Our Team

The Connect Our Kids team members are dedicated volunteers and advocates that envision a world where every child has a permanent loving home.


Jennifer Jacobs

Dr. Jennifer Jacobs has spent a career in leadership and problem solving: in the Army, at a national lab, in government and in business management. She is a West Point graduate and a former White House Fellow.

Jessica Stern

Jessica Stern has 20 years' experience in project management, communications, marketing and philanthropic fundraising. Appointed by the Governor of Virginia, she serves on the State Executive Council for Children Services.

Cara Dobbins

Cara Dobbins has 20 years' working knowledge of management, accounting, government contracting, and customer service. She brings her enthusiasm and deep desire to bring advancement into the foster system.

Georgette Todd

Director of Outreach
Georgette Todd brings with her a dual perspective when it comes to working in the social work space. She not only identifies with the population we serve but she has over a decade of experience working to create better outcomes in foster youth-centric nonprofits and county agencies.

Katie Adams

Director of Training Content
Katie has extensive experience in visual and written communications, and a deep commitment to improving foster care outcomes.


Jelani Freeman

Strategic Advisor
Jelani Freeman is a community leader, attorney, and motivational speaker who has dedicated his life to helping children. His commitment grew from his own experience in foster care. Jelani has worked in multiple agencies that serve youth, and volunteers as a CASA in Washington D.C.

Jevon Wilkes

Strategic Advisor
Jevon Wilkes has worked with and advocated on behalf of California's disconnected youth for more than 14 years. His passion for serving vulnerable youth populations comes from his lived experience with homelessness and the foster care system.

Shawn Carpenter

Technical Advisor
Shawn has over 30 years of experience in the world of cyber security, tech start-ups, and strategic investing. Shawn brings an extensive network of government security experts, as well as a deep understanding of the opportunities that technology brings.

Paul Garrett

Technical Advisor
Paul Garrett has been in cyber security for over 15 years and has nearly 30 years of experience in software development. He oversaw classified systems and law enforcement data sharing solutions for the Department of Justice. He went on to co-found a mobile security company, and he then turned his focus to child family matching. He contributes on both the product side as well implementation.

Lisa Cohen

Strategic Advisor
Lisa Cohen grew up in the Washington DC foster care system. She has experienced first hand the challenges of the child welfare system and is passionate about reform. She is a former championship boxer, and author of the autobiography, Being Too Fierce. Lisa works tirelessly to ensure that every child has a chance at a bright future.

Samantha Stepleton

Social Services Advisor
Samantha has worked in social services for over 20 years, bringing a passion for improving opportunities for children and families. Samantha is especially focused on the impact of trauma in childhood experiences, and how to improve healing.
We Are On A Mission
Our team is committed to helping every child in foster care achieve permanency.
Learn More About Our Mission
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Our newsletters include the latest information about our work, our partner organizations, and the impact we are creating together.
Thank you!

Supporters like you make all the difference for kids in foster care. We will keep you up to date on our latest work!
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