Springfield Promise Neighborhood

Meet Our Team

The Springfield Promise Neighborhood is operationally supported by a Director, a Community Engagement Director, an Executive Administrator, a Lincoln Promise Community Learning Center Director and six AmeriCorps VISTA members.


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 Dr. Robert Welker, Director 

Dr. Bob has been a teacher for over 40 years.  He was a middle school and high school teacher before teaching at Ohio State, Denison University and for 23 years at Wittenberg University.  He helped convene the cooridinating team that conceived of Springfield Promise Neighborhood and has served as its Director for the last five years.  When he is not in Promise Land working on generating ideas and raising money for the organization, he is making bread and fishing with his grandchildren.  This means that he is good at putting bait on a hook, pulling bluegill off the line, and trying to get fishing gear out of trees.


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Ms. Kali Lawrence, Executive Administrator

Kali has been involved with the Springfield Promise Neighborhood since its inception in 2010 as a volunteer, summer employee, AmeriCorps VISTA member, and Administrator. Kali is focused on the daily operations and logistics of the Promise Neighborhood, including supporting and equipping VISTA members to be successful, as well as documenting Promise’s successes through visual and written publications.

Kali moved from northeast Ohio to graduate from Wittenberg University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Music Education. In addition to Promise, she serves as the conductor of the Northmister Presbyterian Handbell Choir, and participates in a local citizen’s group People for Safe Water.


Ms. Clarissa Beavers, Community Engagement Director

Clarissa Beavers Community Engagement Director Edited

Born here in Springfield, Clarissa resided in north Alabama until her junior year of high school, and then moved to Lima, OH where she graduated from Perry High School.

Beavers attended Bowling Green State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications in 2014. While attending Bowling Green, she worked as a student worker who recruited students to the university, was active in her sorority, and found her enthusiasm for education. These experiences inspired her to pursue a Master of Education degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education Administration, which she received from Wright State University in April of 2017.

Her main goal as Community Engagement Director is to help neighborhood residents to become more action oriented by inspiring and motivating them to achieve the goals and needs of the community.


Mrs. Marilyn Gadd, Director, Lincoln Promise Community Learning Center

Marilyn’s background includes Director of Public Relations for Wilberforce University, the first Historically Black College University in the United States. She was hired in the Summer of 2013 as the Annual Fund Manager, where she was responsible for raising funds and planning events for the University. Within her first year she was promoted to the Director of Public Relations and worked for the Office of the President. She was also part of the new Administration Cabinet team for the University. Marilyn was responsible for re-branding the University’s Social Media and building the University’s presence within the community through communications in the press.

Before she joined Higher Education, she was a Site Coordinator and Coach Mentor for the YMCA of Greater Dayton. Prior to joining the YMCA, Marilyn was an Art Teacher and Social Studies Coordinator at The Dayton Academy School, where she created an annual Gallery of Art Show for her students and the community to participate in. Her other professional work includes Girl Scouts of Buckeye Trails as a Teen Specialist and Grant writer, where she was involved in fundraising, community relations, creation and management of programming for the scouts and volunteers.

Her multi-cultural background and focus on community collaboration has led to number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Marilyn received her Bachelor of Science in Communications Theatre Arts at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana.

She is a native of Bethel, and has lived in Trotwood, Ohio since 2007. Marilyn is the wife of Larry O. Gadd Jr and a proud mother of two boys, Justin and Jason.


Ms. Monica Lasiter, Neighborhood Liaison

Monica is a resident of the Promise Neighborhood and parent of Lincoln and Springfield High School students. She served as the Community and Family Engagement VISTA for three years prior to becoming the Neighborhood Liaison. She works to engage parents and residents to become involved in school activities. She likes to garden and is a backyard gardener in the Promise Grows network, and also participates in neighborhood safety activities. She organizes events like peace marches where residents show their desire to make Springfield a safer place to live and raise a family.






10175947_942183579144493_4523172690777315582_nMs. Dawn Hollingshead
Youth Enrichment, AmeriCorps VISTA

Dawn is a resident of Springfield who recently graduated from Liberty University Online School with a Bachelor in Psychology and Associates in Religion.  As a parent of 3 and a grandparent of 11 she has a heart for kids.  She started getting involved with the city kids on a one on one basis as she would help the neighborhood kids when they needed a ride to or from school.  She then started working with more kids by becoming a teacher at Maiden Lane Church of God.  Continuing her work with the kids, she chose to do her internship with Springfield Christian Youth Ministries.  Once she was finished there, she applied to be a VISTA and found a place with us here at Springfield Promise Neighborhood.  She hopes to help kids by helping them develop the skills they need to succeed in school, graduate high school and continue on to college.  She wants to give hope to those who may have lost it.