Janet Gboluma-Kalonji is the founder of First Five Years & Beyond (FFYB), founded in 2014. She came to the U.S 1997 as a refugee from Liberia. She has a bachelor’s in human development from Washington State University and a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University, Portland.
With over 20 years of experience in serving families and children as a teacher, coach, and program administrator, she has engaged in work that provided resources, support, and education in ways that advances equity and quality.
She understands firsthand the challenges immigrant families with children face in raising their children in a new country and that is what motivates her to do the work she does at FFYB.
Kimberly holds a Masters of Education in Instructional Design and has 5+ years of experience in the learning and development field. As a passionate learning evangelist and yoga instructor, her former background as a family services specialist working with immigrant and refugee families; has informed her social justice lens within intergenerational education advocacy and intersectionality.
She has provided instructor led training for adult and early childhood education workshops in the non-profit sector, and eLearning course design in the technology start-up and corporate sector. in her spare time she enjoys yoga, meditation and comedy shows.
Charles has been a mortgage loan officer in the greater Seattle area for more than 10 years. He come from a mixed cultural background, with a white American mother and a black Congolese father.
Growing up in the United States and coming from two different cultures made him realize at a young age about the economic and educational disparity between American society and African society.
Having family in both places has provided a unique insight on how to help provide access to quality education for underprivileged children all over the world.
Chessie Rebecca Snider
Chessie is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Counseling at Seattle University. Chessie's experience with children ages birth to 5 is outstanding! Experience going back to 2004 as preschool teacher in diverse neighborhoods throughout Seattle, and graciously adored by all of her students, many are amazed!
Recently in 2013, Chessie took on a volunteer role as a researcher at the University of Washington to study and compile data on the latest models. The focus was on articulating the transition from nap time to healthy choice-based quiet time. This led to identifying healthy sleep habits in preschoolers. It is clear that Chessie brings a wealth of early childhood education experience to First Five Years & Beyond!