Natina Hopson, community relations director, Missouri region
Natina Hopson is the Community Relations Director for Open Sky Education in St. Louis, MO. She previously served as the Recruitment and Enrollment Coordinator for EAGLE College Preparatory Schools in St. Louis. She has 17 years of community engagement experience working in full-time positions with Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and US Bank. She has worked with several school districts in the region providing business development with Ever-Appropriate Etiquette Institute.
A native of St. Louis, Natina continues to grow in the community by actively building relationships with community leaders, businesses and churches. As an involved parent of an honors student, she is always learning new information that will enhance her ability to continue to serve our communities.
Steven Inman, M.B.A., executive director, Arizona region
With a long-held passion for excellence in education, Steve’s professional career is a blend of business and educational experiences. In his role as executive director, he is responsible for leading the growth and development of EAGLE College Preparatory Schools and Compass Educational Programs in the Arizona region.
Steve previously gained successive managerial experience in marketing, revenue management, and revenue accounting roles. These roles provided him with substantial executive level leadership and management experience in rapidly changing and growing organizations. Concurrently, he authored the supplementary teaching materials for a college retailing textbook on three editions.
Before his transition into business, Steve taught social studies, coached track and field, and helped found a community service club at Glendale High School in Arizona.
Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Arizona State University and received his master of business administration degree from Texas Christian University.
Erica Samz, director of operations, Wisconsin region
Erica comes to the role of regional director of operations after serving as a director of operations at HOPE Fortis for four years. In her regional role, she supports the school level operations in the HOPE schools and ensures excellence and compliance in areas such as the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, finances and vendor relations.
Erica received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduation, she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana where she taught high school foreign language as a Teach For America corps member. She made the decision to use her strengths to impact and improve urban education through school operations and left the classroom to join the school operations team at KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School in New Orleans.
Upon moving back to Milwaukee, she learned about HOPE schools, and found HOPE to be the perfect intersection of her passions – her faith and desire to ensure equal opportunities for all children regardless of socioeconomic status. Erica loves serving behind the scenes to make school operations work seamlessly so teachers and school administrators can focus on scholars.
Fatima Wakefield, community relations director, Wisconsin region
Fatima is a Racine resident and founding family member of HOPE Via in Racine. She has first-hand experience as a HOPE parent and is excited to bring HOPE’s 3 Cs of Christ.College.Character. to more families in her community.
Prior to joining HOPE, Fatima was an Economic Support Worker for Racine County’s Human Services Department where she determined eligibility for various federally funded programs. She is skilled in customer service and is excited to help families with HOPE’s enrollment process, which for many families includes enrollment in the Racine Parental Choice Program.