Meet the Leadership Team
Amber Scott is Founder and Executive Director of Leap Year. A child of first-generation college students, the importance of higher education and the power that it can have to raise a family out of poverty was instilled in Amber at a young age. She believes that the opportunity for higher education should be open to everyone, regardless of where they are born. After working in the nonprofit sector for ten years, she founded Leap Year to challenge the status quo. Amber is a 2018 Echoing Green Fellow, the 2019 winner of the $100,000 Jaffe Grand Prize, and was recognized by Black Enterprise as one of “25 Black Women Who Are Changing the World.” She holds a BA in neuroscience from Smith College, and an MBA in marketing from The Ohio State University.
Brittany Gillis serves as Leap Year's Associate Director of Programs. Brittany comes to Leap Year with a background in education and community mental health. A turning point for Brittany was serving in second grade classrooms as a college reading volunteer for a program called Right to Read, which was founded on the belief that all students have the right to read and aimed to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. Upon completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Cincinnati as a first-generation college student, she joined the Teach For America New Mexico team as a founding educator at Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School. She is proud of her students' accomplishments and as well as their efforts in overcoming barriers to prove to themselves and their community what is possible as they scored the highest literacy results in the state of New Mexico for the 2018-2019 academic year. Brittany went on to complete her Masters of Social Work at The Ohio State University with a focus on child and youth services and school social work. She looks forward to another year serving an unmatched cohort of Leap Year Fellows!
Laura Taylor serves as one of the Literacy and Academic Prep Program Managers at Leap Year. Born into a family of educators, Laura knew she'd end up in the world of education and started advocating for education policy reform on Capitol Hill while still in high school. She obtained a BA in Public Policy Leadership from Ole Miss before attending Johns Hopkins University as part of the Urban Teachers program, acquiring a Masters in Education specializing in urban studies addressing race and equity, resource allocation, and social emotional learning. She was a Secondary English teacher with DC Public Schools at Cardozo Education Campus, and a member of the Transformation Initiative, targeting DCPS schools with the highest-need. Laura's primary research focus is the school to prison pipeline and she has years of experience teaching adjudicated and incarcerated youth both in the Mississippi and DC area. Laura is passionate about creating a world where every student has equal access to a high-quality education.
Anastasia Edouard serves as the Literacy and Academic Program Manager at Leap Year. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and Master’s degree in Education Technology from the University of West Georgia. After her undergraduate career, she went on to teach Elementary school for almost 7 years. After stepping out of the classroom, Anastasia began working behind the scenes in curriculum and instruction. This is where she discovered her love for working in literacy and instruction. As a first generation college graduate herself, she knows the value in a proper education. Anastasia looks forward to aiding other first generation students in becoming successful and college/career ready.
Sam Medile serves as the Literacy and Academic Prep Program Manager. Sam moved to Atlanta to attend Emory University where she studied Psychology. After graduating, she had the opportunity to serve in AmeriCorps in local elementary schools supporting students in literacy. This sparked an interest in teaching and she decided to pursue a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education at Georgia State. She taught for six years in both Atlanta Public Schools and Dekalb County in which she shared her love of literacy with elementary aged students. Sam is passionate about education and the opportunity to support first generation students succeed in their first year of college.
Kanaya Starling serves as the Recruiting and Community Engagement Program Associate at Leap Year. Kanaya is a small town Georgia native who moved to Atlanta to study Biochemistry at Spelman College. While at Spelman College, she volunteered in various educational programs throughout the Atlanta Public School system, participated in educational research, and was actively involved in the planning and execution of events for students within the Spelman College Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Kanaya looks most forward to learning more about nonprofit space and helping Leap Year address the educational disparities in the metro Atlanta area.
Charity Davis serves as the Recruiting and Community Engagement Program Associate at Leap Year. Charity is a recent graduate of Fort Valley State University. She is from College Park, Georgia and enjoys art and fashion. Charity prides herself on being a solution-driven, self-motivated, community engagement specialist. She has professional experience in client/donor relations, community engagement, political organizing, and student affairs. She looks forward to connecting with students across the Atlanta area to share the great things Leap Year has to offer.