Our Staff

Meet the Staff


Mary Kate C. Chapman, MA, ICPS – Associate Executive Director

Mary Kate C. Chapman first attended Georgia Teen Institute in 2001 as a participant with her high school’s Youth Action Team. She immediately fell in love with the program and became a Junior Counselor the following year. Since then, Mary Kate’s had various roles with the program including Senior Staff, Volunteer and Leadership Team. She became full-time GUIDE staff in November of 2011, which led to her Georgia Teen Institute Director role.

Mary Kate has more than 10 years of experience related to Positive Youth Development, ATOD prevention and training. She previously worked for another local non-profit to develop and implement nutrition and physical activity curriculum in Title I schools across the state.

As the Director of Georgia Teen Institute, Mary Kate manages a grant from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) that provides the opportunity for 30 Youth Action Teams across the state to attend our summer program and provides technical assistance to them throughout the year. She is also responsible for recruiting and training 40+ volunteer staff, as well as managing our yearly fundraising campaign.

Mary Kate is an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist through the Prevention Credentialing Consortium of Georgia and regularly trains others in the Core Courses required by PCCG.

Mary Kate holds a Master of Art in Liberal Studies (English) from Clayton State University and a Bachelor of Science in Communications (Media Studies) from Kennesaw State University. She has presented at local, state and national conferences and is an active member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

While at Georgia Teen Institute, you will find Mary Kate running interference between staff, Oxford College and special guests; working with Adult Advisors; and ensuring everyone is safe, engaged and having fun! Mary Kate’s heart belongs to GTI. She is honored to be in charge of the camp that changed her life (and continues to do so).

Sarah Stokes, BSW, CP – Program Coordinator

Sarah Stokes has volunteered and worked in various capacities with community mobilization, youth development and substance abuse prevention since her first year at the Georgia Teen Institute in 2007. She joined the GUIDE staff in 2013.

Sarah graduated from Western Carolina University in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. While there, Sarah was very active around campus and filled several leadership positions. She spent time as a Resident Assistant and worked as a Peer Career Mentor. In addition, she served as the Director of Western’s Relay for Life program. During her final year of her degree program, Sarah interned with American Cancer Society at the Cancer Resource Center at Mission Hospital in Asheville. Her major responsibilities included fundraising and community outreach. Sarah was also a member of Alpha Gamma Delta.

As a part of her role as Program Coordinator at GUIDE, she serves as the Assistant Director of Georgia Teen Institute. Sarah coordinates the staff application process and manages volunteer staff. She also provides leadership and support to other Positive Youth Development initiatives at GUIDE, including Youth Action Teams, training events and the Youth Advisory Board.

Sarah is a graduate of the Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute and is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers.

While at Georgia Teen Institute, you will find Sarah mentoring youth staff, ensuring Youth Action Teams have everything they need for a successful week and filling in wherever she can to help the day run as smoothly as possible.


Georgia Teen Institute Seasonal Staff

In addition to the two full-time GUIDE employees, Georgia Teen Institute is fully staffed and peer-led by high school and college age volunteers. Each staff member is responsible for carrying out the program’s goals through team building, networking and skill building sessions. Staff are carefully screened and selected through an intense application and interview process. Once they are selected, they are required to attend two full weekends of staff development training.

Our Georgia Teen Institute Staff are the reason for the success of GTI. We could not hold our programs without them. They run Family Groups, assist with workshops, facilitate Team Meetings and do several of behind-the-scenes jobs. They are full-time volunteers while at camp – and are the greatest group of youth and young adults that the state of Georgia has to offer!

All applicants have equal chance of being asked to serve as staff for GTI programs. Anyone applying to be on staff at any level must:

  • Complete the online application thoroughly and on time;
  • Participate in either an in-person Staff Orientation/Interview Session or a phone interview;
  • Lead an alcohol, tobacco and drug free lifestyle at all times;
  • Attend Staff Development Weekends; and
  • Attend at least one full week-long GTI program.

At GTI, all staff may be asked to serve as workshop assistants, lead energizers, staff Free Time, lead Team Meetings and Family Groups, lead team building and complete other duties as assigned. See below for GTI staff levels:

Youth Staff (YS)

Youth Staff should be between the ages of 15-18 and must be at least a freshman in high school at the time of application.

Young Adult Staff (YAS)

Young Adult Staff should be between the ages of 18-22 and must be out of high school for at least one year at the time of the program.

Adult Staff (AS)

Adult Staff should be at least 23 years of age.

Leadership Team

Leadership Team consists of some of our more seasoned volunteers and GUIDE staff. These positions are selected by invitation and directly report to the GTI Director.