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  • Elk Hill

“I feel supported and valued - and everyone is here for the kids.” 

Elk Hill was recently named a 2024 Top Workplace USA. "We have an amazing staff, said Ron Spears, Elk Hill's CEO. We are happy to highlight the great work being done by some of our Charlottesville based team:


“I love these kids,” said Grace Gaye, Program Director of the Elk Hill Charlottesville Group Home. Grace has been with Elk Hill for three years and as a refugee from Liberia, Africa she knows first-hand what it's like to experience trauma at a young age. “These kids remind me of where I came from – they are good kids that have really unfortunate pasts.” 


Grace works with boys ages 14 to 18 that struggle with emotions and behaviors

that get in their way of living peacefully with a family.  “I am passionate about helping our youth grow into confident young men – Elk Hill’s mission is my mission – we’re going to enable these kids to have great futures.” Grace is pursuing her master's in social work. "I want to help as many people as I can, that's why I'm here."


Dwayne Mason, Dean of Students at Elk Hill’s Charlottesville School started mentoring foster kids nearly 20 years ago. “My life experiences allowed me to understand kids in difficult situations.” Dwayne began his career at Elk Hill in 2012. “I didn’t know if I would have a lot to offer, but I really wanted to help kids.” Dwayne credits great training and strong mentors to help him develop in his professional life. He ascended through the ranks to be named Dean of Students in 2018.


 Although in this role he is responsible for discipline within the school he says, “what I really do, every day, is build relationships with students. They learn to trust me. A lot of these inner-city kids need people with lived experiences to relate to where they are coming from.”

“I love my job – you have to love it to do it. It’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone – but when you see a child change his attitude and behavior, it’s amazing and that’s what we are here for.”


One of the newest faces to join Elk Hill is Andy Josselyn. A teacher in Charlottesville Public Schools for the past nine years, Josselyn is starting as an Outdoor Education Facilitator and Mentor in Elk Hill’s Prevention Services program. “I’m a huge fan of getting kids outdoors,” he said. “They are so fixated on their phones, and we need to show them there are lots of exciting substitutions for screen time.” In his new role, Andy will be able to combine his two passions – education and outdoor exploration. As an avid hiking, camping, and paddling enthusiast he will help lead Elk Hill’s summer day camp program, overnight trips to Shenandoah National Park, and mentor at-risk kids who need a strong adult presence in their life.


When asked what attracted him to his new position, he said, “Elk Hill has an amazing culture, I have been welcomed by every team member I’ve met, I’ve been trained as a facilitator for the ropes challenge course and last week we took a group of kids paddling on the James River. This is the fulfillment of a life-long dream.”


We are always looking for committed, compassionate, qualified staff to help! Do you know anyone who is passionate about helping kids? Careers at Elk Hill!


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