Hi, my name is Alyssa Pedersen. I am a recruiter with Elevated Education. I counsel students who want to enroll in our free mentorship program known as Elevated Education’s Teen Victory. I was born and raised in Northern California. I am a graduate of Windsor High School and attended Dominican University of California where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies and a Master’s in Business Administration. Prior to joining the Elevated Education staff, I was an Admissions Counselor where I was then promoted to Assistant Director of Admissions at Dominican University of California. I am passionate about education and enjoy unlocking opportunities for students interested in experiencing new and exciting academic possibilities.
Hi there! My name is Ariel Harlow. I am an academic mentor here at Elevated Education and I have a strong passion for self-development and self-improvement. I have focused on these passions for the last few years and with some bumps in the road, I am still a work in progress. I love to share my positivity with anyone around me because I heard it’s contagious. I graduated from Student Choice High School in South Phoenix. I am now a new graduate of Arizona State University and I do plan to return to work towards my Master’s Degree. I am originally from Orlando, Florida, and have been in Arizona for about 10 years now. I am excited to grow and learn more each day!
As a Phoenix native, it has been a privilege to have served as a social worker in Maricopa County for the past 12 years. Most of those years have been spent working with youth adults, helping to connect them with their greatest potential. My background includes a Master’s in Social Work from ASU, where I continue to teach a new generation of social workers. I have strong connections to the West Valley as I was raised in Avondale and continue to serve as a volunteer with Goodyear Crisis Response.
Hello, my name is Mrs. Breonne Tang-Taylor. I’m a native of Phoenix, Arizona, who grew up in South Phoenix. I graduated from Carl Hayden High School. Go Falcons! I had great opportunities afforded to me, working in various positions, in Mortgage and Banking, during my early years. My true passion in life brought me to the honorable profession of Education for over the past 16 years. I am a graduate of Ottawa University where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education and a Masters’s Degree in School Counseling. I am also a proud Grand Canyon University graduate, where I earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. These degrees have earned me certifications in teaching, School Counseling, and School Administration. Working with scholars of all ages in various capacities (teaching, counseling, leadership), has been both a challenging and wonderfully rewarding experience, that has stretched me personally and professionally. My objective has always been and still remains, as being willing to assist students in reaching their educational goals, which are paramount to their future successes in life.
I am originally from a small suburb in Chicago, Illinois but I have been a resident of Arizona for over 15 years. I have obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Master of Education in Elementary Education, and a Master of Education in Educational Administration. I am currently certified as a teacher and education administrator and have worked in the education field for over 15 years. I have mentored students to reach their academic and personal goals both officially and unofficially throughout my career and enjoy seeing students rise to their potential. I am the wife of a retired Air Force Veteran and am the mother of 2 wonderful daughters.
Hello! My name is Jean-Charles Koffy, but I go by JC. I come from a small country in West Africa called the Ivory Coast. My first language is French. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in International Business. I am an ASU alumni who loves reading, writing poetry, and watching sports. For the past five years I have been working in Education. I am passionate about seeing students persist and attain the goals that they have set for themselves. One of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou reads: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated”
Community Outreach | Phoenix Metro
My name is Uriah Grissum. I currently serve as the community outreach coordinator for Elevated education! I am a native of Arizona raised on a Native American reservation by my parents with my ten siblings. My parents (Stanford Graduates) homeschooled me until I left home for college. After graduating college, I began my career in education as a teacher assistant at one of the number 1 alternative high schools in the state of Arizona. I then became a full-time math teacher and assistant coach for the young men’s high school basketball team! We were Arizona state champions in the CAA division in 2016! I have been working in the field of education for ten years. I have taught all subjects of academia and have fallen in love with helping young adults to the best of my abilities! I also served as the director of education and administration at Eastpointe High School before following my calling to encourage, inspire, and motivate young adults to reach their full potential in success! I am super excited to be a part of Elevated Education!
Community Outreach | Northern Arizona
Hello all! My name is Matt Brooks, and I have been a part of Elevated Education since October 2022. I am the Northern Arizona Outreach Coordinator. I am from Des Moines, IA, and I have lived in Arizona since 2004. I have over 12 years of experience in both behavioral health and education. When I am not working, I am busy being a father, coach, and college student! I also love to golf and travel. I love being a part of this force for positive change for youth and young adults. I believe in this program and am proud to be part of the Elevated Education team.
Community Outreach | Southern Arizona
Hello, my name is Arlinne Estrada. I was born in sunny Tucson, AZ. I am the mother of 2 beautiful children and wife to my High School sweetheart. I have been the Southern Arizona Outreach Coordinator for Elevated Education since June 2022. I have over 10+ years working in Client Relations and 6 years working with both adults and children with Developmental Intellectual Disabilities, providing home and employment services.
I look forward to continuing to make a positive impact in the lives of our youth and young adults. It has been a rewarding career helping those in need to conquer the daily challenges life can throw their way and celebrate their success.
Director of School and Business Partnerships
Hello, my name is Vaughn Flannigan. Originally from Western Pennsylvania, I have called the Phoenix area home for 25 years. With degrees in Criminal Justice as well as Social Work, I began my career working with youth as a child services caseworker before jumping into the education field as a teacher, Dean of Students/Vice Principal, and finally as a Campus Principal at a school in South Chandler for 10 years before joining Elevated Education in July 2022. As someone who considers himself a life-long learner and has spent the majority of his time working with students labeled as at-risk and unteachable, the opportunity to work with Elevated Education and share the benefits of our Teen Victory program with students, families, schools, and organizations throughout the state of Arizona has been amazing. I am a firm believer that every student can learn given the right situation and that all students have the ability to succeed if they possess the confidence in themselves to do so. My favorite quote and daily affirmation comes from Marcus Garvey – “If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race for life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started .”