Tyree Bodiford – ETC Facilities Maintenance

Tyree joined the ETC/UPT team in 2018 to provide facilities maintenance of the East Trenton Center, located at 601 N. Clinton Avenue. Tyree was a key volunteer at ETC for many years, assisting with distribution of food for Thanksgiving, among other tasks.

Tyree  handles all  maintenance duties: sets up for special events, picks up donations and assists with the ETC weekly produce distribution, maintains a clean building and other tasks when he is asked! He is always willing to pitch in.

Tyree graduated from Ewing High School and attended Mercer County Community College. He lives in Trenton.

Taifa Gilmer Taifa Gilmer – Camp Truth Site Director

Tai Gilmer, joined our team in 2017. Tai attended Rutgers and was in the banking industry for many years, retiring early to be part of her husband’s ministry at Central Church in Ewing NJ.

She began as Site Director at Camp Promise and moved to Camp Truth in spring 2018. Tai has worked with children in a church setting for many years and her firm gentleness is a gift to the children and teens at Camp Truth.

Tai lives in Trenton with her husband, Pastor Anthony Gilmer, and two children.

Evelyn HawthorneEvelyn Hawthorne – Camp Grace Site Director

Evelyn Hawthorne, known by most as Ms. Hawthorne, is a fixture in the East Trenton Community. She retired from the Trenton Public Schools where she was a special education aide for children in grades 1-6. Ms. Hawthorne joined UPT in the fall of 2018 and brings many gifts and skills to the children and teens at Camp Grace.

Ms. Hawthorne is a life long Trenton resident and is active with the East Trenton Collaborative.

Shaquise Hawthorne – Camp Grace StreetLeader Director

Shaquise Hawthorne served as a volunteer at Camp Grace before joining the team as our StreetLeader Director at Camp Grace. Shaquise, has been mentoring children and teens for over 10  years. Shaquise graduated top 5% of her high school class at Emily Fisher Prep Charter School and is currently enrolled at Walden University studying Child Development.

Shaquise, is very passionate about helping children reach their highest potential throughout the course of their life.  Shaquise, resides in Trenton, NJ with her her daughter and pet turtle.

Georgia KoenigGeorgia Koenig – Volunteer Manager

Georgia spent her childhood in Trenton and graduated from Trenton High School where she met her husband. She loved it then and is still passionate about Trenton! After leaving Trenton, Georgia attended Ursinus, Temple and Yale.  She first became a teacher and later pioneered a path for women in the Information Technology industry.

A lifelong member of Trinity Cathedral, Georgia was instrumental in getting UrbanPromise Trenton established. As our Volunteer Manager, she is on-site during the AfterSchool Program and Summer Camps and always goes above and beyond to help the children.  Georgia personifies what it means to give back to your community.

Liz Leonard – ETC Operations Associate

Liz is native of Mercer County and worked in the New Jersey State Government before I retiring after 26 years of service. She also retired as a Certified Personal Trainer for the Slim and Tone Franchise.

In 2005 Liz joined Habitat for Humanity of Trenton as a Program Coordinator for the East Trenton Center working directly with families and coordinating Habitat’s community service programs and managing a food bank at the site.

In 2016,  Liz was named Resource Manager for the East Trenton Center. She oversees all aspects of property management, scheduling inspections and performing other duties as needed to ensure the smooth functioning of the property for the use of community residents and ETC partners.

Michael LovaglioMichael Lovaglio – Program Director

Michael Lovaglio, joined UPT in 2016 on a part time basis and is now a full time staff member.

Mr. Lovaglio holds a BA & MA in English and a MDiv in Christian Education. Mr. Lovaglio is also a college professor and teaches one class at Mercer County Community College. He worked at the Harlem’s Children’s Zone, Inc. as an Academic Specialist and College Coordinator.

Michael is passionate about teaching children and works with all of our students to encourage a love of learning. He lives in Cranbury with his wife and son.

Anthony MendiaAnthony Mendia- ETC Community Organizer


Melissa MantzMelissa Mantz – Executive Director

Melissa Mantz, a non-profit professional with over 20 years of experience in non-profit leadership and fundraising management, joined UrbanPromise Trenton as Executive Director in 2017. Melissa works collaboratively with staff, Board, volunteers, donors and other non-profit partners to ensure UPT can meet the needs of the children and teens who are part of the UPT family

Melissa is a resident of Lambertville,  mother of three adult children and is a member of Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church in New Hope, PA.

Eric MartinEric Martin – Finance and Operations Director

Eric Martin has worked for Urban Promise Trenton since June 2016 and formerly volunteered with the organization. Before moving to New Jersey, Eric helped form the Beacon Resource Center in South Bend, IN. He previously worked as an educator for multiple environmental nonprofits. Eric has a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and a Master of Nonprofit Administration from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.

Eric resides in Lawrenceville, NJ with his wife, daughter, pet dog and pet lizard. He attends 217 Church in Robbinsville, NJ and serves on their Board of Directors as Treasurer.

Elyse SmithElyse Smith –  Senior StreetLeader Director

To meet Elyse is to feel the spirit of UrbanPromise come alive! Her enthusiasm and energy will greet you along with her contagious smile.  Elyse grew up in Camden, NJ where she began with UrbanPromise as a StreetLeader.  She was an honor student at UrbanPromiseAcademy where she was one of the original UrbanTrekkers. She went on to graduate from Bloomfield College where she studied Sociology and Criminal Justice.

Elyse joined the UP Trenton team during our first Summer Camp,  and was a Camp Director before becoming the full time StreetLeader Director in 2016. Elyse lives in Camden NJ.

Shereyl Snider – ETC Community Organizer

Ms. Snider joined ETC in 2019 as a Community Organizer. Ms. Snider is a long-term resident of the East Trenton neighborhood, but is originally a New Yorker who moved to Trenton in 2003 to take care of her father. Ms. Snider’s responsibilities with ETC include outreach, resource and referral, leadership development, and organizing issue-based campaigns with residents.

While in New York, Shereyl worked as a travel agent for over 15 years. After moving to Trenton, she earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Child Care from Mercer County Community College and worked as a substitute teacher at the Hamilton School District for 5 years. As a neighborhood resident and volunteer at the East Trenton Collaborative, she learned how to organize in her community. In addition to her work in the East Trenton neighborhood, Ms. Snider is also a member of Galilee Baptist Church where she is a choir member and President of the Missionary Ministry.

Carl Clark – Co-Founder

As one of the original campers at UrbanPromise Camden, Carl knows firsthand the life changing impact of our program. He started as a camper at the age of seven and later became a StreetLeader, thriving despite a difficult home life. He went on to graduate from The College of New Jersey and established a successful career in banking.

However, Carl felt God’s calling in his life to bring the UrbanPromise program to Trenton. After learning of a particularly violent gang crime in Trenton, Carl, with the support of area churches, launched UrbanPromise Trenton in 2011. He served as Executive Director until 2016.

Phyllis Jones – Co-Founder

Phyllis has a passion and a long legacy of giving back to her community.  After serving on the Boards of UrbanPromise Ministries and UrbanPromise International, Phyllis realized she shared Carl Clark’s vision of creating an UrbanPromise program in Trenton.  Together, Carl and Phyllis created an engaged team of volunteers and found the resources to open UrbanPromise Trenton in 2011.

Phyllis currently serves as CFO to the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. A lifelong member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pennington, she and husband Michael have two grown children.