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Phyllis Bellinger
Executive Director

Phyllis is a native resident of Coconut Grove’s Village West, who is passionate about cultivating the youth of her community.  As a youth, Phyllis was accepted to participate in The University of Miami’s Upward Bound Program, a  Federal outreach TRIO program.  As a youth participant in this program, Phyllis held the positions of;  Youth Counselor, Resident Advisor, and Academic Coordinator.  Due to this valuable experience, Phyllis recognized the importance of instilling, exposing, and developing a culture of learning that promotes community-driven, experienced-based learning opportunities.  Phyllis believes that youth like, herself that have access to these opportunities will become independent, self-initiated learners despite their social-economic status, cultivating the character and academic skills necessary for lifelong success.  Therefore the creation of The Striving To Attain Remarkable Teens Program (START) located here in the Coconut Grove Village West community in 2014 was a natural inclination.  

Phyllis has been an educator for 35 years and counting. Phyllis holds advanced degrees in Mathematics (M.S.) and Accounting (B.S.). At her current school site in the Miami Dade County Public School System (MDCPS), Phyllis has held the position of Mathematics Department Chairperson for more than a decade, she was named Teacher of the Year for 2003 and 2016, and served as a member of the 2013-2014 Mathematics Textbook Adoption Committee for Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS).  Additionally, Phyllis has received training as an iPREP Math instructor for the Superintendent’s initiative incorporating technology into the mathematics classroom.


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