Meet the Founder

Work to do

We are only as strong as those who carry us. We are passionate about our work and love every minute of it!

Leah B. Mazzola : Founder/President/CEO & Researcher

Leah B. Mazzola

Founder/President/CEO & Researcher

Leah is a PhD Forensic Psychology student with a love for all things research related. Her focus areas are paths to delinquency, criminal desistance, and the role of socio-emotional and cognitive control system development in adolescent risk-taking, impulsivity, and problem behavior. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and Management and Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice.  She is a member of the American Psychological Association,  American Psychology-Law Society, Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, International Positive Psychology Association, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Society for Humanistic Psychology, and the Society for Psychological Study of Ethnic and Minority Issues.

Leah’s passion for research and practice with at-risk and high-risk youth stems from her own experience bearing the label. She grew up at-risk and transitioned to high-risk in early adolescence. She grew up socioeconomically disadvantaged, lost a 16-year-old brother and cousin to homicide by peers over drugs, a 16-year-old brother to prison, and a 16-year-old cousin to suicide. She spent her teens involved in delinquency, drug abuse, and other harmful activities that she now dedicates her life to helping other young people avoid. She came to her “ah ha” moment at 17, made drastic changes, and made it out to achieve personal, academic, and professional success thought beyond her reach as a teen. She now dedicates her time to research and program development for effective science-based interventions to help other high-risk young people overcome and thrive.

leah@cjisci.org
Keegan Kraemer : Researcher

Keegan Kraemer

Researcher

Keegan is a PhD Organizational Psychology student passionate about conducting research to promote positive social change.  Her primary research interests include the role of stereotyping, prejudice, and stigma in motivation, and performance, in teens and young adults. She is dedicated to exploring these areas of research in order to develop and implement programs that can provide youth with practical life skills. Keegan is a member of the Psi Chi Honors Society, a student affiliate of the American Psychological Association, and Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists.

Although considered a “good kid” until the age of 15, Keegan experienced at-risk behaviors first hand. As a teen she was involved with drug use, drinking, and a peer group that perpetuated the behavior. Once a young, single mother, Keegan can relate to the struggles of having to turn her life around and care for a child. Although she grew up in a middle-class family with supportive parents, she engaged in many high risk activities in which her parents were largely unaware. Her current mission is to support young people in their search for themselves and helping them realize that life is good, both in, and beyond the teen years.

keegan@cjisci.org

Our Board

Leah B. Mazzola, Founder, President, & CEO

John A. Mazzola, Vice President & COO, Senior Process Improvement Manager at E-Rewards

Jeremiah Bustos, Treasurer & CITO, Manager, Global Solutions Delivery (MES) at Pfizer

Mark Barrientos, Secretary & Board Member, Teacher at Dallas Independent School District

Angela Terry, MS, Board Member, Teacher at Dallas Independent School District

Christina DeLaTorre, Board Member, Sr. Account Specialist, Children’s Medical Center