Meet the Leadership Team of YWA




Emma Barnes

Curriculum Specialist


Emma Barnes developed her love of writing at an early age thanks to her mom who was a freelance writer and teachers who were passionate about students learning to write and enjoy it! She published her first story at age 11 and loves teaching writing to children and having them see themselves as authors. Emma currently works as a Curriculum Facilitator in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system working with students, teachers and parents. She has taught first and second grade students in both Title I and suburban schools. Emma earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Education degree from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Reading, Language and Literacy. She is also a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in Reading. Emma is a past recipient of the Ten Outstanding Young Charlotteans Award for her work with literacy in the community and is one of the co-authors of the book Strategies and Lessons for Improving Basic Early Literacy Skills.


Helene Stich

Partner/Program Director


Helene’s love of writing and performing began as soon as she picked up a pencil. Her first ‘writing credit’ came in elementary school when she was an ongoing features writer for the student newspaper. She continued since then to write everything from stage plays, novels, short stories, and poems, some of which have been published. She began acting as a pre-teen and has been in over one dozen stage productions. Helene taught improvisitational acting to both high school students and elementary school children at summer camp. She was a popular feature columnist with her “Ask Helene” column in SUNY Brockport’s campus newspaper and also wrote for the campus television and radio stations. After graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism, she worked for two television stations as well as a radio station in New York and Boston. During these positions, Helene worked on air as a DJ and voice over announcer and behind the scenes as a staff writer. Helene produced and staged two plays in New York and Boston. She has worked as an actor and model in New York, Boston, and now Arizona currently under agent representation. Her latest writing effort is an original two act stage play for the Girl Scouts in Phoenix which will be staged in Jan 2011. She runs social events for her mom’s group at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Avondale and works as a professional meeting/event planner in her spare time. Helene just started her third year as her daughter’s Girl Scout Brownie Leader. She also works as a PTSA and room parent at her daughter’s elementary school. Helene is always creating, teaching, and playing host to kids of all ages and is thrilled to be bringing so much of her experience and passion to the Young Writer’s Academy organization.


Christine Wade

Partner/Program Director


Christine grew up in New York and graduated from SUNY College at Brockport with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology. After college, she worked with MICA (Mentally Ill, Chemically Addicted) adults helping them secure gainful employment through her role as a Vocational Counselor. Christine enrolled in graduate school at CUNY Hunter and completed 30 credits toward a Masters of Education degree. She spent the next 10 years working as a Human Resource Manager within the non-for-profit and technology fields. During this time Christine managed several office locations and human resource staff. One of her critical responsibilities was writing, implementing and presenting training programs that were delivered across the nation, with upwards of 300 professionals in attendance. Christine married the love of her life and had two beautiful daughters. During her time at home, she worked for Making It Count and traveled to high schools throughout North Carolina presenting workshops on “How to be Successful in College”. Through an opportunity with her husband’s company, Christine and her family relocated to London, England for three years. During this time, Christine volunteered her time as a Girl Scout Leader and VP of Activities for AWS. When she returned stateside, she continued her volunteer endeavors by teaching first through third grade Faith Formation classes through St. Matthew’s Church and at her children’s elementary school as a Junior Achievement Instructor. Christine is passionate about working with children and is delighted to bring her education, experience, and skill set to Young Writer’s Academy.



William Wade



William grew up in New York and received a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from C.W. Post College. Upon graduation, William was accepted into a management training program with Citigroup in New York, specializing in the credit card industry. After three years, William accepted a position with Morgan Stanley in New York City broadening his banking experience in the security and investment banking industry. During this seven year period, he received an MBA in Finance and Investments from Baruch College.


After spending over ten years of his career in the NYC area, William and his family were looking for a quality of life change and decided to move to Charlotte, NC. Charlotte offered both a great place to raise a family as well as a deep rooted banking industry. William’s Charlotte-based banking and finance experience has spanned ten years including various roles within finance and accounting, capital markets and investment banking, as well as, a three year overseas assignment in London, England. His over twenty years in the banking business well qualifies him to support the Young Writers’ Academy financial needs. In his spare time, William enjoys spending time with his family and playing tennis.