Meet the Girls Inc Team


Connie ParisConnie Paris, BA
Assistant Program Director
Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education, minor in Social Science
Girls Inc Certified for the Friendly PEERsuasion Program
757-244-0716 (Peninsula); 757-465-3896 (Southside)

My name is Connie Mayes Paris and I currently hold the position of Program Manager. I graduated from Alabama State University with a B.S. Degree. I majored in Health and Physical Education and minored in Social Science. I have been employed with Girls Inc. for seven (7) years. Throughout that time I have attended numerous workshops at Girls Inc. Regional Conferences. I am certified for the Friendly PEERsuasion Program by the Girls Inc. National Resource Center. Before joining the Girls Inc. team, I taught Health and Physical Education on the Middle and High School Level. I also have over twenty-five years of experience as a certified defensive driving instructor and instructor training. I worked as a driver improvement coordinator for Southeastern and Peninsula Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP). My vision for the youth enrolled in Girls Inc.  Summer Camp is for them to have an enjoyable learning experience which will inspire them to be STRONG, SMART and BOLD individuals.

Kissie PettawayKissie Y. Pettaway, MS
Director of Business Operation
Masters of Science in Human Services, Capella University
Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, Hampton University

My name is Kissie  and I am a native of Tarboro, NC.  As a long time resident of the Hampton Roads area, I bring an abundance of enthusiasm and passion to the Girls Inc leadership team.  Prior to my employment with Girls Inc., I have served in both administrative and management roles.

Upon completion of  undergraduate studies at Hampton University (BA in General Studies) I worked in area schools through a day treatment program, providing support to students through individual counseling, group counseling and crisis support and billing.  I have also served as Case Manager for a local mentoring program in partnership with Girls Inc.

Since my start at Girls Inc, I have served in various capacities namely; a volunteer, a facilitator and a site-manager.

Upon earning my Master of Science Degree in Human Services (Capella University), I was promoted and now serve as Director of Business Operations.  I handle all business-related matters and ensure parent accounts are up-to-date and accurate through the computer system, ProCare.

Shayna WhitelyShayna Whitley, BS
Special Projects Manager / Eureka / LIFT
Master of Arts Community Counseling, Norfolk State University (currently attending)
Bachelor of Science in Biology, Hampton University

Hello! My name is Shayna Whitley and I am the Special Projects Manager.  I recently joined the team at the beginning of the year and I work exclusively with LIFT(Leadership Institute for Teens ).  LIFT is a program geared toward prevention of potentially dangerous behaviors and activities such as substance abuse and towards preparing our girls for their futures. We also encourage girls to get involved with the sciences through Eureka! a 4 week STEM based summer program which will be held on the campus of Hampton University targeted towards rising 8th graders.  I am a graduate of Hampton University, where I majored in Biology and I am currently working towards my Masters in Urban Counseling at Norfolk State University.  I understand the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers and my vision is for more girls to understand and love these disciplines.


Veronica BarksdaleVeronica Barksdale
Facilities and Transportation Manager
Early Childhood Development Certificate, Virginia Precollege STEM Institute
AmeriCorps Vista
Girls Inc Certification Training

My name is Veronica Barksdale, I am the Facilities and Transportation Manager.  I was hired in 2007 as a van driver but decided to continue my service by joining Americorps Vista in 2008, which allowed me to serve two more years at Girls Inc. before becoming fully employed with the organization.  I have experience working in several departments and have had numerous positions from van driver, administrative assistant, food program coordinator and site manager.  I am also certified in many Girls Inc. National Identity Programs. In January 2010, I completed my certificate in Early Childhood Development through the Virginia Precollege STEM Institute, also known as VIPS Institute. In May 2010, I received a certificate of completion in Child Abuse and Neglect. I am currently a certified Respite foster care provider for the city of Chesapeake.

My vision for Girls Inc. is to see us expand into Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

I believe hard work and commitment are imperative to the development of every child. I live by the theory that  if I have touched one girl’s life, I will have achieved my goal because it will cause a chain reaction and many more lives will be changed.



Program Site Management


Barbara BanksBarbara Banks, BA
Site Manager, Girls Inc Huntington
Bachelor of Science in Human Services, minor in Psychology, Old Dominion University

My name is Barbara Banks and I graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelors in Science. I majored in Human Services and minored in Psychology. During my tenure at Old Dominion University I joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and Tua Upsilon Alpha Human Services Honor Society. After joining the Lambda Eta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta I served as Scholarship Chair. While at Old Dominion University I served in many leadership roles such as Resident Advisor and Peer Mentoring for An Achievable Dream. In my community I served as a young adult leader at my church and a volunteer with Brilliance Debutante Cotillion. I have also done Therapeutic Day Treatment with in Hampton Public Schools and continue to work as a behavioral counselor.

My vision for Huntington is that every child will embrace the Girls Inc. vision of being Strong, Smart, and Bold!


Jemina RichardsonJemina Richardson, BA
Administrative Program Support, Girls Inc Huntington
Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance, Old Dominion University
College Transfer Credits – Elementary Education, Bermuda College, Paget, Bermuda

Hello, my name is Jemina Richardson, I am Administrative Assistant for our Huntington Campus. A graduate of Old Dominion University, I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance in May 2010. While attending ODU, I had the privilege of being the president of the ODU Dance Association for 3 years, which gave me the opportunity to organize workshops, direct and produce student dance concerts and serve in the Student Government as a Student Representative the student assistant to the Director of Dance and the Dance Faculty.

Prior to attending University I gained several years of experience in jobs positions including, dance instructor, teacher’s assistant, summer camp junior and senior counselor, gymnastics coach and administrative assistant. While attending Bermuda College, I also served as a student worker in various departments, including the Vice Presidents Office, Business Office and Human Resource Department. This opportunity has given me a wide spread of experience, including, website development and assisting with and facilitating faculty development workshops.

I strongly believe that working with children is a privilege, and that it is important that we instill in them character, values and morals needed to be productive citizens in their communities. Taking this to heart, I serve my communities utilizing the arts, through a ministry that I founded called Take Back Ministries. Through Take Back, I have started youth and young adult dance companies and hosted workshops, dance intensives and retreats. I believe that youth are our future and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with them.

Kesha PersonKesha Person
Site Manager, Girls Inc Denbigh
Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, Devry University (currently attending)
Medical Assistant, Tidewater Technical Institute

My name is Kesha Love Person. My education background is very eclectic because of the different areas of education I pursued. I went to school to be a Cosmetologist in 1995, then Medical Assistant in 2004 and now I am currently enrolled at Devry University to get my Bachelors in Business Administration.

My most recent experience comes from working at a non-profit for 6 years before coming to Girls Inc.

My vision for Girls Inc./Boys Leadership Alliance is to have a group of productive, inspired, accountable, and confident children. I want all children to know that it is not where you come from that makes you who you are, it is the choices you make that makes you who you are.

I live by this quote, “The greatest discovery of all time is a person can change their future by merely changing their attitude”.
Oprah Winfrey.

To me this quote has a lot of different meanings, but mostly it means; what you put out into the universe is what you will get back. So be kind, be respectful of others and yourself and that is what you will receive back.

Rasheen RorieRasheen Rorie, AS
Site Manager, Girls Inc Central
Bachelors in Social Work, Norfolk State University (currently attending)
Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education

My name is Rasheen Rorie, Site Manager for Girls Inc. Central. It has been a dream come true to care for children since the age of 18. As this passion grew, I begin volunteering at different childcare centers to gain the experience and knowledge I needed to be successful in this field. While volunteering my time I began expanding my knowledge and completed by Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I have always been impressed by the quality of service and professionalism of the staff here at Girls Inc prior to my acceptance of the Site Manager for Central.

Here at Girls Inc. the staff shows that the children come first and building on that inspiration I want our vision at Central to become a place where children can display their personalities and develop social skills while interacting with the other children and their teachers. That is why I feel it is imperative that we support the children and teach them to take risks while taking on the challenges of learning.

Krystle RodgersKrystle Rogers, AS
Administrative Program Support, Girls Inc Central
Associates in Nursing, Medical Careers Institute

My name is Krystle Rodgers.  I am the Administrative Assistant at Central.   I am a native of Hampton, Virginia.  I graduated from Bethel High School in 2003.  I began my college education at Hampton University, where my program of study was biology.  Then I attended Medical Careers Institute where I received my AAS in Registered Nursing. I am currently certified in CPR and First Aid.   I have previously worked as an After School Counselor at Kiln Creek Elementary.  I also worked for 21st Century as a Teacher Assistant.  I’ve been working with Girls Inc for the last 4 years and I enjoy every minute.




Lisa BullockLisa Burton Bullock, BS
Site Manager, Girls Inc YH Thomas
Bachelor of Science in Human Services, Old Dominion University
Associates of Science in Social Science, Thomas Nelson Community College

Hello my name is Lisa Bullock; I have an Associates of Science degree in Social Sciences from Thomas Nelson Community College, and a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Services from Old Dominion University. I worked for the Virginia Department of Health for 9 years with experiences in the Clinical Service and Immunization Departments as an Administrative Specialist. I also have prior work experience with Hampton’s Healthy Families program as a home visitor/parent educator; I did my internship with Alternatives Inc. as a facilitator.

My vision for my girls at YH Thomas is to be confident and strong in everything that they do, to put forth their best effort, to respect and love themselves for who they are and who they are about to become in this world. And to ALWAYS THINK STRONG,SMART,AND BOLD!!!


Norma Jean HarrisNorma Jean Harris, BA
Administrative Program Support, Girls Inc YH Thomas
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Theater, Norfolk State University
Correctional Management Certificate, National Institute of Corrections Management, Boulder Colorado
Penitentiary Management Certificate, National Institute of Penitentiary Management, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Virginia Supreme Court Certificate, Magistrate System, Richmond

Hello, my name is Ms. Norma Jean, although most know me by Grandma. I am the Administrative Assistant at YH Thomas campus. I was born and raised in Portsmouth, and have been a resident of Hampton for over 40 years. I attended Shaw University where my program of study was Religious Education and Philosophy. I graduated Norfolk State University where I obtained my B.A. in Fine Arts. I am a retired magistrate. I am certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia in Drug Counseling, by the National Institute of Corrections in Jail Management, and by the National and State Institution for Jail Classifications and Records. I am also Virginia Supreme Court Magistrate System Certified and Sworn by the State of Virginia and licensed to marry couples by the Commonwealth.  Finally, I have had the privilege of serving Girls Inc as the past Board Chairman.