Executive Director/President: Brian Thomas
Brian is a doctoral candidate at The University of Missouri - Columbia where he plans to obtain an MD-PhD degree. Brian’s dream has always been to become a physician as he has always had a knack for helping people in the community. When he finishes school, Brian is interested in practicing in a sub-specialty of Pediatrics and investigating childhood disease. Brian has been involved in various organizations, such as MedZou Community Health Clinic and Big Brothers Big Sisters, that serve/benefit a variety of people in Columbia, MO. In his downtime, Brian enjoys taking his dogs to the park, playing recreational sports, and socializing with family and friends. Brian is in his 4th year as the organizations President and looks forward to Playing 4 Hope's continued growth.
Vice President: Dustin Armstrong
Dustin grew up in small-town Illinois, and his upbringing included the core values of hard work and caring for others. Dustin obtained his first degree in Television News with the hope of becoming a sports announcer. However, a summer internship led him to realize his life’s fulfillment would not come from holding a microphone. Rather, it would come through connecting with people; becoming a trusted leader; and building on his thirst for scientific knowledge. Dustin changed careers, obtaining a degree in Nursing and working for seven years in the Pediatric-ICU. These experiences helped solidify Dustin’s desire of becoming a physician, to which he is currently a student at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Dustin is excited to utilize his past experiences to connect with children and their families while helping Playing 4 Hope grow.
Founder & Secretary: Haley Ennis
Haley began the idea for Playing 4 Hope based on her past as a soccer player. Throughout high school she dedicated her games to her coach's wife who passed away during her freshman year. Throughout college Haley dedicated her games to her grandma, Mama, who was diagnosed with lung cancer. When Mama passed away in October of 2016, Haley and the board created a plan to grow Playing 4 Hope in her name. Haley is currently an elementary school teacher and enjoys spreading hope in her daily life.
Treasurer: Ariess Gharabagi
Ariess is a current student at Mizzou Med and he was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He has always had a passion for serving his community and feels very blessed to have the opportunity to pursue his passion through medicine and service by being involved with both the MedZou free clinic in Columbia and the Salam free clinic in St. Louis. In his free time, he loves to cook, bake, play pickup basketball with friends, and spend time with family. Although he is unsure what he wants to do with my medical training, he knows that he can use his past experiences to help Playing 4 Hope in its mission to connect with and serve children and their families.