BOARD MEMBER EMERITUS ETERNAL
Mr. Author reached out to me 7 years ago with the idea of us creating our own schools to better serve the young men he gave his life to. He never missed a Saturday session at Drew in the inaugural GA Charter Incubator alongside me and the other original board members. Two weeks prior to his homegoing, I received my last text, a letter of support, and his forever words of encouragement, "you have to get this done for the kids for the community." His spirit remains in the sinew of this design and mission.
I am a Warrior for Life – armed with strength to achieve a great life outcome. When you know what makes you valuable, you’re more authentic and confident, and more likely to make a positive impression on others. I am a servant-leader meeting challenges in intriguing ways. I am creative, discerning, perceptive, considerate, selective, and passionate about implementing solutions.
MY MISSION is to model and mentor boys and; young men to do more of what they do best by connecting with courageous boys and; young men to create something great, assessing real needs before moving forward, and resourcing to achieve incredible outcomes. In January 2000, Louis enrolled into Victory Outreach Atlanta for spiritual development. It was during this time that he recognized that he had missed crucial principles and skills growing up in an unstable home and community environment. In October 2003, Louis volunteered to mentor boys at Atlanta’s Carver High School who needed assistance to stay in school, discover the purpose of education, and deal with limited resources and systems that fought against them. In October 2007, he founded Destiny: The Rock of Escape-Atlanta, a program of United Charitable, a 501(C) 3 nonprofit organization. The youth member led organization provides middle- & high school boys with mentoring, employment training, civic engagement, assistance to graduate high school with excellence, and the ability to lead families, businesses, and communities. The native of Baton Rouge, LA studied mass communications at Southern University and Texas Southern University. His career experience and volunteer work reflects his creative skills and themed event planning. Louis is the playwright and producer of "The Covering: Let's Joyful", a stage play that explores contemporary issues affecting boys and young men. Having discovered the rich contributions of the Black Press, Louis has been on staff of several black-owned publications, including the Houston Defender, where he received 21 awards from the National Newspapers Publishers Association.
His community organization experience started at the Houston Area Urban League as its public relations coordinator. His nonprofit professional skill development includes LEAD Institute, 10-month executive training in non profit development and best business practices; Emory University, 2012, evidence-based program, measurement, evaluation tools and resources; Compassion Capital, 2008, Substance Abuse and; Mental Health Services Administration nonprofit capacity building, and United Charitable ongoing program development and community engagement. However, the passion of what Louis does is found in creating opportunities for young people to develop their skills and to lead projects, including Healthy Habit Promotions: Waging War on Pressing Health Issues Affecting Boys and; Young Men, Secret Epidemic: Exploring the Mental Health Crisis Affecting Adolescent African-American Males and Peace: Youth Making It Happen that presents 10 strategies youth groups can use to stop violence.
Workplace Training, Social Enterprise Jobs and; Youth Economic Development: Jobs for Life workplace soft skills training, short-term jobs, job search and; placement support team, Summer Youth Challenge & Market-Festival—life path training workshops and youth/adult event, and City Gates Generation, preparing youth to create generational wealth in a changing world economy. School and; Community Service Projects: I’m On My Way—Live, Achieve, Give Back male-centered social campaigns, and RESPECT: The Art, Beauty & Science of Preventing Violence against Women and; Girls. Community service projects include Maximum Impact Love compassionate outreach for vulnerable residents, Atlanta, 2007 to present, Kinfolks Social Health Project, a Morehouse School of Medicine PRC grant funded at Victory Outreach Atlanta, Victory Outreach International Regional Conferences, services for homeless, drug addicted men/women, Cultural Festival, Victory Outreach New Orleans, and the Inland Empire Invasion, Victory Outreach San Bernardino, CA, Door-to- door canvassing, culminating outreach. Member: MENTOR—The National Mentoring Partnership that evaluates a mentoring program’s implementation of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, Mentoring Connector—partners with the NBA, the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, Campaign for Black Male Achievement—National membership network seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys, and the S.A.Y. Yes! Youth Development Center training youth care, education, safety, and operations training.
Board: Atlanta Clinical Translational Science Institute—partners Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine and Georgia Institute of Technology brings together academic researchers, clinical investigators, community clinicians, professional societies, community groups, health industry collaborators in dynamic clinical and translational research projects. Facilitator: Holistic Hardware tools that help people in crisis help themselves. Partner: Start Strong Atlanta Teen Dating Violence Project with the Jane Fonda Center @ Emory, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Louis is a member of the Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, under the leadership of Bishop Dale C. and Dr. Nina Bronner. Louis is currently working with volunteers to develop Destiny: The Rock of Escape-Baton Rouge. He is a member of the Baton Rouge’s Istrouma High School Advisory Committee for the re-opening of the 100-year old school that had been taken over by the state. He is a fellow of the Urban Leadership Development Initiative, a year-long program teaches select emerging and existing leaders how to identify opportunities, develop innovative solutions and build coalitions designed to foster positive, long-term change. Louis serves at The Baton Rouge Dream Center/Healing Place Church.
Dr. Robin E.Henderson-Wilson
Has served in a variety of educational settings and roles across her 28-year career. She currently works as an Organizational Specialist for the National Education Association. Her
previous work includes serving as the Director of Professional Development for the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools. Dr. Henderson-Wilson was the Founding Principal of the Kansas City Neighborhood Academy, a STEAM focused elementary charter school in Kansas City, MO. She also a part of the founding team of the Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR), a non-profit education organization whose mission is to recruit, train, and support effective teachers within a Christian context. MTR continues to be one of the highest-performing teacher preparation programs in Tennessee.
Dr. Henderson-Wilson attended Butler University in Indianapolis, IN where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She received her Masters of Science degree in Counseling from Indiana University and holds a PhD in Elementary Education with a specialization in Reading from Ball State University in Muncie, IN.
In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for Urban TEC, Dr. Henderson-Wilson volunteers with Girls on the Run and serves the community through both her church and Sorority.
Erica served as an Instructional Technology Specialist in Montgomery County, Maryland for five years and the Director of Educational Technology in Washington DC for one year. She also worked as the North American Director of Techbook Implementation at Discovery Education for over three years.
Erica is a skillful facilitator and instructional coach, implementing researched-based instructional best practices. She has worked with educators nationwide to build capacity, enhance teacher practice, and increase student engagement.
Erica earned a BA, Cum Laude, in Elementary education, with a concentration in Math, from North Carolina Central University. She also earned a M.S., Summa Cum Laude, in Educational Technology from Johns Technology from Johns Hopkins University.
BEVIN CARPENTER, SR.
Known as the "Guru of Engagement" Mr. Bevin Carpenter has initiated and facilitated programs for students, parents and school staff for over the past 15 years. His philosophy, “Train up and individual and they will not depart from it”. Mr. Carpenter serves as the Community Partnership/Program Manager with Emory University’s Gradation Generation and a Sr. Director of E.C.A.N. (Emory Center for Advancing Nonviolence). Prior to joining Emory University, he was hired by Community In Schools as a Supervisor of 15 Middle School Graduation Coaches for Atlanta Public Schools. Mr. Carpenter is certified in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Philosophy and Methodology of Nonviolence Direct Action by Dr. Bernard LaFayette (one of MLK’s Lieutenants and organizers of the voter rights movement in Selma, Ala. & the Poor People’s Campaign) and Capt. Charles Alphin (lead Trainer for the King Center). He served on former Georgia State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox’s Dropout Prevention Taskforce 2009-2010 school year. Bevin was a panelist for the 2015 Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, a member of the Fulton County Municipal Restorative Board, a member of the DeKalb County Board of Health Minority Youth Violence Prevention Consortium, member of the 2015 Fulton/Atlanta School Justice Pathways, a Presenter for the 25th Annual National Dropout Prevention National Conference and the 26th Annual At Risk Youth National Forum. He was a presenter at the 2016 Gandhi-King Conference. Bevin helped to create a curriculum & class for middle school boys in one of Atlanta Public Middle School. The class teaches leadership through the power of Advocacy & Agency. His article, “Empowering Students to be Change Agents” was recently published by Youth Today and he is in the process of writing his memoirs with plans of using it as a tool to teach adults on how to engage with youth.
Jessica Sturm has seven years of experience in education, teaching sixth through twelfth graders in every content area. She entered the field of education working with students with Mild Intellectual Disabilities in Cobb County, Georgia. After three years in this setting, she moved to City Schools of Decatur and taught students with Moderate Intellectual Disabilities, as well as students with disabilities in the general education setting. Currently, she co-teaches seventh grade Social Studies and is the Special Education Department Chair. Jessica graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelors degree in Special Education.
She continued her studies at Georgia State University where she received her Masters in Urban Teacher Leadership and Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. Her leadership skills provide opportunities to participate in leading district initiates and presenting professional learning to teachers in the district.
Jessica has a strong passion for all students she engages with and teaches. It is her firm belief that whether a student is one of her kiddos for the entire year in the classroom or someone she met in the hallway for five minutes, she has the duty to impact his or her life. She strives to meet every student where they are and develop the whole child. Participating and showing an interest in students' lives is her goal. She strives to mentor students whenever she can and feels the greatest achievement is when her students believe they are someone with no limits. She believes they are all leaders and have their own beautiful light to shine in this world.
Jessica has lived in many states but knows "the ATL" is her home. Besides teaching, she enjoys coaching soccer at Decatur High School, reading books, arts and crafts, spending time with her family and friends, as well as her dog, Milka. Jessica is thrilled to serve on the Advisory Board for Sankore and be a part of the Sankore family.
Ms. India Oliver
Ms. India Oliver completed her non-profit internship with us as a community liaison and critical connector. Residing in the community in which Sankore' aims to serve and having hopefully a future SCPA student, India was invaluable in virtually canvassing the community and her networks as a part of our recruitment and networking campaign. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications as well as her Master’s degree in Public Administration. She aspires to lead as a mentor and advocate for youth development and programs in an effort to bring positive change in public policy and work in the sector of education administration.
For the past 19 years, Kenya Nelson has been passionate about education, social justice, and non-profit work. Kenya started her career as a Special Education teacher before becoming certified in Secondary English and Educational Leadership. She has served in district teacher leadership roles for Atlanta Public Schools and Gwinnett County Schools - working in professional learning/staff development departments to enhance educator quality through New Teacher Induction, Instructional Coaching, Alternative Teacher Certification, and support of district-wide school improvement plans. Her professional journey is marked by work in social justice with experiences as a juvenile justice mediator for the Ohio court systems to community planning projects within various municipalities in the state of Florida. Most, recently Kenya is working as a Consultant with a national educational non-profit to address educational inequities and teacher effectiveness.