Justin Berk, Meteorologist AMS CBM

Co-founder; Chairman Of The Board

Reason For Starting Just In Power Kids

I am a dad to two boys and dedicate a lot of my time to educating children about meteorology and STEM. Working with kids AND for kids is my passion that the grew out of my own experience. 

I almost lost my left leg when I was 14 years old. After an original diagnoses of bone cancer and risk of amputation, it was one doctor that properly diagnosed me with a staff infection in my left tibia.  I recovered and continued to play sports, but I know what painful surgery, long hospital stays, and a scary outlook is like. That is why I dedicated my time and social media resources to help raise over $250,000 for another charity. 

After 8 years, I wanted to know where all the money was going and work with my loved ones to build that. 

Shannon and I combined our efforts on this specific goal of integrating eastern methods with western medicine to empower kids. We want them learn they can play a positive role in their own healing.

Shannon and I have the same goals and love to share beyond our own children. As we start out lives together, extending that positive force outward just made sense. 

Fundraising History

I am grateful for 14 of my 20 years in TV broadcasting being in Baltimore. That allowed me to build up connections and a large social media platform. 

I believe the a part of everything I do needs to be for a cause outside of myself. In the past 8 years, I have done: 


  • STEM assemblies in hundreds of schools with a contest to raise money.
  • Baltimore 10 miler as a charity racer chaser.
  • FITF (Faith in the Flakes) shirt sales. A portion  has always gone to charity. Now sales help contribute to Just In Power Kids.
  • SnowStix (partnering with board member Thatcher Brinton) 10% of all sales goes to Just In Power Kids.
  • Maryland Trek: a 329 mile hike and bike across the state each August to share the stories of kids snd their experience with cancer. This event has grown quite a bit  in the first 4 years and the team members are like an extended family.

Education and Awards

  • College: Cornell University, Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science- May 1995
  • CBM: Certified Broadcast Meteorologist with the American Meteorological Society
  • Best in Baltimore/Baltimore Magazine in 2000, 2006, and 2007
  • Weatherist.com Baltimore’s and America’s Favorite Weathercaster 2014
  • Baltimore City Paper  Voted Best Meteorologist in 2014 Reader’s Poll
  • Baltimore Sun Magazine Best Meteorologist and Reader’s Choice 2013 and 2017
  • Mobbies Award for Best Facebook Page 2012, 2013 (also readers choice), and 2014 (plus best Twitter feed).


Broadcasting Career

  • WSTM in Syracuse, NY 1995
  • WBNG in Binghamton, NY 1995-1997
  • WBAL in Baltimore, MB 1997-2003
  • WPHL in Philadelphia, PA (Freelance 2001 and 2005)
  • WMAR in Baltimore, MD 2003-2012

Kid Weather App

One of proudest developments! I made this mobile app with my oldest son. It was his idea when he was years 6 old, and the first project I worked on when I left my last TV station. It has been downloaded in over 60 counties and won a Parents Choice Award among many others.

Shannon Simmons (soon to be Berk) MPT, CFMM

Co-Founder; President

Reason For Starting Just In Power Kids

At 15, I sustained a head injury and upper neck fracture. At the time, I did not understand how it affected my ability to think and process information. The outcome of the accident was that I had muddled thinking, trouble retrieving words and a lot of confusion and behavorial changes. Due to my age and the lack of awareness, I somehow related the internal results of the accident as meaning something about my worth.  Many years later, after I struggled through getting an advanced degree in physical therapy, I discovered techniques to treat these outcomes. It was then that I knew I would spend my life attempting to do what I could to not only relieve the symptoms of physical dysfunctions,  so that no one would confuse their worth with any physical based limitations, but to empower everyone on their healing journey. 


My passion is for healing, service and children. I have always wanted integrate those passions with my desire to empower everyone on their path to wholeness. This has lead to the creation of Just In Power Kids.  I am overjoyed to have found a partner in life that shares in my passions and wants to make a difference in the world together. 



Professional Background

I am a manual physical therapist that has been practicing in Maryland for almost 20 years. I utilize an integrated approach to treating the whole person using a variety of hands-on techniques. I specialize in treating chronic pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, TMJ, spine, anxiety/ADD/ADHD and post-concussion syndrome. 

I am a local expert in treating using craniosacral techniques, specifically in newborns and children. I have earned a reputation in being able to assist in failed cases that don't respond to other modalities. 


I am the owner of Integrated Wellness Physical Therapy with practices on main street in Sykesville and in Finksburg MD.

Education

Shannon graduated from The University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a BS in Biology/Chemistry and MSPT in Physical Therapy. She was a platform presenter with her research at the National Physical Therapy Convention. She has trained extensively with Michigan State Osteopathic College, The Jones Institute, The Upledger Institute, and the Institute of Bioenergetic Studies. 

Leader in Functional Manual Medicine

She is currently an adjunct professor at Michigan State in their College of Osteopathic Medical Program where she teaches in their Craniosacral program. She has also assisted in facilitating a national certification program for Physical Therapists, Certification in Functional Manual Medicine (CFMM) at Michigan State University.

Related Background

  • Contributing writer for Be Well magazine
  • Contributing writer for The Elephant Journal 
  • Medical service work in Kenya.  
  • Has lead meditation groups and workshops at local yoga studios on integrated approaches to wellness for the past 5 years.  
  • A founding member and President of the Sykesville Wellness Partners. 

Ginger Schmit: Executive Director

Reason For Joining Just In Power Kids

I am a mom to six amazing children, four girls and two boys.  In between pregnancies, diaper changing and nursing babies we were also homeschoolers for 12 years.  When I was five I was diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis, a rare but often deadly bacterial infection.  The doctors told my mom I was hours away from dying, and if I survived I’d likely be deaf and would likely never have children. After a three month stay in Children’s Hospital, I went home with my hearing and overall health in tact.  

As a young woman I knew in the back of my mind I’d likely never have children, however it wasn’t really a concern at that time in my life.  Until, I became pregnant at the age of 18.  Although unprepared and the pregnancy unexpected, I felt like I was carrying a miracle and was being entrusted with a very special gift. And, as with each pregnancy after my first, it was a gift to bring forth life.  It was this  underlying strong conviction that became the foundation to homeschool our busy household, as well as educate myself on holistic practices, remedies and nutrition in order to be at my best and to provide the best for my children, my passion. 

Since homeschooling my children: 

  • I have pursued my degree in social science.  
  • I am also a Victims of Abuse Advocate. 
  • I am currently a part-time Paraprofessional and Secretary for our school district.  
  • Additionally, I am a Reiki Level 1 Healer, and am working on my Yoga Instructor Certification. 

Jennifer Salerno

Background

Educator

Matt Titus

Background

Owner of Blackbird Crosfit

Member of Maryland Trek 4

Testimonials

Matt is a strong man physically and spiritually. He is an asset to our team

- Justin

Thatcher Brinton

Reason For Being Part of Just In Power Kids:

When Justin first asked if I wanted to be involved with Just In Power Kids.....I responded immediately with a resounding "Yes!". 

However, as I began to really think about "why" I wanted to be involved with this group.....I kept going back to my own personal journey from diagnosis to treatment to recovery and ultimately....what additional support resources I could have used throughout.


When I was 21 years old, I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. The subsequent surgery and treatments were difficult. Both physically and emotionally. Having children at this time was the furthest thing from my mind.

Fast forward 15 years: My wife Melita and I were struggling to have children. We went to see a fertility specialist....where we were told we would never have children. We were devastated. 

Imagine our wonder and amazement when Melita came to me a few months later and said that we were pregnant! We went on to have two wonderful girls. Both of whom we look at today and say to ourselves......what miracles!!!


All children are miracles. Just In Power Kids will provide the vehicle to assist (in any way possible)...in providing these miracles and their families the alternate therapies,workshops and supportive care they may need. Full Circle for me.


Educational Background:

-- Graduated from Towson University with a degree in Business Administration.

Professional Background:

-- Amerix Mortgage Group 

-- President - Signs by Tomorrow - Timonium MD

-- CoFounder - SnowStix (partnering with Justin Berk) with 10% of all proceeds going to Just In Power Kids


Jennifer Edwards

Reasons for being part of Just In Power Kids

I live in Davidsonville, MD with my five children (ages ranging from 4 to 11) and husband (and a bunch of chickens, a few dogs and cats on our farmette). I’ve always been passionate about health and wellness, so when my 9 year old daughter was shockingly diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of pediatric Bone Cancer in April 2017, I immediately turned to integrated wellness therapies to help alleviate many of the harsh side effects of the chemotherapy and radiation in my daughter’s intense treatment. Ella underwent 14 rounds of chemo and 8 weeks of radiation in over 8 months at Johns Hopkins. It was intense and difficult journey for her, but I am convinced that our dedicated team of various holistic therapists helped her thrive even during the toughest treatments. I call them our “team of angels”. Ella did physical therapy, gentle massage, acupuncture,chiropractic,  craniosacral therapy, energy work, and saw a nutritional counselor on a regular basis to keep her body strong and balanced. She was declared NED in January 2018. I’d like to give back by helping other children and their families find wellness treatments that might ease some of the pain the of harsh cancer treatments in their journey to healing.  

Background

Before Ella was diagnosed, I worked in Human Resources at our amazing church in Annapolis and loved every minute. Prior to that, I was an office manager at the Healing and Wellness Center, an integrated wellness and nutrition center in Stevensville, MD. This job was integral to meeting the team of therapists who would later help my daughter. Prior to having children, my background was in business/financial analysis for the government contracting industry. My hobbies include swimming, biking, running, and being out in nature. Marathons and triathlons are a love of mine.

 

Educational Background

-MBA, University of Maryland, Robert H. School of Business
-University of Richmond, BA in Psychology, Minor Criminal Justice
-Severna Park High School

Dave Larkin

Background

Accountant

Member of Maryland Trek Team 3 and 4

Share the big news

I am excited to have Dave on our Board of Directors - Justin

Sharon Perfetti: Consultant

Background

 Sharon Perfetti brings 15 years of non profit experience in her role of adviser for Just In Power Kids. She has successfully started several nonprofits over the years and understands what it takes to get started and to keep going in an ethical manner. Sharon has an extraordinary ability to navigate the complexities of bringing together a team of people, motivating them to bring their best qualities forward, and ensuring the successful completion of that team's mission.  Sharon assists in taking the passion for making a difference in the world and guiding it into a reality. 


She served as General Coordinator of Annie's Playground in Harford County before co-founding Cool Kids Campaign. She has since launched Paul Partnership to help nonprofits grow and flourish.
Sharon Paul Perfetti
Paul Partnership
www.paulpartnership.com

410-459-2072