Leadership July 2019-Present
DeAnna “Dia” Parker
Executive Director, 2019
As the Executive Director, and a former participant in the program, Dia is working to foster space where participants feel that their voice matters.
After being displaced from her home of 15 years during her junior year at Oglethorpe University, Dia became deeply involved in the conversation about sustainable community initiatives occurring across the Greater Atlanta Area. As a member of the Housing Justice League, she attended marches and meetings that reflected the benefits and disadvantages of Georgia State University purchasing the Turner Field Property. She also spent time with the Housing Justice League addressing the harsh eviction system in Fulton County which evicts hundreds of families daily with no regulations on tenant treatment, resulting in mass displacements in extreme weather conditions and increased child homelessness for the city of Atlanta.
This work with the Housing Justice League would inspire her writing as a Content Creator for The Odyssey Online. Yet, when asked reflectively what motivates her to sit on the board of the Cross Keys Foundation, and to run Los Vecinos, she recalls her time in the Athena’s Warehouse workshops at Cross Keys High School. It was the exposure to a group of strong women empowering girls through conversation and positive action that sparked the proverbial flint for Dia.
President & Program Director 2019
Mileydy Villegas hails from Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico and currently resides in the greater NE Atlanta area. Villegas enjoys her volunteer work with Athena’s because she gets to consistently interact with smart, dedicated, and powerful women. She supports this organization because she firmly believes that the program participants are provided an opportunity to unlock personal and social change by learning about how choices impact their day to day lives. Villegas has worked previously in restaurant management, as a secretary, a carshop supervisor, an exterior designer, and catering chef. As an ambitious, motivated, and caring person, Villegas’ hobbies include fixing up classic cars, going to the gym, hiking, traveling, and writing.
Board Member 2019
Former Athena’s Warehouse Adela Lopez graduated from Cross Keys High School in 2016. She is currently at Georgia State University studying art education. During her time at Cross Keys, she served as Class President twice and volunteered over 300 hours. Adela’s dedication to service both in and out of school led her to obtain the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Since graduating high school, her passion for education has led her to teaching assistant positions for the Latin American Association Latino Youth Leadership Academy and the High Museum’s Summer Art Camp.
As an active advocate, Adela creates art revolving around immigration reform and her Mexican culture. She is also a Legislative Aide for Georgia House Representative Bee Nguyen.
Her plans and fight for the future revolves around her parents. Her mother cannot read or write as she never went to school, and her father almost faced deportation when she was in middle school. Adela realized the struggles and sacrifices her parents endured at a young age. She wants to become the teacher her mother never had and to continue the fight for immigrant rights. She plans on returning to the Cross Keys Cluster upon obtaining her degree and to teach in the same schools she was enrolled in. Adela believes representation matters, even at a young age, and that her teachers and parents were the sources for her success. She would like to do her part for the next generation.
Adela lives in the greater NE Atlanta area with her four brothers, two parents, and energetic chihuahua.
Board Member 2019
Katherine graduated from Cross Keys High School, and later earned a double major in Biomedical Sciences and Business Administration from Mary Baldwin University in Virginia.
After university, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked as a research assistant at the University of Southern California, and then to Newport Beach, where she worked as a pre-surgical aid.
In 2016, Katherine moved back to the greater NE Atlanta. She hopes to become a doctor, as well as a politician, to help communities who live under oppression to utilize their voices and to help pass more proactive legislature. She has always been an advocate for education, healthcare, and human rights and continues to fight for a DREAM act that is more inclusive.
Currently, Katherine is enrolled in a masters program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She worked at the Center of Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) as a health program coordinator in the prevention department, educating families on mental health and substance abuse prevention among youth in our communities.
Rebekah Cohen Morris
Board Chair 2019
Rebekah teaches English at Berkmar High School in Gwinnett County Public Schools and taught for two years at Cross Keys High School in the DeKalb County School District (both Title I schools).
In the past, she has also worked for the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) in advocacy and civic engagement work. She has served on the Board of Directors for Presencia, a non-profit located on Buford Highway that exists to provide economic, educational, and social support to refugees and immigrants through after-school programs, job creation, and leadership development. In addition to this work, she has also worked for the Atlanta Children's Shelter and for the Latin American Association teen summer program.
Throughout the past two years, she has spent her time co-founding Los Vecinos de Buford Hwy with an incredible group of Cross Keys cluster students, alumni, and residents to establish a community association within the apartment complexes along Buford Highway. The idea of vecinos or neighbors working alongside one another is integral to the idea of a strong, healthy community.
Rebekah lives in Doraville, Georgia, with her husband, Andrew Morris, who works for the Metro Water District at the Atlanta Regional Commission. She has two beautiful daughters who attend school in the Cross Keys High School cluster area.
Board Member 2019
Marco is an immigrant rights advocate and serves as President of Los Vecinos de Buford Highway. A 2012 Cross Keys High School Alumnus, Marco later received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia State University in 2017.
During his time in university, he began writing about political and cultural affairs at The Narrator, an online editorial that provides a "non-conformist" space to create and advocate. He also worked as a immigration paralegal at Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson, LLP and as an immigration specialist at New American Pathways.
After graduating from GSU, Marco took a position at the Atlanta Food Bank where he now works directly with clients to provide them with the services they need.
Marco Palma lives in Chamblee, Georgia, where he is helping his neighbors and friends gain access to resources so that they can become more involved in their community. He pursues painting as hobby and you can view some of his work here.
Advisory Board (2015-2017)
Advisory Board Member
After thirty years of teaching French in DeKalb County Schools, Diane is about to embark on her next adventure – retirement. Although she is leaving the classroom, she will continue to work with high school students through Athena's Warehouse. When she’s not at school, Diane enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband and two sons, and challenging herself at the gym. Now that retirement is here, she hopes to travel and explore the world and devote more time to Athena’s.
Bee Nguyen founded Athena's Warehouse in 2009. The organization is a product of her love for women and girls and entrepreneurship. Her prior experiences include work with Boat People SOS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and most recently the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. She graduated from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies with a Master of Public Administration in 2012.
In addition to serving as the Executive Director for Athena's, Bee is a member of the Atlanta Regional Board Millennial Committee, a mentor for the Wren's Nest, and a fellow with the 2015 Georgia Women Policy Institute program. She also hosts and facilitates a series of racial justice conversations What We Talk About When We Talk About Race.
Outside of community work, Bee spends her free time running, biking, and hiking with her family and friends.