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                 Heartland180 Staff                    

Executive Director/CEO


Maximilian Mendoza aka "Mr. Max"

                Maximilian is a native of the Kansas City Metro  area. Youth and prevention programs are passions of his and he dedicates a majority of his time to such programs. He himself was a troubled youth who ended up in the juvenile justice system in his adolescence. Coming from a background of drugs and gang activities, system involvement was inevitable. While Max was incarcerated, his cousin was killed in 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 own self-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. 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 could find. He began doing his own community outreach, advocating for juvenile justice reform and speaking to youth groups about his mistakes and overcoming them. Through his volunteer work he eventually made a reputation for himself that eventually reached 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, on the KAG’s Executive Committee, and on the KAG's DMC/RED Committee (Disproportionate Minority Contact/Racial and Ethnic Disparities). He is also serves as a Kansas Secretary of State Appointee to the Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee. Nationally he is a member of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and locally he is involved as a member of the Advisory Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, as a Board Member of P.A.C.E.S., as a Board Member of Keys For Networking and as a mentor to youth in his community.

Parent and Family Support Coordinator


Matthew Zimmer


Matthew (Matt) grew up in the Kansas City area and joined the Heartland 180 team in late September 2022.  Matt will be teaching as well as overseeing the facilitators for The Parent Project and other parent life coaching programs.  Matt brings 30+ years of experience of 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 has a deep passion to help urban families be as healthy as possible.  Matt and his wife have three grown children living in Kansas, Idaho, and Oklahoma.  When not working Matt enjoys great BBQ, reading, working out in the gym (that ain't right!), riding bikes with his wife, and anything outdoors.   

H180 Youth and Parent and Family Support Facilitator


Kayla Carter

Hello! My name is Kayla Carter, and I am a H180 Youth and Parent and Family Support Service 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. 

H180 Coordinator and Lead Facilitator

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Izzy Walker


Izzy Walker is the lead facilitator for the H180 program at Heartland 180. Izzy started working for Heartland 180 as an intern in September 2021 while finishing up school at the University of Kansas. She started working as a facilitator in December 2021 and graduated from KU in May 2022 with pplied Behavioral Science. She has worked with youth for the past 6 years in a variety of settings and looks forward to continuing to work with youth and families in the Kansas City area. Izzy enjoys doing arts and crafts, as well as, spending quality time with her family and loved ones outside of work. She grew up in Lenexa, Kansas and has an older sister and younger sister, that are both two years apart from her. With Izzy’s experience with behavioral interventions and her love for working with youth, she loves being a facilitator for the H180 program.

H180 Assistant Coordinator and
Lead Facilitator

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Myles Wright-Garland

Myles was born in Albany, Georgia but predominately raised in Overland Park and Olathe Kansas. Myles was raised in a very blended family and grew up with five brothers and 4 sisters. Shortly after graduating high school at Olathe South, Myles started his 12-year career in healthcare by obtaining his Certified Nursing Aide and Certified Medication Aide certificates. Myles worked in multiple nursing facilities with varies specialties but mainly worked with geriatric patients and those with Alzheimer/Dementia. Myles went on to secure his Phlebotomy certificate and began working in Dialysis where he also gained his Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician certificate. All the while Myles was also taking classes at JCCC to work towards obtaining his BSN. Although ultimately, he decided that was not his true intended path and took a sabbatical to find a career that better suited him and in March of 2022 Myles began his journey as a Lead Facilitator at Heartland 180. In his free time Myles enjoys taking his dog to the park and getting to spend time with any of his 18 nieces and nephews. Myles is an avid reader and a huge supporter of the LGBTQIA+, Black and Indigenous communities.

H180 and GIM Lead Facilitator


Tryone Weaver

My name is Tyrone Weaver I am a graduate student from Emporia State University. I played football for 4 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 at Washington High School. My main goal and purpose in life is to Influence Greatness with our youth.

H180 Facilitator/Parent and Family Support Facilitator


Kevin Hernandez

Kevin Hernandez studied Graphic Design at Johnson County Community College. Overcoming dramatic life-changing events and having kids of his own he developed a passion to help and educate youth and parents of youth in healthy life and family skills.   Heartland 180 extended to Kevin the opportunity to join their family as a Facilitator helping and educating others in 2022.

Kevin's H180 Goal

“One of the greatest feelings ever is knowing that

that I made a difference in someone’s life”.

Events Coordinator and Facilitator



Nicki Green


Nicki Green started her journey with Heartland 180 in July 2022 as a Program Aide and is currently organizing and overseeing our involvement in a variety of community events. Nicki was previously a General Manager for Retailers Screen-print and will also be overseeing our screen-printing program with our students in the H180 Program. She is a mom to 3 and very passionate about helping parents and families in need.

Program Aide


Bill McNeal

Bill started working at Heartland 180 January 2020, Married 4 children ,6 Grandchildren, Former career worked at Macys Whose 1975 started driving Semi Trucks In 1978, Jack Cooper Transport 1986-1988 Signal Delivery 1988-1992, Associated Wholesale Grocers 1992-2019 . Was elected union steward 1993 Trustee Teamsters Local 955 2003-2009 Vice President 2009-2019. Retired April 26, 2019. Started Working at young women on the move through Heartland 180 Oct 2020 -present  

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