Meet the Board

Robin O’Neil – President

roneil@passportstocollege.org

Ms. Robin O’Neil became a Certified Mentor through Fordham University in 2007, and she has coordinated summer programs for mentees through multiple organizations for more than 10 years. A true partner in education, she has served on several Executive PTA Boards because young people are her passion. Ms. O’Neil was a Volunteer of the Year recipient in 2003 for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC.

Ms. O’Neil is the founded Passports to College, Inc. in 2006. The organization’s goal is to connect youth to college. Therefore, she organizes college prep programs such as SAT & Writer’s Workshops, to develop and enrich middle and high school students. Additionally, she accompanies youth to College Expos, College Fairs and College Tours. Ms. O’Neil is a Registered Nurse and believes all students have the capacity to soar when supported.


Kimberly Garner – Vice President

Kimberly.garner@passportstocollege.org

Kimberly Garner has been working in the field of education for eight years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina Central University in Psychology, and her Master’s degree from Mercer University located in Atlanta, GA. She have a certification from the state of Georgia in teaching grades 4-8, however she is currently employed in Shenzhen, China teaching Advanced Placement United States History and Advanced Placement Human Geography.

Teaching abroad has given her a different perspective on education and first hand experience on the challenges of studying abroad at the collegiate level. As a first college generation student, it is her goal to help the transition from high school to college as painless as possible. In her spare time she enjoy visiting historical landmarks across the world, writing songs, and learning Mandarin.


Alexa Lightbourne – Community Outreach

anlightbourne@passportstocollege.org

Alexa Lightbourne is a Consultant at Deloitte Bermuda. In this capacity, Alexa supports company strategy development, organization restructuring and process improvement.

Prior to joining Deloitte, Alexa obtained experience working on a wide array of both public and private political campaigns which took her across the globe including Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis and the United States, among other locales. Alexa’s experience working in field operations and communications gives her a competitive edge in executing “winning strategies”.

Notably, Alexa has served as Assistant Campaign Director for the Labour Party in Bermuda and also cut her teeth in President Obama’s 2012 campaign by serving as key contributor in the battleground state of Florida opening numerous offices and helping canvas, train volunteers, manage neighborhood teams and register voters in the South Florida. Alexa was a key part of the success of the Labour Party in the Antigua and Barbuda 2014 election.

Alexa is a Member of Toastmasters International and is working toward her distinguished Toastmaster Certification. Alexa holds a degree in International Relations, Politics & Business from the Queen Mary, University of London (UK) and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Westminster (UK).


Elyse Jones – Program Manager

elyse.jones@passportstocollege.org

Elyse Jones is the Operations and Program Analyst in the office of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCUs). She manages office support related to the implementation of Executive Order 13532. She is responsible for student outreach managing the HBCU All- Star program, which is meant to promote educational excellence, innovation, civic engagement and student leadership at HBCUs.

Prior to her assignment at the WHIHBCUs, Ms. Jones served as a Program Specialist, for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. In this role, she served as an advisor to senior leadership for operations in support of minority owned small business programs and conducted outreach events designed to make minority owned business more accessible to government contracting opportunities.

Prior to working for the Department of Education, Ms. Jones was a student at Valdosta State University where she graduated with a Master of Public Administration degree, and a Bachelor of Business Administration.


Cortney McCoy – Treasurer

cortney.mccoy@passportstocollege.org

Cortney McCoy is a Management Consultant with PwC’s Health Industry Advisory group. She supports multiple global medical device companies with successfully addressing their challenges and opportunities related to Operations and Quality.
Cortney is experienced in project management, research and data analysis, content creation, and workshop design and facilitation. In addition to her client work, she supports her market Diversity & Inclusion network to promote connectivity and professional growth amongst her diverse colleagues. Cortney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University, where she studied Anthropology and Economics. She has an avid interest in food activism and urban agriculture. When she’s not working on a client project you’re most likely to find her in a local community garden.


Phyllis Wade – Volunteer Coordinator

puwade@passportstocollege.org

Phyllis U. Wade is a native of Newton Grove, NC and a retired Special Agent in Charge with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, with over 30 years of government service. She
received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, with a minor in Criminal Justice, as well as a Master of Arts in Public Administration from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. She also holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College in Newport, RI.

Mrs. Wade has been a mentor both formally and informally over the past 24 years in her profession and in the community with youth. In her profession as a special agent, mentorship was a career long process where she provided career development training and guidance to fellow agents in the areas of leadership, team building, relationships and healthy competition. Within her communities, she served as a big sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, as well as a mentor with Volunteers of America. Mrs. Wade has a passion for working with youth with a personal goal of ensuring they become effective, constructive and successful leaders in society.

Mrs. Wade is married with one son and resides in Brandywine, MD. She enjoys traveling, working out and reading.