2020 Conference Presenters
Aisha Young, M.A. ADC
Ms. Young is a native of Colorado and graduate of Lewis-Palmer High school. She attended the first AAYLC when it became co-ed in the late 90s. She has a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and in 2008 she graduated with a Master’s in Aging Studies from the University of South Florida. Currently, she attends the Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. Aisha volunteers and is very civically engaged. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, she helps with the Seniors on Saturday program. She is active in the Colorado Springs Diocese and the current president of the Colorado Springs Council for Black Catholics. Aisha resides in Colorado Springs. And though Aisha is clearly a fan of the geriatric population, the best part of her day is spending time with her daughter.
Ms. Hall is a certified fitness professional. She holds two dance fitness certifications, Zumba and MixxedFit. Her passion is passing on this healing to others. Angela has many roles that include fitness, being a mom of two daughters, and running her own businesses as an entrepreneur. She is also the creator and host of TheLoveFreq podcast in which she gives knowledge, inspiration, and insight to the masses. She says, “I believe that healing must occur on all levels (spirit, mind, body), so that we can be in balance and rise above on higher frequencies that can help push love into the world.” Angela is a lifetime learner. She holds an A.A. in Sociology, B.A. in Psychology, and a Masters in Business Administration.
Ms. McNeely was born in Colorado and raised in Houston, Texas. She attended Western State College and where she received a B.A. in English and Business Administration. After moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico Ashely fell into finance and developed a passion for helping people with their money. Ashley's other interests include dancing an teaching Zumba. She is founder and owner of the, Brown Sugah Baking Company. Ashley moved to Colorado Springs in 2017 where she resides with a fat cat, an apartment full of books, a jungle of plants, and far too many baking supplies.
Ms. Cornelius is a spoken word poet in Colorado. She graduated with a master's degree in International Disaster Psychology from DU. She focuses on providing creative therapy for adolescents. Her poems reflect her personal struggles and journey as a young black woman. Ashley aims to inspire, empower, and evoke change. She won Gold for the Colorado Springs Independent Best of Artist Category 2019. She has won four Hear Here Poetry Slams in Colorado Springs. She was the Women of the World Poetry Slam Colorado Springs representative and competed in Dallas at Nationals in March 2018. She has been featured at Keep Colorado Springs Queer open mic, the Black Voices Matter Open Mic, the NAACP, Pikes Peak Community College, the Colorado Springs Women's March, At the Ink Well, The Mercury Cafe and events in Denver and Colorado Springs. Ashley is the Co-Director of Poetry 719. Ashley was nominated for two 2018 Pikes Peak Art Council (PPAC) awards and won best recurring poetry event. She has also been featured at Tedx Colorado Springs.
Dr. Anthony Cooper
Dr. Cooper is an internal medicine physician. He is originally from Northern Virginia. He received an Army ROTC scholarship to pay for college. He attended Cornell University for his undergraduate degree and The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for medical school. Dr. Cooper retired from the US Army in 2017. He currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO and works at a variety of hospitals around the country as a hospitalist.
Sergeant Ford was born in Wilmington, DE. He is married to Dr. Renay Ford and has three children: Bryanna, Ezekiel and Jakin. Throughout his life, he has blurred the lines between education, military and entrepreneurship. He has served for 20 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, United States Naval Reserves, Army National Guard and the Air National Guard collectively. While serving part time, he earned an AA in Hospitality and Fitness Management, BA in Print Journalism and a MA in School Leadership. Consequently, he has taught both in K12 schools and college. While juggling military and a career in education, he has also managed to start Fordtified Media Ltd, a faith based, veteran owned media production company in Colorado Springs, CO.
Blake began his career in education in 2009 when he joined Teach For America as a math teacher in Greenwood, Mississippi where he helped lead the transformational change of an elementary school that resided in the bottom 10 of schools across the state. Following his experience teaching in Mississippi, Blake returned to his alma mater, Colorado College, to work as an Assistant Director of Admissions with an emphasis on American Ethnic Minority recruitment. Shortly after working to provide college access to underrepresented students at Colorado College, a top tier liberal arts college, Blake completed his masters degree at Teachers College Columbia University and then continued his work in education by joining Denver Public Schools.
Ms. Miller is an Interventionist, Behavioral Expert, Consultant, and Trainer with more than a 30-year background working with marginalized youth and social programs. First, as an Education Dir0065hjctor for the Girls and Boys Club in Indiana, then moving to Ohio as a researcher for Wright State University. She then shifted to public education, to become a Special Education Teacher and Trainer and later an Administrator. She has trained numerous educators in diversity and inclusionary practices and presented at several conferences. Candyce completed multiple degrees while raising two multi-racial children with her husband of over 28 years. She holds a Sociology Bachelors’ and a Masters in Applied Behavioral Science specializing in Social Problems and a Masters in Educational Leadership. Soon completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado. Candyce is a Learning Specialist with DSST Public Schools in Denver, Colorado.
Chief Heberer is a native of Canon City, Colorado. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington and received his Master of Arts degree from Webster’s University in Security and Organizational Management in 2005. During his 20 year career in the Army serving as a Military Police officer, Chief Heberer commanded at all levels to include platoon, company and battalion. Chief Heberer held a variety teaching and staff positions during his time in the Army and is a graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff School, US Army Airborne, Jump Master and Air Assault schools. Chief Heberer is the former Secretary/Treasurer for the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and serves on many additional boards dedicated to improving the relationships between police and their communities. Chief Heberer was granted the distinction of Law Enforcement Executive Certification through CACP in 2015. Chief Heberer is married to the former Mrs. Mandy Griffith and they are the proud parents of 3 wonderful dogs. Our Family Motto: “The city of Fountain is the best kept secret in all of Southern Colorado, we are proud to be a part of our outstanding community.”
Mr. Powells is the President and CEO of Orion Research Solutions International Inc. and Board member of Cook Global Institute, Inc. Mr. Powells has served over 20 years as a Registered Nurse and is a Senior Clinical Research Associate with over 12 years of related experience in clinical research. He has served as Director of Nursing, Nurse Manager and Regional Manager for home care and hospital-based critical care and occupational health nursing skilled nursing care facilities. Mr. Powells is experienced with electronic data capture and multiple clinical trial management systems. He has monitored and managed large, multi-center, clinical trials. Mr. Powells has over eight years bed side Critical Care, Medical Surgical, Psychiatric and Neurovascular nursing. Mr. Powells has spearheaded 2 previous start-up enterprises, one in post-secondary education and one which was online College.
Dr. Darryl Baynes
Dr. Baynes is the Founder and President of Interactive Science Programs, Inc. an educational consortium that teaches STEAM related disciplines to students and educators through hands on experiments and scientific presentations. Dr. Baynes has always had a love for math and science, and after graduating with a Chemistry degree from the University of Pittsburgh, began the development of the organizational philosophy of uniting hands on science with role modeling and motivational messages. Dr. Baynes’ professional goal is to continue to impact future teachers and K–12 students in an academic setting and increase access to STEM education for the students and teachers in US schools so that they are able to compete in the global market. The experiments and curriculums that he develops allow participants to connect to the next generation science standards and common core skills. He aims to equip the educators of today with the tools necessary to create an environment of curiosity and wonder for the students of tomorrow.
Mr. Natali has been in the classroom as a trainer for the USAF since 1980 and is a Professor of Business Studies at Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC). He is a trained researcher and international speaker from Colorado State University with a PhD in Education and Human Resources Studies, and a certified Social Impact Strategist. He is serving his 4th year as a presenter with AAYLC. Dennis was attracted to join because his personal mission statement is in perfect alignment with AAYLC’s mission of “Respect and Responsibility for Success.” As a life-long servant-leader for his community, Dennis has served on various fundraising committees and boards ranging from Boy and Girl Scouts, numerous youth sports teams, Rotary clubs, and a local museum.
Dr. Derric Thomas
Dr. Thomas graduated in 1997 from Langston University in Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. He furthered his education in healthcare and received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2012 from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Thomas also has a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare. He leads a staff of 31 employees in the Adult Outpatient Rehabilitation Healthcare setting and is currently a member of the Leadership Governing Body in Physical Therapy Health Profession and the American Health Council. Dr. Thomas has received multiple leadership awards and certifications: Transformational Leadership Award, Best in Healthcare Leadership from the American Health Council, The Art of Leadership Certification and Mentored Pathways for high school students. He maintains his leadership in the community and at home with his wife Quimberly Thomas and 2 children. Dr. Derric Thomas 'personal mission statement is “Leading Within in order to Lead Others”.
Ms. Bee is a former accountant turned insurance agent helping families insure their belongings and securing peace of mind for their families' future. She and her family moved to Colorado in July 2018 and opened a Farmers Insurance Agency office in October of that year. Dorothy's husband is retired Air Force. They have 6 children.
Mr. Brown was born in Denver Colorado on October 13 1987 and Is a father to two beautiful daughters he loves and admires ! From being adopted at anearly age Ennis completed his schooling in the inner cities of his hometown! As Park Hill beig his birthplace and raised in the Montbello neighborhood, Enns found his calling in life and is now a 2x published Author of the books “The Adoptf Kid” and “RELEASED _Your Destiny Awaits” also seen in “His Favor Magazine” ! As a Preacher and Author Ennis get jy when YOU find your purpose!
Ms. Taylor is an active entrepreneur, youth leader and motivational speaker. She is currently managing Emerald Taylor, LLC, a Colorado based business consulting firm, as well as helping families protect their income and to properly plan for retirement. Although her company was officially established in 2015, Emerald has been helping build businesses since 2004. With over 11 years of experience, Emerald continues to be an asset to dozens of successful organizations. Aside from her entrepreneurial endeavors, Emerald is an accomplished youth leader and motivational speaker. She served as a youth leader with the NAACP from 2000 -2004 where she mentored students to become better public speakers and political debaters, in addition to talent competition preparation. She served as the Image and Marketing Consultant for the Colorado Springs Elite Steppers and conducts seminars under her nonprofit, Project Young Mind. In 2004, Mrs. Elaine Bowers, founder of Love IS Finding Everyone (L.I.F.E.), asked Emerald to serve as the company spokesperson. Emerald continues to be a woman of influence throughout this great city of Colorado Springs.
Dr. Ernie Greene
Dr. Greene is a Business Manager and Educator with 42 years of experience in the career fields of Military Intelligence, Business Administration, Program Management, and Kindergarten to Post-Graduate (K-20) Education. I his curren position as an K-14 Educator, Community Volunteer Leader, and AAYLC Board Vice President, his aspiration is to support community-based educational and non-profit organizations that are focused on educating and empowering Colorado Spring's African American and other disadvantaged and underprivileged youths and young adults to achieve their educational, workforce and personal life-time goals
Mr. Lipford sparks innovation, cultivates inquiry, and aids in the design of culture for businesses that aim to leverage technological advancements and evolving market trends. With an entrepreneurial track record that spans across five industries, Evan's methodology applies evidence-based strategy to a wide range of operations that are backed by relevant experience, and a network of software and partnerships that work with him to consult and deliver at a high level. Evan plans to spread his business ideologies to entrepreneurs that are looking for solutions and solid ways to grow.
Amongst being a strategy fanatic, he is also a proud father, a dedicated student, inspiring-author, aggressive investor, and currently holds equity in a number of different companies in the Colorado Springs area.
Ezekiel & Jakin Ford
Ezekiel, (a 17-year old senior) and Jakin, (a 12-year old 7th grader) are the hosts of ForDollarz (formerly The Dollarz Made Eazy Show) on YouTube. The show teaches money management and entrepreneurship to tweens and teens. The two were born in Dover, DE. They moved to Colorado Springs, CO with their parents, Sergeant B.K. Ford and Dr. Renay Ford in 2016.
Being a Nurse is about trying to help people improve their health and preventing disease. Still, instead of waiting for one patient to come into a clinical setting, Florence Hickman enjoys caring for the entire community. As a Public Health Nurse, Ms. Hickman is a liaison between the military community, local and state public health officials, and schools. Focusing primarily on health education to encourage healthy communities, Ms. Hickman educates people on health-related issues, monitors for the spread of disease, watch for risks, and raise public awareness to protect their health. The BEST part of the job for Ms. Hickman is planning community education activities designed to address health disparities, promote, preserve, and restore the health of those in the community.
Dr. Francis Onukwuli, Jr., PT, DPT, MTC
Dr. Onukwuli was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He received his Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Georgia. He received his Masters Degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Georgia Southern University. He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Francis also holds his Manual Therapy Certification (MTC) from The University of St. Augustine. Francis has a passion for rehabilitation and using various physical therapy interventions to return patients back to their highest level of function. He has worked in the acute care, home health, and outpatient orthopedic settings.
Commander Lewis brings over 25 years of experience to the City of Fountain and the Fountain Police Department as the Commander. He works under the direction of Chief Heberer and is extremely passionate about continuing the mission of making the Fountain Police Department the most respected, caring and efficient Police Department in the region.
Ms. Morning has nearly 10 years of experience in the educational field and is currently employed by Denver Public Schools as Manager of Values-Based Programming on the Culture, Equity and Leadership team. Although she primarily works with adults, she is very passionate about cultivating and exploring leadership within our youth.
I'm a living testimony! My life is a reflection of God taking me from glory to glory! After overcoming professionals who doubted what was possible, I've achieved more than I thought I would ever do. My successes have come academically, professionally, athletically and more. I enjoy sharing the blessing of yesterday to encourage what's possible today!
Mimi the Motivator is a dynamic speaker who informs, entertains and empowers audiences to create the life and business desired. Currently she serves as President of the Entspirational Speakers, Area Director of Toastmasters, acting VP of the Yes Ma’am No Ma’am Institute, and faithful volunteer. Her passion is assisting others in transforming dreams into reality via workshops, talks and her podcast show 'Get High On Motivation', with a mission to build generational and community wealth.
MAJ (Retired) Cherry served in the active duty Army for 29+ years as a Logistician and Research Analyst. He also holds a Master’s of Education degree from Bloomsburg University, Bachelors degree in Business Administration, and Associates degree in Liberal Arts from Saint Leo University, Florida. After retirement from the United States Army, MAJ Cherry pursued his dream of teaching and currently serves as the Powhatan High School Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) Senior Army Instructor. He currently possesses a Virginia Department of Education license for JROTC and Middle School Mathematics.
Mr. Gatlin is currently the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Colorado Building & Construction Trades Council for the State of Colorado. Major Gatlin is a retired Army Officer, a graduate of the Command & General Staff College and has a B.S. degree in Psychology and Business Management. He has completed Board Governance and Leadership Development Training and Certifications from the El Polmar Foundation. He is a Life Member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He volunteers and conducts classes for Teen Court of the El Paso County 4th Judicial system; and an Ambassador for the Fountain Valley “Communities That Cares” Youth Involvement Group.
Mr. Dailey, R.T. (R) a native from Colorado Springs graduated from Wasson high school. Joe is a military veteran and served in Desert Storm/Shield. Joe has an extensive background in healthcare. He was a Medical Assistant/Limited Scope X-ray tech from 1999-2003. Joe continued his healthcare role and transitioned to a Radiology Instructor for the school of radiology at UCHealth, 2009 to present. Joe is responsible for 52 students through didactic studies and clinical rotation through UCHealth Denver, UCHealth Colorado Springs and Centura health care system.
Mr. Hall is a musician, singer, songwriter, audio engineer, performer, motion graphics artist, videographer, photographer, online marketer, and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Colorado, most years in Colorado Springs, J. Carter discovered his creative passions early on. With his passion for God driving him, he began playing and singing in church worship teams and his love for music grew. In high school, he was introduced to the world of recording music and composing and never looked back. He knew the path he wanted to pursue and went on to get his bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Ms. Beers is a clinical dietitian working at University of Colorado Health: Memorial Hospital. She is a board certified specialist in pediatric nutrition and also sees children on an outpatient basis for a variety of nutrition concerns. Karen has been a dietitian since 2011, having formerly taught high school science. She loves working with kids of all ages and encouraging them to eat well for healthy bodies!
Dr. Laconti Bryant
Dr. Bryant earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Liberty University in 2017. Her research is specifically focused on the areas of instructional coaching/mentoring, collaboration, job-embedded professional development, and equity. Dr. Bryant has worked with teachers and administrators with creating professional learning communities that are conducive to positive results in student achievement and teacher development. Currently, Dr. Bryant is an avid traveler. Her motto is, "The World is My Classroom." Prior to entering public education, Dr. Bryant served in the United States Army as a paralegal for 5 years stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Bamberg, Germany, and Fort Hood, Texas.
Ms. Abdullah-Ward is a psychotherapist, a fitness instructor, and a highly awarded Master Sergeant (Nurse) US Army Retired. While serving in the military she was recognized in three leadership schools as the top physical fitness student of the cycle, one of a select few females to wear the air assault badge as well as the combat medic badge for medical support of the 1st Infantry Division in the Saudi War of 1991. Leona made a career of mastering physical fitness. As a Psychotherapist, her skills have aided cancer patients in recovery when told there were no recovery methods available. Leona consistently works in community/church events to uplift the community in reaching self-actualization. Her main goals are to promote healing and growth while removing negative cognitions and images that have caused psychological damage. This is accomplished by the creation of a network of self-help groups focused on healing, wellness, and empowerment with the focus of Dance Therapy, Movement and Nutrition.
Dr. Mario Coleman
Dr. Coleman is a pediatric neurologist who practices at the Children’s Hospital Colorado Outpatient Specialty Clinic at Briargate in Colorado Springs. His focus is general pediatric neurology which involves caring for children with epilepsy, headache, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other neurological disorders. He graduated with distinction from Langston University and also has a master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University in New York. He completed medical training at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. Dr. Coleman has won several awards for patient satisfaction and excellence in patient care from 2016 to 2019.
Dr. Mark Brown
Dr. Brown graduated from Kubasaki High School in Okinawa Japan and then went on to Camron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. Dr. Brown holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Religious Education, a Master’s in Biblical Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Theology with a focus in Christian Counseling. He and his wife are owners of Pikes Peak Motivation, training leaders in Motivational Speaking and Education. Dr. Brown is also a Published Author and Registered Psychotherapist in Private Practice at In His Service Counseling in Colorado Springs.
Dr. Renay Ford
Dr. Ford has taught in higher education for over 20 years and secondary education for five years. She has earned the following degrees: Doctor of Education, Higher Education in Leadership, Master of Arts Degree in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, and Bachelor of Arts Degree, English. Her degrees have afforded her opportunities to teach in several diverse places: Student Flight (Air National Guard Trainees), college, and alternative education. Throughout her career, she has taught in-class and online courses. Her classroom methods include, but aren't limited to: educational leadership, professional development, English, World and African & African American literatures, and rhetoric. Dr. Ford uses her professional expertise and life skills she learned from growing up in Baltimore, Maryland to help connect student and military personnel gain greater critical thinking skills, global and cultural perspectives, and leadership skill building.
Regina is the founder of Be You a non profit and owner and director of her own pageant system, YES M.A.A.M. that mentors youth through the sport of pageantry with a focus on community service, team building, public speaking, education, life skills, healthy relationships and self-esteem. Regina serves as the Harrison School District Two Board of Education Vice President, R.I.S.E. resident leader community advocate, AAYLC entertainment chair and inspirational speaker traveling to various states empowering others to "Maximize The Moment Before It Becomes A Memory" that is known as Regina Inspire's . Regina is passionate and focuses on empowering young men and young women that operate in excellence. Her mottos are: "Committed To Being Fabulous On Purpose" and "Stay Ready So You Don't Have To Get Ready"
Retired Military Officer, IT Professional, & Successful Entrepreneur. Rick has been active in the Colorado Springs community since 2001. He is a 2003 graduate of
Leadership Pikes Peak and an appointed community trustee. Rick is the former Chairman of the CS Black Leadership Forum, Inc. Founded the University of Massachusetts (Lowell Chapter) of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Rick has organized and served on several national and local nonprofit boards and commissions. He is a retired Air Force Officer and worked as a software development project manager. Rick and Brenda are a power couple, social entrepreneurs, and have been self-employed since 2005. They have two children, Brittany and Cameron...both D49 graduates. Brittany is a UCCS graduate and works in the insurance industry and Cameron graduated from CSU and currently serves as officer in the US Air Force.
Firma IT Solutions was started by community leader and US Air Force Veteran, Certified Ethical Hacker and Network Defense Architect, Rodney Gullatte, Jr. When the job market would not cooperate in Key West, FL, he decided to take matters into his own hands and start a business. With a background in Information Technology and Cybersecurity that includes Department of Defense, retail, healthcare, casinos, utility companies and more, Rodney has developed a company that brings enterprise technology solutions to small businesses. Law firms, accounting firms, architect firms, museums, and marinas are just a few of the clients that Firma IT Solutions has transformed. From workstations and servers to cybersecurity and enterprise wireless networks, Firma IT Solutions has a wide scope of services to create data integrity and system security that all small businesses desperately need. The company started in Key West and thrived there four years before Rodney’s wife received military orders to Colorado Springs. As a leader in the Key West community, Firma IT Solutions has grown since Rodney left in August 2015 to come to Colorado Springs. Now Rodney has established himself in Colorado Springs as a member of the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, President of BNI Strategic Alliances Chapter, Board of Rotary District 5470 as Public Image Chair, Board of Rotary Club of Colorado Springs as Director of Local Community Service Projects and Service Fund Trustee. He is also proud member of Colorado Springs Chapter of The eWomen’s Network.
Dr. Robert Turman
Dr. Turman was born in Germany, the son of a father who was a U.S. military officer that later became an educator and school administrator and a mother who was a teacher and educator. Throughout his life he has continued to live by the principles of his parents. He has a strong work ethic and faith; and advocates for truth, justice, fairness, and rights for all people. He earned a Juris Doctor Degree in May 1981 from Georgetown University Law Center. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree (with Honors) in May 1978 from Howard University. He has been admitted to both the U.S. Federal Bar and the Colorado State Bar.
Ms. Clay has been teaching at both Pikes Peak Community College and University of Colorado Colorado Springs since 2012. She specializes in African communities in both the United States and Latin America. She has presented on African American history for the Public Library and designed and teaches African American History courses at both institutions.
Sherman & PJ Fuller
Career educators, visionaries, business owners, teachers, speakers, authors, military retiree, and kingdom coaches. Sherman and PJ Fuller, for many years, have been teaching, coaching, speaking and sharing ideas and concepts on understanding your purpose and having growth goals to achieve it! PJ and Sherman believe that everything you do is connected to how you see. They also believe that the path you choose in life is key! Vision Walking is a curriculum that helps people to have a purpose, vision, and mission statement for their life and helps them write specific goals to achieve their purpose. "As career educators, we see generations that don’t know their purpose and don’t have a vision for their life! When purpose isn’t defined, abuse can occur."
Mr. Gbandawa is the implementation manager for T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services (RPS) in the Colorado Springs office. Stanley joined T. Rowe Price in November 2002 as an operations representative in the RPS Transactions Group. Prior to assuming his current role, he was a general consultant on the conversion team, a manager in RPS Client Administration, a supervisor in the Asset Transfer Group, and a retirement plan coordinator specialist. In October 2007, Stanley transitioned to Colorado Springs as a supervisor in our Retail Account Management department. Stanley earned a B.S. in information systems from Morgan State University and an M.B.A. in management from Strayer University.
Tariq Collins Sr. was born in Bronx, New York and raised in Atlanta, Ga. Tariq graduated from Stockbridge High School and enlisted in the United States Army and served four years. After separating, he attended Regis University while working for the government as a DOD employee. While doing that he decided to do an internship with Northwestern Mutual, where he learned much about finances which changed his life. Tariq decided to become contracted as a Financial Representative in January of 2018.
Tekarah Harding joined T. Rowe Price in 2015 as an in plan associate in the Participant Service Center (WISE). Not long after, she moved into a Specialist role and was later promoted to a Retirement Specialist in Client Development. Tekarah moved into an Education Specialist role in 2017 as part of the WISE reorganization. In 2018 she was promoted to WISE Senior, and during her tenure she played an integral role in creating and delivering training for the Education team. Tekarah is a graduate of the 2018 EDGE program and holds her Series 7, 63, and 66, and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor certification.
Tony Exum, Jr.
Thomas “Tony” Exum, Jr. was born in Colorado Springs, CO. He spent much of his childhood traveling from Germany, to Mississippi, to New Orleans, and back, due to his military upbringing. At the age of 11, Tony picked up a saxophone given to him by his uncle Larry, a U.S. Army musician for the first time and soon developed a love for it . Largely self taught through high school, Tony was formally educated at Denver University’s Lamont School of Music. At age 20, Tony began performing on a regular basis as professional in Colorado Springs, Ft Collins, Boulder and Denver. After many years of daily practice, unpaid gigs, R&B and funk cover bands, making demos in home studios, day jobs as an insurance/call center professional and constant work on his craft, Tony began his solo journey in 2008 releasing two critically acclaimed CDs in 2010 (Finally) and 2012 (The One) respectively. Tony has toured nationally at jazz festivals, clubs, corporate events on a regular basis since 2010.
Dr. Theresa Newsom
Dr. Newsom graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with a K-12 Teaching Credential, a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State. In 2016, she completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado with a major emphasis in Gifted and Talented Education. Dr. Newsom is a former elementary principal, is the Founder of the Black Educator’s Network Colorado Springs, a Gifted Resource Educator, and a national presenter on developing leadership in children and youth. Her goal is to prepare students today for global interactions in tomorrow’s world.