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Richard Tagle

Manila-born and raised, dared to live on his own at 17. Lived in California and Washington, DC before settling down in Austin. Deeply passionate about children’s issues especially education and health. A goofball about mostly everything else. “Life without laughter is like soap, it can dry you out.”

What Inspires Me to Do What I Do: 
When people, young or old, get to realize their dreams and discover that they can author their lives. Our circumstances do not dictate who we are, but we all need help in overcoming them so we can design the lives we want to have.

Favorite Movie: 
Cinema Paradiso 

During the Weekend I Love
Weekend? What’s a weekend?– I am a Downton Abbey fan.

It Would Be Impossible For Me to Give Up: 
Desserts. It is, I believe, the only thing humans have created that really is necessary for existence. Everything else is for convenience.

I Can't Go a Week Without: 
Talking with my family. They are all in the Philippines so weekends are when I catch up with them, but usually it ends up with them enticing me with videos of food I miss.

Mandy Ackerman
Program Development Intern, MSSW & MPH Candidate

A native Los Angelino with a detour to Boston before coming on down to Austin to pursue a dual masters in social work and public health.  Excited to be doing an internship with an organization that truly wants to see children grow, thrive and succeed. 


Painting, laughing, being surrounded by loved ones, Netflix, traveling, tamales and learning! 

Slogan For Life: 

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” –Dalai Lama 

Guilty Pleasure: 

Keeping up with the Kardashians. Oh come on, you like them too! 

What is the most rewarding experience you have had in life and why?

Volunteering with AmeriCorps as a third grade assistant teacher. Serving as both a teacher and mentor allowed me to see first hand the tremendous potential children have. 

When I was a kid my favorite thing was to…

Summer camp! I loved swimming and arts and crafts the most! 

Alicia Emr
Director of Development


Wyatt Harper
Director of Finance

Austin by way of Tennessee, Romania, and New York City. Though a finance professional by career, I enjoy teaching tennis and traveling to new places as much as possible. I consider myself lucky to be part of a motivated and focused team that is changing the lives of youth in Austin and beyond. 

During the Weekend I Love: 

Teaching tennis and exploring dog parks and trails with my chocolate lab mix Buster 

Favorite Place to Be:

Surrounded by close friends who make me laugh

Random Fact about Me: 

I was on an episode of Property Brothers

Most Influential Person in My Life:

Definitely my mom and dad: humble, confident, strong and grateful regardless of circumstances or obstacles

Guilty Pleasure:
Fast food (particularly greasy burger and fries) 

"I will...empower children through compassion, inspiration and belief in them."
Holly Krivokapich
Director of Individual Giving

One-third New Mexican, Oklahoman, and Texan with an endless love of people, new adventures, green chili and being The Change. Extensive professional background in the world of sports and non-profits with a focus on public relations, marketing and being a hoot and a half!

Most influential person in my life: 
My mom. She is so very kind, generous, and full of joy. She works hard to make the world a better place while appreciating the small things in life. She leads by example and I am so grateful for her.

My dog Burkli, sending cards, cooking, long talks with friends and family, a good workout, chips and salsa, a book you can’t put down, travel. 

Slogan for life: 
“What will you do today that will make you proud in a year?” 

It would be impossible for me to give up: 
Coffee. I head directly to the coffee pot first thing in the morning. 

Most Rewarding Experience:
I have had so many wonderfully unique experiences in my life but what remains the most rewarding are the amazing people I have met through them and the friendships I have created. 

Brigid Mejia
Program Manager

Born and raised in Southern California but got to Austin as quickly as she could.  Loves working with youth and seeing the world through their eyes. Hopes to make it to every Major League Baseball Park. Thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful organization that is meeting the needs of so many kids. 


Traveling to new places, spending time with my family, going to baseball games, ladybugs, learning new things, and music

Favorite Movie:


When I Was a Kid My Favorite Thing Was: 

Favorite Place to Be:

Disneyland where I feel like a kid again! 

Guilty Pleasure:
Watching Reality TV  

Mary Riggs
Director of Programs

Raised in Michigan with a stop in Boston before finally coming to her senses and getting to Austin. Passions include helping children succeed, creating sustainable and systemic change, and finding the best macaroni and cheese on earth.

What inspires me to do what I do: 
Witnessing the development of children into strong, driven young people who want to change the world.

Most rewarding experience: 
I’ve had the opportunity and honor to have many rewarding experiences, but one that stands out was participating in a summer AmeriCorps program in Detroit while in college - working as a mentor and coach for children 5-13 during the out-of-school time hours.

Favorite Movie: 
Some perennial favorites are Singing in the Rain and Ghostbusters

Books that moved me: 
To Kill a Mockingbird remains my all-time favorite

Favorite place to be: 
Mackinac Island in Michigan

Barbara Shorts
Director of Operations

Native Austinite and former Director of Events of Westwood Country Club for 23 years. With experience in Event Design and Operational Management, very excited to be a part of such a wonderful team.

What inspires me to do what I do:
Knowing that one person’s world has changed because we took a moment to inspire...with an act of kindness.

During the weekend I love: 
Being at home and turning off the world for a bit, Cooking Dinner for my Family, Climbing into my favorite chair with a good book letting the hours drift away and a good Country Drive.

Slogan for Life: 
The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education”. Martin Luther King

No. 1 on my bucket list: 
Attend Oprah Life class – In Studio!

Most Rewarding Experience: 
Giving Birth...Enough Said.

Scotty Walkwitz
Facility Manager

I grew up in Connecticut & Maine, moved to S. Florida, finally landing in Austin. An avid kickball player & all-around people person, I've been lucky enough to be a part of this amazing foundation since its inception. I'm humbled to be a member of an amazing team that will make a difference in so many lives.

Books the moved me:

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. I am a huge dog lover, and have seen first hand how a dog can change someone’s life.  Even on your worst day some “Fuzz Therapy” can turn things around in the blink of an eye.


Random fact about me: 
I have never chewed a piece of gum

No. 1 on my bucket list:
Ever since I can remember I have had an obsession with Mt. Everest.  I have read just about every book out there on it, so I know I don’t want to climb it, but I do know my life won’t be complete without making the trek to Base Camp.

My five word memoir:

Living spontaneously; smiling, laughing, dreaming

When I was a kid, my favorite thing was to: 

I was a Lego kid all the way!

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