Mary Hlastala, Founder and President
After earning her B.S. in Mathematics from Portland State University, Mary wanted to create a program that would encourage more girls to pursue math and science careers. After the success of her first business, Math In Color, she wanted to launch a nonprofit to help low-income families gain access to math programs. Mary is the lead instructor for each camp and creates all of the programming for Girls Count. When she's not working she likes to read and spend time outside with her dog, Patty.
Breana Whittington, Secretary
Bre is a soon to be graduate of Portland State, and multi-tasking crafter. As someone working towards her B.S. in Mathematics, Bre has seen the gender divide in STEM Fields. She joined Girls Count because she believes it will influence young women and she wanted to support the cause. Bre has previously interned with OHSU and was a CommuniCare Group Facilitator for Girls Inc.
Mark Parrish, Director
Mark is has been a mathematics educator for over ten years. His experience teaching ranges from Pre-School to Graduate School. As a proud father, Mark is involved in Girls Count because he believes in the equity of a mathematical education, but also wants to bond with his daughter playing with math.
Stephanie Renfro, Director
Stephanie has a deeply rewarding career in research that draws on degrees in mathematics and statistics. She understands the societal pressures on young girls that account for their underrepresentation and undervaluation in the STEM sciences, and knows the value early support and encouragement can yield. Stephanie joined Girls Count to help cultivate the next generation of scientists.
Benita Joseph, Director
Benita retired in 2019 after 31 years with United Parcel Service. Her experience with the fortune 500 company ranges from operations to human resources. Benita believes math education and its application in all aspects of a person’s life in conjunction with mentorship provides the confidence young girls crave to be successful leaders in non-traditional roles. As a diverse member of the community she see’s Girls Count as a mechanism to support the growth of women to executive level positions in business. Although retired, Benita’s passion is to give back to the community as others have done for her as a young child.
In the words of Jim Casey, founder of United Parcel Service, “One measure of your success…will be the degree to which you build up others who work with you. While building up others you will build up yourself---1945.”
Claire Miller, Camp Instructor
Claire spent twenty-two years cooking in Portland restaurants before returning to school to study mathematics. She loves the way that cooking and math relate, and loves teaching others how both of these skills come together into one really fun package! Who knew math could be so tasty? She loves taking long walks around her neighborhood in the rain, snuggling with her cat Sammy, trying out new recipes, and introducing young people to the wonders of math and how it fits into their lives in ways they never could have imagined.
Leah Martin-Rosenthal, Camp Instructor
With a Master's in Teaching and an endorsement in middle school math, Leah is fired up about facilitating meaningful and deep math conversations with young people. She knows the best math learning happens in a community where kids feel safe to take risks and try on challenges. When not teaching math, Leah can be found baking bread, going for a run, or watercolor painting!