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Director & Founder

A native of Long Beach, California, Bindy Auvermann has crisscrossed the globe learning, living and helping.  Following graduation from University of Texas, she worked for many successful years for top legal firms in Texas and in San Francisco, California. Bindy found her social calling while helping in orphanages in Southern Russia.  When she settled in the Northern Georgia mountains she continued her desire to help young people succeed and grow by working with the Dawson County Mentoring Program. Bindy became the executive director of that program growing it over time into Next Generation Youth Development, Inc. A passionate supporter of Dawson County’s next generation; Bindy works tirelessly helping young people succeed and to fully recognize their potential. When not at the Clubhouse, Bindy spends her time with her husband, son and two Italian greyhounds.


Verónica is a graduate of Tufts University with a B.A. in Clinical Psychology and Child Development. She has dedicated her career to the service of others including roles with the Dept of Mental Health, Children with Special Needs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta and the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. Combining her background in psychology and social work with operational and leadership expertise, Verónica has served as Project Manager for the National Foundation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as Director of Community Action & Prevention Alliance. One of her proudest moments has been in her current role as Development Director for Next Generation, helping to open one of only three prevention clubhouses in the state of Georgia.  Verónica and Ellen (Programs Director) present at local and statewide conferences on Mindfulness and its effectiveness in building socioemotional resilience in youth.

Director & Co-Founder
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Ellen Ward

Ellen Ward is a Georgia native, currently residing in Dahlonega. Ellen graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. During her practicum and student teaching experience, she participated in the Technology in Urban Education emphasis track where she worked first hand with children in poverty in the Marietta City school system. Ellen worked in a variety of fields both as photographer and information specialist before discovering Next Generation Youth Development, Inc where she found her passion for working with youth. Ellen is proud to have been a part of Next Generation for nearly 9 years where she now serves as the Programs Director. Since the first day the Clubhouse hosted youth in its program in 2013, Ellen has been thrilled at seeing the Clubhouse blossom into a powerful force for change both in the lives of the youth it serves, as well as the community. Other passions of Ellen’s that weave into her work at NxTG include yoga and mindfulness, both disciplines in which she has taken several courses and incorporated into her own practice. Ellen is also an accomplished pianist and brings her passion for music into connecting with the youth that she serves. 

Sharon, born and raised in Gainesville, Georgia discovered home away from home in Mars Hill, North Carolina, where she graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She shortly discovered her passion for working with youth upon graduating. One of her greatest moments came with becoming part of the NxTG team in 2016 and commencing her career. Outside of her passion for her career Sharon is a travel enthusiast  and spends her free time always looking for new places to visit and adventures. When not traveling she enjoys staying home and binge watching Nextflix.

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Sharon Sotelo
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