Kirkwood: 404-377-3560
Decatur: 404-963-6071
After School (both locations): 678-221-4792

Management & Administration

Cindy Young

Director
Decatur


Cindy has been working in Childcare for over 12 years and she can't imagine doing anything else. The responsibility of helping shape young minds is very important and it gives her such a sense of accomplishment knowing she has a part in doing that. Cindy has been married since 2008 and has three boys: Bryce,  Austin and Conner.

Brandon Harris

Office Manager
Kirkwood & Decatur


Although he was born in Kentucky, Brandon considers himself a Georgia native. He attended elementary, middle and high schools in Oakwood, Ga. After a detour to Colorado, Brandon, his wife Alma and child Max returned to Georgia.

Christopher Jackson

Floor Supervisor
Kirkwood


Chris was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois where he spent most of my life. He is married and has eight children. Working with youth is his passion, and he has experience working with ages 0-17.

Tranae Powell

Honey Bees Teacher & Floor Supervisor
Decatur


Tranae is from Chicago, Illinois. She began working with children as a teenager and is building a career in Early Childhood Development. 

Sharon Bell

Assistant Director
Decatur


Ms. Sharon was born in Guyana, South America. She's a wife and a mother of three and a former track-and-field athlete. After working as a preK assistant, she worked as the childcare manager at a local gym. Ms. Sharon is also a coach for Midway Track Club with children ages 5-14. She's a USATF official and volunteers for Sapphire Track Club during the indoor season. She also taught aerobics classes to the silver sneakers members. Ms. Sharon enjoys staying busy and working with children!

Stephanie DeSantis

Permaculture Coordinator
Kirkwood & Decatur


Stephanie DeSantis is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia State University. She began working with children while in high school, teaching gymnastics at the local YMCA and working as a summer camp counselor.  Stephanie enjoys sharing her skills with art and textiles.  On her days off, you'll find her in a hammock with her dog.

Melinda Thomas

Floor Manager
Kirkwood


Melinda Thomas is a Florida native who has called Atlanta home since 2015 and been in childcare since 2007. As an auntie, a babysitter and a nanny, she is dedicated to helping children learn through playful and fun activities. She enjoys kickboxing, discovering new foods and places, and spending time with her wife.

Somee Ko

After School Director
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Somee is a native of Ohio and moved to Georgia in 2012. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in political science. She is passionate about politics and history and loves to learn. She loves kids and has been working with them from a very young age. In her spare time, she is usually relaxing at home with her pup Cory, watching a movie and eating pizza.

Oriana Padron

Director Communications
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Oriana graduated from the University of Montevallo with a BFA.  She has a strong passion for children and has been caring for them since her early teens and began working professionally in childcare while still in college.

Shannon Smith

Founder & Visionary
Kirkwood & Decatur


Mrs. Shannon founded SoulShine in December 2006. SoulShine is rooted in her belief that every child should be given the space and encouragement to create themselves through all forms of expression. Shannon has worked with children since 2002 and is still in awe every day of how amazing they are. She believes in positive reinforcement instead of traditional behavioral discipline. She is always encouraging the children to use their words and open their hearts.

Kate Karassik

Chief Administrative Officer
Kirkwood & Decatur


Kate Karassik and Shannon Smith have been close friends since middle school and grew up working in childcare together. Kate received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and went on to receive her Masters in Education. She was a public school teacher for five years before joining the SoulShine team in 2011.

Briunna Smith

Floor Manager
Decatur


Ms. Briunna Smith is from Decatur and is currently working towards her Bachelors in Psychology and Vocal Music at Agnes Scott College. She is very passionate about music and people expressing their individuality. In her free time she loves to watch Law & Order: SVU and to spend time with family and friends.

James Bumbray

Kitchen Assistant
Kirkwood & Decatur


James Bumbray, also known as Jimmy, is originally from Baltimore, Maryland but moved to Georgia in 2015. Jimmy served four years in the US Marine Corps. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, participating in community and charitable events and visiting restaurants to try different cuisines.

Courtney Shelton

Chef
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Courtney is a New Jersey native. As a child, she begged her parents and grandparents to let her in the garden to help pick vegetables. Instead she found herself prepping ingredients for meals, and she never lost that love. Ms. Courtney's been a chef since 2007. She's a US Army veteran, and attended Atlantic Culinary and Kentucky University.

Rondell Govan

Chef Assistant
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Rondell is originally from New Jersey. She grew up in a big family and always assisted her mother and aunts with cooking. She worked with mentally and physically disabled adults, preparing meals  and assisting with everyday living. She moved to Atlanta in 2013.  Ms. Rondell loves cooking, reading, writing poetry, traveling and meeting new people. 

Gennerre Crockett

Receptionist
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Gennerre is originally from Boston, but is happy to call Atlanta home. She has event planning and administrative experience, loves music and people. Gennerre is tenacious, resourceful and determined to maximize her own potential while helping others become their best selves.