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Janaiha Bennett

Janaiha Bennett

Executive Director

Janaiha Bennett serves as Executive Director of YLF. A DC native (Ward 7), Janaiha started as a mentor with YLF 18 years ago. She is a long-standing believer in the mission and vision of the organization. Janaiha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Honors Psychology from The George Washington University, a Master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of Maryland, and is a graduate of the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at Georgetown’s McCourt Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership. She currently resides in Ward 4 with her husband and their six children.


Foday Kamara

TAP Senior Director

Foday Kamara is a native of Washington D.C. with roots that trace back to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. By the grace of God, Foday graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Goucher College in 2020. Foday has a passion for leadership, serving and mentoring people to help them walk in the fullness of their God-given identity. Foday loves working with the youth and currently serves at the Youth Leadership Foundation as the Senior Director of the TAP program.


Jalila Simmons

PALS Parent Coordinator

Mrs. Jalila Simmons is currently the PALS Parent Coordinator. Native Washingtonian, Mama Simmons has had her four children involved in the program over the years and is currently involved in cultivating the "sister-mother-daughter garden" that is PALS. She is excited to prepare the soil for PALS participants to plant seeds of friendship, nurture the environment in which those friendships will grow and harvest a fresh perspective on life as a woman in the world.

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Krista Brown

Character and Mentorship, Consulting

A native of Colorado, Krista moved to Washington D.C. in 2018. Krista has spent the last ten years working with youth and vulnerable populations in the non-profit sector in various capacities, particularly within the field of mental health. Additionally, Krista has a background in international and domestic mission-based work and event coordination, and graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Krista is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with an emphasis in traumatology. Krista is passionate about forming today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders. In her spare time, Krista loves outdoor adventures, trying new things, and good cooking! She and her husband, Louis, just welcomed her new baby daughter.


Max Rosenblum

Public Relations and Earned Media

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Tonnete Abellana

Administrative Support

Hailing from Cebu, Philippines, Tonnete embarked on a decade-long adventure in Dubai, UAE. Her career journey started in the construction industry, navigating from office secretary to site secretary, before culminating as a senior document controller at an interior contracting firm. In 2019, she returned home and transitioned to the role of executive virtual assistant at Awesome Outsourcing LLC, where she honed her skills under the mentorship of Michelle Thompson. Leveraging her extensive experience in administrative support and document control, Tonnete aims to excel in fulfilling her duties. Tonnete enjoys quality time and spontaneous trips with family and friends.

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