“The WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition team is an amazing collective of single moms, grandparents, former laborers, safety net recipients, strategic thinkers, teachers, students, and organizers, in all shapes and forms. It is an honor to work alongside these powerful individuals and West Virginians, as we help build from the ground up – a West Virginia where we can all live and thrive." - Jennifer Wells, Executive Director, WVHKFC
Jennifer Wells, MSW, is both an experienced organizer and social worker. With an extensive background working in child welfare, juvenile justice, community services, program development, and fundraising, Jennifer brings a skilled and multi-layered lens to her social justice and organizing work.
Having joined the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition (WVHKFC) in 2015 as an organizer leading the Shared Use public health campaign, Jennifer later transitioned to youth development and leadership work as director of the Young West Virginia program, before stepping into the role of executive director of WVHKFC. As a Black woman raised in the South (New Orleans, specifically) by a single mother, Jennifer brings her lived experience, passion, and knowledge to the work that not only gives her life but is her joy.
Jennifer serves as state chair for Care International and board president for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. In 2018, she was named Social Worker of the Year by the West Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Jennifer resides in Huntington, WV, with her amazing husband David. Traveling, eating, and listening to live music are favorite pastimes.
Director of Families Leading Change
Jenny Anderson is the Director of Families Leading Change (FLC), a statewide coalition that provides opportunities for parents, students, and other family members (kinship) to have a voice in public schools. FLC supports families by offering funding to start educational programs and projects and trains families who want to work with their principals, teachers, and school staff to make their hometown schools better. These family teams also work on creating a school system change or policy on a local, state, or federal level.
Jenny is very passionate about school wellness policy and ensuring that schools have tools to involve students and staff. She found her own “parent” voice when she volunteered in her child’s school where she was able to create programming and a school environment that encouraged a healthy lifestyle daily.
Director of Federal Programs & Economic Transition
Kristen O'Sullivan is a proud native of southern West Virginia. She holds a BSW from Concord University and MSW from West Virginia University. Her extensive experience in community and youth development has included serving as a substance abuse counselor for adolescents at Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center; a clinical director, then executive director, of the Alcove Youth Shelter and Community Counseling Center; the Southern Regional Director of Catholic Charities West Virginia; and program director for ChildLaw, working directly with the Teen Court program. Kristen also founded the Concord Youth and Family Development Council, which worked with youth on developing work skills and personal well-being through summer jobs. In 2016, Kristen completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Step by Step WV program.
Kristen's work with strengthening communities is always inspired by her most important role as mother to three amazing young men – Noah, Isaac, and Kevin.
Carey Jo Grace
Southern Regional Organizer
Carey Jo Grace is the Southern Regional Organizer for the Our Children, Our Future campaign, as well as the creator and coordinator of the WV Grassroots Resource Center. She joined the team in October 2013 as one of the organizers hired as WVHKFC made the transition to a center of movement building in West Virginia.
Carey Jo grew up in Pittsburgh, where steel was king – until it wasn’t – and witnessed the environmental impacts of the industry and the economic impacts when it collapsed, sparking her drive for activism. At 19, she moved to Eastern Kentucky where she spent twenty+ years, raising three sons and two step-daughters. With the support and mentorship of organizers, she became a local leader in a state-wide social, economic, and environmental justice organization, especially around mountain top removal and water quality issues.
As a person who spent much of her adult life dependent on public assistance to make ends meet, Carey Jo was thrilled to join an organization working to lift kids and families out of poverty. Even more fulfilling, however, was the opportunity to help others find their own personal power in the quest for justice.
She now lives in Charleston, WV, with her husband and youngest son. They spend many weekends working on their property in Lincoln County, WV, where they plan to build a house using natural building methods, live off-grid, and start a small permaculture farm.
Amy Jo Hutchison
Northern Regional Organizer
Amy Jo Hutchison views her position as the Northern Regional Organizer for the Our Children, Our Future campaign as a way of advocating for thousands. Being raised by a single mother and, in turn, raising two daughters of her own alone for more than eleven years now, Amy knows firsthand the struggles and obstacles faced by children and families living in poverty.
Amy Jo has worked with at-risk populations since the age of 16, ranging from the elderly to the homeless. Some of her favorite successes are associated with her years as an infant/toddler teacher for Early Head Start. She has served as a volunteer in various leadership roles in an effort to raise awareness and provide opportunities for those struggling with socioeconomic issues. Amy Jo designed and served as the leader for Borrowing A Dad (BAD) ministry, which serves single-mom families as a whole through volunteer male mentors, who serve as borrowed dads for the children, and small group discussion for the moms.
Having always called the hills of West Virginia home, Amy Jo currently resides in Wheeling. Her daughters, ages 10 and 13, are her oxygen and her motivation to keep moving forward. Together they learn, serve, and explore.
Eastern Regional Organizer
Justin Raines is the Eastern Regional Organizer for the Our Children, Our Future campaign. A native of Roane County, WV, Justin spent over a decade working on fracked gas drilling rigs, then became involved in environmental justice activism after seeing the effects of the industry on West Virginia communities. The journey down the rabbit-hole of changing the world was swift from there, from leading a student environmental group at Glenville State College to chairing the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club to organizing around various issues under WVHKFC.
Since becoming an organizer with WVHKFC, Justin has helped local communities build people-centered movements around everything from school funding to environmental justice. His chief joy in life is watching folks seize power back from bad guys in suits, and he looks forward to many, many years of seeing just that.
Kasey Sporck is the Administrative Director at WVHKFC. She was raised in Charleston, WV, and returned after spending 10 years in Washington, DC. She has a master’s degree from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. Prior to joining WVHKFC, Kasey worked for the U.S. International Trade Commission and Scripps Networks Interactive. But, it was her passion for volunteer work for the Junior League of Washington that led her to her current position with WVHKC. In her role as Administrative Director, Kasey focuses on office management, fundraising, and communications. She lives in Charleston, WV, with her husband and two children.
Lucy Ward is a part-time administrative assistant with WVHKFC. She is currently pursuing an MBA with a focus in financial administration at Marshall University, with plans to graduate December 2019. She holds a BBA in international business from Marshall University, with minors in mathematics, international relations, and music performance.
During her time at Marshall University, Lucy has received various scholarships and academic awards for her studious efforts. The most notable she has received thus far is the Morgan-Stanley Bridging Scholarship, where she was one of two essayists in the nation selected to receive funds for an academic year of study abroad in Japan for writing about Japanese economy and society.
In addition to her studies, Lucy is working on starting her own business in her hometown of Huntington, WV. She ranked third in the state of West Virginia at the 2018 Strong Mountain Communities Social Enterprise Business Plan Competition, where she received a mini-grant to help her launch her plan. Lucy hopes to open her shop within the next two years.