Behind the Scenes: YouthQuest Site Managers Work to Make YouthQuest Successful


At YouthQuest, students and families primarily interact with the site team leaders and learning guides assigned to their site. However, there are individuals behind the scenes that help make the program as successful as it can be.

“Our site managers manage specific sites to ensure they are equipped with the tools they need to help our YouthQuest students,” says Nefertari Jones, program director of YouthQuest. “However, our managers also have other duties they take on to make the program work cohesively.”

Site managers are Willie Buford, LaQuanda Hammons, and Kimberly Meszaros. Each manager has a variety of sites they oversee and various assignments that assist Jones and other YouthQuest staff. Here is how each site manager contributes to YouthQuest’s success

Willie Buford

Buford manages Accelerated Learning Academy, Southwestern Classical Academy, Eisenhower Elementary and Neithercut Elementary. He also represents YouthQuest as he sits on the quality committee for the Michigan After-School Partnership. There, he helps develop policies and procedures for Michigan afterschool programs.

Moreover, Buford works with National Geographic to develop and present on how their program works in an afterschool space. He works as an afterschool ambassador for the Afterschool Network and works with legislators to advocate for funding by promoting Lights On Afterschool – an event created by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for afterschool hours.

Finally, Buford works as the lead on professional development opportunities for site team managers and learning guides for all YouthQuest sites.

LaQuanda Hammons

Hammons manages Brownell Elementary, Holmes STEM Academy and International Academy of Flint – both elementary and high school/middle school sites. She works with the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Human Resources department to interview and onboard new staff for YouthQuest.

Furthermore, Hammons oversaw the development of summer packets for students in 2020, supporting learning opportunities with fun, hands-on activities. She also works closely to ensure that YouthQuest program is up to national afterschool standards.

Kimberly Meszaros

Meszaros manages Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary, Doyle Ryder Elementary, Pierce Elementary, Potter Elementary and Freeman Elementary sites. Outside of managing her teams, she also works on larger events that YouthQuest hosts, such as the 10-Year Anniversary Celebration at the U.S. 23 Drive In in August 2020.

She also manages YouthQuest’s storage facility and distributes supplies such as books, paper and craft supplies to each site. Finally, Meszaros helps with onboarding for new staff to make sure they are trained to provide quality programming to YouthQuest students.

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.