Julie Wade, Executive Director
Julie Wade is lawyer by training who has served Savannah’s non-profit community since 2017. As Executive Director of Park Place Outreach, a teen homeless shelter, she added new programs and doubled the budget to be able to serve more youth more comprehensively. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood Southeast and UGA Alumni Association.
A Georgia native, Julie attended UGA for undergrad and law school. She clerked for a federal judge and practiced law in Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Savannah. She currently provides legal services for non-profits to build capacity and ensure compliance. Julie is a graduate of Leadership Georgia, Leadership Southeast Georgia, and Leadership Savannah and has been recognized as a UGA 40 Under 40 and a Bulldog 100 business. For 10 years, Julie served as an elected member of the Savannah Chatham County Board of Education, representing District One.
LaToya Scott, Residential Director
LaToya is fiercely passionate about serving those in need through empowerment and education. LaToya has devoted her career to supporting vulnerable populations to enhance their overall well-being. LaToya started her Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Social Work at Albany State University before completing a program in Liberal Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice at Armstrong Atlantic’s State University. Following graduation LaToya began her social service career in her hometown of Brunswick, GA with the Glynn County Division of Family and Children Services. During her time as a case manager for the Office of Family Independence, LaToya contributed to the success of the families on her caseload through education of the eligibility process and other programs that assist during financial hardships. After this, she transitioned to Child Protective Services as a Foster Care case manager. During her tenure with the Division LaToya assisted families with services needed to become independent through implementing and supervising case plans. These case plans led to family reunification and ongoing support services for youth who transitioned into independent living programs.
LaToya has been in the human services and social work field for 12 years. She has served in non-profit residential servicing for the last 7 years. With her substantial experience, LaToya has developed shelter operations, enhanced policies and procedures, participated in accreditation processes, and implemented staff trainings regarding safety and person-centered care. While working for non-profit organizations such as Safe Harbor Children's Center and Morningstar Family and Children Services, LaToya developed a passion for working with abused and neglected youth who have developmental disabilities, mental health diagnoses, and other significant traumatic experiences. To strengthen her commitment to serving youth and families as well as to enhance her professional development LaToya has completed training in Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, trauma informed care, person centered care, managing aggressive behavior, autism awareness, interviewing family and children, and ethics.
Additionally, LaToya is an active member of Empowerment City Church where she serves as an Executive Administrator and Praise and Worship Leader. She is an active member of Eta Upsilon Sigma Chapter, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. where she serves as Vice President. LaToya enjoys singing, writing music, shopping, and spending time with family. She has one son and spends most of her free time attending his extracurricular sporting events.
Kate Templeton, Outreach Coordinator
Kate is a 2022 graduate of The University of Georgia where she obtained her Master of Public Health degree. Her undergraduate degree, also from The University of Georgia, was a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior with minors in Spanish and Music (Voice). Kate is a Savannah native and is excited to be working with Tharros Place.
In the past, Kate has interned with multiple organizations in the Athens, Georgia area such as Unified Healthcare for the Rural Underserved and Live Forward (formerly AIDS Athens). Kate has a passion for health education and loves working with children.
Outside of work, Kate serves as a Community Investments Volunteer on the Youth Development Panel for United Way, is involved in The Savannah Children's Theatre, is a Certified Professional Coach through the International Association of Professional Recovery Coaches, and is a mentor for students in the UGA Mentor Program.
Makala Owens, Human Services Professional
Makala Owens is our Human Service Professional and a returning Savannah native who is excited to assist with creating a culture of courage among the human trafficking victims that Tharros Place will serve.
Makala initially earned her Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Troy University before returning to school and obtaining her Master of Social Work Degree from Capella University. Makala had the opportunity to intern with Savannah Chatham CASA while completing her BSW before she transitioned into working with a non-profit hospice agency, Hospice of South Georgia in Jesup, GA. Makala comes with a strong background in case management, community resource navigation, creating continuity of care, and working with diverse groups of individuals with varying backgrounds. Makala has a love for helping others succeed and is passionate about the mission statement of Tharros Place.
Luke Earley, Education Coordinator
Luke is excited to use his skills and experience to help young people in need return to health and normalcy through learning and growing in education. As a state-certified educator, he firmly believes that children (and adults) should always be learning and challenging themselves. He has been a classroom teacher in both China and here in Savannah, teaching English and Social Studies. In addition, Luke holds an MA in Human Services Counseling from Liberty University, with a focus on helping people overcome childhood trauma. Most recently, Luke was helping young people learn with Junior Achievement of Georgia, a non-profit dedicated to helping students learn about financial literacy and gain career readiness skills.
Luke and his wife, a Savannah firefighter, have been in coastal Georgia for five years. They have one son, who is currently learning about zippers, buttons, tying his shoes, and much more. Luke and his family are nature-lovers, and they enjoy biking, hiking, and swimming.
Jonathan Martinez, AmeriCorps VISTA
Jonathan is a first-generation student at Georgia Southern University, currently working towards a bachelor's degree in Information Technology. Drawing from his previous experience in the service industry with Marriott hotels, Jonathan has developed strong interpersonal skills. His passion for exploring new cultures and traveling has instilled in him a deep appreciation for diversity and a global perspective.
Jonathan is dedicated to creating a vibrant online space for community members to learn, engage, and connect. His enthusiasm stems from the opportunity to contribute to the local community while simultaneously honing his skills and collaborating with fellow professionals. Jonathan's commitment to fostering a sense of belonging within the digital realm aligns with his goal of making a positive impact on both the local and online communities.
Gabriella Marvaldi, Development Manager
Gabriella is a 2023 graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Social Strategy and Management. She is honored that Tharros Place is where she can start her professional career.
Gabriella has had the opportunity of representing Team USA internationally as a figure skater and enjoys sharing her knowledge of the sport to rising generations in the Savannah community. She has formerly worked as a special Olympics instructor bringing joy to children through passing on her love of being on the ice.
Mileyshka Aragones, Spring 2024 Intern
My name is Mileyshka Aragones, I will be graduating from Georgia Southern University on Jul 20, 2024, with a Bachelors of Behavioral and Social Science in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Originally I am from Puerto Rico but lived in Bethlehem Pennsylvania for 10 years.
I enjoy taking on new challenges and learning new things. I have always worked in the healthcare profession and as an intern in psychology, I hope to help others improve themselves as well as grow personally.
Angie Larson, MSW Intern
Angie recently relocated to Savannah after living in California for the past 17 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from UWF in Pensacola. She is currently working on her Master's in Social Work from the University of Central Florida.
She is excited for the opportunity to work for Tharros Place and help the community. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, seeing live music, and hanging out with her partner and their fur babies.
Elise Eischeid, Spring 2024 Intern
Hi! My name is Elise Eischeid and I am a fourth year student at the University of Georgia with an expected graduation date of August 2024. I will be graduating with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior.
I have previous experience working with children as a Coach at the Athens YMCA. I also have experience working with non-profits around the Athens and Savannah areas. I'm so excited to be an intern with Tharros Place and know it will be a great opportunity for me to gain experience in a field I have a great passion for.
Tingting Wu, Fall 2023 Intern
Tingting Wu is a 2023 SCAD graduate, recently completing her Bachelors of Fine Art in Illustration with a minor in Ceramics. Originally from Harare Zimbabwe, she’s now a freelance illustrator and designer based in Savannah.
As an illustrator she is passionate about work that embraces femininity and female empowerment, especially for girls. She hopes to create art that brings joy and motivation to people.