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Maximilian Mendoza

aka "Mr. Max"

Executive Director/CEO

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Team

                Maximilian is a native of the Kansas City Metro area. Youth and prevention programs are his passions, and he dedicates most of his time to such programs. In his adolescence, he was a troubled youth who ended up in the juvenile justice system. System involvement was inevitable, coming from his background of drugs and gang activities. While Max was incarcerated, his cousin was killed in a drive-by shooting. This incident helped initiate his reform. He opened up to the opportunities provided; through the help of mentoring and the realization of his intrinsic value, he began working to reform his life. While working on his education and participating in activities that allowed him to help his fellow inmates, Max developed a passion for helping those like him.

                Upon his release, Max continued his education in Social Work. However, due to his criminal background, he had difficulties finishing his degree and finding work in that field. His determination did not allow that to stop him. He volunteered to work with youth at every opportunity. He began doing community outreach, advocating for juvenile justice reform, and speaking to youth groups about his mistakes and overcoming them. He eventually made a reputation for himself through his volunteer work, reaching the attention of the Kansas governor’s office.

                In 2012, Max became a governor appointee to the Kansas Advisory Group (KAG) on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In the first year of his term, he was sent to Washington, D.C., for the Coalition for Juvenile Justice national conference. He learned about youth engagement training and returned to Kansas with the information for the KAG to receive a federal grant for the training and development of a state youth committee. He was appointed chairperson and remains active with that committee today.

                In addition to serving on the KAG’s Youth Committee, Max also serves as the Chairman of the KAG's Membership Committee, the KAG’s Executive Committee, and the KAG's DMC/RED Committee (Disproportionate Minority Contact/Racial and Ethnic Disparities). He is also a Kansas Secretary of State Appointee to the Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee. Nationally, he is a member of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Locally, he is involved as a member of the Advisory Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, a Board Member of P.A.C.E.S., a Board Member of Keys For Networking, and a mentor to youth in his community.

Micah Latimer
Lead Facilitator

                Hi ALL! I am Micah Latimer, the Youth Support Coordinator for Heartland 180. Being a happy person, smiley, and talkative is who I love to be! I love making people happy! I started with youth work in the Wyandotte area in 2020. I have a past background in incarceration and youth. I worked in multiple daycares and was employed as a nanny for about six years, and I have run other juvenile youth programming. I am currently the Support Services Director at YouthBuild and have three children of my own, all girls. I enjoy being outside; I LOVE coffee, rainbows, smiley faces, and thrift store shopping. I AM

OBSESSED WITH CUPS. I enjoy building connections with students and learning about them and how something so simple can change their mindset on things.

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Tyrone Weaver
Lead Facilitator

My name is Tyrone Weaver. I am a graduate student from Emporia State University. I played football for four years for the Hornets and won a championship in 2012. I have been a Mentor, Life Coach, Sports Coach, and teacher. I have taught Growing Into Manhood and Strengthening Families, and now I’m a lead facilitator in the H180 program. My main goal and purpose in life is to influence greatness in our youth.

                Hello! My name is Kayla Carter, and I am a Youth, and Parent and Family Support Facilitator at Heartland 180.  I am a Wyandotte County native and am very proud of where I come from. As a Kauffman Scholar, I graduated from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in 2016 and furthered my education at Baker University, completing a bachelor's degree in public health in 2020. Being a Kauffman Scholar granted me the opportunity to attend college at no cost to me. My mission is to provide guidance and opportunities to Wyandotte County residents that will prepare them for life’s obstacles and improve their overall quality of life. I am excited to serve the wonderful residents of Wyandotte County and see a positive change in our community. 

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Kayla Carter
Facilitator

                Matthew (Matt) grew up in the Kansas City area and joined the Heartland 180 team in late September 2022.  Matt brings 30+ years of experience working with youth and their parents. Previously, Matt has worked with urban youth in Skid Row, Los Angeles, and with youth in suburban and rural settings in Missouri, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. He is deeply passionate about helping urban families be as healthy as possible.

                Matt and his wife have three grown children living in Kansas, Idaho, and Kentucky.  When not working, Matt enjoys great BBQ, reading, working out in the gym, riding bikes with his wife, and anything outdoors.   

Matthew Zimmer
Facilitator

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My name is Sandy Lewandowski and I have been involved in healthcare for much of my career, but I love people and want to expand a great organization and help focus on the health of youth and families in our community. I look forward to mentoring youth and families through Heartland 180.

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Sandy Lewandowski
Development

Bill McNeal
Program Aide

Bill started working at Heartland 180 January 2020. He is married with four children and six grandchildren. In his former career, Bill worked in warehouses and shipping and transportation. Having served on union boards for over fifteen years, he finally retired in April of 2019. He has now gone on to work at Young Women On the Move and Heartland 180 as a way to give back.

                Having grown up all over the Midwest, Stephanie experienced life from north to south in cities and outside of them. A wide variety of experiences showed her an extensive range of people who were not empowered to overcome the challenges in their lives as she has been. After working to discover her calling, Stephanie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health science with an emphasis on trauma and her master’s degree in mental health and wellness. Her heart is to help people holistically seek health and live into their best lives, breaking generational cycles and creating healthier families. 

                Stephanie and her husband, Sean, live in the KC Metro area with their two sons and are thankful to have found a community that offers the hope of space to grow for all of them, both individually and as a family.

Stephanie Henderson
Executive Assistant

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