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Welcome to Her Success Story.

Women inspire me every single day. Their tenacity, wit, enthusiasm, power and grace have provided the world with amazing businesses that have transformed industries. Her Success Story is a podcast that allows these impactful and fascinating women to share their success journey with the world. Their triumphs, along with their failures. Their lessons, along with their leadership. And their determination to follow their dreams. Listen in each week as we talk to women in fashion, coaching, corporate, legal and so much more.

Our theme song is Irresistible Me by Cindy Rainne. 

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Jan 3, 2022

Danielle Guindo and Kimberly Pennington 

This week Ivy Slater, host of Her Success Story, chats with her guests, Danielle Guindo and Kimberly Pennington. The three of them talk about how Read Alliance has been accelerating the academic trajectory of early elementary students through the power of teen leaders for the last 21 years and how they work together to make programming happen successfully.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Read Alliance has been accelerating the academic trajectory of early elementary students through the power of teen leaders for the last 21 years
  • Danielle’s path to becoming the executive director, Kimberly’s path to becoming a volunteer, and how they work together to make programming happen
  • What Read does to get high school students involved as empowered community members
  • What they did to bring the kids together in the struggles of the pandemic, and otherwise
  • The win-win-win for all involved in this program, and the impact they are making
  • How developmental workshops incentivize long-term involvement for young leaders
  • The data-driven measurement tool that ensures progress in the children’s academic progress
  • The growing need for reading intervention, and how Read Alliance’s virtual delivery model has doubled their relevance and impact
  • How the dual mission impacts volunteers, teen leaders, and young readers
  • The well-structured corporate partnership model that connects funds and resources with the humanity behind them
  • What we can do to give of ourselves for this mission, and help with the expansion of it

Danielle Guindo is the Executive Director of Read Alliance, an organization with a 20+ year history of effectively improving the literacy skills of striving early readers by pairing them one-on-one with paid teen leaders trained to implement a leveled phonics-based curriculum. Read Alliance partners with NYC public schools in under-resourced communities, and through a community empowerment model recruits and employs young people who live or attend high school in the same neighborhoods as individual reading tutors and role models. 

Before joining Read Alliance as its Executive Director in July 2018, Danielle served as Chief Program Officer at YWCA Brooklyn, where she led the expansion of programs serving young women of color in the borough in college access, leadership development, and economic empowerment. Prior to YWCA Brooklyn, Ms. Guindo was Vice President for Programs and Policy at The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc. where she was responsible for expanding and implementing youth programs and education initiatives across the five boroughs including: robust after school programming for elementary schoolchildren and community school partnerships; teen pregnancy prevention and young men’s initiatives in middle and high schools; and collaborating with multiple partners to advocate for programs and policies that promote equity in education. 

Ms. Guindo has been published and presented on topics ranging from effective family engagement, implementing and measuring social and emotional learning in youth programming, elements of high quality early education for multilingual learners, best practices in youth development, and effective K-12 non-profit/school partnerships. Danielle is a member of the Education Trust NY Advisory Council, and is the daughter of NYC public school educators.

Kimberly Pennington is the Business Development Officer for Key Merchant Services covering the Hudson Valley/Metro New York Region at KeyBank. At Key, Kimberly focuses on helping mid-size to small businesses in the $0-25MM space with merchant processing solutions. Kimberly also serves as President of the Key Young Professionals and sits on the Key4Women Committee which supports the financial progress and empowerment of businesswomen.

As a civic leader, Kimberly is heavily involved in the community. She sits on the Board of Directors for various nonprofits including READ Alliance, Girls Inc. of Westchester County, and the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region. Kimberly also volunteers with ArtsWestchester, Center for Prevention against Child Abuse, New York City Parks Foundation, and the Women’s Leadership Alliance.

Kimberly holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from Berkeley College in addition to various program certificates from Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Kimberly is also part of the Business Council of Westchester’s Rising Star Class of 2021 and Leadership Dutchess Class of 2022.


Kimberly Pennington

Danielle Guindo