Nere Ayu is a doctoral student and Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) fellow who holds a master’s degree from Howard University and a bachelor's degree from Bowie State University in psychology. As an undergraduate, she was certified as a crisis youth interventionist, working with disadvantage youth and their families. Since then, she has been involved with different child and family agencies, such as the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington, the Child and Family Wellness Center in Virginia Beach, and residential group homes, in Prince George's County, Md. Her research interests focus on cultural socialization and its influence on psychosocial and academic outcomes among minority children, especially those placed in out of home care. Her research experience extends into the development of instrument tools, creation of study designs, facilitation of focus groups, data collection and analysis. Also, Nere has been a teaching assistant and instructor for several courses at Howard University. In addition, her work has been presented at several professional conferences, including the National Black Graduate Conference in Psychology. Outside of her research, Nere enjoys being a sister mentor for the nonprofit organization EduSeed and a volunteer with Greater DC Cares.
Miles Holland is a senior at Howard University, majoring in psychology with a minor in political science. He has a genuine interest in the effects of environmental components on the mental health of African American youths. Outside of school, Miles coaches basketball for inner-city D.C. youths from sixth to eighth grade. His current plans include pursuing graduate-level training in School Psychology upon completion of his undergraduate degree.