OUR TEAM

MERIT Staff

Jake Weinfeld

Executive Director

jake.weinfeld@meritbaltimore.org

Jake originally got involved with MERIT, in 2012, as a volunteer Saturday teacher, while teaching science full time at KIPP Academy in Baltimore. Jake came to teach in Baltimore through Teach for America, teaching at his placement school for three years before joining the MERIT team full-time. He received his Masters in the Science of Education from Johns Hopkins University in 2014.

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Agzja Carey 

Program Director - High School Success

agzja.carey @meritbaltimore.org

Agzja Carey is a leadership and race equity professional with expertise in program design, strategic planning, community engagement and education leadership.  Graduating from Howard University with a B.B.A. in Business Management, Agzja leveraged her training in business best practices and talent management to serve the youth of Baltimore.  As a Teach For America alum, Agzja taught 3rd and 5th grade in Baltimore City Public Schools and went on to support countless scholars in her future roles within education policy, program management and student support. Most recently Agzja served as the External Opportunities Coordinator for SEED School of MD where she supported students applying to MERIT. Agzja is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and is excited to join the MERIT family.

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India Leach

Program Director - College Success

india.leach@meritbaltimore.org

India Leach is a dedicated College Access and Retention Guru, born and nurtured in Baltimore City. As a student‐focused leader who seeks to drive results around college access, she began her college advising career with the College Bound Foundation. That work led to positions in student support and academic advising at Walden University, KIPP through College ‐ Baltimore, and Towson University. At Towson, India served as the Coordinator of Outreach and Retention for the last four years. On Towson’s campus, India also served as an advisor to several student organizations and a member of several committees who support diversity and inclusion work on campus. India graduated from MERVO High School and then obtained her Bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, College Park. India has a Masters in Non-Profit Management from Towson University and is now working to finish up her PHD at Morgan State University.

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Cameron Martin

College Success Manager

cameron.martin@meritbaltimore.org

Cameron Martin has spent the past five years working as an English Teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools. In this capacity he worked closely with high school seniors as they applied to college and prepared for the transition. He graduated with honors from Buffalo State College with a degree in English Education. Currently, he attends American University where he is pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus in education policy. He is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  

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Dana Alserjani

Program Manager

dana.alserjani-abushanab@meritbaltimore.org

Dana Alserjani is a Palestinian-Muslim teacher, community organizer, advocate and dog mom from Phoenix, Arizona, where she received her Bachelor’s degree from the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. Being from the Valley of the Sun, she enjoys spending time outdoors in the sunshine, especially on mountains, and near cool waters. Dana has lived in Baltimore City for three years where she has worked closely with high school students who are eager to enhance their leadership skills as change agents in their local communities. During her time in Batltimore, Dana has worked with MERIT as both a Saturday and Summer Instructor. She is deeply passionate joining al communities in the fight for liberation in Turtle Island and around the world. 

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Alex Seo

Operations Coordinator

alex.seo@meritbaltimore.org

Alex received her Bacherlor's degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Johns Hopkins University in May 2020. While working as a Health Leads Advocate, she became passionate about working with underserved populations and empowering them through healthcare. Alex plans to attend medical school following her time with MERIT.

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Kahlid Fowlkes

Program Coordinator - High School Success

kahlid.fowlkes@meritbaltimore.org

Kahlid received a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Morehouse College in May of 2020. With being an Alum of MERIT, he is super excited to return to MERIT to serve as the Scholar Support Coordinator. Kahlid will soon be furthering his education by attending medical school. In addition, to continuously playing a part within the MERIT community.

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Lidia Hernandez

Program Coordinator - College Success

lidia.hernandez@meritbaltimore.org

Lidia Hernandez is a proud MERIT Alumna and graduate of Western High School. She received her Bachelor's degree in Community Health from the University of Maryland, College Park in August of 2021, after completing her capstone internship at MERIT that summer. Throughout her time at UMD, she was very involved in the community and served as a Peer Educator for the University Health Center, held positions on various executive boards and participated in an Alternative Breaks experience in Los Andes, Guatemala. Lidia is eager to join the team and work alongside staff members to support scholars in their journeys of becoming change agents. 

MERIT Board of Directors

Board Chair

Dr. Sherita Golden

Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Staff Success Chair

Chitamawe Daka Mulwanda

Manager of Equity Programs

Baltimore City Public Schools

Strategic Growth Chair

Dr. John Kontor

Executive Vice President

Optum

Dr. David Hellmann

Director

Johns Hopkins Center for Innovative Medicine

Dr. Ilana Mittman

Genetic Counselor

Anne Arundel Medical Center

Dr. Krista Ratliff

Vice President of Business Development and Operations

Encompass Engineering​

MERIT Co-Founder

Dr. Tyler Mains

Assistant Medical Officer

Jail Health Services at San Francisco Department of Health

Vice Chair

Dr. Rudy Ruiz

Partner

Four Point Education Partners

Fundraising Chair

Kristin Kosmides

Head of Global Citizenship

Franklin​ Templeton

Treasurer

Brian McDonald
Audit Partner

KPMG

Geoffrey Genth

Principal Attorney

Kramon and Graham 

Karen Dates Dunmore

Senior Director of Community Engagement and Workforce Development

University of Maryland Medical Center

Dr. Scott Wright

Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

MERIT Co-Founder

Shyam Gadwal

Vice President of Programs

APIA Scholars