About Our Staff

Georgia Teen Institute is a program of Gwinnett United in Drug Education, Inc. (GUIDE). GUIDE’s Associate Executive Director, Mary Kate Chapman, is responsible for GTI, and she can be reached at marykate@guideinc.org.

Georgia Teen Institute Leadership Team

GTI has a Leadership Team who works year-round to plan and implement the program.

2019 Leadership Team:
  • Mary Kate Chapman: Program Director
  • Christina Byerly: Project Manager; Staff Training & Support
  • Jessica Andrews-Wilson: Staff Training & Support – Adult Staff & Volunteers
  • Paula Andrews-Wilson: Staff Training & Support – Young Adult Staff
  • Alexis Cato: Staff Training & Support – Youth Staff
  • Michael Davis: Prevention; Team Meetings
  • Erin Lee: Family Group
  • Quentin Ladson: General Sessions
  • Melinda Shealey: Evening Activities
  • Kimberly Wilson: Free Time
  • Stephanie McBride: Workshops

Georgia Teen Institute Seasonal Staff

In addition to GUIDE employees and the Leadership Team, Georgia Teen Institute is fully staffed and peer-led by high school, college age and adult 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 an 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 a healthy lifestyle, which includes not drinking underage or using tobacco or other drugs;
  • Participate in training (Youth Staff must attend Staff Development Weekends, and Young Adult Staff and Adult Staff may be asked to attend these in addition to their specialized training); 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)

The Georgia Teen Institute (GTI) Youth Staff (YS) level allows youth ages 16-18 to build and cultivate their leadership skills with a hands-on approach. The YS level is an introductory role in leadership where youth have the ability to co-facilitate sessions with fellow staff members and provide support to the program. Peer-to-peer education is an important component at GTI, and YS have the opportunity to provide this to other teens from across Georgia. This is an excellent opportunity for youth who are interested in developing and/or refining their leadership skills.

YS members are individuals who are ages 16-18 at the time of application who are enrolled as high school students. YS may or may not have attended GTI in the past as a participant or staff member. All YS are expected to serve as leaders and role models by taking responsibility and initiative, maintaining a positive attitude and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Young Adult Staff (YAS)

The Georgia Teen Institute(GTI) Young Adult Staff (YAS) level combines hands-on leadership experience with practical mentorship and training. The YAS staff level is an advanced role that includes an individualized leadership plan focusing on strengths and interests for each member, as well as mentorship opportunities to prepare for the Adult Staff level. Responsibilities for each person will depend on their personal plan and may include, but are not limited to, planning and preparing for sessions, facilitating sessions and providing general support to ensure the success of the program. This is an excellent opportunity to build employable skills and make an impact in communities across Georgia.

YAS members are individuals who are ages 18-22 and have spent at least one year out of high school by the time of the summer program. YAS may or may not have attended GTI in the past as a participant or staff member. All YAS are expected to serve as leaders and role models by taking responsibility and initiative, maintaining a positive attitude and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Adult Staff (AS)

The Georgia Teen Institute (GTI) Adult Staff (AS) level gives individuals aged 23 and older a chance to volunteer in a variety of ways that support the Youth Staff, Young Adult Staff and GTI participants. The AS level is an advanced role that includes a lot of autonomy and responsibility and focuses on strengths and interests for each member. Responsibilities for each person will depend on their availability, skill sets and specific needs. These may include, but are not limited to, planning and preparing for sessions, facilitating sessions, mentoring youth or young adults and providing general support to ensure the success of the program. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with young people and make a difference to communities across Georgia.

AS members are individuals who are ages 23 and up. AS may or may not have attended GTI in the past as a participant or staff member and do not have to commit to a whole week or two weeks; these volunteers can serve for as little as three hours. All AS are expected to serve as leaders and role models by taking responsibility and initiative, maintaining a positive attitude and leading a healthy lifestyle.