Our Team



As a 2002 graduate of Baylor University earning a Master of Social Work, Kelly is a licensed social worker in the State of Texas. She has called Waco home for the last 20 years. During that time, Kelly served in a variety of roles in consulting, higher education, religiously-affiliated social service organizations and congregations, with an ultimate desire to help people of faith to “do good well.” Prior to joining the Cove, Kelly was the Associate Director of the Center for Church and Community Impact, of the Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University. Kelly’s passion is to see individuals and families thrive in healthy communities. She came to the Cove in March of 2018 and enjoys working with this stellar team, grant writing and strategic planning. While not at work, she can be found relishing time with her three children and husband, John.


Kelly Atkinson, LMSW, Executive Director


Kayleigh was raised in Waco for most of her life. This city has a special place in her heart! Kayleigh graduated with her masters in social work from Baylor University in 2009. She has worked with older adults who have had dementia or Alzheimer's, in hospice, and was most recently the STARRY Foster Care Director in Round Rock. When she's not working, she can be found spending time with her husband and daughters exploring fun things in Waco. She loves coffee, people and organizing!


Kayleigh Cunningham,

LMSW, Assistant Director


Tosin is a new transplant from Houston where she managed youth services at a homeless shelter for five years. While serving, she finished her Masters of Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. Tosin is Nigerian-American, and is up for adventure, deep and honest conversation, and finding the top BBQ spots in Texas.


Tosin Akande, Director of Student Services


Britney is a graduate of Texas A&M University with her B.B.A. in Accounting. She has experience in public accounting as well as real estate, construction, medical, and non-profit organizations just to name a few. She is very excited to be at The Cove working with a great team for a great cause! When she’s not working, Britney enjoys spending time with her husband on his family’s farm, FaceTiming with her nephews and watching re-runs of Friends.


Britney Holy, Finance Manager


A proud native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, March graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Language and Linguistics. She began her year of service as the AmeriCorps VISTA in November 2018. Her work as The Cove's VISTA has aided the organization's resource development, from donor management to giving Cove facility tours. In addition to working full-time at The Cove, March tutors English Language Learners (ELLs) from all over the world through Rosetta Stone. She is an Enneagram 9 wing 8 who enjoys learning about different cultures, talking about language and social justice, listening to music and hanging out with friends.


March Rivera, AmeriCorps VISTA


Emma Whitaker, Public Relations and Marketing Associate

Emma Whitaker is currently a senior at Baylor University studying journalism, public relations and new media, with a minor in art. Emma grew up and lived in Temple before attending Baylor. She has a heart for inner city youth and has worked for Kids Across America. Emma loves art and can be found freestyle painting in her free time. Emma is also a writer, passionate about social justice and works for Baylor’s newspaper, The Lariat. She just got married this summer and can be found hanging out with her husband.


Our Board of Directors 

David Brennan , Board Chair


Rosemary Townsend, Fundraising Chair and Co-Founder


Cheryl Pooler, Personnel Chair and Co-Founder 

Diana R Garland School of Social Work 

Amy Jimenez, Programming Chair

waco isd homeless student population specialist 

Stephen Orr, Finance Chair 

Community volunteer

Kim Ellis 

Waco isd homeless liaison

Shelly Spinks

Pattillo, brown, & hill, llc

Lute Barber 

Haley & Olson

Denise Anderson

Law office of nora farah

Kattina Bryant

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Lakia Scott

baylor university school of education; director of freedom schools, waco  

Jill Van Zee

baylor university department of human resources 

Alicia Burns

First national bank of central texas



Corporate Partnerships


compassionate capitalism...

While maximizing the return to shareholders is a primary driver for corporate owners and executives, many business leaders are beginning to broaden their vision. Business can—in and of itself—be a force for good in communities by providing good products, providing jobs, and bolstering economies.

When shareholder values are maximized, there is often a ripple effect of benefit in a given community. However, when maximizing Profit becomes the sole driver for business decisions, People and the Planet can suffer. The concepts of “compassionate capitalism,” “a triple bottom line,” “social innovation,” “social entrepreneurship,” “Benefit Corporations” and “corporate social responsibility” have become more broadly used in the last decade, decrying a change in the landscape for both for-profit and non-profit entities.

Thirty years ago, some would have said, “You go into business to make money. You go into nonprofit work to make a difference in the world.” Today, those lines are blurred and there are an increasing number of ways for social purposes to be advanced through private enterprise.

The Cove is poised to partner with private corporations in ways that can provide meaningful ways to serve and much-needed resources to marginalized young people in our community.

To learn more about making a difference in Waco through corporate partnerships with The Cove, contact us at (254) 224-6095 or Kellya@thecovewaco.org.