Debra Germany Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ms. Germany is married and worked as an administrator at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a graduate of Geneva College with a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership (MSOL), and a B.S. in Business from Point Park University. Her life changed on July 9, 2001 when her only child, Raymond, was murdered – shot seven times in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Through the death of her son, she said DIM was birthed in her spirit.
With God as her guide, Ms Germany is determined to reach back and help as many people as she can to know that with God, all things are possible. She truly believes that “if you have God in your life, you can do the impossible, reach the unreachable, and bear the unbearable.
DIM started in 2002 by using billboards to bring attention to unsolved murders and to find community solutions to crime. It also sought to soothe grieving family members who lost loved ones to violence. But in 2006, it changed its direction to focus on restoring the lives of incarcerated adults and at-risk youth by launching the IMPACT – (Interceding Making Positive Actions Come Together)- program.
IMPACT focuses on restoring the lives of incarcerated adults and at-risk youth through comprehensive assistance linking individuals with effective community resources needed for a successful transition back into society and productive lifestyle. Divine Intervention specifically addresses the needs of at-risk youth as well as adults with a criminal record by providing criminal record management, and verified referrals to local mental health/mental retardation counseling, housing, workforce development, clothing and transportation support services.
In 2009, Ms Germany was approached by the Pennsylvania Prison Society to bring a new pilot mentoring program to Pittsburgh. Through funding by the Department of Justice Second Chance Act Grant, the Building Bridges – A Second Chance Initiative program – was born. And DIM, in partnership with the Prison Society, the Department of Justice and the State Department of Corrections. Divine Intervention Ministries matched trained mentors with pre- and post-released inmates to assist their reintegration into society.
Having put her complete trust in God, she stepped-out on faith and worked diligently to open an office for this program in the Hill District. The program provided training to inmates behind the walls and then worked with them, upon release to connect them to resources and service providers when they return home to help them successfully transition back into society.
In September, 2011, DIM began a partnership with Renewal, Inc., a private, non-profit organization providing alternative housing and community corrections services to individuals in the County, State and Federal criminal justice systems. DIM has initiated a faith-based transitional program modeled after the Prison Fellowship Inner Change Freedom Initiative program that will enroll men and women in separate 12 week programs that will provide intensive discipleship, practical resources, and mentoring to individuals incarcerated at Renewal and anticipating release.
Ms Germany is a Licensed Minister at Central Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, PA where she operates a Gospel Music Ministry. She is also a member of its Intercessory Prayer Ministry and served as Director of Prison Ministry Services from 2006 to June 2010. DIM received its non-profit status in June 2010 and, as a result, its Reentry/After Care Program became a separate entity from the church.
Germany also served as a board member of the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime, a Convener of the Pennsylvania Prison Society of both Somerset and Laurel Highlands state correctional institutions and a member of Wailing Women and Men Ministries. She is a much sought-after public speaker and travels throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio speaking to at-risk youth, incarcerated adults in prisons, boot camps, churches, public schools and universities. Her goal is always to bring the message of Hope in Christ, to speak life into dead places and situations.
She has received numerous awards for her work. Most recently Ms. Germany was the recipient of the 2013 Sally Hillman Childs Award from Renewal Inc. Ms. Germany was also the recipient of the 2013 Servant Leader Award from Geneva College. In 2012 she received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Governor Tom Corbit and John Wetzel, Secretary of the Department of Corrections for the mentoring program she leads in Renewal Inc. for inmates nearing release.
Chaquita Barnett – Board Chair
As a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, Board Chair Chaquita Barnett is a product of the Pittsburgh Public Schools (Schenley High School). She received her Bachelors of Arts in Communications degree from Penn State University (University, Park, PA) and Masters of Organizational Leadership from Geneva College. After 23 years in the Healthcare Industry, she began a second career with a vocation to serve individuals desiring to transform their lives. As an Associate Director of Career Services at DeVry University, she worked with both undergraduate and graduate students to find suitable careers and life balance. Compassion for the community was the underlying catalyst to plunge into workforce development. The current role of Program Director embodies her experience of curriculum development, mentoring, community outreach, planning career events, presenting at events to communicate employment opportunities at schools, non-profit organizations, and churches. She is an ordained Deacon, Superintendent of Sunday School, serves on advisory boards and a member of the Alpha Iota Alpha – non collegiate, Christian sorority dedicated to community service.
Dr. Ella M. Macklin – Board Vice Chair
Dr. Ella M. Macklin’s philosophy about teaching is the result of 25 years of professional experience as a special education services coordinator and teacher. She believes that everyone can learn by focusing on a variety of learning styles and making adaptations. She teaches minor and adult students with learning disabilities, those who are gifted/talented and trains educators who instruct students with all ability levels. Dr. Macklin earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Duquesne University and her Master of Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She has written education-related contributions in Psychology Applied to Teaching and The Poetic Classroom: A Collection of Lessons, Reflections and Poetry from Teachers and Students in Western Pennsylvania. Dr. Macklin presented the results of her research study at conferences such as the Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore Summer Conference and the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools. She is a Consortium & Editorial Board Member for the Consortium & Journal of Ethical Educational Leadership. Dr. Macklin served as an Adjunct Faculty/Practicum Supervisor for Duquesne University, Carlow University and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Macklin is an educational consultant for educational institutions. She also works as a program developer/evaluator and tutor at the Steps Of Faith Tutoring & Enrichment Center, LLC. Currently, she is enrolled in the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Program at Point Park University.
Alethia Bush – Board Secretary
Alethia was born and raised in Pittsburgh with a strong passion for helping others, particularly disadvantaged populations such as those who suffer from a criminal background. Alethia was formerly employed as a Reentry Specialist for the Allegheny County Jail, Job Developer for Mon Valley Initiative and Coordinator for the Southwestern PA Reentry Coalition (SPARC). Alethia earned a Bachelor of Science in English & Professional Writing (Slippery Rock University) and Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (Point Park University). Alethia is also a graduate of the Coro Women in Leadership Program (Cohort XVII). Alethia’s memberships include the Association of Reentry Professionals (AoRP), the Allegheny County Anchored Reentry (ACAR) Consortium and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Melvin Hubbard El
Melvin Hubbard El currently works as the Chief of Staff for the Honorable Ed Gainey State Representative for the 24th Legislative District. Mr. El works, collaborates, and volunteers with numerous educational, social and civic organizations. He is a graduate of Wilkinsburg Police Citizen Academy, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Fathering Families and a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Mad Dads. He earned a B. S. degree in Secondary Education Social Studies from Clarion University and has certifications in Restorative Justice, Mediation, Conflict Resolution 24/7 Dads, Doctor Dad and Manhood/Fatherhood Development as a Trainer/Facilitator. He’s been on the Divine Intervention Ministries Board since 2014 and has served on the Brothers and Sisters Emerging (BASE) Board since 2018.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chaquita Barnett – Board Chair
Dr. Ella Macklin – Board Vice Chair
Alethia Bush – Board Secretary
Mel Hubbard El – Board Member
Dr. Jim Dittmar, Ph.D – Board Member
Ms. Mary Kitchen, CPA – Board Member
Mr. Ronald Sapp – Board Member
SR. INSTRUCTOR / NEW TEACHER
INSTRUCTOR IMPACT PROGRAM
PASTORS FOR RENEWAL CHURCH
RE-ENTRY PROGRAM MANAGER &
ADMINISRATOR OF THE IMPACT
Men Instructors Work Release Program
339 Blvd of Allies
Pastor Claude Flowers
Men Instructor D/A Unit
704 2nd Avenue
Women Instructors Work Release
704 2nd Avenue