Meet the staff members that are helping NFTE Baltimore/Washington Metro run smoothly!


Darlene Ajayi, Manager Programs (Baltimore)
Darlene Ajayi has a deep personal commitment to education and economic empowerment, and is a well-respected education and small business development specialist. She is a firm believer in preparing students to “make a job” instead of “preparing them to get a job.” Prior to joining NFTE, Darlene was employed by the United Stat es Information Service and the Institute for International Education, and served as the educational adviser to the US Consulate in Kaduna, Nigeria, promoting higher education opportunities in the United States. She has been recognized by NFTE as an Employee of the Year (2008) , and Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year (2003); and has received recognition from the City of Baltimore, Maryland State Department of Education, National Council on Economic Education and a host of other educational and civic organization for her dedication and commitment to youth empowerment. Darlene holds an undergraduate degree in business and public administration from the University of Baltimore and a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Johns Hopkins University.


Amir Alhambra, Lead Program Associate (DC Region)

Amir joined NFTE in August 2013, and enjoys collaborating with colleagues to develop effective strategies for our students' success. He is also deeply interested in educational reform efforts to improve organizational leadership, special education law, teacher effectiveness, and student achievement. Amir is currently a doctoral candidate at The George Washington University’s Doctorate in Educational Administration and Policy Studies program, and writing a legal dissertation concerning special education students involved in disciplinary due process hearings. Amir graduated from the University of Southern California and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Class of 2000) and Master of Arts in Teaching Social Sciences (Class of 2008) from the University of Southern California. He currently holds a valid Administrative Services Credential for K-12 Grade Levels within the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia. In addition, he holds valid teaching licenses in history and social studies in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, and California. Amir seeks knowledge about the growth and development of children, and enjoy working with a great team to help each student achieve success in entrepreneurship and college and career readiness.

Nakeia Jones, Lead Program Associate (Baltimore/Washington DC Metro)