Meet Our Staff

Desirea Strickland

Desirea Strickland, Manager of Quality & Program Supports

Desirea Strickland, Manager of Quality & Program Supports

Associate Site Director: LNE Central

Dstrickland.lne@gmail.com

Though Desi is a recent college graduate of the University of Hawaii, she is no stranger to the Upreach and Learning Never Ends families. Four years ago, she was the assistant director of Camp Learning Never Ends, a summer camp which provided services to adolescent youth with developmental disabilities. Also while completing her degree, Desi worked at Upreach as both a support specialist and an administrative intern. Upon graduation, Desi has expanded her journey by taking on the exciting new role as Manager of Quality and Program Supports at Learning Never Ends. Greeted with friendly faces daily, and consistently faced with new challenges and experiences, Desi truly loves her job. The work done at Learning Never Ends is very fulfilling, and it is a pleasure to watch the participants of Learning Never Ends further their learning and development.

Tamara Johnson

Associate Site Director – LNE South

tjohnson.lne@gmail.com

Tamara Johnson, Associate Site Director, LNE South

Tamara Johnson, Associate Site Director, LNE South

Tamara Johnson holds an Associate’s Degree in Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities from Columbus State Community College. Tamara began her career providing adoption and foster care to children with mental health diagnoses and developmental disabilities in her home, a service that she provided for over fifteen years.

Tamara also held the position of Independent Provider and Home Health Aide for over five years. After several years of in-home care experience, Tamara embarked on a new venture within the field when she accepted the position of Activity Leader with The Association for the Developmentally Disabled where she was responsible to facilitate community engagement and employment building activities for more than 100 individuals with developmental disabilities.

Tamara was later promoted to the position of Program Supervisor within her final role at the agency. Tamara later joined Learning Never Ends, LLC in August 2012 as a Day Habilitation Specialist and was quickly promoted to the position of Program Coordinator in November 2012. With the expansion of services and opening of the new Learning Never Ends program location in Southeast Ohio in September 2013, the opportunity was provided to Tamara to serve in the position of Assistant Director.

Heather Whitt

Associate Site Director: LNE West

Heather Whitt, Community Engagement Coordinator

Heather Whitt, Community Engagement Coordinator

hwhitt.lne@gmail.com

Heather Whitt has been employed with Learning Never Ends for more than two years and she loves her job! Heather began working with the agency in July 2014 as a Community Engagement Specialist at LNE Central. Heather’s genuine care for the individuals served and her willingness to assist however and wherever needed resulted in her being promoted to the position of Program Coordinator in October 2015 shortly after LNE opened its third location in Grandview, Ohio. Heather is a beloved staff member at LNE West and serves as a valued contributor to the LNE administrative team.

David Smith

Job Developer

David Smith, Job Developer

David Smith, Job Developer

ddsmith529@yahoo.com

David Smith was born and raised in Columbus Ohio. He graduated from Mifflin Senior High School in 1990 and The University of Wisconsin in 1995 with a degree in Early Childhood Development. After school, David worked as a daycare teacher from 1995-1999 before going to work at United Methodist Children’s home as a unit supervisor from 2000-2011.  David then transitioned to Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare as a mental health staff in the prison unit. Later, David worked second shift at the Alvis House as a house manager before starting his own Security company which secures venues and apartment complexes surrounding the Columbus area. David applied at Leaning Never Ends, and it has been wonderful for him ever since. He has two daughters that he cherishes aged 20 and 6. David is also a touring standup comedian.

Antoine Peterson

Community Engagement & Transportation Coordinator

Antoine Peterson, Community Engagment & Transportation Coordinator

Antoine Peterson, Community Engagment & Transportation Coordinator

apetersonlne@gmail.com

Antoine Peterson is from Columbus, OH and graduated from Brookhaven High School in 1999. Antoine began his wonderful journey more than 8 years ago, working for Upreach. Later, he was afforded the opportunity to become a Community Engagement Specialist with Learning Never Ends. Antoine’s desire was always to help others, so he established a career that allowed him to carry out his dream. Antoine has had the pleasure to work one on one with individuals with Developmental Disabilities at Learning Never Ends and his favorite activities have included; playing basketball and soccer, fishing and providing Job Readiness Trainings.

Due to Antoine’s great work ethic, he was quickly promoted to the position of Community Engagement Coordinator in 2013 when LNE opened its South location in affiliation with Fairfield County Board of DD. Antoine has played a significant role in establishing LNE South as a thriving location for LNE and has helped to affirm LNE’s positive reputation within the Fairfield County community. Antoine has also filled the role of Transportation Coordinator and maintains the agency’s fleet of vehicles used for non-medical transportation in Fairfield County, as a support to the agency’s Transportation Manager.

Antoine is a family oriented person who enjoys cooking and grilling, and making others laugh and smile. Antoine feels that LNE is the best company he’s ever worked for and it has become a second family to him.