One Circle Foundation has a diverse group of trainers that deliver The Council for Boys and Young Men and Girls Circle Facilitator Trainings. Our trainers come from a variety of backgrounds and are collectively disciplined in several fields such as juvenile justice, education, community based organizations, and mental health. Each of our trainers have demonstrated a passion for The Council for Boys and Young Men and Girls Circle models and for working with youth. They have led several Girls Circle and/or Council programs in their respective communities and jurisdictions.
Victoria Mahand, MSW, National Training Specialist
Victoria is the national lead Girls Circle trainer, representing the organization in the U.S., Canada and beyond. She contributes to the design and enhancement of our trainings and curricula. Victoria is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey and holds a master’s degree in social work. Previously she was a Program Director for the Center for Family Services where she facilitated and supervised the Girls Circle program in addition to supervising the implementation of modalities including Structural Family Therapy, Multi-Systemic Therapy, and sex offender treatment. She also worked with the New Jersey Superior Court, probation, and schools to implement prevention and intervention services for children and their families. Victoria offers a dynamic, energetic, and engaging presence to our trainings and work at One Circle Foundation. She also loves traveling, music, art, reading, food, and her beautiful family, and resides in New Jersey.
Giovanna Taormina, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Giovanna Taormina is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of One Circle Foundation. She provides national training, curricula, consultation, and technical assistance related to gender responsive services to non-profit agencies, government, state supported programs, institutions, and systems that work with adolescents. With co-founder, Beth Hossfeld, LMFT, Giovanna co-developed the Girls Circle, The Council for Boys and Young Men, and Women’s Circle models - comprehensive, gender-specific models for youth and women to address the risk factors and needs in a format that is conducive to building on strengths and fostering resiliency. With extensive experience in the design, development, and implementation of program services, she is recognized for her work in both the public and private sectors. Giovanna has co-developed several curricula for enhancing protective factors in the lives of youth and women focusing on themes related to bullying, competition, friendships, alcohol, tobacco and drug decision-making, sexuality, goal setting, body image, women’s health and wellness, aggression, dating violence, mother/daughter relationships, HIV prevention, and more. The curricula is utilized internationally and applied to programs in schools, mental health, juvenile probation, pregnancy prevention, substance abuse prevention, health education, economic literacy, gang-prevention, outdoor adventure, boys and girls clubs, and peer leadership.
Jason Marque Sole, M.A., PhD Candidate, Trainer
Jason has been an educator, serving as an adjunct and assistant professor for more than five years, at Metropolitan State University’s School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. He is a national keynote speaker and gang trainer, including serving as a trainer for One Circle Foundation. He serves as an Executive Committee Member for Minnesota’s Second Chance Coalition.
Through his firm, Jason Sole Consulting LLC, he offers juvenile and criminal justice agencies the tools they need to influence people affected by delinquency, incarceration, poverty, and other social ills. In addition, he is a 2013 Bush Fellow who is focusing on reducing the recidivism rate among juveniles throughout the state of Minnesota. He recently released his memoir, From Prison to Ph.D.: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances.
Kemy Joseph, MS, EDS, Trainer
Kemy Joseph is a national keynote speaker and a national facilitator for several transformative empowerment programs, including the Council for Boys and Young Men. He holds a Bachelors in Communication from the University of Miami, as well as a Masters in Brain-Based Teaching and Learning, and an Education Specialist Degree in Teacher Leadership, both from Nova Southeastern University. He has worked with youth and adults in various capacities for the past eight years. One of his greatest achievements was starting the nonprofit, U R Awesome Inc in 2009. His team currently trains educators and students on developing social emotional learning skills vital to creating more supportive learning environments in schools.
Kemy’s personal mission is to break cycles of negativity with kindness. Through his endeavors, he is helping people embrace their self-worth, collaborate with one another, and use empathy to end discrimination. As a motivational hiphop artist and facilitator, he brings a special blend of energy to all of his trainings ensuring people leave inspired to take action.
Daniel Bland, LPC, Trainer
Daniel B. Bland has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Albertus Magnus College and is currently working on his Masters of Arts degree in Professional Counseling. Currently, he serves as the Program Manager for the Bridgeport United Coalition where he provides program supervision and quality assurance in addition to managing and overseeing federal contract grants. He has served as a certified Council for Boys and Young Men trainer and spokesperson for One Circle Foundation since 2008.
Daniel Bland has spent most of his career advocating for youth in the areas of management, supervision, and therapeutic group counseling, and mentoring. In addition to his work in the human services and mental health field, to many he is known as a spiritual leader and advisor, serving as Senior Pastor of the Mt. Calvary Holy Church Revival Center in New Haven, CT.
Juan Gomez, Trainer
Juan is the co-founder and Senior Advisor of Motivating Individual Leadership for Public Advancement (MILPA), an emerging California-based trans-disciplinary think tank that is braiding the wisdom of elders with the energy and vision of emerging stewards of racial equity, healing and movement building. He also serves as a Senior Policy and Strategy Advisor with the National Compadres Network, a national effort whose focus is the reinforcement of the positive involvement of Latino males in the lives of their families, communities, and society. In 2011 he was an inaugural Health Equity Fellow with The California Endowment. His work is grounded in the belief that policy and systems change must be a ground up approach rooted in the praxis of community, organizing, healing, and relationships.
Velvet McGowan, Trainer
Velvet McGowan is a native of South Carolina and attended the University of South Carolina, majoring in Criminal Justice. She has over 32 years of work experience in the field of Juvenile Justice, holding positions such as Major of Internal Training, Facility Administrator, and Deputy Chief of Security & Operations. Velvet holds several certifications in Gender Specific Services as it relates to working with and on behalf of female offenders. She is a Certified Licensed Trainer for One Circle Foundation, and a Certified Public Manager. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Performance based-Standards Learning Institute (PBSLI) and is currently employed at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice as the State Director for Performance based-Standards. In February of 2007, she was recognized by the Governor’s office as an Outstanding South Carolina State Employee. Ms. McGowan believes that positive caring adults can make a world of difference in the lives youth by empowering them to be productive citizens.
Elizabeth Morris, Trainer
Liz Morris is Director of the Professional Standards and Development and Director of the Girls Center with Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Carolina at Aiken and a Master of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University. Morris served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve prior to dedicating her professional career in service to at-risk youth. Prior to joining Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute, Morris was employed by the SC Department of Corrections, SC Department of Juvenile Justice, and SC Mentor. She is a nationally certified trainer for the One Circle Foundation and is very active in her community, presently serving on the Board of Directors for Christ Central Mission Station, Aiken Family Y and Imani Group. Liz lives in Aiken, South Carolina with her husband, Daniel and their three children.
Vicki Pitstick, M.A., PhD Candidate, Trainer
Vicki K. Pitstick has been in the field of Higher Education and Student Affairs for over 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Otterbein College, her Master of Arts from The Ohio State University in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and is currently working on her PhD in the Higher Education at Ohio State. She currently serves as part of the Leadership Team for the Second-Year Experience Program (STEP) at Ohio State providing guidance, resources, and training and development opportunities for the faculty mentors that work with the program. She worked at the University of Missouri-Columbia for 5 years as staff and Director of the Missouri Unions. She then returned to Ohio State where she worked for The Mount Leadership Society Scholars Program and the University Honors & Scholars Center before starting her current position. Vicki also created and runs The Girls Circle Project at Ohio State, a year-long service immersion project that trains college women to facilitate Girls Circles in schools and agencies around Columbus. Her professional passions include student development theory, service learning, and female rights and empowerment. Her personal passions include her family of her husband and 3 daughters, scrapbooking, movies, reading, and building relationships with a variety of people.