Meet the lovely folks that work behind the scenes to make sure Hamilton Scholars runs smoothly and provides the highest quality support and service to all our Scholars!

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Angela Hedwall

Executive Director

I am a dedicated administrator, clinician, and educator with a passion for addressing inequities via social justice and education. I know from my own experience that education is a means of effecting positive change over disadvantage and oppression, and ensuring that students have appropriate and engaged support systems in place is a vital aspect of holistic development, successful student graduation outcomes, and building the future of other service-oriented leaders. As a first-generation college graduate from a very close-knit, low-income family in a rural agrarian community that was uncertain how to make college a reality, AHS’ organizational mission and focus on contributing to the values of authenticity, equity, growth, inclusion, and unity for current and future generations via education, mentorship, and service resonates with me.

I firmly believe that leadership is a service model and within that model the aim is to ensure the creation of a culture of inclusion, diversity, and shared governance with the overarching goal of student mentorship, persistence, and retention.

I hold an Ed.D in Counseling Psychology and have worked extensively with diverse populations in myriad settings including low income, at risk students, adolescents, college students, career counseling, veterans, LGBTQIA, international, and forensic clients/patients.

I value authenticity and transparency in myself and respect the same in others. I am proudly nerdy and love reading, listening to music, traveling with my equally nerdy husband, and watching Dr Who.

I always attempt to follow the sagacious advice of the 12th Doctor: “Never be cruel and never be cowardly. And if you ever are, always make amends.”


Darlene Germino

Assistant Director

I am passionate about building a more just and equitable society through education. This passion is rooted in my experiences as a first-generation college student, daughter of Filipino immigrants, and advocate for out-of-school and underserved youth. After graduating from Seattle University with a BA in Humanities for Teaching, I served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Terengganu, Malaysia. Some highlights from that year were starting a singing club where students and I sang Taylor Swift and Rihanna songs, traveling to several SE Asian countries and Australia, making lifelong friends, and finding a monitor lizard under my bed.

At AHS, I have the opportunity to help facilitate Hammies’ growth as leaders who positively impact their communities and the world. The Hammies constantly inspire me with their resilience despite adversity and their commitment to service. Second to my love for working with the Hammies is my interest in DJing (both on the radio and as a turntablist) specializing in love song dedications, 80s-00s crowd-pleasers, epic scores, and nu funk/disco. During fundraisers and other special events, I’ve showcased my skills as AHS’ “Resident DJ” (aka D-Genius, aka curator of awesome playlists).

The greatest D-Genius wisdom I can give you in the form of a song lyrics mash-up is this:
The truth is kept secret, it’s swept under the rug / if you never know truth then you never know love;
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together;
If you wanna make the world a better place / take a look at yourself and make a change;
And you’ll finally see the truth / that a hero lies in you.
– Black Eyed Peas, Des’ree, Michael Jackson, and Mariah Carey


Bre Legan

Marketing and Volunteer Manager

Growing up in a rural farming community of 700 in Missouri, with a lack of access to opportunities, but also a drive to change the world in my own way, I desired a supportive group of likeminded peers to navigate the transitionary waters. I found this camaraderie in my Hammie Family. I became a Hamilton Scholar in 2013 and have since completed the Hamilton curriculum and graduated Summa Cum Laude as a first-generation college student from Drury University and Santa Reparata International School of Art. I received my BA in Writing, Photography, and Graphic Design and had the opportunity to study European politics, human migration, and artistic application in Italy (Florence ‘16-‘17, Rome ‘18). I strive to provide a platform for underserved and underrepresented people and try every day to be the best version of myself.

I do a little bit of everything with AHS, from marketing and social media to program development and all sorts of art and design work. I am hoping my unique perspective as a Hamilton alum will allow us to portray the human element of our brilliant scholars and keep moving forward.

Speaking of moving forward, I do love traveling! I’ve lived and worked in India and Italy and traveled to more than 20 countries and counting! I am a big fan of aliens, beards, hairless (and hairy) cats, revolutions, watercolor, and my pal, Bigfoot. I’m a vegetarian-in-progress and an incessant tripper (ask me about the time I fell into the canals in Venice). I was once told I smell like old women and star dust. I’m snarky and I laugh too much. I’m allergic to cinnamon.

I do travel writing and photography on the side. Ramble with me at Wanders & Rambles!


Mikala Lain

Program Manager

“Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.” 
― Cheryl Strayed

I’m constantly learning from the people around me, whether it be Cheryl Strayed, my fellow Hammies, or the Starbucks worker who knows my order by heart.  I recently graduated Cum Laude from Butler University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration. When I’m not reading research articles or attempting to not kill my house plants, you can definitely find me somewhere outside. I love hiking, kayaking, and all things nature. If I don’t end up living in a tent in the woods someday, I would like to become a Child Life Specialist and employ play therapy to help children in hospitals around the world. My past research has led to my determination to help those who are unable to help themselves, especially children and older adults.

I’m a big advocate for AHS (American Horror Story) and AHS (Alexander Hamilton Scholars). After my time spent as a 2015 scholar, I served as the summer intern for AHS in 2018 where I was given the opportunity to connect with new Hammies and bask in their impactful glow of awesomeness. It was through these experiences that I developed my passion for this program and decided to return in a full-time position. I am eager for the opportunity to collaborate with more cohorts and inspire growth in the program as I continue to grow as a person. AHS has given me some wonderful memories that have molded me into the person I am today. One of my fondest memories of leader week involves bolting out “God Bless America” off-pitch at 3 a.m. on the last night together - now that is an American Horror Story.

A prominent goal outlined in my PDP is to give back to the communities that have previously given to me, which aligns perfectly with my position here at AHS. I’m eager to provide for my fellow Hammies while also gaining invaluable knowledge from the awesome team here. AHS has had such a positive impact on my life, and I am so lucky to have a bigger part in the program.


Lynell Engelmyer

Program Advisor and College / Financial Aid Counselor

Lynell's education experience came from the admission offices at Union College (NY) and Hartwick College (NY) and as the Director of Financial Aid at Lebanon Valley College (PA). She has also worked for The College Board before beginning her own college counseling practice.

Lynell graduated summa cum laude from Albright College (PA) and earned a master´s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Higher Education Administration (where one of my most difficult tasks was getting her own student loan processed!). She has been involved with private college counseling for 10 years, and she has volunteered at various college admission and financial aid programs including several which assist underserved populations on the road to college. Lynell loves writing and teaching students about the writing process. She is married and the mother of two children who she hope will someday acknowledge her skill in this field when it´s their turn for college!


Kelly Herrington

Senior Advisor and College Counselor

Kelly first witnessed educational inequity while attending a large and diverse public high school. Since college, he has been devoted to helping America's most talented but under-supported students attain the opportunities they deserve. He was drawn to Hamilton Scholars due to the fact that it is more than just a scholarship organization; a career educator, Kelly knows how important it is to mentor students during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Kelly Herrington is a graduate of Union College, where he worked as an Associate Dean of Admissions and Director or International Admissions for seven years. For the past six years he has served as the Director of College Counseling at University Prep in Seattle, WA. Kelly received his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Kelly's articles on college admissions have appeared in the Washington Post, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling Journal and most prominently in his grandmother's scrapbook. He helped create Camp College, an early intervention and access program for students of color. He has served on National Association for College Admissions Counseling's (NACAC) Human Relations Committee. He was the recipient of NACAC's rising star award in 2003 and the John Muir Editor's Award in 2005. 

In his spare time Kelly enjoys running, biking, triathlons and hiking. In 1998, Kelly biked across the country with his father in a charity ride for the American Lung Association. An avid reader, a good book and a large Coca Cola make him very happy.

Interested in a career with AHS? See our open positions here.