AAYLC’s Board of Directors
Our board is passionate about providing students and their families with the necessary tools to make an impact in their communities. The AAYLC is looking for leaders who want to utilize their skills to provide strategic direction and purpose. If you are interested in being considered for our team, please click the button below.
Information Technology Chair
Nicole is an experienced leader with over 25 years of proven results. She has developed, implemented, and managed resources and solutions for several Fortune 500 companies in the software, telecommunications, and aerospace industries. Nicole currently works as a consultant for several organizations. She has been involved with the African American Youth Leadership Conference (AAYLC) for 20+ years as a presenter, corporate sponsor, individual donor, volunteer, and board member. Nicole is passionate about ensuring that youth have the necessary tools to develop into successful adults. She believes that students who receive guidance and encouragement, leads to high levels of achievement. Nicole has mentored students through Polk YEA! (Young Entrepreneurs Academy) and volunteers for the Tuskegee Airmen's Mile High Flight Program.
Manya C. Whitaker, PhD.
Ad-Hoc Programs Chair
Manya is the Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at Colorado College. She is also the founder of Blueprint Educational Strategies, an education consulting business that works with families, teachers, and school leaders on educational equity and multicultural teaching. Manya is a third-generation teacher who firmly believes in “lifting as we climb.” She is dedicated to making sure that minoritized children and their families have access to opportunities that enhance their social and cultural capital. As a previous presenter at the AAYLC, Manya is excited to deepen her engagement with this organization and other educational associations in Colorado Springs.
Finance & Budget Chair
Clara has held multiple leadership positions during her 29 years of employment at USAA. She is currently a Lead Program Manager overseeing Quality and Compliance for the Insurance Department. She is active in the Colorado Springs community serving on many boards that help improve our city. Clara has a passion for youth and strives to be an encouragement and an inspiration. Being a part of African American Youth Leadership Conference allows Clara to be a role model, and thus provide programs that allow our youth to reach their full potential.
Board Secretary - Public & Media Relations Chair
Demetria is a software business analyst working in the non-profit sector with AllHealth Network, which is a community mental health organization. She earned a degree in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin and spent many years working in start-ups before moving into mental health in 2019. She has a passion for serving others and believes that a healthy mind is a necessity to grow healthy leaders- especially our youth. Being a member of the board allows her to meet youth exactly where they are in the moment, and serve as both a partner and an advocate for their holistic growth and well-being as they transition into adulthood.
Harold J. Geolingo
Director - Community Partnerships Chair
Harold (“Geo”) is a Healthcare Executive with over 30 years of leadership experience within the healthcare industry. He is currently serving as the Sr. Vice President of Clinical Operations with Peak Vista Community Health Centers and is retired from the US Army with 20 years of service. He is a proud, active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Geo is passionate about providing educational and developmental opportunities for youth to enable them to thrive within our community. Being part of the African American Youth Leadership Conference allows Geo to play a role in the impact and contribution to the building of strong young leaders and change agents.
Lisa Fetman, PhD.
Director - Fundraising Chair
As an experienced educator for the past 15 years, Lisa has held a deep passion for youth development. For the last five years, she has worked in higher education. Lisa is currently a Senior Research Assistant and Lecturer at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). In addition, she serves as a visiting Assistant Professor at Colorado College and an Adjunct Professor at Florida Southern College. In each role, Lisa teaches coursework, and conducts research in curriculum, instruction, and educational leadership. Her teaching and research specifically focuses on equity, justice, and inclusion in education. This is bolstered by a deep commitment to cultural responsiveness and antiracism. Lisa is a former public-school teacher, teaching K-12 Spanish in Chicago, Illinois and Tucson, Arizona. She is an advocate for providing young people access to every educational opportunity available. She looks forward to expanding her commitment to youth development and access beyond the classroom walls.
Director - Governance & Policy Chair
Alice is a Certified HeartMath Practitioner and currently works in behavioral therapy with children who have autism and other learning disabilities. Her affinity for travel has made Alice more understanding of the unique differences among cultures. These experiences have inspired Alice to become an avid volunteer in her community. She is also a Teen Dating Violence Spokesperson. Alice was honored by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence with the 2021 Recognizing (Y)our Resiliency Award. She finds meaning in empowering youth to share their voices. Alice focuses on providing resources for adolescence to maintain and improve their mental health. She also continues to work on completing her Bachelor of Social Work, with an emphasis in Trauma, at Newman University.
Director - Board Development & Nominations Chair
Samantha (“Sam”) is the Director of Advocacy at Safe Passage Children’s Advocacy Center and veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. She also has over 10 years’ experience as an Early Childhood Director. Sam is dedicated to helping abused children begin to heal and ensuring that children and families have the resources they need to live productive lives. She has a passion for creating developmentally appropriate environments that fosters student’s ability to learn, grow, and develop. Being a part of African American Youth Leadership Conference allows Sam to assist others with needed community resources, guidance, leadership, and professional advocacy.
Student Board Member - Doherty High School
Sanaa is a senior at Doherty High School. As a motivated leader, she is a Student Ambassador for her school’s Express Yourself program. Sanaa also is a team member of the Spartans United club which provides a venue for students to express themselves creatively. She has learned to utilize her originality in the classroom especially in her noted favorite course of English. Working on the board allows Sanaa to convey her ideas to a leadership team. She believes it is important for students to have access to various resources to achieve their goals.
Student Board Member - Rampart High School
Cydnee is currently a Junior at Rampart High School, where she is an Honor Student, and a member of the Varsity Track Team, and Key Club. Outside of school, Cydnee participates in numerous extracurricular activities which include; The Stroud Scholars Program at Colorado College, Colorado Springs Striders Track Club, Elevated (Sachs Foundation), actively volunteers at The Humane Society and serves as a Youth Leader with the Youth Committee for Mental Health (YCMH). Additionally, Cydnee also works as a part-time retail associate with Plato’s Closet. Cydnee believes that youth who are motivated, engaged, and act as proactive change agents, are the future of the world. For this reason, she believes being a part of a youth organization allows youth to grow in a positive environment that promotes personal growth.