The Neighborhood Advocate


Kelly Williams, Editor in Chief

Kelly Williams

Kelly Williams is an author and former TV news reporter who serves as chief marketing and communications officer for Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. She has an extensive background in national nonprofit leadership, multicultural engagement marketing and international corporate communications. Kelly has a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Missouri.




Ryanne Persinger, Co-editor

Ryanne Persinger


Ryanne Persinger is a journalist with a broad range of communications experience. Prior to joining YAP as senior manager of communications, she was a marketing and communications coordinator at a technical college. She also worked in Harrisburg, Pa. as a media specialist for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Democratic Caucus. Ryanne’s work has appeared in newspapers in Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Visalia and Tulare, communities in her home state of California.  



YAP President and CEO Gary Ivory 

Gary Ivory

Since becoming the president of Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., in January 2022, Ivory helped the organization continue to expand to new states and launch new youth justice, behavioral health and innovative violence prevention and safety services. Before joining YAP, Ivory served as a chaplain in the role of youth minister at New Jersey (formerly Trenton) State Prison. He is a graduate of Austin College and has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1996, Ivory was one of ten national leaders awarded the prestigious Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellowship, an intensive and highly selective executive leadership development opportunity. He was also awarded a Fellowship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in 2006.


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