The Teen Health Mississippi team is a group of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to promote the vision of Teen Health MS.

Current Staff

Hope L. Crenshaw, Ph. D

Executive Director

Hope directly interacts with all stakeholders, donors, partner organizations, and other policymakers interested in supporting the work of Teen Health Mississippi. She works with the Board of Directors to ensure Teen Health Mississippi is functioning according to its mission and goals and operating within its budget and funding restrictions. Hope is also responsible for overseeing all Teen Health Mississippi programming and growth and supporting the Teen Health Mississippi staff. Hope is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.

Josh McCawely

Deputy Director

Josh provides issue education and advocacy for local- and state-level policies related to teen sexual and reproductive health. He provides district advocacy for the CHART abstinence-plus policy in addition to providing teacher trainings on the CHART sex education curricula, grades K-5 human growth and development education curricula, and other professional development opportunities. He also works with local communities to improve teens’ access to general health services. Josh is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.

Justin Lofton

Director of Youth Engagement & Advocacy

Justin coordinates the Mississippi Youth Council (MYCouncil), an initiative with Advocates for Youth, to work collaboratively with passionate youth activists from across Mississippi to support and promote high-quality comprehensive sex education for all young people. He is also responsible for overseeing the coordination of Mississippi Youth Summit (MYSummit), a statewide youth advocacy meeting, where young people learn advocacy skills to fight for issues important to them. Justin is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.

Amber Helsel

Director of Communications

Amber Helsel is the Director of Communications for Teen Health Mississippi. In her role, she is the keeper of branding and voice for the organization. She handles social media, communications strategy, marketing, and public relations. She also serves as a thought partner to program coordinators and other staff members. She is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.

Marreo McDonald

Director of Operations

Marreo serves as a key thought partner to the strategic direction and positioning of THMS and its reproductive health and rights position. Marreo is responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures both in the fiscal and general operations realms. Marreo is also responsible for overseeing and maintaining the daily operations of our organization, coaching staff, and ensuring THMS is operating efficiently and effectively. He is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.

Whitney French

Focus4Teens Project Coordinator

Whitney’s role at THMS is to facilitate interaction between clinical and community partners, consultants, evaluators, trainers, and project officers. Whitney ensures that the Focus4Teens Program is progressing toward its goals of increasing youth friendly sexual and reproductive health service access in Coahoma, Quitman, and Tunica Counties. She also assists with training facilitation to help adults that work with youth become more informed on issues teens face and approaches to navigating conversations and referrals with teens. Even though she does not provide direct services to youth, she does receive consultations from youth on how services can best reach their age group. Whitney is based in the Clarksdale, Mississippi, office.

Anupria Davenport

Pregnancy Assistance Fund Coordinator

Anupria works in collaboration with the Mississippi State Department of Health’s Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) to ensure that organizations who serve expectant and parenting teens have the knowledge, skills, and ability to promote positive youth development. She develops a comprehensive resource guide for expectant and parenting teens, and youth-serving professionals in Mississippi. Anupria creates and provides local and state organizations, agencies, and individuals capacity building trainings to support healthy outcomes for the youth they serve. She also monitors and evaluates all aspects of the resource guide and training materials for continuous quality improvement. Anupria is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.

Alexis Hicks

Mind Elevation Project Coordinator

Alexis coordinates the Mind Elevation Project (ME. Project), which is a youth-focused resource hub that addresses the emotional and social needs of Black, rural Mississippi youth. She is responsible for supporting work that connects these youth to vetted sexual, reproductive, and mental health resources and services designed to increase youth skills, knowledge, and awareness of support services. Alexis is based in the Jackson, Mississippi, office.

Board of Directors

Marni von Wilpert, Advisory Board Chair
Kathryn Carroll, Advisory Board Member
Sanford Johnson, Advisory Board Member
Jacqueline SmithAdvisory Board Member
Holly Smith, Advisory Board Member
Triuna Taylor, Advisory Board Member
Jamie SprolesAdvisory Board Member