Jen Langdon Ramming
Head of Sustainability
If you have been to Art Affair, you may remember Jasmine as one of our models and art handlers! She began her relationship with OpenDoors as a student who needed additional guidance and encouragement to make sure she finished her education. Shortly thereafter, Jasmine served two consecutive terms on our Board of Directors from 2015 to early 2021. She is currently working on an Associate’s degree in Business Administration at Blue RidgeTechnical College, while also raising her 5-year old son. Jasmine knows firsthand how important OpenDoors is to our community and is committed to changing students lives. “OpenDoors helped break the cycle in my life, and I would like to do the same for more young people in Asheville.”
Head of Finance
Courtney moved to Asheville in 2005 as a stay-at-home mom after leaving the world of advertising in Atlanta and New York. After volunteering in the classroom and seeing first-hand the different education systems that allowed some children to thrive while others struggled year after year, Courtney joined OpenDoors in 2012 because of the work we do outside the system, moving stealthily behind the scenes, removing barriers that get in the way of our students’ success.
Head of Operations
Megan grew up in Miami, Florida and has called Asheville home since 2003. Before joining OpenDoors, she served as Executive Director at Odyssey School and has over 13 years experience teaching students in preschool through college. She studied Creative Writing and Child Development at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and graduated from UNC-Asheville with her teaching license and a degree in Literature and Language. She is a dedicated lifelong learner and is passionate about guiding students as they discover, pursue, and create positive change for themselves and our world.
Academics and Summer Director
A North Carolina native, Katherine has worked as a communications skills instructor for middle school students, a college admissions counselor at a private university, and as a program director and consultant in early learning for sixteen years in Georgia, Massachusetts and Washington, DC. Katherine strives to lead with cultural and community context and with evidenced-based practices to promote program quality. A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science, as well as Harvard Graduate School of Education with a Master’s in Education, she is dedicated to ensuring access to the high-quality education each student deserves and to thrive.
With her experience in Finance and working with children, Stella brings her unique skills to OpenDoors to educate, motivate, and provide our students with the right tools and resources they need to be financially healthy and sustainable. “Working for OpenDoors is so fulfilling for me because it gives me the opportunity to use my skills to positively impact the lives of children, their families, and the communities where they live.” Stella is passionate about learning new things and is always seeking opportunities for resources that help our families become sustainable.
AVL Rise and Arts Director
Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, David is a Father, Creative, Music Artist, Writer, Educator, and Scholar. He holds both an M.A.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Denver, and a B.A. in Public Relations & History from the University of Florida. As an educator, he has over 7 years of experience within the classroom at both the primary and secondary level as a Special Education and Social Studies teacher, and was a certified professional teacher in two states, Florida and Colorado. David has also served as an adjunct lecturer for three years in the School of Education at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, in Kingston, Jamaica. As an artist, he has toured the world with his music, and it has taken him to places such as the United Kingdom, Argentina and the Czech Republic, to name a few. However, he considers his title of father to be his most important, and considers his two daughters to be his most important work.
Prior to joining OpenDoors, David worked as a 6th Grade Social Studies teacher in Miami, FL., and he looks forward to creatively supporting and empowering Asheville students in their educational experiences, in his new role.
Since our inception in 2009, Nancy has served as Board Secretary and Board Chair, she has helped create our annual Art Affair, and has volunteered as a TeamLeader for students. As staff, she has worked as Education Liaison and is now our Communications Director. Nancy’s commitment to OpenDoors is motivated by the student transformations she has witnessed when race-based barriers and inequities are removed and when students get the support and resources they need to thrive. Before OpenDoors, Nancy, a graduate of University of Richmond with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A.Ed in School Counseling from Western Carolina University, worked as an elementary public school counselor and ran her own local small business. She has lived in Asheville since 1994.
I believe that education is the anecdote to poverty, and every child deserves to have someone in their life who advocates for them, every step of the way. I love being apart of a team that is working to help level the playing field for children growing up in under-resourced circumstances.
Impacts and Grants Coordinator
Katie has lived in Asheville since 2012. In that time, she has led a Girl Scout troop, tutored with Read2Succeed, provided pro bono legal counseling through Pisgah Legal Services, registered voters, organized book fairs and book drives at her children’s school, and mastered the perfect brownie recipe (hint: it involves Nutella). In addition to a law degree from UNC, where she served as Articles Editor on the North Carolina Law Review, she holds a Masters degree in history from NCSU with a focus on African American civil rights. She also completed her secondary education teacher training at Piedmont College. While practicing employment law at a ninety-plus attorney firm in Raleigh, Katie coordinated her firm’s pro bono efforts. She is grateful for the opportunity to help students thrive and succeed using the many resources OpenDoors offers. When not streaming the latest fantasy series on television, she can be found walking her dog, warily eyeing her cat, solving a crossword, and savoring time with her husband and two daughters.
Human Resources Coordinator
Kristal Woods is a native of Asheville, NC and attended NCA&TSU majoring in Business Management. Before coming to OpenDoors Kristal worked for a nonprofit organization as a Finance/HR manager,and also worked one-on-one with under-resourced families to assist with skills and provide available resources. She is also a Real Estate agent focusing on helping families find their forever homes. She enjoys using her positive attitude with a hands on approach to helping youth in and around our community.
Program Coordinator and Instructor
Tia grew up in Asheville, NC and joined the OpenDoors family as a student in 2009. Inspired by her experience in Asheville’s schools, as a K-12 student and later working as a classroom assistant in a local private school, Tia is an aspiring educator. She sees “the good in the OpenDoors mission” and is inspired “to be a part of building these support systems for local students so they can be successful.” She is a powerful advocate and works tirelessly to create meaningful and impactful opportunities for our students.
Born and raised in Asheville, Dricana has a profound love and admiration for the community she grew up in. After graduating from Asheville High School, she attended UNC Greensboro and AB Tech. In 2019, she moved to Connecticut to study herbalism, where earning 1,800 certificate hours. In 2021 she returned to Asheville to create her own apothecary, teach plant ID, and continue her holistic education with a birth doula certification. As the oldest daughter of five, Dricana is a born leader, extremely outgoing, and loves to be around children. Dricana is passionate about ensuring that children have access to the resources and support they need to grow up healthy and successful. As the Event Coordinator at ananda hair studio, Dricana was introduced to OpenDoors by volunteering for Art Affair, and she officially joined the OpenDoors team in 2022. With over five years of experience working in social media and eight years working with local Asheville businesses, Dricana is excited to bring new projects, connections and fresh ideas to the table.
Photography by Katherine Brooks and Lauren Simms.