Meet the Staff 2018-06-18T17:44:50+00:00

Meet the Staff

Jill Hrinda-Patten
Jill Hrinda-PattenExecutive Director
Jill, Founder and Executive Director of Mission Empower, lives with her husband, Kirk Patten, of 24 years and her Son Rodolfo, Rudy, 11 years old. Kirk and Jill went to Guatemala in 2007 to adopt their wonderful son, Rudy. Jill has significant disabilities herself, and she owes her success in life to her parents having high expectations of her and to being included at school completely starting at sixth grade.
Jill brought together other parents and advocates with and without disabilities to form Mission Empower in December, 2007. “We all new that there was a need to support families and students to understand and advocate for true inclusion in school and the community”, Jill said. “Kids were still segregated like I was in the 70’s and 80’s; we had to do something about that!” And thus Mission Empower was born. We formed because of the passion of a small group of committed volunteers working long hours with no to little pay.
Curtis Jones Jr.
Curtis Jones Jr.Assistant Director / Director of Training & Leadership Development
Curtis is a graduate of Mercyhurst Prep High School and Thiel College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Theological Studies. Curtis is the oldest of 14 children and is married and has 4 children of his own. He serves the local community in a variety of ways from political, social, and religious sectors. He has worked in the area of social services specifically with youth for over 15 years.
He has worked as a staff member in residential treatment facility, a TSS worker, an Alternative Education Instructor, and has supervised several programs related to youth development. Curtis has also served as a Youth Pastor and is currently coaching high school track and football. Curtis has and will continue to dedicate himself to empowering people and improving the community that we live in.
Julybeth Cordero
Julybeth CorderoOffice & Volunteer Coordinator
Julybeth is the oldest of 8 children. She went to Penn State for about a year for Accounting then decided to go to Erie Institute of Technology where she graduated with a diploma in Business & Information Management. She loves being able to help others through her vocation. Being that she is bilingual (Spanish & English) she am able to connect with others more closely and help them to better understand their situation in ways other people can’t, not only because of the language barrier but also culturally. Working at Mission Empower has shown her how much both children and adults with disabilities are under-appreciated because they are different. Mission Empower is a place where people with disabilities come to get help and get their voice heard. It is a place that not only helps them but can also tell them that they know what they are going through because they have experienced it through their own lives.
Paige Huggins
Paige HugginsAmeriCorps VISTA / Mission Read Coordinator
Paige is a recent graduate of Mercyhurst University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health and a minor in Pre-Law Studies. During her time at Mercyhurst, Paige was the president of the Mercyhurst University Honors Program and a freshmen area Resident Assistant. Through Paige’s engagement in Erie, she realized her passion for building Erie into a stronger, more resilient community. Paige is excited to be working on Mission Read, which aims to enhance the reading skills of 6-8 year old children that have dyslexia or display dyslexic tendencies.
Britney Myers
Britney MyersYouth ENVISION Connector
My name is Britney Myers. I am the youth envision connector. I am dyslexic and have ADHD, because of this I struggled and felt like I was behind in school. Mission empower helped me and my family through advocating, supporting me, and making sure I got the help I needed in the classroom in high school. through their help I was able to achieve a geology degree from Edinboro University. Now it’s my turn to help other youth achieve their dreams.
Elizabeth Scott
Elizabeth ScottMission Employment Connector
Elizabeth was born and raised in Erie County and still lives in this area to this day. She is married and a mom of two beautiful children. She graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree of Specialized Studies; she then graduated again from Edinboro in 2009 with another BA, this time in Geography/Environmental Studies. Being diagnosed as hearing impaired at the age of 7, she brings roughly 30 years of experience of living with a disability to Mission Empower.
Shawn Rodgers
Shawn RodgersFamily Support Connector
Norma Lewis
Norma LewisMission Employment Connector
Norma is the youngest of 5 children, lives in Girard, PA. Has a wonderful husband Rick, 2 wonderful adult children, Michael & Rebecca and 2 precious grandsons, Bryan and Riley. With being involved in her church and youth groups, she has been committed to the youth. She did own her own business for 13 years, hired youth and worked with the public for many years. Through the years, she has seen a need to guide the youth to see what different opportunities that they can achieve. Norma is excited to work with Mission Employment and guide the youth to know their prospects and help them to get a start for their future.
Jeannete Settlemaier
Jeannete SettlemaierFamily Support Connector
Jeanette comes to us with years of experience as a classroom teacher. Her passion is supporting children and their families to further their education. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

She is the middle child, raised in a military family. She is a proud Army Brat and knows the strengths and difficulties of moving to new schools frequently. Her parents relocated to Erie, PA after they retired from the military. Jeanette decided to settle in Erie, PA with her husband and two daughters to be closer to her parents and siblings.

Consultants

Joseph Weber
Joseph WeberWeb Manager
Joe graduated from Allegheny College with a bachelors degree in Environmental Science and Studio Art (double major). He was inspired to create a successful program those who have disabilities during college when he led a chapter of Best Buddies International. Now was the youth program coordinator (also known as Youth ENVISION) at Mission Empower, focusing on developing a two-pronged Transition Success Pilot Program utilizing best practices of self-advocacy / determination and building social capital of youth ages 14-18 in Erie County. He now serves the organization remotely, focusing on web development and design.