Our Staff

Administration


Maria Strada Maria Strada
Executive Director
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908-725-7223 ext 12

Maria Strada has been with Middle Earth since 1997, first as a Program Director and then becoming Executive Director in 2012. She has a B.A. from Rutgers University and a Master's Degree from Montclair University. Prior to Middle Earth, Maria worked in the Somerset County Office of Youth Services, and she worked with adults experiencing mental health issues. She is passionate about our mission and loves working with a talented staff who make positive changes in the lives of youth.

Maggie NavattoMaggie Navatto
Associate Executive Director
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908-725-7223 ext 20

Maggie Navatto has been with Middle Earth since 2005. She has a Bachelor's degree in Law & Justice from Rowan University. Maggie has experience with Middle Earth’s juvenile justice programs, mentoring services, and afterschool programs. She has been the Associate Executive Director since 2014. Maggie also has extensive volunteer experience through Somerset County 4-H.

Jolee RobertsJolee Roberts
Finance Manager
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908-725-7223 ext 14

Jolee Roberts has been with Middle Earth as our Finance Manager since 2007. Before coming to Middle Earth she was the Finance Director at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She currently lives in Bridgewater New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Full-Time Program Staff


Olivia Ajiake Olivia Ajiake
Promise, Journeys
Phone Ext. 17
908-963-1139 - Program Cell
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Olivia Ajiake is a graduate of Rutgers University with her Masters in Social Work. Currently, she is finishing up her LSW certification. Though originally from California, Olivia enjoys calling New Jersey her new home. She is passionate about working with youth to help them reach their goals.

Irene CandelariaIrene Candelaria
Visions, WIB Outreach, YCRP
Phone Ext. 10
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Irene Candelaria received her Bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University. After completing her undergraduate studies, she joined the Peace Corps in Botswana, where she served as a Youth and HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Volunteer in the southern Kalahari Desert. Irene currently works in the Employment and College Readiness Department for Middle Earth.

Laura CavanaghLaura Cavanagh
21st Century Community
Learning Center (CCLC)
Phone Ext. 18
908-566-6334 - Program Cell
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Laura Cavanagh started working as a club leader for Middle Earth's afterschool program, the 21st Century Community Learning Center. Upon graduating from Seton Hall, she was promoted to site coordinator for Middle Earth's afterschool program at Smalley Elementary School. She has experience working with children through many service opportunities and mission trips.

Selasi Lumax Selasi Lumax
Linkages, Journeys
Phone Ext. 25
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Selasi "Las" Lumax grew up in Franklin Township, NJ. He attended Southern Connecticut State University where he studied Sports Management and participated on the track team for all four years. In 2012 he set the NCAA collegiate record and went on to train professionally. He currently serves as the Linkages Recreational Coordinator for Middle Earth where he enjoys working with youth in the school system.

Becky LyonsBecky Lyons
21st CCLC, Outreach
Phone Ext. 15
908-809-9572 - Program Cell
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Becky has a Bachelor's degree in Educational Studies from WGU. Becky has worked with children and youth for over 10 years and has always had a passion for it. Becky has worked for Middle Earth since 2013 in the 21st CCLC afterschool program as well as the mentoring program. Currently, Becky is the Lead Site Coordinator for 21st CCLC and runs the Mentoring Program.

Cory Matthew Cory Matthew
Promise, Journeys
Phone Ext. 17
908-963-9730 - Program Cell
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Cory Matthew is a Case Manager and Life Skills Facilitator for Middle Earth. He has 8+ years of experience working with and educating diverse populations of adolescents of various ages and now works within both the Journeys and Promise programs for Middle Earth. After graduating from Kean University with a degree in Psychology and Health, he still enjoys working on his professional development in the fields of adolescent psychology and social work.

Ike Onyejiaka Ike Onyejiaka
Promise, Journeys
Phone Ext. 19
908-963-9519 - Program Cell
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Ike Onyejiaka is a Somerset, NJ native. He graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Law & Justice. Ike has enjoyed working at Middle Earth since 2013. He currently serves as the Program Coordinator for the Promise and Journeys programs. In his free time, he is passionate about mentoring youth from his community.

Veronica Schumann Veronica Schumann
21st CCLC, Outreach,
Lunchtime Mentoring
Phone Ext. 11
908-625-0650 - Program Cell
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Veronica Schumann is the site coordinator for the third grade after school program at Lafayette Elementary School and also mentors youth for Middle Earth's Lunchtime Mentoring Program. She has been with Middle Earth since July of 2019. Veronica has a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in school psychology, and previously worked in the guidance department for an alternative high school in Tampa, Florida.

Jack Teters Jack Teters
Visions, WIB Outreach, YCRP
Phone Ext. 10
908-625-5135 - Program Cell
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Jack Teters has been a Group Facilitator in the Visions Employment Readiness and Youth College Readiness Programs since 2017. Before working at Middle Earth, Jack earned his BA in Psychology from Drew University and is currently working on his Masters in Public Policy at the Rutgers Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy.

Kyle Vandenberg

Kyle Vandenberg
Visions, WIB Outreach, YCRP
Phone Ext. 21
908-963-9479 - Program Cell
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Kyle Vandenberg has been with Middle Earth since 2014, first working in 21st CCLC and Mentoring, before taking over as coordinator of the Visions Program in 2015 and the coordinator of YCRP in 2017. Prior to working at Middle Earth, Kyle held positions as the Mentoring Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Paterson and Program Director in charge of Native American Ministries for YouthWorks. He holds a Bachelor's in Youth Ministry from Nyack College and is pursuing his Master's in Family Studies from Amberton University.

Part-Time Program Staff


Isaiah Black
(Journeys)
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Harry Brochinsky
(Student Ambassadors for
Community Health)

Alyssa Burrell
(21st CCLC)
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Becky Davenport
(Art House)

Alexander Foster
(Outreach)
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Steve Hevalow
(Journeys)
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Jane Morales
(Journeys)

Kemar Tulloch
(Journeys)
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Jordyn Williams
(Journeys)
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Part-Time Consultants


Wendy Reed
Webmaster and Graphic Designer

Laura Sedlatschek
Administration