Sasha E. Butler, Executive Director

Sasha E. Butler is a dynamic speaker, trainer, and coach with more than 15 years consulting with educational institutions, community-based organizations, and corporations. Her expertise includes leadership training, program development, partnership building, global citizenship education, grant writing, and fundraising. Ms. Butler helps clients remove barriers to their success by empowering them with the skills, education, and resources essential to realizing their potential.

Ms. Butler’s collaborative approach inspires individuals to create positive change in their personal and professional lives. She equips organizations with innovative strategies and best practices for building strong teams and sustainable programs. Through her international partnerships, Ms. Butler supports access to quality education and skills development opportunities for women, youth and other marginalized groups.

President of InXcellence Consulting: Training & Coaching Solutions, Ms. Butler travels internationally speaking at conferences and training leaders in diverse sectors. Her portfolio of partners includes the Howard County Public School System, Global Peace Foundation, National Employment Counseling Association, CADRE Consulting & Training, John Maxwell Team, and the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. She has also collaborated with the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester, White Plains Public Library, YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, City of White Plains Mayor’s office, the Westchester County Youth Bureau, Manhattanville College, Verizon, IBM, and United Way. Ms. Butler also works in higher education for Walden University who has been supportive of her social change initiatives.

Ms. Butler is active in her community, serving in key leadership roles including President, Board of Directors, Changing Destinations: Journey To Excellence, Inc. Assistant Director, Women Leadership Development Institute, and President of the Howard County Chapter of the National Association of Professional Women. Additionally, Ms. Butler is an ordained minister. She provides coaching for church staff and volunteers and conducts spiritual, social, and emotional empowerment workshops. Her passion for bridging the gap between racial and cultural groups locally and internationally has created numerous opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration. She is the Founder of Let Our Vision Emerge. The ministry provides leadership training and resources to help women develop their business and marketplace ministry. In her free time, Ms. Butler enjoys mentoring youth and young adults to help them develop healthy habits for success.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Writing from Manhattanville College, a Master of Science in Adult Education & Human Resource Development from Fordham University Graduate School of Education, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Higher Education and Adult Learning at Walden University. 

Adam Barton, Director of Programs and Partnerships

Adam Barton is an educational researcher and leader who works with schools and systems around the world to create evidence-based, community-driven learning experiences. Adam believes that learning should be more than high-quality – it must advance equity and ensure learners are prepared to thrive in an uncertain world. Values-based, participatory research and design are central to his programming philosophy. 

Adam most recently served as a researcher at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. There, he conducted research and advised global policy leaders on the potential of education innovations. Studying nearly 3,000 programs, policies, and products from around the world, he helped develop a theoretical framework for making nonlinear progress in educational development. He recently co-authored a book on the topic, Leapfrogging Inequality.​

Adam has worked extensively in South America. As a Princeton in Latin America fellow, he led the impact evaluation of an agrarian university in rural Bolivia. He also spent a combined total of 2 years in Brazil. Beginning as a public school English teacher in Valinhos, São Paulo, he came to re-found and direct an English program that trains American volunteers to serve thousands of Brazilian students each year. He also conducted ethnographic research on community conceptions of extended day programming and faith-based community health education. 

Adam spent his undergraduate career serving English language learners in Washington, DC. As a coordinator for the DC Schools Project, he trained and managed dozens of tutors as they supported recently-arrived language learners and their families. He also founded an ESL tutoring program at his childhood school, Takoma Park E.S.  

Adam graduated as valedictorian of Georgetown University with a bachelor’s in Spanish & Portuguese Studies and Education, Inquiry, & Justice.  

Rose Varner Gaskins, Founder and President Emeritus

Committed to enriching the intellectual, academic and social skills of students through peer mentoring and cultural competence as they journey toward excellence. Mrs. Varner-Gaskins has provided more than twenty years of consultation and leadership in multi-culturalism and diversity to academicians, administrators and students at The College of Charleston, the George Washington University and other institutions of higher education throughout the United States. She has created and implemented programs designed to enhance the leadership skills of college and university students with a focus on diversity and cross-cultural communication.

In her role as director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at The Johns Hopkins University, she implemented one of the first successful multi-cultural mentoring programs for international and minority students. The model she designed has been adopted by many colleges and universities throughout the United States. She has also developed successful strategies to sensitize faculty, administrators and staff to the special needs of students of various cultures and nationalities. As a complement to her interest in diversity, Mrs. Varner-Gaskins serves on the Board of the African Art Museum in Columbia, MD and co-founded The Johns Hopkins University Black Faculty and Staff Association. She is also a member of the National Academic Advisors Association. Mrs. Varner-Gaskins is currently completing a graduate program In Educational Studies with a concentration in Leadership through Community and School Partnerships and holds a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Maryland.



Ed Prater is a professionally trained coach, with a strong background in sales, engineering, marketing, leadership development and emotional intelligence. As CEO of Significance Services, Ed approaches his clients with the goal of successfully helping them find what they are truly passionate about, and helping them create lives, businesses and careers they love. He has twenty-five years experience providing services as a coach, facilitator, leadership trainer. Ed's corporate background includes thirty-five years in the telecommunications industry serving in executive leadership roles nationally and internationally. he served as Director of product development at Newbridge Networks and Business Executive at AT&T Government Solutions. He also worked in higher education as an adjunct professor for college level mathematics at Clark Atlanta University and workforce development at University of District of Columbia. His professional training includes Professional Co-Active Coach, Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and John Maxwell Certified Coach, Speaker, Trainer. He is actively involved with community organizations (AWANA, Big Brothers, Teen Life) focused on enabling youth to lead better, more fulfilling lives. Ed has served on several Boards including American Council of Technology/Industry Advisory Council and Solutions of Enterprises Worldwide, Inc. Ed earned his Bachelor of Science from Clark Atlanta University. He enjoys golf, photography basketball, and tutoring mathematics.


Annika Adams received a Master of Science in Project Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Performing Arts from The University of Memphis.  A former beauty queen and professional entertainer, Annika is a theatre and dance enthusiast who brings creativity and artistry to the team. She is Director of Revere Event Planning & Design in Washington, D.C. and proudly holds 13 years of experience as an event management professional.


J. J. Green is the National Security Correspondent at WTOP. He reports daily on international security, intelligence, foreign policy, terrorism and cyber developments. He also provides regular on-air analysis and guidance on global security matters. In addition to his work at WTOP, J. J. lectures regularly at universities and colleges on national security issues and speaks often to U.S. government, military and national security organizations.



Monday-Friday 2:00pm-6:00pm

​Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm

In-School Hours Varies



8630 M Guilford Road, Suite 174

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 443-718-9003



  • w-facebook
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White YouTube Icon