Chief Executive Officer
Born and raised in the small cotton-farming community of Lamesa, TX, Sly first attended Midland Community College with the help and encouragement of his high school journalism teacher, a man who demonstrated to him the impact an educator can have on the life of a student. Later attending West Texas State University and majoring in criminal justice administration, Sly followed a diverse career path for the next few years.
Prior to joining Side by Side Kids (Formerly CNS), he was the Southwest Vice President for Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., where he helped develop advocate programs in Arizona, Nevada and Texas. Sly also worked for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and in Bastrop County as a Juvenile Probation Officer and Administrator.
After a period of traveling, Sly settled down with his family in Austin as the Executive Director of Side by Side Kids, a job he actively sought out as a way to make a difference in the lives of children. He approaches the Side by Side Kids’ mission...more
Born into a military family, Piccola grew up moving consistently, which developed her love of people, and her skills in adaptability and problem-solving. As a high school student in Central Texas, she began working with children and recognized her desire to impact their lives. She completed her Bachelors of Social Work at Baylor University, served in missions overseas, and moved to Northern California where she graduated from Bethel School of Ministry. Piccola returned to Texas in June 2016 to be closer to family, and pursue new career opportunities. Since joining the SBSK family, she has added strength and structure to the Volunteer Department while building meaningful connections to students, staff, and partners across the community.more
Afterschool Program Director
Michelle started her journey at Side by Side Kids as an Afterschool Teacher at JJ Pickle Elementary in the fall of 2014. While serving as an Afterschool Teacher, Michelle realized that she loved working with her students at SBSK so much that she was led to be the Site Coordinator at Pickle the following year. Since then, she has been in various leadership and management roles in the Afterschool Program, the most recent being the Afterschool Program Director. In 2012, she graduated from Oral Roberts University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. In 2015, Michelle graduated from Bethel School of Ministry with a focus in leadership, Biblical studies, identity in Christ, and ministry.
Michelle’s hope and desire is that students would know that they are deeply loved by God as a Father and a have a faithful friend in Jesus. Outside of SBSK, Michelle enjoys spending time with her close friends and family, traveling, learning to play the guitar, and keeping up with all things pop culture!more
Human Resources Director
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Lisa moved to Austin to attend college at The University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies and a minor in Business. Throughout her time at UT, she participated in various student and volunteer organizations, where her love for people and making a difference in the local community began to grow and flourish. Through a life-changing encounter with Christ her senior year, she felt the call to stay in Austin upon graduation and help build up His kingdom with the local church in Austin.
Through the years, Lisa’s desire to empower those within the community, especially youth, coupled with the constant reminder of God’s love, grace, and the life-transforming power of the Gospel, has given her a greater purpose to pursue things greater than this world and to further glorify His name and make Him known. She is so excited to see God move within the ministry of Side by Side Kids and is so privileged to be able to...more
A native Texan, Stacy grew up in Fort Worth. She is a graduate from The University of Texas in Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Her professional background includes nursing, medical sales, marketing, and business administration. Highlights of her nursing career include Neonatal Nurse Clinician, Austin, Pediatric Trauma Nurse Educator, San Antonio, and Perinatal Outreach Coordinator, Wichita, KS. Stacy also enjoyed a successful career as a nurse consultant and hospital sales representative for Johnson & Johnson in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
She returned to Austin in 1999 and for the past 19 years, Stacy has been a dedicated mother to her three children and community leader serving her church, EISD schools, and numerous philanthropies throughout Austin. Her commitment to help abused and disadvantaged children is her passion and her mission is to “make a difference today for someone who’s fighting for their tomorrow!”
Avery originally came to Austin to attend The University of Texas and explore a place a little weirder than her hometown, Plano, TX. During her senior year, Avery joined the Side by Side Kids team as our Development Intern. She immediately fell in love with SBSK and the communities she had the opportunity to work with. When she graduated from UT in May 2017, Avery came on board full-time as the Development Specialist. She is passionate about empowering the kids we serve and showing them the love of Christ.
Outside of the office, Avery volunteers as a Young Life leader at a high school in Austin and on UT’s campus. She also enjoys exploring the many unique stores and coffee shops Austin has to offer, playing beach volleyball, traveling, reading, and going to concerts.more
Afterschool Program Coordinator
A native Texan, Carlos was born and raised in Dallas. He moved to Austin in 2012 to attend UT Austin. After graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Economics, Carlos decided to stay in the tech hub to explore what Austin had to offer. After tackling various operations roles, Carlos wanted to discover a greater passion in his work and found his new home as a caretaker for a child with cerebral palsy.
Here at Side by Side Kids, Carlos hopes to couple his prior operations experience with his desire to empower underprivileged youth. Carlos is most excited to inspire youth, develop meaningful relationships and fulfill God’s work through servant leadership.
When not in the office, he dedicates his time serving as a KIDS volunteer at the Austin Stone Community Church and enjoys hiking, cooking, and playing ultimate frisbee.more
Christie interned at Side by Side Kids back in 2016 and loved the vision of this organization so much that she came back as our Volunteer Specialist. Prior to moving to Austin, she lived in Ann Arbor, MI where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan (go blue!) . After graduation, she began working in the corporate world, but quickly realized that her passion was working with youth and empowering others to work with youth as well. She completely switched career paths and began working at an inner city school in Detroit, supporting and teaching students that struggled academically. As she takes on the Volunteer Specialist role, she’s excited to see relationships being built between the volunteers and the kids and the impact of partnership!
When she’s not working, she likes to spend time with her husband and Australian Shepherd, Hamilton, exploring her new city and finding the best baked goods.more
Afterschool Site Coordinator (Oak Hill Elementary)
As a recent graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Devin found her way to Austin through an internship at the Capitol. Throughout her journey in the political world, she felt God calling her to a different path of service, and knew that working for the Lord and for His purpose was where she needed to be. Through faith and prayer, Devin was led to SBSK where she fell in love with the mission and service it offered within the Austin community. She will be serving as a Site Coordinator at one of our newest campuses, Oak Hill Elementary!
Through her own experiences, having been blessed with teachers and family who encouraged and supported her, Devin knows the importance of having these types of mentors show you the value of a relationship with God, character, and education. Throughout high school and college, Devin has served in roles of community engagement, service, student mentorship and biblical teaching for children, allowing her to see...more
Afterschool Site Coordinator (Brown and Barrington Elementary)
Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Abigail never imagined that she would find her way to the great state of Texas. From an early age, she has been passionate about serving others and making them feel valued. Serving on an urban mission trip with her college ministry further reinforced the passion she had for serving the under-served. After graduating from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelors of Science in Microbiology and a Minor in Psychology in May of 2017, she decided to take a leap of faith and move to Tyler, Texas to work as an outdoor education instructor. During this year, Abigail saw the importance of education and knew she wanted to continue impacting young lives.
Abigail finds one of the most rewarding things in life is helping students realize they can achieve anything they put their mind to. Abigail is excited to step into her role as a Site Coordinator where she has the opportunity to help kids achieve their goals by showing them that they are loved...more
Afterschool Site Coordinator (Pickle Elementary)
In 2014 Caroline ventured from her home in DFW to Austin to pursue a degree in Musical Theatre at The University of Texas. She spent four wonderful years training and honing her craft. While musical theatre will always hold a special place in her heart, her degree led her to discover a passion for working with children. She was a Mentor for Texas Musical Theatre Workshop three summers of her college career, working with high school students and watching them grow so exponentially in their artistry, work ethic, and in their social skills. It was one of the most rewarding experiences she’d ever had, so she decided to seek out a career where she could forge these connections and help kids discover their passions as a long-term endeavor. When she came across Side by Side Kids it seemed like the perfect fit, and she knew it was the path God wanted her to take.
Outside of work, Caroline is an avid reader and writer. She loves to cook and bake, sing and dance (even though she’s...more
Afterschool Site Coordinator (Webb Primary)
Originally from rural Kyle, Texas, Anabel is excited to be amongst city folk in Austin. As a recent graduate of Pomona College with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, she has been looking forward to continuing her path of community engagement work at SBSK. Throughout high school, Anabel participated in several programs for low-income youth like Advanced Young Artists, E4 Youth, and College Forward, which has influenced her passion for non-profit work ever since. Anabel has helped coordinate K-12 afterschool and arts programs while in college, and hopes to help provide underserved youth with resources to realize their full potential.
Out of the office, Anabel works with Caminos, a teen arts program at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. She enjoys making artwork, going to local plays, and playing video games for way too long with friends.more
Afterschool Program Specialist
Paris was born and raised just outside of San Francisco, California so she is thrilled to be back in warm weather here in Texas! After graduating from Iowa State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, she worked as a news producer for a local TV news station in northwest Ohio. She moved to Austin in April 2016 and decided to pursue a career in social work after serving as an afterschool teacher in the 4th /5th grade class at Barrington Elementary with Side by Side Kids! She is now currently in the second year of her Masters of Social Work program at UT – Austin and is enjoying the focus on serving children and adults in the community. As a four-year student athlete in college, Paris experienced the power and passion of teamwork and is excited about the opportunity to be part of the SBSK team in connecting with the youth in Austin. She loves spending time in the classroom learning from students and being involved in the experience of growing with God as a...more
Growing up in the military community, Amanda was always surrounded by people of different cultures and upbringings. She fell in love with the American "Melting Pot” from a young age, leading her to obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. Her passion for people outpours from her passion for God and His love for the world and it is this intersection of her heart for God and desire to serve others that led her to Side by Side Kids where she is able to use her creativity and artistic gifts as the Marketing Specialist.
Outside of work, Amanda enjoys spending time with friends, frequenting coffee shops, reading and journaling, and volunteering at music festivals such as SXSW and Austin City Limits.more