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DBT40 Honoree: Tya Pope

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Title: Deputy Director of Operations

Tya Pope | DBT PHOTO BY LUIGI CIUFFETELLI

Workplace: Kingswood Community Center/WRK Group

Age: 38

Tya Pope calls herself the “Queen of Random,” because of her variety of hobbies and learning new languages. But she really is a student of the world, and life is a school and every day is a class. In her work with the Kingswood Community Center, she works alongside a team that aims to lift people up in the Wilmington area through community services.

Pope has been in the nonprofit world since 2011, starting with the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence. There, she organized retreats to hear from speakers from faith-based backgrounds and marginalized communities. She also worked at Washington College, where she helped create a foundation to provide a scholarship program designed for students from under-resourced families. The program graduated 28 out of 36 students between 2020 and 2021.

Throughout her journey, Pope has worked to support and mentor others on the off-hours, such as a former college student who is now teaching middle school science in the Bay Area and a cardiac surgery nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her past community work involves serving on the board for Canine Partners for Life, an organization training service dogs; the Reedy Point Players and GLSEN Maryland. Today, she is the treasurer for the Delaware Grassroots Organizing Fund and has joined the Wilmington Fines and Fees Justice Team.

Pope’s willingness to go out on a limb has resulted in her taking aerial yoga lessons and trapeze lessons.

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