About Us

Founder, Whitney Parnell, originally developed the concept of the 8-hour dream in college: If an individual went to bed amidst the current state of social injustice, and a fraction of society committed to serving in one small way, that same individual would awaken from a full night's sleep to witness a tremendous change. Service Never Sleeps launched in 2015 as a program under the Aspen Institute's Center for Urban Innovation's Urban Innovation Lab. Through the Aspen Institute's year-long incubation, Service Never Sleeps has emerged as one of the most innovative nonprofits of its kind as the go-to for effective Allyship.


Whitney Parnell

Whitney Parnell, Founder/CEO: Whitney grew up between Latin America and West Africa as a Foreign Service child. At Washington University in St. Louis, Whitney doubled majored in English and Spanish, and minored in Communications and Journalism, during which she also embraced her calling as an activist. Whitney’s passion for service and social justice brought her to Washington, DC to serve with City Year, and then work in homeless services. Whitney is excited to create a movement of service and allies by igniting quick social change through mass civic engagement.


Samson Girma

Samson Girma, Co-Founder: An Arlington, Virginia native, Samson returned to the DC area, upon graduating Christopher Newport University, to serve two years of AmeriCorps national service; the first with education nonprofit City Year DC and the second with Public Allies. Samson has since developed experience managing federal grants, creating volunteer infrastructure, and evaluating program impact.

Our Board


Jennifer Baker
Global Partner Manager, Tableau


Desiree McCoy (Board Chair)
Regional Sales Manager, Caesars

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Natalia Oyola-Sepulveda (Treasurer)
Management Consultant, Accenture


Jonathon Price (Secretary)
Deputy Director, Aspen Strategy Group, Aspen Institute


Ashley Brown
Broadcast Journalist & News Consultant

Alexandria Blue
Management Consultant, Accenture

Neils Ribeiro-Yemofio
Mid-Atlantic Regional Recruitment Director, City Year

Joe Weinstein
Director of Operations, Signal Vine

Anne Grizzle
Spiritual Director

Gerry Hartis
Principal, AlignedWorks

Our Partners


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Capitol Hill United Methodist Church

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Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia


Young Adult Volunteers Program

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City Year DC





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Abt Associates

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Eastern Foundry

Check out the list of nonprofits we have supported.