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

Marhonda Williams - Manager

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!

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

Jonathan Smink - Recreation Supervisor

What I like about my job:
Having the professional means to positively connect with staff of all ages and youth across Montgomery County.

Hobbies:
Family, Swimming, Biking, Running, Washington's pro sports teams as well as the Maryland Terps and the Michigan Wolverines.

My Theme Song:
The Rainbow Connection - Kermit the Frog

Josh Holt - Recreation Supervisor

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

Danielle Moxley - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like being able to develop meaningful relationships with the community I serve and witness positive changes in youth. Watching them change for the better and grow in their self-awareness always amazes me.

Hobbies:
Reading, kickboxing, hiking, binge watching dramas and inhaling chocolate desserts!

My Theme Song:
"Salute" by Little Mix

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

Xiomara Castro- Office Services Coordinator

What I like about my job:
As a long time Montgomery County Resident, I enjoying supporting a diverse team of Recreators in serving the youth of this County

Hobbies:
Cooking, Listening to music, swimming

My Theme Song:
"Rebelde" by RBD

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

Malcolm Ayers - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
Having the ability to give back to the community and county that has given so much to me growing up since I moved here from New York. The chance to change lives and make a difference through recreation for the youth is fulfilling in so many ways, especially since I was once in their shoes participating in a RecXtra program in middle school.

Hobbies:
Participating in adult sport leagues, playing video games and watching crime shows.

My Theme Song:
"Underground Kings" by Drake

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

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

Esmeralda Rivera - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I enjoy organizing and planning events/activities for youth and offering new experiences to shape how young people grow.

Hobbies:
Hiking, reading, crafting, traveling and watching science fiction & fantasy movies!

My Theme Song:
“You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor

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

Nada Schnall - Administrative Specialist II

What I like about my job:
I like being able to see the impact my team has, and tell our story through the data.

Hobbies:
Cooking, Candle Making, Home Brewing, and Museum Hopping

My Theme Song:
Drive and Disconnect - NAO

Shawn Alvarez - Recreation Specialist

What I like about my job:
I like what I do because daily I get to inspire the future leaders of tomorrow and make the world a better and more fun place to be!

Hobbies:
Fitness, Music, travel, video games and anything outside!

My Theme Song:
“I Feel Love” REMAKE- Sam Smith (original by Donna Summer)

Chass Gallagher - Recreation Specialist

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