Director of Operations

“Mr. Danny” as the children affectionately call him, has worked in youth programs for over fifteen years. As the Director of Operations, Danny is responsible for overseeing and managing The West End Center's day-to-day operations necessary for our children's success and growth. Danny has been working with the West End Center for 10 years. He believes that working with children is a calling, and he is grateful to have the opportunity to impact the lives of children in a positive way.




Peacebuilders & Wellness

Ryan graduated from Roanoke College where he majored in Health and Human Performance, concentrating on Sports Management. After graduating, Ryan moved to Denver to pursue a career in sports media. Having grown up on the east coast, he decided to move back and began working at West End Center in June 2018. Ryan is most looking forward to using his knowledge of nutrition and wellness to help the kids at West End Center learn how to lead healthier lives.



Jason Rowe

STEM Coordinator

His background in teaching High School English combined with his love for reading, writing, and games make his groups engaging and fun.

He graduated from SUNY Oswego in New York, and then spent over twenty years helping kids achieve their goals. His experience ranges from teaching High School English, assisting in Special Education programs, and working as a day treatment counselor.

Mr. Rowe would like all of the kids to set goals, and go beyond the boundaries that they may think are impassable.



Amia Andrews, Group leader

Better known as Ms. MeMe

With a passion for kids, she has worked with children since 2016. She has loved being around and involved with kids since she was 10 years old. She also has a background in the medical field. Ms. Meme enjoys sitting by the water, poetry, and shopping.

*Ms. Meme believes every child has a bright future!


Karen Pillis

Executive Director

Karen is a lifelong Roanoker and joins the West End Center after a long volunteer and work history with children and their families. She graduated from Roanoke City Schools, The University of Virginia and Radford University. She and her husband have 3 daughters and a number of pets including 2 turtles who live in her office!!

Please come by her office and introduce yourself!

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D'Angelo Reynolds

Group Leader

(Middle-High School)

D'Angelo Reynolds, Coach as the kids thoughtfully call him, has done a lot for Roanoke City Public School along with his community. D'Angelo coordinates middle and high school programs that help our students learn leadership, responsibility, and independence. Furthermore, teaching middle and high students to be role models for the younger students and a positive influence in the community. D'Angelo thrives on relationships with the students and enjoys seeing them grow and become leaders.


Makenzie Nesbit

Director of Education

Makenzie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from North Carolina State University. She then went on to spend the next year as a Youth Development Specialist in Peace Corps Morocco. Throughout her collegiate career and various experiences with youth, she has cultivated a passion for fostering literacy and life-skills in the leaders of tomorrow. While working with the West End Center, she hopes to further her own skills and work, and develop meaningful, mutually symbiotic relationships with the students here. She loves animals, music, reading, and a whole lot of ice cream. 



Joyce M.

(Officer Manager/Administrative Assistant)

As a WEC parent for 5 years, a WEC attendee/volunteer as a high schooler, and a background in childhood development, Joyce is now a bigger part of the WEC family. She is also a full-time nursing student with a passion for pediatrics, she loves children!