Julia Gabor

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, Jr.

Julia Gabor - Mindful Founder, kid-grit

Los Angeles, California

Julia, an esteemed educator and national speaker, proudly serves as the co-founder of kid-grit, championing students from PK-12 with innovative curriculum and workshops. Committed to empowering educators, she provides evidence-based professional development and coaching. In 2022, Julia achieved certification from the Women’s Business National Enterprise Council (WBENC), recognized for her dedication to fueling global economic growth through women-owned businesses. Her impactful contributions were acknowledged with the Women Making a Difference award by U.S. Senator Lou Correa in 2014 and the OSTI award from BOOST in 2013.
With 19 years of experience, Julia collaborated with renowned organizations like LA-All Stars, the TGR Foundation, and WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS. As Director of Education at WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS from 2014-2017, she expanded the project-based literacy curriculum nationwide, reaching 45 states and transforming over 55k students into published authors.
Julia’s dynamic roles at the TGR Foundation from 2006-2014 included managing mentor programs for first-generation college students, developing specialized programs and activity-based curricula, and overseeing the national character education program Tiger’s Action Plan (TAP), benefitting close to 10 million students. Passionate about education, she designed, trained, and facilitated workshops for various audiences, emphasizing unique activity-based programs that enhance student success and promote joyful futures.
A graduate of the State University of New York, Fredonia, with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Julia earned her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Antioch University in 2012. Her rich background encompasses diverse experiences in disguised learning, cultural diversity, and group leadership, reflecting her lifelong commitment to transformative education.
Jeffrey L. Jordan

We rise by lifting others.

     Jeffrey L. Jordan, kid-grit Mindful Co-Founder

Jeffrey L. Jordan - Mindful Co-Founder, kid-grit

Bayonne/Jersey City, New Jersey

Jeffrey L. Jordan is a passionate social entrepreneur who has built several businesses, including a holistic health, wellness and life-coaching practice in New Jersey. His passion is centered on holistic youth development, mentoring and kinetic life coaching. His mission has been dedicated to a Mind, Body, Spirit approach to personal empowerment and life balance for adults, families and youth of all ages.

In addition to co-founding kid-grit, Jeffrey also currently (2019-Present) serves as the Sr. Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations & University Advancement at New Jersey City University and previously led Sportika Sports as their CEO during their start-up phase (2016-2018). Under his leadership, Sportika emerged as a leader in youth sports development facilities in the USA. With Jeffrey’s contributions, NJCU and Sportika developed similar holistic missions to provide a comprehensive ‘humanistic’ approach to developing young student-athletes. Jeffrey is committed to developing not only the physical skill of young athletes, but also their intellect, emotion, instinct and intuition.  Jeffrey is committed to preparing young student/athletes to be well rounded, socially conscious, global thinking citizens, and to not only help them get into college, but to have them thrive once on campus, whether they are playing their sport or not.

In 2020, Jeffrey led a student-development initiative at NJCU which formed an official internship for student-leaders to become trained social-emotional learning youth facilitators. This program has produced more than 50 certified student-leader youth SEL workshop facilitators which have worked with more than 2000 students across the country, including 3 school districts in New Jersey, Las Vegas, and Alaska.

In 2005, Jeffrey founded the GoodWorx Foundation, a non-profit organization that provided mentoring & life-skills programs for children, young adults, and NCAA student-athletes. The GoodWorx Foundation partnered with the New Jersey Department of Education and provided service to over 1000 students over the course of 7 years. Concurrently, Jeffrey mentored and provided life-skills curriculum and support for over 750 student-athletes (all sports) on the University level through a partnership with the NCAA CHAMPS/LIFESKILLS initiative.

Jeffrey is a National speaker with a unique platform inspiring educators and youth program staff to look at a holistic approach to youth development. His mission is to inspire an awareness of the Mind, Body, & Spirit balance to student and staff programming.

Inducted into the New Jersey City University Athletic Hall of Fame for Basketball in 2020, Jeffrey holds the distinction to be the shortest member of the Basketball HOF to ever be inducted, but remains as one with the biggest heart. He credits his resilience and grit as being determining factors to his athletic and professional achievements.

Dr. Katherine Bihr
Leadership is defined as authentic transformative energy that adds value to others.
     Kevin Cashman

Katherine Bihr, Ed.D - Ed Strategy Jedi, kid-grit

Los Angeles, California

With over 30 years in education working in both K-12 public schools and the nonprofit sector, Dr. Bihr is the Co-Founder of Academic Solutions Group, an education consulting agency that provides strategy and coaching to school districts, administrators and educators worldwide. Dr. Bihr’s expertise ranges from program development and leadership to creating sustainable and equitable learning environments for youth, with a focus in serving students from high needs communities.

As the former Vice President of Programs and Education for Tiger Wood’s TGR Foundation, Bihr spent 16 years overseeing the personnel, programs and operations that led to the development of the TGR Learning Lab and the Earl Woods Scholar Program while managing a multi-million dollar budget. Through this work, she realized a critical component of long-term student success correlated directly to educator support and training. With this in mind, Bihr launched TGR EDU: Create, a professional learning program and TGR EDU: Explore, a digital platform designed for educators to use with students.

Prior to joining TGR Foundation, Bihr served as principal of Vista View Middle School in Fountain Valley, CA. She was the 2019 Chair of the STEM Funders Network, a national organization providing resources and professional learning to help teachers, parents and out-of-school providers better inspire and prepare youth in (STEM). She also serves on the board of directors for Project Tomorrow, which supports the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in K-12 schools and communities; advises a variety of business leaders through an EdTech accelerator; and, provides coaching to non-profit leaders working in the sports and entertainment field. In addition, Dr. Bihr serves as adjunct faculty for the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.

Michelle Piña kid-grit
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.
     William Shakespeare

Michelle Piña - Dynamic Director of Partnerships and Outreach, kid-grit

Houston, Texas

Michelle’s education background began as a toddler accompanying her mom to college classes, helping set up her elementary classrooms, and eventually as a substitute teacher while her mom was a middle school principal. Time was also spent working with children as a Montessori and afterschool teacher and a children’s librarian. Michelle’s professional career launched as middle school teacher and quickly evolved into administrative roles. Her experiences include professional development coordinator, program evaluator, federal grant director, and out-of-school time program director for school districts. She has over 15 years of experience in leading and starting up self-funded OST programs for school districts and 25 years in education management. More recently, as a Consultant, Michelle has worked with out-of-school time organizations, technology companies and various non-profits in the areas of business development, strategic and sustainability planning, professional development, curriculum design and grant writing.

Michelle received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Tulsa. She completed post-graduate work for a Teaching English as a Second Language certificate at the University of Central Oklahoma, participated in a Business Fellowship for School Leaders at Rice University. Certifications include K-12 Principal in Texas.

A native Houstonian, Michelle spends time volunteering for different passions. She previously held Board positions with the Southeast Texas Afterschool Association and Texas Afterschool Association. She currently is a State Leader for the Young Survival Coalition, the only national organization that supports young breast cancer survivors diagnosed under the age of 40. Other volunteering involves fostering puppies through local Houston organizations. Ultimately, Michelle enjoys connecting people and organizations to ensure a great future for all.

Irasema Maldonado

Irasema Maldonado - Budda Bookkeeper, kid-grit

Irasema is a highly skilled and motivated bookkeeper with over 15 years of experience in the field of accounting. She has a strong passion for helping small businesses achieve success by keeping their finances in order. Irasema is dedicated to delivering accurate and efficient fiscal management solutions.

Bilingual in English and Spanish, Irasema possesses a broad range of capabilities that make her an asset in any accounting setting. Proficient in renowned software such as AppFolio, QuickBooks, Famous, and Zoho, she is adept at handling accounting imports and exports, reconciling bank accounts, preparing financial statements, and managing accounts payable and receivables with ease. In addition to her technical skills, she is a detail-oriented professional with excellent communication skills.

Irasema is known for performing well under pressure and can meet tight deadlines. She takes pride in her work and strives to provide the highest level of service to her clients. She holds a Full Charge Bookkeeper Certification requiring 720 hours of comprehensive training from the Milan Institute in Visalia, CA. This educational background has equipped her with a solid foundation in accounting principles, financial statements, and a range of bookkeeping responsibilities.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, making jewelry, taking walks on the beach, and traveling.

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