proud parent speaker series

Parents we support you! Make plans to view the first session of “Proud Parent”, a speaker series that aims to provide resources for parents to better support our growing community’s children. The series will feature local and regional thought leaders who will provide their perspective on various topics that matter to children, families and our community-with an emphasis on play.

It Takes A Village” (February 25, 2021)

Discussion topics will include:
How can parents ensure their children are on track?
What are some examples of collaboration resulting in improved student outcomes?
Equity Resources

If you have a question for our panelists, please forward them to [email protected] with the subject line RE: Proud Parents before February 24.

The session will be streamed on our Facebook & YouTube pages!

Our panelists for "It Takes A Village" will include:

J Howard
Dr. Joy HowardAssistant Professor of Teacher Education for University of Southern Indiana

Dr. Joy Howard is an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education department at the University of Southern Indiana. She is a mother of three boys, a former teacher, and active in the Evansville community. Her scholarship focuses primarily on issues of race and racism in education. She is interested in finding ways to partner with the community to create equitable practices, policies and programs for students experiencing an opportunity gap in schools.

T Howard
Travis HowardPrincipal for Dexter Elementary School EVSC

With over 20 years in education, Mr. Howard is currently serving as principal of Dexter Elementary School in Evansville, IN. He has a passion for encouraging others and building relationships that are built on trust, mutual respect, and shared leadership

Danyelle GrangerDiversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for Old National Bank

Danyelle is Senior Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for Old National Bank.  In this role, she partners with Old National’s executive leaders to embed inclusion and equity into strategies that focus on the areas of talent, culture, marketplace, and community.  Danyelle serves on many community boards including Habitat for Humanity of Evansville, Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana and YWCA Evansville. She is also an officer and active member of Zeta Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Most importantly she is the proud mother of Jameer and Jamyah.

"Coronavirus and Family Mental Health" (January 28, 2021)

Our first session was held on January 28 and was streamed on our YouTube and Facebook page. The topic was: “Coronavirus and Family Mental Health”. Parents and guardians will gain expert insight on how to protect their families mental health during the ongoing pandemic and in the future.

About the Speakers:


Amy Steele, LCSW, LAC, RPT-S is the Youth First Social Worker at Resurrection School.  Amy is a Registered Play Therapy/Supervisor with specialized training and experience using play to help children work through difficult emotions, learn new skills and experience healing.

Youth First has developed a proven, systematic approach to delivering and funding prevention in collaboration with schools and communities in Southwest Indiana. Perhaps most significantly, Youth First employs, trains, and supervises 58 Master’s level social workers who are embedded in 80 schools across ten counties to provide evidence-based prevention programs and services for nearly 30,000 students, their families, and teachers.


Cedalia Ellis is a Licensed Social Worker and has served in the Social Work profession for 13 years with experience treating adults, couples, and families. She is trained in several evidenced based psychotherapy approaches including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

In her leadership role Cedalia oversees Southwestern’s Evidenced-Based Assertive Community Treatment team where she and her team work to serve the serious mental ill (SMI) population.  Outside of her administration role, Cedalia is the lead Motivational Interviewing facilitator for the company she serves and sits on the Indiana Counsel People of Color Mentoring & Leadership Committee.

Cedalia’s specialty is treating adults, families, and couples who have experienced trauma and loss and treating the Serious Mentally Ill (SMI) population. In addition to treating the SMI population, Cedalia has a love for treating women’s health, including depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. 

Through her love of people and personal experiences, Cedalia has been able to inspire, motivate, and change the lives of those who have difficulties coping with life lemons. Cedalia believes that recovery is a process and not a destination.  Healing comes from facing the raw truth and owning your part. Without self- reflection, self-discovery cannot take place.