Lauren Grimes, MPP


Lauren M. Grimes is a native Washingtonian who attained her Sociology B.A. at the University of Maryland, in College Park, Maryland, and her M.P.P. at George Mason University, located in Fairfax, Virginia. After earning her M.P.P. degree, she was inspired to teach, and began instructing as a Political Science professor at Trinity Washington University and the University of the District of Columbia. 

She founded The Community Enrichment Project to instill a strong sense of civic awareness and engagement in underserved communities. Her goal is to help enrich existing communities by teaching others the importance of volunteerism, activism, other undervalued political techniques. Within her community she serves as Vice Chair of the Marshall Heights Civic Association and as a mentor for young girls in Washington, D.C. She is also a mentor for The Wilson Center’s Women in Public Service Project. Her future aspirations are to continue civic engagement in her community as a youth advocate and public policy advisor. 

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Kenja Holmes Ford

Research Intern

Kenja Holmes Ford is a native Washingtonian. She is the proud mother of two daughters who returned to college as an adult and earned a Paralegal Degree from The University of the District of Columbia.  She is currently pursuing a 2nd degree in Corrections Administration with a focus in Juvenile Justice to obtain a deeper understanding of the juvenile population in order to better serve them.

Ms. Holmes Ford is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and National Society of Collegiate Scholars honor societies where she served as President. She has served as a mentor at Community of Hope, enjoys preparing and serving meals to the undeserved community at Martha’s Table and So Others Might Eat and is a board member of Community Builders, the philanthropic arm or her employers Community wellbeing initiative. Her passion is deeply rooted in service and leadership that will facilitate and lead to change in the community.

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Christina Garner

Executive Director

Christina L. Garner is a native Washingtonian who graduated from American University, in Washington, D.C., with a B.S. degree in Computer Systems Applications.  

In January 2017, she retired after serving over 34 years as a federal government employee.  She began her career as an Information Technology Specialist and served as a Front Line Manager for the last 24 years of her tenure.

She currently serves as First Lady and Youth Minister of the New Image Community Baptist Church located in S.E. Washington, D.C. As the leader of the Youth Ministry, she sows seed into the lives of youth ages 13-18 through spiritual youth sessions and hosting youth activities throughout the D.C. Metropolitan area.  

 Christina is dedicated to encouraging youth to be insightful and forward thinking as they prepare to be leaders in and outside of their communities. 


Julius West

Youth Programs Coordinator

Julius West is native Washingtonian and a Frank W. Ballou High School graduate. He attended St. Augustine University where he obtained a B.S. in Human Performance and Wellness. Mr. West began his professional career at the D.C. Department of Employment Services working with the Office of Youth Programs as an analyst for the year round program for youth 14-24 years old.

Additionally, after Mr. West graduated from Saint Augustine’s University he became inspired to start an employment program youth from all walks of life, which would provide positive youth development through sport with a work force development. The program’s mission is to prepare youth to learn to become responsible adults and have a positive impact on society. Currently Mr. West works as a high school special educator with students who have intellectual, physical, and behavioral disorders. He wishes to continue his lifelong passion of mentoring and serving youth in Washington, DC.