The emerging need for quality programs to address the needs of at risk youth gave impetus to the development of Youth Career Institute.
Positive engagement of the most vulnerable youth living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods in South Florida has the potential to reverse poverty and crime and improve economic development.
Compelling research indicates successful outcomes for youth involved in mentoring relationships. Unfortunately, a mentoring gap in the United States estimated at 15 million further exacerbates the situation for disadvantaged youth.
We provide opportunities for disadvantaged youth to be matched with mentors in the workplace. Youth involved in our program will also gain work experience and learn about careers, life, teamwork, and how to help other people.
If you are seeking opportunities to grow, stay on the right track, and become successful, Youth Career Institute is the place for you!
OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Dr. Caroline Raffington, Executive Director
Dr. Caroline Raffington has spent the last eight years studying issues related to youth mentoring. In 2014 she founded Youth Career Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mentoring and youth development.
Dr. Raffington maintains an active presence in the local and international community through her affiliation with Kiwanis. A Distinguished Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Kendall/South Dade, she participates in service projects that include community beautification, nursing home visits, feeding the homeless, and reading to children. She was very instrumental in creating community partnerships with local agencies such as Chapman Partnerships, Habitat for Humanity, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and March of Dimes. She is also the founder of Kiwanis Humanitarian Mission to Jamaica.
Dr. Raffington is an active member of South Dade Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Northcentral University, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the City University of New York, Baruch College, and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the University of Technology in Jamaica. She enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and gardening.
Diana Morrell, Vice President
Diana Morrell is a happily retired executive of British Airways having worked for 39 wonderful years with them. She held various managerial positions throughout her tenor including Area Director for Southeast USA, where she managed the customer service operations at eight airports within the British Airways network.
Diana is a member of Kiwanis Club of Kendall South Dade, a service organization of volunteers, whose mission is to improve the world one child and one community at a time. She is a Distinguished Past President of this organization.
As a Guardian Ad Litem, a volunteer who is an advocate for Florida’s abused and neglected children, Diana represents the best interest of an assigned child before the courts, social service agencies and the community.
When not travelling, or enjoying her favorite sports, she spends her time volunteering at various organizations.
Debbie Blake, Director
Debbie Blake is a creative and resourceful leader with a 20+-year history in the client services, project management, marketing, and account management arena. With extensive experience in strategic planning, service delivery, cross-functional team leadership, training, mentoring, and problem resolution, Debbie is passionate about using this skill set to give back to young people and is excited to be a part of Youth Career Institute. Debbie holds an undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership from Mercer University, an MBA in Technology Management from Walden University, and is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM). Debbie lives in metro Atlanta and enjoys traveling, listening to music and spending time with her daughter.
Ingrid Love, Esq., Secretary
A devoted child advocate, Ingrid Love is a longtime resident of Miami-Dade County and has a longstanding history of charitable involvement. She is a member of several organizations primarily devoted to the welfare of young people. Along with Youth Career Institute, Kiwanis Clubs and other endeavors, she serves as a Guardian Ad Litem in the Dade County child welfare system. In addition to her community based work, she has spent many years in various career leadership positions. She is currently a member of the Florida Bar and works as an attorney in her private practice. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, working out and spending time with her family.
David Ameir, Treasurer
David Ameir brings more than 30 years of experience in diverse tax, finance, accounting, and auditing capabilities to his role of Treasurer of Youth Career Institute. He gained extensive internal and external auditing experience from over two decades in senior management roles for a variety of companies, including the Caribbean Cement Company and Coopers and Lybrand, now PwC. David continues to achieve noteworthy success in his current role as CFO for Asphalt Research Technology, where his responsibilities include payroll management, billing, expense management, and budgeting.
David earned Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Management from the University of the West Indies and a Master’s in Accounting from Nova University. He is an avid basketball and cricket fan.