Board of Directors
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. She 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.
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.
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.
Taura, a Colorado native, has a passion for seeing that young people succeed in life. As a proud employee of BombBomb (a Human-Centered Communications Company), she works tirelessly helping businesses across the globe become more humanly effective in their day-to-day communications. This proud mother of one sees the importance of investing in our youth and giving back to the community. Her time spent as a Parks & Recreation coach, D8 PTA member, and as a volunteer for the Springs Rescue Mission, Rise SE, Colorado Gives Day, The Alzheimer’s Association, and the AAYLC has provided Taura with a wealth of knowledge and insight into the Colorado community. Seeing the impacts of offering a child a positive environment where they can learn, dream, thrive, and grow has been a motivating force and continues to drive Taura. "To become the change, you must be the light in the darkness."-Taura
Harold J. Geolingo
Harold (“Geo”) is a Healthcare Executive with over 30 years of leadership experience within the healthcare industry. He is currently serving as the 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.
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.
Lisa Fetman, PhD.
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.
Kim is a digital strategy executive with over 20 years of experience working with large corporations and a wide variety of nonprofits. Her expertise helps them use digital media to expand their brands and share their messages online. She is currently the Vice President of Content at Accelerate Change, a nonprofit media lab focused on developing new digital media models that engage communities of color and low-income communities. Kim believes that young people can’t dream it if they don’t know it exists. She is eager to support the work of the AAYLC to help young people in Colorado find big success through big vision.
Stacy J. Platt
Stacy is a senior instructor of visual arts at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), where she has been teaching since 2014. Passionate about teaching at a socio-economically and racially diverse institution, Stacy strives to incorporate ideas, practices, and artists outside of traditional canons. She tries to expose students to a diverse number of artists that might look like them and work with issues that concern both specific communities and the dominant social justice issues of our times. In addition to her teaching, Stacy is also a writer and editor. She has served as the editor for Exposure, the flagship publication for the Society of Photographic Educators. As editor, she moved the publication into the digital realm and focused content on promoting the work of contemporary BIPOC artists and educators. She is excited to participate on the AAYLC board both as a community member and as a parent of a young child in the D11 school district. Stacy hopes to help create opportunities for our youth that affords them access to becoming the next generation of thought leaders, artists, and activists. This is so necessary to a healthy and functioning society.