Educate. Equip. Empower.
To review our youth-related resources and services in the Auburn Gresham & Englewood communities, please click on our community resource guide below.
Over the past 20 years, I have acquired extensive knowledge of thefull continuum of educational programs and community supportive services that can be leveraged to make educational settings betterplaces to serve students. I possess a BA in Criminal Justice, a MSW, a MA in Educational Leadership, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership which has prepared me tremendously for administrative responsibilities, social and criminal justice related issues, and social work theory and practice in various organizational structures. I am continuing extensive research in an effort to become more grounded and versed in theoretical practices which will further enhancemy leadership, advocacy, and social service expertise for at-risk populations and their families.
Board of Directors
Board Chairman: John Paul Parks is a hard worker who seeks to achieve the highest level of accomplishment in all the professions that he is involved in. He is an accomplished business owner and a retired Dept of Corrections Officer. He also served in the military and has been a retired Veteran.
Board Secretary: Deborah Thompson is a recent MSW graduate from Chicago State University, graduates and plans to sit for her LCSW in the future. Deborah is extremely passionate about social work and plans to become a medical social worker. She also works at South Shore Hospital in the Geriatric Psychiatric Unit; and provides psychosocial assessment screening, counseling, group facilitation and 1:1 interaction and discharge planning for the elderly.
Board Treasurer: Dr. Blessing Utti is an inspirational creator, cultural influencer, and educational enthusiast. She believes the Nelson Mandela motto, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Dr. Blessing is a motivator, has a strong passion for young people, and has experience in creating curriculum in higher education, and for YAPS, a non-profit organization that prepares and inspires youth to go to college. Dr. Blessing’s zeal for seeing young people achieve their goals, keen insight, and ability to strategically organize and create makes her a great fit for this organization. She is a supportive team player and is committed to the purpose of True Believers. Dr. Blessing earned a Master of Art in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Michigan University. She earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Chicago State University.
Board Member: Bettie Collum is a retired employment security representative with the Illinois Department of Employment Security. She also processed claims for government assistance for IL Department of Public Aid. During her entire profession, she spent time assisting the less fortunate in obtaining resources and government benefits.
Board Member: Jerry Collum, Sr. seeks to work in an environment that will allow him to utilize his years of experience and expertise with a telecommunication company as well as to challenge him further, while allowing him to contribute to the continued growth and success of an organization.
Board Member: Selena Jones is the founder of a teen network, Ivy's, Enterprise llc, and is a licensed educator, mom, teen motivational speaker, author, college and career coach, paralegal, and is naturally passionate about helping others to evolve. Jones has over 17 years of experience working in fortune 500 companies as an executive administrator, customer service, and top financial sales advisor at AT&T. Over 11 years in the education sector, 5 years in real estate, has mentored college, high school students, and coached small business owners. She is also a former employee of the DEA with 5 years of law enforcement. She recently enrolled back into school at Harvard online program to continue pursuing her dream of becoming an Attorney in family and business.
Board Member: Dr. Francis Morkeh has been internationally involved in interdisciplinary career-related functions over the span of twenty five years in the US and Ghana (West Africa): Secular and theological educator (professor, pastoral, administrator, curriculum designer, etc.) in formal and non-formal circles; Cross-cultural and international training/education programs and community transformation issues; Leadership development and training, and organizational development; Human services professional in the area of people with disabilities and mental health issues; and Professional counseling services for people with addiction/substance abuse challenges in family contexts, and criminal justice and correctional facilities.