We’re Passionate About Protecting the Educational Rights of Students and Families Across Michigan
Peri Stone-Palmquist, LMSW, MPP
Peri has been Executive Director of the Student Advocacy Center since 2012. An active advocate for children and youth since 2005, Peri is a statewide expert in school discipline and the educational rights of homeless children and youth. Previously, she led Washtenaw County’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Education project, served as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disorders and was a journalist for many years. She has been trained and certified as a trauma specialist, and she implemented Check & Connect, a nationwide, evidence-based education mentoring model. She holds a master’s degree in social work and public policy.
Jacorey Brown, BSW
Check & Connect Mentor
Jacorey came to Student Advocacy Center in 2018, while in the last few months of obtaining his Bachelor of Social Work from Eastern Michigan University. Jacorey has gained experience interning with the Adolescent Diversion Program at the Washtenaw County Court, mentoring youth who have committed first time offenses. Jacorey is a strong advocate for education, helping youth understand their educational rights as students and obtain goals they’ve set for themselves throughout the academic school year.
Angelina Camilleri, MSW, MA
Angelina joined the Student Advocacy Center in 2020. She has a bachelor’s in anthropology and gender studies with a focus in social justice from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Angelina earned two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, in social work and educational studies, and she is certified in trauma-informed practice. In her career, she has focused on working with children, youth and families who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). She has also worked with students to build social-emotional skills to bring to their daily lives and into education, particularly through arts-based learning. She has a passion for advocating for students’ rights and needs and working with students to develop the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond.
Larry Cantlin, BS ED, MA Spec Ed
Larry’s career as a teacher spanned 36 years, with the past 29 years as a special education teacher in Jackson, Michigan. Larry is a certified as a science teacher for grades 7-12 and as a special education teacher for grades K-12. Larry is also certified to teach social studies, mathematics and elementary education.
Check & Connect Mentor
Al attended Central Michigan University and graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts. Most recently he completed his graduate certificate from Pennsylvania State University with a focus in community and economic development. He came to the Student Advocacy Center in 2018 after working for nonprofit organizations in both Michigan and Pennsylvania. Through his experience, Al facilitated a variety of school-based programs in the field of youth development. During his off-hours, Al enjoys playing video games, practicing jiujitsu and watching sports.
David joined the Student Advocacy Center in January 2023. He graduated from University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a minor in Music. David has a passion for intercultural connection and storytelling, which manifests in his work as a writer, artist, and teacher.
Anell Eccleston, MSW
Director of Care & Sustainability
Anell previously worked at the Student Advocacy Center from 2014-2019. During that time he served as a Check & Connect Mentor, Youth Action Michigan adult facilitator, Dignity in Schools Campaign Federal Liaison, and Programs Manager. From 2019-2021, Anell pursued passions of combatting the school-to-prison pipeline as a Juvenile Probation Officer for the Washtenaw County Trial Court-Juvenile Division. He returned to the Student Advocacy Center as the Director of Care and Sustainability. In this role, he supports staff in efforts of combatting school push-out and ending the school-to-prison pipeline. He is an advocate for equitable education policy with a whole-child approach and is certified in trauma-informed practices. Anell earned a Master’s of Social Work degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2018.
Check & Connect Mentor
Myron has made a career of teaching and mentoring youth, primarily through public education and the arts, and joined us in 2019 as a Check & Connect Mentor. He graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts and California College of Arts with a Master of Fine Arts. When he isn’t teaching or mentoring, he enjoys reading nonfiction, listening to music and playing chess.
Tina Jurries, LMSW
Tina became a Programs Manager, overseeing Check & Connect and Youth Action Michigan, in September 2019. She started at the Student Advocacy Center in November 2017 as our Education Advocate for Court-Involved Youth. She serves on the federal review team for JBS International and the Children’s Bureau for National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD). Tina served on the board of our Student Rights Project at University of Michigan, where she earned her Master of Social Work. Tina earned her Bachelor of Social Work at University of Kansas, where she was a research assistant for the Kansas Serves Substance-Affected Families Project. Tina served on the Kansas Youth Advisory Council for six years, serving as president for two of those years. In that role, she helped to advocate for the rights of youth in care and supported work on Senate Bill 23, which established specific graduation requirements for youth in care. She helped to write a bill of rights for youth in care, presented to the Kansas Governor’s Conference and represented Kansas in Washington, D.C., several times.
Fund Development Director
Kevin joined SAC in February of 2023. Kevin attended Grand Valley State University graduating in 2016 with a BS in Political Science with a focus in civil service and political philosophy. He has been active as a political volunteer and professional in several political campaigns local, state and national. Kevin most recently worked at the Boy Scouts of America across the Metro Detroit area helping to fundraise and facilitate outdoor programs meant to help young people reach their potential. Kevin is a hobbyist photographer and home cook and volunteers with his wife for Leader Dogs for the Blind.
Thomas (Tom) McMillen-Oakley, B.Ed. M.A.E.
Tom McMillen-Oakley joined SAC as the Jackson Education Advocate in January of 2022. Tom is a life-long educator, teaching K 12 Visual Arts Education for Columbia School District (Brooklyn, MI) and as a Professor of Studio Art at Jackson College (Jackson, MI). Aside from teaching art, Tom is a working artist as well, showing his work around the Great Lakes area and beyond. Tom has received multiple awards for his teaching and his advocacy over the years, including: Teacher of the Year, Columbia Central High School (1996) the PFLAG Jackson Support, Advocacy and Education Award, (2003), the Higher Education Art Teacher of the Year from the Michigan Art Education Association (2005) and the J. Ward Preston Faculty of the Year at Jackson College (2020).
Ben Murphy-Smith, JD
Ben joined the Student Advocacy Center in 2018. Previously, Ben worked for the Ypsilanti Community Schools district both as an administrator and an elementary school librarian. He also has worked with the Bright Futures after-school program in Ypsilanti. Ben is an attorney who taught middle school social studies and coached debate in Baltimore. Ben has a bachelor’s in political science from Concordia University in Montreal and a law degree from Vermont Law School.
Check & Connect Mentor
Shamayime is a Check & Connect mentor in our Detroit office, with background experience working in the juvenile justice system.
Prestine joined Student Advocacy Center in September 2021. She was a former SAC client who participated in Youth Action Michigan. She was a part of the Detroit to Lansing walk against Zero Tolerance discipline practices in schools throughout Michigan. Also, she created the Game of Life, which is a political demonstration that outlines the impacts of Zero Tolerance on students. She also has prior history working in school districts supporting positive behavior in students. Prestine wanted to come back to SAC because she feels that with SAC she can create change and positively impact the community.
Jenna Pickman, LMSW, SSW
Jenna’s passion for education and advocating for at-risk youth is what brought her to the Student Advocacy Center in 2018. She has a bachelor’s degree in comparative cultures and politics from Michigan State University. Jenna received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in 2018 with a focus on children, youth and families, and a school social work certification.
Shakel Raiford, MaEd.
Shakel started at the Student Advocacy Center in November 2017. Shakel is a former child welfare worker who also has experience working in mental health and multiple education programs. Shakel’s passion is advocating for the educational and academic rights of at-risk youth. Shakel has a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Florida and a master’s in educational psychology from Eastern Michigan University.
Colleen began as an Education Advocate with the Student Advocacy Center in November 2022. Obtaining her Bachelor’s in History from Michigan State University in 2007 and her Master’s in History from Eastern Michigan University in 2018, Colleen has taught both middle and high school social studies in Detroit, Ypsilanti, and Battle Creek. In addition to teaching Social Studies, Colleen is a certified 200 hour RYT certified Yoga Instructor as of summer 2022. In addition to having a passion for education, public service, and yoga, Colleen enjoys spending time with her child and family.
Amy Wilhelm, LMSW
Amy oversees our statewide Students Rights Helpline and Education Advocacy in Washtenaw and Jackson counties. She worked in Lincoln Consolidated Schools, on and off, between 2003 and 2015, in a variety of roles, including as a McKinney-Vento School Ally, behavior specialist, Title I Parent Coordinator, assistant secretary and substitute teacher. She is a former school-based at-risk social worker, children’s ministry director and in-home daycare owner.
Check & Connect Mentor
London attended Eastern Michigan University and graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work. She came to the Student Advocacy Center in 2022. London has gained experience interning at The Family Empowerment Program in Ypsilanti by engaging in community events and through programming. She was a part of the SDM2 Education Project in Detroit to help prepare students for school by distributing school supplies and getting them access to tutoring resources.