TIP is made up of a small, committed group of people, many of whom have been involved since its earliest days. Governed by a sixteen person, volunteer, governing board and managed by a dedicated staff of seven, TIP relies on the hundreds of volunteer advocates who are involved for its success.


Meet the Staff...

Jessica Pinson Pennington - Executive Director:  Jessica received her undergraduate degree from Georgia State University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Georgia. She has worked in private child welfare organizations for twenty five years, beginning her career counseling children at the Council on Battered Women and Easter Seals of North Georgia. After several years as the director of training and affiliate services for the state’s Court Appointed Special Advocates program (Georgia CASA), she accepted her current position at TIP. In this role,   Jessica is responsible for the overall agency administration and can be contacted for new program ideas, suggestions for improvements, potential for partnerships, requests for financial information and employment opportunities. She lives in Atlanta with her partner and their thirteen year old son.


 Caren Cloud – Legal Director: Caren is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law and has worked in child advocacy for the past   seventeen years. Her current responsibilities as TIP’s Legal Director include representing and counseling youth offenders in truancy, delinquency   and school disciplinary hearings and supervising TIP's Legal Externship program and School Disciplinary Project.  Caren has participated in efforts to pass and implement the new Juvenile Code in Georgia and is a member of the Fulton County Juvenile Court's CHINS Committee, Dually Involved Youth Initiative and School Pathways Project.  Caren is a 2016 recipient of the Atlanta Bar Association's Distinguished Service Award, sits on the Executive Board of the Atlanta Bar Association as a member-at-large, and serves as the current Historian and previously served as Secretary of the Gate City Bar Association.  Caren is the proud mom of one son. 



Megan Gaither – Staff Attorney: Megan is passionate about using her law degree to serve children and families in need and believes that access to education is critical to a child's future success in life. She earned her undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Georgia and worked for Chick-fil-A, Inc. as an accountant for the company’s nonprofit foundations while attending law school at Georgia State as an evening student. Upon graduation in 2016, Megan clerked for the Honorable Jim Wilbanks of the Conasauga Judicial Circuit in North Georgia. She currently serves as a member of Georgia's Children's Justice Act taskforce and as the Recording Secretary of the Fulton County Attendance Protocol Committee. Megan grew up near Chattanooga, Tennessee and currently lives in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta.



Sydney Royes – Early Intervention Program Manager: Sydney Royes received her undergraduate degree from New York University, and after a brief stint in law school, she found her true passion, social work. After working in social services in the Washington D.C. area for a few years, Sydney went on to receive her Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from Howard University. She relocated to Atlanta in 2007, and has worked in social services since that time and she is excited to be working with TIP to ensure education is an opportunity afforded to all children in the Atlanta area. Sydney resides in Downtown Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.



Alissa Scherb – Development & Communications Director: Originally from Buffalo, NY, Alissa has her BA in Theatre from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from St. Thomas University in Minneapolis. She is excited to now be part of the TIP Team! She has previously worked in development for a library, health care, and social justice, and has worked in operations management in aviation and healthcare. She continues to utilize her theatre degree as well and continues to act and perform in Atlanta. Alissa lives in Sandy Springs with her husband and their dog, Toby.



Sarah Serluco, LMSW - Behavioral Health Services Manager: Believing everyone deserves a certain level of health, comfort and happiness, Sarah hopes to break down some of the obstacles which prevent TIP’s clients from achieving this standard of living. She is excited to support and guide them by identifying and connecting clients to behavioral health programs, develop new resources and partnerships and manage outreach programs.  Following her passion to help children in need, Sarah received her Master’s degree in Social Work at Georgia State University, graduated in 2016, and became a licensed master social worker. A former intern in 2014, Sarah has come back to TIP after working with the committed youth at the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice as an Assessment and Classification Specialist. Earlier in her career, Sarah utilized her journalism degree as a TV and Film Producer working at MTV News and then as an Executive Producer for her own successful production company in New York City. Sarah’s company co-produced an international award winning documentary Just Melvin, Just Evil about an American family and their struggle to survive generational sexual abuse. The five year project inspired her career change. Sarah is currently pursuing her clinical license in order to better serve her clients. She lives in Decatur with her identical twin 13-year-old daughters and enjoys spending most of her free time watching them play soccer. 


Adrian Wright - Volunteer and Training Manager:  Adrian was born and raised in North Carolina.  He attended the University of North Carolina for undergraduate studies, majoring in Philosophy.  In 2008, Adrian joined the staff of the Truancy Intervention Project Georgia as Volunteer Coordinator.  He recently celebrated 9 years with TIP and may be contacted for information regarding school and court based truancy intervention efforts, volunteer opportunities and support and resources for school system referred youth. Adrian lives in Gwinnett County with his wife and two sons.



2017-18 Board of Directors
Boardpic.jpg - 1.96 MB

Adwoa Awotwi, Chair -
Honorable Anne Barnes - Georgia Court of Appeals

Harold Franklin, Jr. - King & Spalding LLP
Marc Goncher - The Coca-Cola Company
Colin Kelly - Alston & Bird, LLP

Rebekah Lemon - First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta
Mary Alexander Myers - Jones Day
Erik Olson - The Olson Law Firm

Erin L. Payne - Oldcastle, Inc.
Jessica P. Pennington - Truancy Intervention Project Georgia
LaToya Riley – Former TIP client, Community Volunteer
Valerie Sanders - Eversheds Sutherland
Cheryl Treadwell - Community Volunteer
W. Terence Walsh, Chair Emeritus - Alston & Bird LLP (retired)