Our Staff

Administrative Staff

Maria Strada
Executive Director
908-725-7223 ext 412

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 Navatto
Associate Executive Director
908-725-7223 ext 413

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.

Full-Time Program Staff

Kayla Celleri
Phone Ext. 404

Kayla Celleri attended Raritan Valley Community College where she earned her Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts. After, she transferred to Rutgers University where she majored in Communications and double minored in Sociology and Psychology. Since her senior year of college, Kayla has enjoyed working with youth. She has experience as a teacher assistant at an early childhood center, tutoring through Americorps, and substitute teaching. Kayla hopes to continue making an impact on the future generation. 

Jazmeer Evans-Harris
Phone Ext. 419

Jazmeer is a Somerset native but has lived in various parts of New Jersey, graduating with honors from William Paterson University with a B.A. in Sociology & a double minor in Criminology and Women and Gender studies. Jazmeer has always been passionate about helping others selflessly as it is one of the most rewarding feelings that can last a lifetime. In his free time, Jazmeer enjoys shopping, living life to the fullest in each moment, and exploring new ways to elevate himself while helping those around him see their full potential.

Corey Griffin
Phone Ext. 418

Corey Griffin is a graduate of Virginia State University with a degree in Health and Physical Education. He has worked for many schools in the Edison township area, as well as being employed by Edison Recreation. He has a passion for team building and mentoring youth through events that bring people together and build on core strengths and improve weaknesses. He uses his free time to enjoy family and events notable to the community.

Becky Lyons
21st CCLC, Outreach
Phone Ext. 405
908-809-9572 – Program Cell

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
Journeys, Station House Adjustment
Phone Ext. 407

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
Phone Ext. 406
908-963-9519 – Program Cell

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.

Ricky Pinto
21st CCLC
Phone Ext. 408

Ricky graduated from Kean University with a Bachelors in Recreation Administration. He is a native to New Jersey and has over 10 years experience in early childhood education, from paraprofessional positions to coaching sports. In his spare time, he enjoys visiting friends and family and rooting for his favorite sport teams.

Kevin Quinn
21st CCLC, Visions
Phone Ext. 409

Kevin graduated with a Bachelors in History from George Washington University. Since then, he has gained extensive experience in the education field, having worked with students in academic, recreational, and residential settings. Prior to joining Middle Earth, he worked with a variety of prominent youth development organizations, including CIty Year, the Work-Family Connection, and Catholic Charities. In his free time, Kevin enjoys reading, watching sports, and coaching tennis. 

Michelle Ramirez-Cruz
Journeys, YCRP
Phone Ext. 415

Michelle Ramirez-Cruz holds an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Middlesex County College. She then attended Rutgers University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She has previously worked with Rutgers University Transfer Center to support and mentor incoming students. Michelle is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Montclair State University.

Kyle Vandenberg
Promise, Visions,
WIB Outreach
Phone Ext. 403
908-963-9479 – Program Cell

Kyle Vandenberg has been with Middle Earth since 2014, working in a variety of our programs including mentoring, college readiness and employment readiness. 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.

Alexis Williams
Journeys, Visions and SACH
Phone Ext. 416

Alexis Williams is a Somerset, New Jersey native. She graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She has always had a passion for youth and community outreach. She has previous experience with mentoring programs in school settings and community service programs. 

John Williams
21st CCLC
Phone Ext. 420

John Williams is the Site-Coordinator in Manville, NJ and has been working for Middle Earth since 2018. Before his employment with 21st CCLC, John attended Brooklyn College where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He has hands-on experience in a large classroom setting working with children ranging from grades 2nd to 6th as well as experience with one-on-one mentoring.

Part-Time Staff


Letetia Ellis

Emma Aguilar

Jashar Banks

Jeremiah Bradley

Michelle Calderon

Olivia Dougherty

Danier Guzman

Abdalhadi Haseen 

21ST CCLC continued

Grace Hummel

Connor Lane

Lina Leotti 

Lee Parker

Veronica Schumann

Elijah Stackhouse

Lisa Miranda Torres

Olivia Velez


Kemar Tulloch

Jordyn Williams


Jennifer Murphy
Finance Manager

Wendy Reed

Laurie Sedlatschek