I started Break the Norm Leadership after working as a leadership and development consultant in corporate America. I realized that true leadership development needed to start much earlier than when adults age into management positions. I believe that every person is a leader with unique strengths and by starting to develop leaders at a young age, we can create the change in the world we want to see. Leadership skills are life skills. My favorite food is ice cream because you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner because it has dairy in it ;)




Curriculum Development & Training

I believe that leadership is unlocked in everyone when given the right opportunities, support and resources. BtNL provides students with the opportunities to learn, the support to grow in their confidence and the resources to make a difference in their community. It is important to develop leaders at a young age who are self-aware, creative, and active around the issues that affect them. Young people need to learn how to work together for a common goal and how their unique strengths and passions are essential to a team’s success. 


I prefer a bag of Sour Patch Kids to ice cream or chocolate.




Hello! My name is Jasmaine Harper and I, like others, wish that life came with instructions like a video game because we're all a little bit lost sometimes. Leadership is important because instead of being lost, developing your leadership skills helps you equip yourself with the foundational tools to handle any situation that comes your way. I chose to work here because I like the mission of this company and the fact that they're welcoming to all. A word of advice I'd give is to stay true to yourself and how you feel.


Some fun facts about me is that I think that walnuts, peanuts and almonds make ice cream, cake, and chocolate taste way better than it tastes alone.




I’m Payton Van Winkle and I’m an instructor with Break the Norm in Washington, DC. Leadership starts with a strong understanding of self. Working with students on self discovery, emotional expression, and communication with Break the Norm is incredibly fun and fulfilling work. I love seeing students gain confidence throughout the weeks of the program. One of my favorite parts is seeing the creative ways they persevere when a craft or activity does not meet their original expectations. One of the most important parts of leadership is “ walking the walk” of what you tell others. BtNL has allowed me to grow in my own leadership capabilities and sense of self.  

A fun fact about me is that I am a huge crafter. Crochet, painting, needlepoint, and more. I am in college pursuing a psychology degree and hope to work in education for many years to come.




Hi my name is Jherlyn Brady, I am a teaching assistant with Break the Norm Leadership. I am originally from Rochester, NY and have been working with youth in the DC area for the past two years. I was driven to BtNL because I have a passion for empowering youth to take control of their own lives. I have been working in educational equity and youth development for half a decade and believe that when given the right resources and guidance every student can achieve greatness. My passion for educational equity is shown in my work. My goal is to create a compassionate self esteem nurturing, and community centered environment for the youth I work with. I subscribe to the idea that “it takes a village to raise a child.” If we ensure that youth know they have a key role in their lives and their communities I believe we can inspire greatness and see more youth leadership in our future. We have seen great change in what community and leadership means in the past two years. I believe we can use this time to reconstruct a culture that inspires leadership within us all to us, but most importantly, our youth.




​​I'm Em, the artist and creator behind the BtNL videos. I take pride in knowing that my work showcases ways we teach kids to push through and thrive when faced with challenges. I believe that leadership is creating the space where kids discover how to stand up for themselves, be heard and believe in themselves while also supporting others. Recognizing and valuing each kid's strengths, starting at a young age, will make a huge, positive impact in their lives. 

A bit about me: I enjoy running, kickboxing and indoor skydiving! I also delight in cooking new recipes and catching up on my favorite WEBTOONS.