Board of Directors
“Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
- Arthur Ashe
For as long as I can remember, I have been part of youth organizations emphasizing connectedness and teaching young people leadership qualities. As a life-long member of Georgia 4-H, I understand the importance of helping young people embrace their potential.
Growing up in South Georgia and having a safe, fun place where I could explore my passions, make new friends, and learn new things influenced my life as much, if not more, than traditional education. And while I relish the memories of performing with Clovers and Company, competing at Project Achievement, and serving as a camp counselor for three summers, my biggest takeaways from my early years with Georgia 4-H are the life skills I learned and the connections I made. The leaders and friends I met taught me courage, confidence, and empathy; courage to try new and challenging things; confidence to make mistakes and learn from them; and empathy to listen to and understand others.
Georgia CTI is where our students can hear YES in a supportive and encouraging environment. It is a safe place to build meaningful relationships and learn skills to help them reach their fullest potential. My favorite part of my job at Georgia CTI is helping to lead a youth organization built on making connections, just like I had growing up. Nothing brings me more happiness than seeing our students experience the joy found in growth as they face challenges, find new pathways, and forge new friendships.
I am proud of the work we do at Georgia CTI. I hope students can use the skills they learn and the connections they make with our program to reach their greatest success with whatever pathway they choose.
Mary DonahueExecutive Director, Georgia CTI
Georgia CTI provides a safe place for students with disabilities without the fear of being seen as different or less then. The success and self advocacy skills that Georgia CTI helps students develop leaves a permanent positive impact on the students current and future lives. As a student with disabilities myself and a mother of a student with disabilities, providing access and equity to all is a passion of mine. I saw serving on the Georgia CTI board as an opportunity to ensure access and equity to the students of Georgia with disabilities.
Angela B. Rucker
Georgia CTI is a very unique program that helps students with disabilities gain an understanding of what they can do while being fully supported in all endeavors. The work that Georgia CTI does is so important because many times the students, and even the systems put in place for them, don't recognize the abilities of those with various levels of need. Georgia CTI exposes students with disabilities to people and platforms that will help them to be successful, confident members of their communities.
I was drawn to serving on the board of Georgia CTI because I wanted to forge strong connections while serving students with disabilities. Georgia CTI is special because it provides instructional support to students with disabilities enrolled in a career pathway course. It also allows students to participate in a CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) specially designed for individuals with impairment.
Georgia CTI is so special. I have witnessed students who were too shy to speak in front of others apply to the Georgia CTI student board and win. These students’ confidence rose and their grades in the classroom improved. I wanted to be part of the Georgia CTI board to learn how the organization works behind the scenes. Thinking about the big picture when making decisions and seeing the pieces come together is exciting.
David A. Lynn
Georgia CTI gives my students with special needs the opportunity to thrive in their chosen CTAE (Career Technical and Agricultural Education) field and be a part of something special where they are accepted just as they are. I enjoy serving others and this was a great opportunity to serve CTI Coordinators across the state. In the process of making Georgia CTI a better organization, my local CTI affiliate has improved.
Georgia CTI is special because we give students with disabilities a chance to grow and step out of their comfort zones. The experiences we offer allow students to realize they are bigger than a disability and they possess a true potential to make an impact during and after high school. Georgia CTI encourages students to work hard and know that they can achieve anything they set their minds on accomplishing. I wanted to learn more about Georgia CTI and how we operate as a CTSO. It has always been a goal of mine to be a leader and ensure that my students and others are afforded the opportunity to sharpen their skills, develop confidence, and mature.
GeorgiaCTI creates a safe space for all students and provides them with experiences and opportunities which create a strong foundation for them to feel excited and optimistic about their futures, whether that be through furthering their education, learning a trade/skill or beginning their careers. This is what I do; I see opportunities to get involved and make a difference and I jump at the chance! I believe that GeorgiaCTI greatly benefits young people, and I want to be a part of continuing that tradition!
Georgia CTI is special for so many reasons. The most important value of this organization is its student-centered approach always seeking ways to advocate and innovate for authentic change leading to student success in and outside of the classroom.
I am a voice for my district and show CTI’s positive role locally and among our state leaders. The positive ways I have seen Georgia CTI impact lives throughout my ten years as the CTI Coordinator for Swainsboro High School have been life-changing for me, as well as for the many students who have attended the leadership conferences. After attending my first Fall Leadership Conference, I had a student tell me that this event had changed her life forever. I have many stories to tell since then, but Georgia CTI is indeed a life changer for many students.
I enjoy being able to help students navigate the other side of their high school experience. Through Georgia CTI, I have seen students go from not wanting to speak to their teachers and peers begin seeking out conversations and advocating for themselves in a way they would not have been able to without Georgia CTI.
Dr. Kristine Hickson
I have seen Georgia CTI provide students with the experiences to help them focus on their strengths, which has been life-changing for them. CTI gives students the confidence they need to exceed their goals. Why is Georgia CTI so special? Because of the amazing experiences provided to the students and the positive staff working on the board.
I was drawn to serving as a Georgia CTI board member to support an organization that I am passionate about. I hope to provide an opportunity to impact positive change to help our CTSO continue to flourish. I have seen the dramatic growth and development of students through their participation in Georgia CTI activities! Students have gained a greater sense of confidence and have developed their leadership qualities which has had a profound positive impact on their futures.
I have a passion for student participation in both the completion of CTAE pathways and Georgia CTI. I have seen firsthand the lifelong impact that engagement in CTI has had on my students. It has given them a place to belong and grow their individual strengths, their confidence, and passions. Planning and assisting with the activities that surround State and Fall Conferences has truly been a rewarding experience. Seeing the impact that these events have on our students and all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes makes me so thankful for CTI and the group of educators and schools that represent our CTSO around the state.
Sonja C. Lewis
Through their involvement with Georgia CTI, I have seen many of my students thrive and complete their college and/or career goals. It has also improved their self-confidence and sense of self-worth. Georgia CTI is the only program in Georgia High Schools that provides intentional activities which empower students with disabilities. They are given opportunities to learn and practice a variety of employability and career-readiness skills.
Georgia CTI allows students with disabilities to meet, interact, and compete against their peers. This allows them to build confidence, which in turn often opens doors that many of them never thought possible. I love seeing my students meet and interact with their peers from other schools. Watching their confidence bloom and seeing them step outside of their comfort zone makes my heart happy!