clowns! She lives in St. Louis Park, MN, a western suburb of Minneapolis, and is the single mother of a 26 year old son. She enjoys bicycling and golf in the summer, and hibernating in the Minnesota winters. Darlyne has called New York City, Columbia, SC, and Dallas, TX, home but returned to Minneapolis 24 years ago.
Patricia Julianelle, Legal Director, advises attorneys, educators, and policymakers across the country on the rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness and works to enforce those rights through direct advocacy, education, outreach, and legislative advocacy. She has conducted workshops on the rights of children and youth at conferences across the nation, and her writing has been published in academic journals, including the Children’s Legal Rights Journal, Seattle Journal of Social Justice, and the Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, and two books. She also works as an independent Legal Consultant for state and local governments and non-profit organizations, such as the National Disability Rights Network, the University of Texas, and the California Research Bureau. She graduated from Yale University and received her J.D. summa cum laude from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College.
Patricia’s commitment to advocating for youth’s education arises from her experiences assisting juvenile public defenders, representing disadvantaged families as a special education attorney, and experiencing urban education first-hand as an assistant high school teacher in Washington, DC, and Portland, OR.
Jess Lewis, LeTendre Scholar Specialist, provides support to LeTendre scholarship recipients through direct service and advocacy. Jess has worked as a crisis intervention specialist, community advocate, and case manager for children and youth since 1996. Since 2002, she has worked directly for children and youth experiencing homelessness as the Homeless Education Coordinator for a Washington State school district and as the Children’s Specialist for a private non-profit transitional housing program. Most recently, Jess worked as the Program Assistant for the McKinney-Vento program at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction where she was tasked with providing training, technical assistance, and monitoring for school districts in Washington State. She received her BA in Social Welfare from the University of Washington.
Cyekeia Lee is the National Higher Education Liaison for Homeless Youth. She works with state networks, McKinney-Vento liaisons, and higher education staff to streamline the process for homeless youth accessing higher education. Prior to joining NAECHY in 2012, she worked for six years as a Financial Aid Officer at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. One of her primary goals was to provide financial aid assistance to unaccompanied homeless youth and post-foster care students. Cyekeia also worked for three years at Ozone House Youth and Family Services in Ann Arbor, MI as the Life Skills Coordinator for homeless and runaway youth. She is dedicated to providing access to higher education for populations of students that are under-served. She received a BS in Communication from Eastern Michigan University and an MA in Counseling from Wayne State University.