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About

Hope Circles is a program of Project Healthy Community (PHC), a nonprofit with a community-based wellness model for Detroiters.

PHC collaborates directly with Dr. Dante Dixson PhD to design and deliver a program that incorporate his latest research in hope, student well-being, and academic engagement with PHC’s mentoring program. It is offered over 12 weeks for high school students and over 6-weeks to middle school students and ensures that students receive a cutting-edge and high-quality program.

Program Facilitators

Bernadette Doré, JD, M.Ed

Bernadette is the Executive Director of Project Healthy Community, leading the community engagement and resource development work. Bernadette’s career also focuses on urban youth social emotional learning, educational psychology and restorative justice practices. She has many years of experience creating social educational curriculum for K-12 through university students. She works closely with Dr. Dixson conceptualizing the framework and content development for Hope Circles.

Dante D. Dixson, PhD

An assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education in the College of Education at Michigan State University. Dr. Dixson’s research examines the role of hope in the educational and psychological functioning of children and adolescents. Much of Dixson’s collaborative work with schools and nonprofit organizations is conducted through the Hope Laboratory, which specializes in positive perception-based academic interventions that aim to increase the achievement of minority and disadvantaged youth, creating more equity within education.

Education Advisors

Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.

The founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Keltner’s research focuses on the biological and evolutionary origins of compassion, awe, love, beauty, social class and social equity. Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He has collaborated with directors at Pixar, including for the film Inside Out.

Frank C. Worrell, Ph.D.

A professor of School Psychology in the Graduate School of Education at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley, and an affiliate Professor in Personality and Social Psychology in the Psychology Department. Worrell’s research interests include several psychosocial constructs (ethnic and racial identity, time perspective), which he studies in a variety of populations, including adolescents, youth at risk for school failure, and gifted and talented youth.

Tony Reames, Ph.D

A multidisciplinary scholar, with degrees in engineering and social science, University of Michigan, Assistant Professor Reames’ research agenda seeks to connect the areas of technological advancement, the policy process, and social equity. His research extends the environmental justice scholarship to focus on energy justice. He is currently exploring disparities in residential energy generation, consumption, and affordability- focusing on the production and persistence of inequality by race, class, and place.

Career and Workplace Internship Advisors

David T. Brooks, MHSA

Chief Strategy Officer for Education Genius, Dave has a thirty-year career in healthcare administration including Director of Wayne County Department of Health, Human and Veterans Services and health system president jobs with Ascension St. John, Trinity Health Systems and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Dave is  a proud graduate of Detroit’s Cass Tech High School and is helping to lead the career development aspects of Hope Circles. 

Karen Rubenfire, LMSW

Karen is the Chief Operating Officer and a founding member of Project Healthy Community, managing the organizations operations and finances and providing board member services and support. The scope of Karen’s responsibilities also include external partnership development and logistics, through which she serves on several community committees. She coordinates the workplace internships for the Hope Circles program.     

Shirley Y. Myrick

Shirley is a pioneer in Information Technology having served 42 years in the industry before her retirement from GM/EDS. During the last 30 years of her career, she managed several global teams and led many corporatewide technical and human resources projects and initiatives. Shirley earned her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Detroit Mercy in the field of Business and Information Technology. Shirley joined Project Healthy Community at its inception representing Hartford Memorial Baptist Church where she serves and a trustee. Among her many board member projects, Shirley leads the internship recruitment process in the business and legal community for the high school students.

College Student Advisors

The aim of this work is to offer students meaningful and relevant strategies to support them on their path toward accomplishing their dreams and aspirations. These goals can not be accomplished without student voices providing feedback and guidance in program development.   

Devin Woodruff

Michigan State University, Political Science Major

Ellington King

North Carolina A&T University, Finance Major

Joya Mahone

Alabama A&M University, Computer Science Major

Maria Fields

University of Michigan, Engineering Major

Myles Parks

Norfolk State University, Chemistry/PreMed Major