Current Cohort

Cyntheoria Renee' Paterson

Sergeant, Broward Sheriff's Office

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Sergeant Cyntheoria Renee’ Peterson, or simply Renee’ as she prefers to be called, has served in the criminal justice profession for the past 21 years. She began her career in 1998 with the Florida Department of Corrections as a corrections officer, later earning a promotion to the rank of sergeant. She joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2002 as a detention deputy, serving in that capacity until earning her cross‐certification and transferring to uniform patrol with the City of Oakland Park. While working patrol in Oakland Park, Renee’ quickly learned the importance of grass-roots civic interaction. She developed relationships with community leaders and business owners, proving to be an influential problem solver in the neighborhoods where she worked. As her experience and reputation grew, she was sought‐out to work with investigative units and began to develop her skills operating in a variety of undercover and community policing capacities.

Robbin Meneses

Senior Manager, Individual & Foundation Giving, City Year Miami

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Born and raised in Miami, Robbin Meneses is currently working with City Year Miami as their Senior Manager, Individual & Foundation Giving. He leverages the individuals of the community around to be invested in our local high need schools. Working with City Year Miami, he is helping children in underserved public schools reach their potential. He is incredibly passionate about City Year's mission and is excited to steward champions to make better happen. From his previous position as a Community Development Manager at the American Cancer Society, Robbin worked extensively with community partnerships and events to raise awareness and funds on cancer programs. Robbin graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing his Executive Master's in Public Administration at FIU.

Khalilah Dawes

Program Administrator with Center for Family and Child Enrichment, Inc.

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Khalilah Dawes has almost 20 years of experience in child welfare. She has been with the Center for Family and Child Enrichment (CFCE) since 2014. As the Program Administrator for Case Management and Adoptions, she oversees the daily operations of case management services; supervises first level supervisors and support staff and ensures that client needs and department goals and objectives are effectively met. Khalilah began her career in Child Welfare with the Department of Children and Families in 2002 on the frontline as a Family Services Counselor. She has consistently been promoted to leadership roles with increasing levels of responsibilities, reflecting her results-driven and outcome-oriented style of management. Khalilah brings a wealth of experience in direct case management and child welfare program operations to CFCE’s management team with her prior experience before CFCE, including several positions in the social services field. Khalilah enjoys coaching and developing staff and is a firm believer in the importance of sound supervision to overall organizational success. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and is currently pursuing her Executive Master’s in Public Administration at Florida International University.

Sally Contreras

Senior Recruitment Specialist, Red Cross

Sally Contreras grew up in Miami, Florida and studied International Relations and Communications at Florida International University. Throughout her collegiate experience, she joined the Center for Leadership and Service, where her passion for community services and development grew. Upon graduation, she began working at the YMCA as a Member Services Representative and grew her career to become a Senior Program Director in Phoenix, Arizona. Sally returned to Miami and joined the American Red Cross as a Senior Recruitment Specialist to use her results-oriented non-profit management skills and experience in operations, staff and volunteer development and project management. She deployed to assist in hurricane relief efforts in North Carolina in 2018 in Staffing Services and has received additional Disaster Training. Sally is currently pursuing her Executive Master in Public Administration at Florida International University.

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