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Goals & Team

Youth Development Team group photo

Montgomery County Recreation's Youth Development Team is generating an enhanced and vibrant approach to service delivery that reaches out to all young people.

Our Goals:

We use recreation to ensure young people are productive, healthy, and connected during out-of-school time. Our positive youth development strategies include opportunities, programs, and services which emphasize health and wellness, youth leadership and social equity, workforce development, and connection to caring adult role models. The Recreation Department is built on a foundation for serving youth, and we are committed to building on this tradition.

It is our aim to ensure the Recreation Department is a place where young people:

  • Make friends and maintain healthy relationships
  • Gain a sense of independence and rely less on adults
  • Build teamwork skills and become more effective in groups
  • Foster attributes important to being a members of family and community
  • Perceive competence and believe they can be successful
  • Acquire an interest in exploration and are eager to learn new things
  • Develop a sense of responsibility and learn to be accountable
  • Enhance their affinity for nature and attraction toward the outdoors
  • Grow confidence and try to solve problems on their own
  • Establish a connection and feel safe and welcomed in their environment

Our Team:

The Youth Development Team within the Department of Recreation has generated an enhanced and vibrant approach to service delivery that enables the mobilization of resources, thus casting a wider net and growing the number of young people who are productive, healthy, and connected. The Youth Development Team uses recreation as a means to improve outcomes and increase Developmental Assets for all young people. Positive youth development strategies include supports, opportunities, and services which emphasize health and wellness, youth leadership & social equity, connection to community, and connection to caring adult role models.




group team goals

Sarah Swarr - Recreation Supervisor

What I like about my job:
I enjoy working with the youth in the community and making a impact in their lives.

Hobbies:
Soccer

My Theme Song:
“Don't Stop Believing” by Journey

Emily McDonell - Recreation Supervisor

What I like about my job:
I love having the opportunity to have an impact on young peoples' lives - whether they are participating in one of our programs or working for the Recreation Department.

Hobbies:
Needlepoint, Reading.

My Theme Song:
"Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen

Marhonda Williams - Recreation Supervisor

What I like about my job:
Inspiring smiles and making a positive difference in young lives on a daily basis!

Hobbies:
Making Cakepops, Enjoying the company of family, friends and my boxer puppy Duke!

My Theme Song:
"Just Keep Swimming" by Dory of Finding Nemo!

Daniela Belmonte - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like having the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of youth and provide them with first time opportunities .

Hobbies:
I enjoy salsa dancing as well as watching movies with family.

My Theme Song:
"Viva la vida" by Coldplay

Carla Benavides - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like being able to create positive change for our youth. There is nothing better.

Hobbies:
Attending Redskins games, playing fantasy football, and coaching soccer.

My Theme Song:
"Don't stop believing" by Journey

Nina Bersabal - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like making connections with the youth we work with, helping them to build on the strengths they already possess to be resilent in all their future endeavors.

Hobbies:
Playing soccer, flag football, reading and hiking with my four huskies.

My Theme Song:
"One Step at a Time" by Jordin Parks

Opal Burgess - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like programming and allowing the youth to have a voice in the process. Their opinions really help me.

Hobbies:
Thrift shopping, baking, and gardening

My Theme Song:
“Congueror” by Estelle

Carlos Castro - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like my job because every day I have the opportunity to impact lives of many students participating in our programs in a positive way.

Hobbies:
Surfing, playing video games, reading and listening to music

My Theme Song:
“De Todo el Mundo” by Enrique Bunbury

Elijah Davis - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I love that I have the ability to work with teens in a capacity that allows me to earn their friendship and trust. By earning their respect I am able to have positive conversations that allow for me to understand them on a personal dedicated level.

Hobbies:
I like playing sports of all kinds, being and nature and binge watching TV series when give the time.

My Theme Song:
"U.N.I.T.Y." by Queen Latifah

Alessandra Flores - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I value each opportunity given to impact the lives and wellbeing of youth in our community by providing resources they need to become their best version of themselves. Creating diverse programs and building impactful relationships to help them realize their full potential.

Hobbies:
Shopping, hiking with my dog, and coaching basketball

My Theme Song:
"The Way You Make me Feel" by Michael Jackson

Carlos Falcon - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I love being part of a team making a difference for all of the youth in Montgomery County.

Hobbies:
Playing and coaching sports.

My Theme Song:
“Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty

Josh Holt - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I love working with youth and helping them pursue their career dreams and realize their potential.

Hobbies:
Running, Cycling, Hiking, Camping, Learning new things.

My Theme Song:
“Where we Belong” by Thriving Ivory

Jerome Jackson - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like the opportunity to empower young people to reach their full potential.

Hobbies:
I love to BBQ, travel, read and hang with friends and family.

My Theme Song:
“The Man” by Aloe Blacc

Robert Kiger - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I love working with youth. It gives a chance to give back to the community.

Hobbies:
Snowboarding, Drawing and Traveling

My Theme Song:
"Anything" by Stevie Wonder

Tiffany Nelson - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like being able to provide quality programs for the youth, see students become successful, and being a mentor to young people.

Hobbies:
Shopping, Bowling, Reading, Listening to music.

My Theme Song:
“Independent Women” by Destiny's Child

Wes Pritchard - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I enjoy the stories that we create alongside a diverse group of young people with unique programming.

Hobbies:
Anything outdoors, basketball, video games, reading, and travel.

My Theme Song:
“Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show

Chass Seymour - Recreation Coordinator

What I like about my job:
Knowing that the wonderful opportunities we provide are a catalyst for positive community and indivdual growth.

Hobbies:
I love to be outdoors! Kayaking, camping, hiking, chasing sunsets, getting lost in the woods, star gazing and bird watching.

My Theme Song:
"Thank You For Being A Friend" by Cynthia Fee

Janet Dixon - Office Services Coordinator

What I like about my job:
Being part of and supporting a great team that helps to grow great kids and young adults that are confident, happy and productive.

Hobbies:
Scrabble, reading with my book club, playing with my rescue dog Brownie and geocaching.

My Theme Song:
"Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls

Holiday Park Senior Center3950 Ferrara Drive, Wheaton
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