Jessica Craft
Founder + Chief Executive Officer
Jessica (McKay) Craft founded Rock to the Future in 2010 after working for Janney Montgomery Scott, a prestigious investment firm in Philadelphia. Jessica studied music through public school as a child starting with violin, saxophone, and clarinet in her early years, then percussion in high school. She believes in the power of music to change lives. A Temple University graduate with a degree in Business Administration and Economics, Jessica has been featured in the New York Times and named a Local Leader at the PA Conference for Women, among other awards. In 2014, Jessica completed the Nonprofit Executive Leadership certificate program and the Designing Leadership series in 2017. In 2019, Jessica won the Designing Leadership award from the Arts and Business Council. 

Her past volunteer work includes being a big sister through Big Brother, Big Sister, working with Habitat for Humanity, teaching drums at Girls Rock Philly youth and adult camps, and organizing community benefit events. She is also currently the drummer for Philadelphia band Conversations, who opened for The Beach Boys in 2014.

Josh Craft
Chief Music Officer
Joshua is a Philadelphia-based songwriter and music instructor who has been teaching music for over fifteen years. He has taught for Paul Green’s School of Rock, Farrington’s Music, Major Music, and privately. Because of his love of teaching and dedication to Rock to the Future, he worked his first two years at RTTF on a completely volunteer basis. From arranging music for weekly band rehearsals to teaching music business and songwriting, Josh is always ready to encourage, support, and inspire young creative minds. He has written songs for notable local bands such as The Bee Team, Conversations with Enemies, and many more. He combines his love of and talent for music with his love of teaching to encourage the success of students at Rock to the Future.

Lauren Tankersly
Chief Development Officer
Lauren is a native Philadelphian with a passion for empowering under served communities. She has dedicated her career to serving her local community, and she has previously been involved in public health education and awareness, the professional development and economic advancement of women, and the academic and character development of youth living in under resourced communities. Her academic training includes a B.A. in History and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.S. in Organizational Leadership and Development from Saint Joseph’s University.

Lauren is also committed to supporting and advocating for youth living with developmental disabilities. She formerly served as a board member for the Pennsylvania Education for All Coalition (P.E.A.C.), and she is currently serving as a Peer Supporter for Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania (P2P of PA) and as a Parent Volunteer for the Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy 4-H Club. She enjoys the creative nature of music and appreciates its power to heal and inspire.

Alexis Cannard
Ready for the Future Club Instructor
Alexis is an Indigenous identifying performing artist and student from Portland, Oregon. She currently studies Music Industry/Business at Drexel University and hopes to continue use music as a tool for self expression, healing, and education throughout her career. Alexis loves the Rock to the Future community and enjoys helping high schoolers prepare for higher education, career development, and other challenges they may face.

Alison Cornell
Engagement & Communication Coordinator
Alison joined Rock to the Future in the fall of 2017. She has a BFA in Film and Video from the School of Visual Arts and an ALM in Museum Studies from the Harvard University Extension School. Before moving to Philly, she worked as the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the List Visual Art Center in Cambridge, MA and as the Communication Coordinator and Assistant Curator for VAEFF NYC.  She also works as a visual artist and copy editor. Alison passionate about accessibility in the arts, and is thrilled to join Rock to the Future as they share the magic of music education with the next generation of Philly musicians!

Kaamilah Moore
Germantown Site Director

Kaamilah serves as the academic leader for Rock to the Future’s after-school program at Roosevelt Elementary. Prior to this role, Kaamilah volunteered at the MusiCore after-school program in North Philadelphia before helping to launch RTTF’s newest expansion in Germantown. These volunteer efforts along with other partnerships and collaborations were achieved through her own community service organization, the HLA Foundation – where she serves as Executive Director, which aims to work with underserved youth both domestically and internationally. Kaamilah has a background in career development and strategic management and works with CEOs, C-suite teams and Fortune 500 companies on their hiring directives, company-wide initiatives, and corporate social responsibility projects. Kaamilah holds both a B.A. and MBA from Florida A&M University

Julia Rainer
Academic Coordinator
Julia Rainer is a musician, songwriter, performer, producer, and advocate born and raised in South Philadelphia. In 2017, she graduated from The University of the Arts with a Bachelors of Science in Music Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology, receiving awards for high academic achievement. She has worked directly with youth from Philadelphia’s underserved communities since 2004, leading classrooms in a diversity of settings such as a long term residential addiction treatment center, community after school programs, and in South Philadelphia’s largest public housing site. Julia was introduced to Rock to the Future when she facilitated a partnership between the organization and fellow Philly music nonprofit, Weathervane Music, where she currently serves as the Community Director. She is committed to working for equity in issues of economics, race, gender, sexuality, and accessibility. She firmly believes in the power of music to help young people discover their identity, their community, and a strong sense of self.

Teaching Artists

Rock to the Future’s teaching artists have a range of musical and teaching experiences, but all are extremely talented and highly skilled musicians. Trained formally and playing various genres of music, they have performed live and on studio recordings with numerous bands.

Jake Kaplan
Bass Guitar Instructor
Jake recently moved to Philadelphia by way of Massachusetts and is excited to be sharing his love of music with the city’s at-risk youth and teens. Jake earned a Bachelor’s in jazz bass performance from the University of the Arts, where he graduated in 2017 with honors. He went on to continue to study music – earning a master’s degree in Jazz Studies and Composition at the New England Conservatory in 2018. Through honest performance, education, and composition, Jake wants to help others explore the depths human experience as well.

Jodie Kelley
Choral Ensemble Instructor
Jodie began her journey as a musician at the age of four, when she first began violin lessons. In 2012, Jodie earned her bachelors degree in music therapy at Temple University. Jodie’s teaching career began ten years ago, and she has taught violin, piano, guitar, voice, and theory. Jodie taught through the School of Music, R&M music studios, and Perelman Jewish Day School, and led the Carousel House Choir for two years. As a teacher, Jodie hopes to show her students that music is not a chore, but a beautiful journey of growth and dedication. 

Barron Lacy
Piano, Vocal, and Choral Ensemble Instructor
Barron Lacy is from Upper Darby, PA. Having studied music from a young age, he continued his music studies after graduating high school and obtained his B.A. in Music Education with a piano concentration from Cairn University.  The transformative power of music to inspire and enrich the lives of others, especailly in the lives of youth, is a deep passion for Barron. In addition to teaching at Rock to the Future, he has been a music teacher in the School District of Philadelphia since 2014.

Victoria Watts
Band Support and Guitar Instructor
Victoria was born and raised in San Diego, California. In college, she moved to the east coast to attend the Contemporary Music Center. After a stint in Nashville, she moved to Philadelphia to play bass for Talain Rayne and guitar for Element K. Victoria now tours full time, both as a solo artist and the front woman of her full band show. She has topped the Philadelphia pop charts on Reverbnation, was a finalist for Rock on Philly Magazine’s Artist of the Year, won Best Song at the Akademia Music Awards, and was a finalist at The International Songwriting Competition for best song. In addition to her musical accolades, she is also a music journalist. Furthermore, Victoria is an experienced instructor teaching ages six to 60+ in a variety of regions throughout the country. 

In addition to Rock to the Future’s program and administrative staff, we work with a variety of featured teaching artists and substitute teachers that teach instrumental lessons. We are also supported by over 25 volunteers who assist with program volunteering (tutoring, music, mentoring), committees, and administrative support.