If you would like to nominate your Top 30 Under 30 click here
Note: Listed in no particular order…
Stay tuned all month as we unveil a new honoree each day…
#1 Teiler Robinson
Teiler Robinson, 23, is the Founder of Jettsetfashion.com, a global fashion and lifestyle blog, FAQTOR Fashion Book (a print and digital magazine that is featured in 544 airports around the world) and a rising political Activist in Washington, DC. Teiler served a term as an ambassador with the Andrew Goodman Foundation where she engaged the community and local college campuses with action and education events. She is currently an electoral action trainer for the United States Student Association, where she travels around the country to various college campuses to educate fellow students on how to properly run campaigns and raise awareness to various issues. Her work in the political scene lead her to the National Congress of Black Women where she was given the opportunity to meet and have tea with the former Ambassador of Burkina Faso. Teiler’s website, Jett-Set Fashion, is read around the world, and has covered large events, including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and the Congressional Black Caucus, and featured interviews with some of the biggest names in fashion. Teiler was profiled in the book “Secrets of Successful Women” and has been featured in PMc Magazine, Luevo, The Bellingham Herald, Shop it to me, 101.1 in Richmond and several other press outlets. She regularly participates in various charity events, including an event for the Disabled American Vets, where food, services and clothing were provided for homeless Veterans throughout the area. Teiler is currently completing a Bachelor’s in Business and enrolling in Law School.
#2 Jalisa Whitley
Jalisa Whitley is a community leader, young philanthropist, and social entrepreneur with experience across the private, philanthropic, nonprofit and public sectors. A passionate advocate for building nonprofit capacity, Jalisa currently serves as a Community Impact Manager for the United Way of the National Capital Area, an organization that improves the lives of individuals and families by uniting the people and organizations that have the will, expertise and resources to create measurable results and a lasting impact.. Her work is aimed at building the capacity of local nonprofits through grants, technical assistance and partnerships as well as enhancing the United Way’s role in the region as a thought leader, community collaborator and catalyst for community change.
Outside of work, Jalisa is a mentor to two students through Capital Partners for Education and Public Allies. She also serves as a board member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and a dedicated member of Black Benefactors, a local giving service that encourages philanthropy and community service to enhance the well being of Black children, youth and families in Washington, D.C.
Jalisa is an alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park where she received a Master’s in Public Policy specializing in Nonprofit Management and Leadership as well as Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she received a B.A. in Public Policy and Sociology.
#3 Brian Glover
Brian Glover, 28, is a docketing specialist for DLA Piper, the world’s largest law firm, in the Intellectual Property and Trademark group. He is a 2008 graduate of Morehouse College with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a 2010 graduate of Virginia Tech University with a Masters of Public Administration and Policy. With his belief that he has an obligation and opportunity to positively impact the world around him he volunteers with multiple organizations and is a model for many in his efforts to get involved in his community. He is an avid volunteer for the Capital Area Food Bank and recently led his firm to raise $26,000.00 for Light The Night DC on behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Believing in the importance of investing in youth, Brian spends time with the District of Columbia Public Schools Reading Buddies and GeoPlunge programs.
#4 Lawrence Washington Jr
Lawrence Washington, 24, is a real estate finance professional, as well as a former professional and Division I tennis player. In his finance role, Mr. Washington currently works as an associate at Freddie Mac on the multifamily conventional underwriting team. Prior to Freddie Mac, Mr. Washington served in positions with other financial firms including the NASDAQ Stock Exchange and Deloitte Consulting, where he completed a competitive mentorship program. At the age of 18, Mr. Washington created a building permit refund policy in the city of Franklin, Tennessee, to assist builders struggling with development costs during tough economic times.
Although Mr. Washington is no longer a full-time professional tennis player, he remains engaged in the sport by volunteering and creating tennis programs in the national capital area. Mr. Washington is the former executive director of Tennis on the Hill, a community tennis association located on Capitol Hill. He also founded IWM Sports Management, a firm dedicated to growing the sport of tennis on an international scale. Mr. Washington serves as the volunteer assistant coach of Howard University’s tennis team, and has played an integral part in producing several Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athletes. Most recently, Mr. Washington was appointed by Katrina Adams—former professional tennis player and first African American president of the United States Tennis Association (USTA)—to serve on the prestigious USTA national committee team that focuses on growing the sport of tennis nationally. Although Mr. Washington maintains a busy professional schedule, he remains active in the tennis competition circuit and was recently a semifinalist in the Virginia Open, an Association of Tennis Players (ATP) Prize Money tournament, which attracted professional tennis players and highly ranked college tennis players.
Mr. Washington graduated summa cum laude from Tennessee State University and holds a master’s degree in Real Estate Finance from Georgetown University.
#5 Shanice Miller
After graduating from the University of Maryland Baltimore Dental School in 2011 entirely debt free and even receiving $10,000 back from the college, Shanice founded Debt Free College Grad to help other students and families save money on college costs.
Shanice has a very unique approach to the scholarship game. She believes that all students, regardless of their GPA, SAT scores, or income, can find and win scholarships for college.
In addition to that, she believes that you don’t have to spend a lot of time and energy applying to hundreds of scholarships to graduate debt-free if you have the right guide. She shows her clients how to find schools that will give them automatic scholarships to get the bulk of the money needed for college and then supplements the difference with private scholarships. She also shares with her clients how to win extra money for extra expenses like books.
She is the author of “How to Graduate College Debt-Free with Money in the Bank,” a public speaker, real estate investor, and has been featured in Forbes, AOL, Yahoo, Essence, the Huffington Post, and numerous other radio and news outlets.
#6 Devon Williams
Born in Silver Spring, MD, this lover of movement and expression has devoted herself to her creative forte. As a young girl, Devon Williams studied with the likes of Artistic Dance Academy, The Joyce Laverne Studio of Dance, as well as, The Dance Theater of Harlem. While attending Syracuse University, she rose to the challenge of becoming a member of The Syracuse University Dance Team and the Director of Creations Dance Company. After college Ms. Williams went on to become a member of the Washington Wizard Girls, the official Dance team of the NBA’s Washington Wizards. During her three year tenure with the Wizard Girls she was named captain of the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 teams in addition to being picked to represent the team in Bangkok, Thailand for the NBA 3X games. After the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Williams announced her retirement from the Wizard Girls and was named MVP of the year and was honored with an official retired uniform for her work and dedication to the Wizards organization; she is the only Wizard Girl to receive such an honor.
As a young professional in the Information Technology field, Ms. Williams has made her mark as a software engineer, technical manager, and business development specialist for both government and private industries. She has been featured on the Today Show for her work on encouraging young girls to pursue STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) degrees and careers and frequently speaks to youth about the importance of education, entrepreneurship, and living to your fullest potential. Devon has recently embarked on her most exciting venture as co-founder of Fanciful Entertainment, a brand marketing firm that provides professional dancers and brand ambassadors for events. Fanciful specializes in various genres of dance allowing clients to customize performances to match their visions – bringing events to life! #TeamFanci is quickly making a mark in the Washington, DC area and is looking forward to launching in New York City in the near future.
#7 Rachael Ruffin
Rachael M. Ruffin is a 28-year-old native of Memphis, TN and an up and coming healthcare professional. Rachael serves in both the private and public health care sectors where she tackles diseases and disparities on small and large scales. Rachael currently serves as the Program Manager for the National Healthy Start Association where her duties include management and coordination of programs designed to combat infant morbidity and mortality in minority communities. She also promotes early childhood development amongst minority populations.
When not battling community health issues, Rachael assists physicians in providing accurate diagnoses and treatments to their patients by working as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist for Suburban Hospital.
Rachael’s passion for public health extends well beyond her career. Her background is rooted in maternal and child health. Utilizing her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and her position as Vice President of the Junior Board of Directors for Girls on the Run of Montgomery County Maryland, Rachael breathes health and wellness into the lives of others.
Another joy for Rachael is writing. She launched her own blog in August of 2013 entitled Life, Laughter and Love, where she found a way to breathe in a world that can at times be stifling. Her love of writing extended into a professional environment; Rachael also serves as a blogger for the Congressional Black Caucus blog “The Village”.
Rachael holds a Master of Science in Public Health from Meharry Medical College and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Tennessee State University.
#8 Marsheila Hayes
Marsheila Hayes, 28, is a rising human resources professional living and working in McLean, VA. As the brand and experience manager for Gannett’s talent acquisition team, Marsheila works to further develop the Gannett Careers brand, improve upon recruitment strategies targeting millennials, as well as manage the social media outlets for Gannett Careers.
She is primary coordinator for the enterprise-wide talent development and internship programs and serves as a mentor for the USA TODAY and Gannett Digital intern groups. Marsheila believes in the power of mentorship and the importance of community service. She is a co-founder of The Pentagon Project, a forthcoming non-profit organization that focuses on the personal liberation of women of African descent through mentorship and education, and also serves as communications director on the Junior Board of Directors for Girls on the Run of Montgomery County Maryland. She is a co-founder and Partner at Gold Owl HR Consulting LLC, specializing in talent acquisition strategy and organizational development.
A Memphis, TN native, Marsheila is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She is currently working towards her master’s in Strategic Human Resource Management at Georgetown University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Tennessee State University.
#9 Nyerere Davidson
Nyerre Davidson serves as a marketing communications manager for the YMCA of the USA – the YMCA’s national headquarters. He develops national marketing campaigns that support the YMCA’s Healthy Living Framework, which helps to make communities, nationwide, stronger and healthier. Nyerere has serves as the Vice President of Programming for the DC Chapter of the Black Public Relations Society and he’s developed social media campaigns and performed media relations for WHUT Howard University Television.
The Milwaukee native and Florida A&M University graduate has a passion for health and fitness, he has lost more than 90 lbs. In his free time, Nyerere coaches tennis to inner-city youth and participates in a slew of local running groups. He is also proud of member of the Masonic Order, Prince Hall Affiliated and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. where he recently completed a two-year elected term as Reporter for the fraternity’s North Central Province.
#10 Carita Marrow
Carita has served UNCF for the past four years. The organization is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. UNCF has recognized her efforts with the UNCF Shining Star award for the past two consecutive years; the organization’s highest honor to an employee. In her capacity, as Senior Relationship Manager for Science Education Initiatives, her focus centers on effectively managing the UNCF/Merck Scholarship and Fellowships. These programs have provided funding opportunities to over 650 students in the bio- life sciences since 1996. Over 300 students that have been initiated into the program now hold PhDs. In addition to this, she has been a contributor to the advancement of innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship (ICE), a part of UNCF’s ICE platform at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) by managing the logistics for the Inaugural 2013 HBCU Innovation Summit in Palo Alto, CA as well as the subsequent follow-up 2014 Summit which brought HBCU faculty and leadership in addition to students to Silicon Valley for tech inclusion opportunities and dialogue tech workshops at Google and engaging in a Facebook HBCU Hackathon where 12 prototypes were created by 50 HBCU Students. Carita is an advocate for the interactional diversity in STEM for minorities. She is also cofounder of an UNCF Affinity Group—Young Professional Development Group with key executive leaders.
Ms. Marrow has always been determined to make an impact in the field of higher education. As a college student at Virginia Commonwealth University, she was a fine arts major focusing on painting and printmaking. While at VCU, Carita participated and also president of arts related-student organizations which planned major events throughout the year. While at GMU for graduate school, Carita custom crafted her Graduate assistant-ship position for programming concurrently receiving her Graduate School Fellowship/Scholarship. Four years later and presently she continues to foster and aid to the advancement minorities in STEM. Additionally, Carita gives back to her alma mater, VCU, while serving on the Board of Directors for the VCU DMV GOLD – an alumni constituent group. She also designs graphic materials for Light Year IP– a nonprofit organization committed to alleviating poverty by assisting developing country producers gain ownership of the intellectual property (IP) and use the IP to increase their export income and improve the security of that income.
#11 Brittany Gay
Brittany Gay, a four year resident of Mitchellville, MD, is a civil servant aerospace engineer for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Her duties include executing frequent data analyses for satellite and telecommunications systems, serving as the facility operations manager for her building, and managing all property for her branch. In addition to her engineering duties at NASA GSFC, Ms. Gay performs various outreach activities around Prince George’s County by speaking about her career and engaging students with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities to alert them of the numerous related internships, programs, and careers. Ms. Gay’s passion for educating the youth is so strong that she instructs all Math levels at Kumon Learning Center of Bowie after work daily. Additionally, she has a personal Math tutoring service.
Aside from her career and student engagements, Ms. Gay is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Psi Epsilon Omega Graduate Chapter. She is involved in many efforts with her chapter ranging from domestic violence symposiums, heart disease awareness, providing items for the homeless, sick, and shut in, and inspiring young ladies to become future leaders of America.
A native of Stone Mountain, GA, Ms. Gay received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Aerospace Science Engineering from Tuskegee University in 2010. As a result of her excellence in her career and educational STEM outreach, NASA GSFC is funding her to pursue a Master’s of Science degree in Space Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins University that began in January.
#12 Harrison Beacher
Harrison Beacher is a realtor in the Washington DC metro area and very active in his community. He attended Georgetown University on a partial football scholarship, graduating in 2008 with a degree in Studio Art and Theology. In his sophomore year in college, Harrison started a bottled water delivery business with a friend and earned more than $6000 in revenue in their first semester in business. Fast forward to 2014, Harrison was able to achieve sales volume of over $9.4 million that year. Harrison’s principle business development activity is organizing and executing educational first-time buyer seminars to help real estate newbies navigate the crazy DC real estate market and find affordable programs and options for every price point. Harrison helps millennials clearly understand their home buying options and encourages them to think outside of the box when it comes to getting into their first home. From his extensive work with developers and recently purchasing and renovating a home for him and his future wife, Harrison helps clients understand the value in the “bones” and structure of a home to see that an old or outdated home can be turned into your dream home, quite often it just take some courage and vision . Harrison partnered with DCFHA to help promote the DC Open Doors program and held the first seminar to promote this program in 2014. Harrison also gives back to the community in many ways, from volunteer coaching little league football, to participating in fundraising efforts for American Cancer Society, Children’s National Health Systems, Horton’s Kids & The Greater Washington Sports Alliance to participating in DCPS school beautification projects and physical service to volunteering with the DC Hoyas (GU Alumni Association), and the SJC Alumni Association. Harrison is currently the Communications Chair for the Greater Capitol Area Association of Realtors YPN Committee which helps promote professional relationship development and community service amongst Realtors in the DMV.
#13 Alpha Bah
Alpha Bah is an lawyer and a professor. He manages a law practice, Bah Legal and Consulting, that provides business law, business consultation, and litigation services to business persons and entrepreneurs in the DMV-area. Alpha teaches Business Law at Morgan State University’s School of Business in Baltimore, Maryland.
Alpha obtained his Masters in Business Administration from Howard University, a Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University.
Alpha regularly speaks at panels and workshops catered to entrepreneurship and business growth. Alpha enjoys writing and playing basketball. He was born and raised in the DMV and often tutors grade school children in mathematics.
#14 Elesia Summers-Thomas
Elesia Summers-Thomas, 27, is a Congressional Liaison for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) specifically working on immigration issues.The North Carolina A&T State University graduate holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture Education Professional Service. She is currently in the dissertation phase of her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization on policy analysis. Her dissertation focuses on ways to generate voting interest and political participation among millennials through social media in an effort to offer research to increase political participation among millennials for the 2016 Presidential election.
Elesia spent time as a Washington Washington Football Team Cheerleader and Washington Capitals Red Rocker. Elesia has also served as a Miss Maryland and Miss Virginia since her time living in the DMV area. Through representing the state of Maryland and Virginia in pageants Elesia has had the opportunity to mentor and advocate for child abuse awareness, an issue she has now been supporting for 6 years through various community organizations. While working with Child Abuse of America and Stop Child Abuse Now Elesia has met with the leaders of these organizations to gain a better understanding of their purpose and to help promote these organizations in the DMV area. As a supporter of many issues impacting children, Elesia is also an advocate against school and cyber bullying and has spent time traveling to elementary and middle schools speaking to youth on the harmful effects of bullying in multiple states across the country.
#15 Shae Harris
Shae Harris currently serves as the School Partnership Manager for College Summit, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of low-income youth by connecting them to college and career. As part of the Nation Capitol Region office she provides support to over 3,500 students in over 20 high schools in the Washington DC metro area. Shae also works with Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit with a mission of improving the lives of homeless, runaway, abused and neglected youth and their families. In this capacity, she has helped young people find employment and identify post-secondary plans. She utilizes her workforce development background to empower young people to get involved in grassroot campaigns and utilize new technologies to advance social policy. Shae aspires to run her own nonprofit focused on reentry support for youth impacted by the criminal justice system. In preparation for that goal she recently obtained a Nonprofit Executive Management Certificate from Georgetown University while completing a year-long fellowship with the Center for American Progress Leadership Institute.
Shae serves as a founding member of Black Youth Project 100, an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. She also volunteers with local organizations like the Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop and the Reentry Network for Returning Citizens helping their missions of educating and organizing returning citizens in the metropolitan Washington area. Her infinite passion for working with young people and advocating for underrepresented populations in the District drives all aspects of her life.
The Ohio native is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is currently a full time student at American University, where she is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree.
#17 Casey Sharperson
Casey Sharperson, 24, is an entrepreneur, coach, blogger, and marketing professional. She currently works in sales at The Advisory Board Company, which is ranked as #1 in the Best Places to Work in Healthcare. Because of her passion for youth and athletics, Casey coaches students ages 3-17 in cheerleading, stunting and tumbling. A former pageant queen, Casey has coupled those experiences with her recruiting background to launch, Get My Dream Job Now. The company’s mission is to help millennials who are underemployed, and struggling with confidence and clarity by providing workplace readiness skills, interview skills, as well as resume rejuvenation. She offers her clients a blueprint for clarity of how to stand out in a cluttered marketplace though speaking, consulting, and workshops.
Casey graduated from Claflin University as a member of The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College where she was named in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and earned national recognition by being awarded the Cultured Pearls Leadership Award, which was presented at Boule in 2012. In her senior year at Claflin, she authored L.E.A.P: A Comprehensive Tool to Market Study Abroad to Minorities, which served as a catalyst for her latest entrepreneurial venture.
Casey is a faithful member of her church where she serves as the young adult ministry director, a member of the liturgical dance ministry, a teacher, as well as a youth ministry volunteer. She also composes daily devotionals that offer her blog readers encouragement and a reminder to put God first.
#18 Kertisha Dixon
Kertisha Dixon currently serves as a staff attorney with the House of Ruth Maryland, Maryland’s largest non-profit organization aimed at eradicating intimate partner domestic violence. Dixon has represented over one hundred men and women in domestic violence cases during her tenure with the House of Ruth Maryland. In 2014, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals vacated a lower court’s decision in favor of Attorney Dixon’s client, based solely on an appellant brief co-written by Attorney Dixon.
Hired at 26, Dixon is also completing her third academic year at Bowie State University where she is the youngest adjunct professor in her department. She instructs aspiring attorneys and law enforcement officers on trial advocacy and multi-cultural issues in criminal justice. The Howard University graduate earned her Juris Doctorate Degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law.
In 2014, the Prince George’s County resident served on Maryland’s Commission on Child Custody Decision Making, Domestic Violence Subcommittee. She is a member of The Junior League of Washington, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and the Maryland State Bar Association. Additionally, she is a member of Reid Temple A.M.E., in Glenn Dale, Maryland, where she chairs Community Service Programs for the 20/30 Ministry.
#19 Dior Ginyard
Dior Ginyard, an alumnus of Bowie Sate University class of 2011, earned his Master’s of Science degree in management marketing at University of Maryland University College in Spring 2014.
While earning his degree, Dior held a position as communications and public affairs representative with Lockheed Martin, #54 Fortune 500 company. He was the sole communicator for Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS Exploration and Mission Support business, managing day-to-day media relation responsibilities. Lockheed Martin recognized his communications efforts in 2014 by honoring him with a Comet Award, the corporation’s annual award recognizing best practices in communications and exceptional contributions to the business. In 2014, Dior also received a NOVA Award, Lockheed Martin’s highest and most prestigious honor that recognizes employees for their achievements and exceptional performance.
Dior took on a new position in August 2014, supporting current NFL players in their personal and professional development during and after their playing careers, as player development manager for the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).
He is also an advocate for providing food and resources to those in-need in the Washington Metro-Region. This year, Dior provided more than 150 lunches to the homeless in Washington, DC through his organization, The Brown Bag Project. His organization has also provided back to school supplies to the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) and Christmas toys to kids at the Children’s National Medical Center. For his contributions to the community, Dior received the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award, which is issued by President Barack Obama. This award recognizes outstanding contributions in community service in the United States.
This past year, Dior was also recognized at #19 on the 2014 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Top 30 Under 30 list.
#20 Glorie Chiza
Thirteen years ago, Glorie Chiza emigrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo with his family. A summer trip to his homeland in Kinshasa, Congo convinced him that public service is key to creating progressive changes so all communities can have equal rights and opportunities. Since then, Glorie has become no stranger to the new generation of political movers and shakers in the District of Columbia. Glorie currently serves as the Staff Assistant for the White House, in the Presidential Personnel Office. Before joining the White House, he served as the Program Coordinator for the Opportunity Funding Corporation, a division of Thurgood Marshall College Fund. He also interned at the White House in the Office of Management and Administration in the summer of 2013. Prior to that, he interned for Congressman John Lewis, under the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Program, and also interned with the Fund for Global Human Rights. Outside from work, this 23 year-old continues to be committed to public service, he actively dedicates his time to mentoring and tutoring students in D.C. Public Schools. The Fort Valley State University alumnus is focused, goal-oriented and relentless in his continuous pursuit of excellence. Among his peers he is known as a charmer with a unique flare for fashion and a passion for public service. Glorie is a Charles B. Rangel Scholar, Tom Joyner Hercules Scholar, and President of the Fort Valley State University Young Alumni Network.
#21 Portia Williams
Ms. Williams is the CEO/Founder of Tumaini D.C, Incorporated, a DC-based nonprofit organization that provides support services to at-risk youth and their families through mentoring, community workshops, and educational advancement. A native of Washington D.C, Portia has dedicated her life to public service, youth advocacy, education, and philanthropy. A product of a single-parent household, Portia understands the power of endurance and perseverance on the journey to success. Portia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. With a deep interest in juvenile justice and education policy, Portia earned a Master of Science degree in Public Policy from Drexel University. After recognizing her strong passion and investment in equal education for inner city youth, Portia joined Teach for America in 2011. Currently, Portia teaches at Maya Angelou Public Charter School, where she leads the English department and teaches English and Social Justice. Portia has also developed an after school mentoring program at Maya Angelou, which serves as an intervention program to decrease the number of students who are suspended or expelled. This program was a direct call to action in response to federal issues with School to Prison Pipeline. Portia grew up directly across the street from the school where she teaches, which has greatly influenced the strong relationships that she is able to build with her students, parents, and members of the community. Being from the same impoverished community as her students, Portia empowers her students daily to believe in themselves and provides them with the necessary tools to excel beyond their own imagination. In May 2013, Portia earned a Master of Science in Special Education from George Mason University. Portia is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and has served her community in several capacities by establishing the NYDIA mentoring program in Greensboro, NC, receiving an award as Most Valued Mentor for the After School Kids Program at Georgetown University, providing therapeutic and social support for at-risk youth, participating in education service projects while studying abroad in Beijing, China, and giving independently to various charities. In her spare time, Portia enjoys spending time with her son, Mahari, tutoring, and reading motivational literature.
#22 David Street
David Street is a native of Washington, D.C. who currently serves as the Community and Political Engagement Coordinator for the Washington Teacher’s Union Local 6 AFL-CIO. Before joining the teachers union, Mr. Street worked for former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame F. Brown as his community outreach specialist. He also spent four years in the non-profit sector as the Director of Employment Services for the Living Classrooms Foundation.
Street received his Bachelors in Political Science from North Carolina A & T State University and holds a Masters in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary. Street was recently appointed as the Executive Director for P.E.N.(Promote, Enrich and Nurture) DMV, a faith based non-profit that specializes in activities for local high school youth and senior citizens. P.E.N DMV has partnerships with The Boys and Girls Club House #15 where they provide mentoring and soft skills training for teenage boys as part of the “Passport to Manhood Program”. Under Street’s leadership P.E.N has carried out winter clothing drives, back to school supply give-a-ways, spearheaded college tours and promotes senior health wellness through its “coffee house” program.
Street is a 2015 New Leaders Council Fellow, a national non-profit who’s mission to to recruit, train and promote the progressive political entrepreneurs of tomorrow — trendsetters, elected officials and civically-engaged leaders in business and industry who will shape the future landscape. Street also serves as an associate minister at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in the Northwest region of Washington, D.C. Street volunteers with The United States Attorney General’s Office for the District of Columbia Clergy Ambassadors Program and is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
#23 Anna–Marie Ashe
Anna–Marie Ashe, 28, is a full time licensed realtor, property manager, and investor in Washington DC. She is a budding entrepreneur and founder of the D.C. -based real estate services company, Ashe Real Estate Alliance, LLC (AREA). Early on Anna- Marie developed a passion for customer service, management, real estate sales and marketing and has devoted the past 10 years of her career to developing her craft. A graduate of Howard University, she’s an active member and works directly with the Howard University Alumni Association to donate a percentage of her profits back to her alma mater. Anna-Marie is also a mentor with Capital Partners for Education (CPE) where she serves on their inaugural fundraising council. She also mentors with BUILD, an organization that uses entrepreneurship to excite disengaged low-income students through high school to college success. Her goal is to serve her community by promoting financial stability and wealth through home ownership, property investments and education.
#24 Ronnie Webb
as president and co-founder of Green Scheme, Ronnie Webb (aka Ron Green) stands on the forefront of educating disadvantaged communities on environmental stewardship and community revitalization. From developing and implementing USDA food system projects to consulting on behalf of businesses and organizations to adopt more sustainable methods, Mr. Webb has over 10 years of experience in the environmental sector.
After graduating from North Carolina A&T State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, the Washington, D.C. native became a certified green consultant while serving as an intern for D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Following his internship, Mr. Webb was offered a fellowship with the Hip Hop Caucus Education fund, an opportunity that helped him shape a platform in the environmental movement on the east coast with a focus on Washington, D.C. and Greensboro, N.C.
The Green Scheme’s founding was based on Webb’s realization of the lack of environmental awareness that existed in many communities. It is a non-profit organization designed to educate people of diverse cultural backgrounds about their role in the environmental movement. Ever since, Green Scheme has been up and running under the leadership of Mr. Webb who is just getting started. Mr. Webb has recently become a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program, which is a national network of environmental leaders.
The Green Scheme has been active in the DC area for over two years. Positively affecting the lives of DC residents through urban agriculture and workforce development, The Green Scheme has creatively carved itself into the fabric of wards 7 & 8 using its community centered identity to plant gardens in the core of some of the most barren food desserts in the city.
Webb recognized the healthy food shortages in the poorest areas of Washington DC and decided a change needed to occur. The Green Scheme has created stronger communities and healthier families with its dedicated approach to wellness and education.
#25 Feyi Odukoya
Feyi Odukoya is a young international speaker and entrepreneur determined to instill boldness in girls and women, while teaching them to live a life of purpose. After starting her first business at the age of 13, Feyi became passionate about discovering how to best use her gifts & talents to touch the lives of others.
Motivated by an encounter with an 8 year-old battling self-esteem issues, Feyi quit her day job in order to fully focus on Project Beautify You, Inc., a nonprofit organization she founded, whose mission is to raise a generation of female leaders by assisting 12-18 year old girls in developing increased levels of self-esteem, confidence and purpose. She has also spoken at numerous conferences, churches and schools across the globe, including University of Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Morgan State University alum’s speaking, philanthropic efforts and innovative programming have yielded her national recognition and accolades, including the “I Am Legend” Award from her alma mater and a selection as a My Black is Beautiful National Ambassador with Procter & Gamble. A consummate entrepreneur, the Maryland native dreams of opening a community center where she can continue inspiring females on levels greater than what she’s able to imagine.
#26 Adisa Alghali
Adisa Alghali, 26, has an extensive background in behavioral health earning her BA in psychology and MS in mental health counseling from Pace University in New York. Alghali is also a doctoral candidate who is studying counseling psychology at Argosy University in Washington, DC where she is conducting research on how social and cultural norms affect HIV/AIDS in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Adisa currently works at the Prince George’s County Health Department as a HIV Counselor and Health Educator while offering her services as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the DC metro area. Adisa also serves as the chair of Development and Strategies Officer of Seal of Hope a non-profit corporation whose mission is to assist African immigrants and their children in their first steps to integration in the United States. She is also a youth advocate for the Ebileh Cultural Organization in Hyattsville MD and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.
#27 Maurice Patterson
Maurice Patterson, 26, is the President of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) – Southern Maryland Professionals, a registered 501(c)(3) with the IRS. This organization is dedicated to the development of their professional members, student development, and the positive impact they can make on the community. Maurice serves as an advisor for the Southern Maryland NSBE Jr. Chapter that supports the development of middle and high school students. He also serves on the Region II NSBE Professionals Executive Board as Secretary and serves on the Young Technical Professionals committee as the Region II representative. In 2014, Maurice became Lifetime Member #224 of the National Society of Black Engineers. In a partnership with the Basketball 4 L.Y.F.E. organization, he serves as both a mentor and tutor to the students.
Maurice is from Petersburg, VA and received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia in May of 2010. Currently, he is enrolled at George Washington University pursuing a Masters of Science in Engineering Management with an anticipated graduation date of May 2015.
Maurice works as a System Security Engineer supporting electronic warfare systems for the Department of Defense. His current portfolio of programs includes radar warning receivers, missile warning seekers, and infrared counter measure systems. Early in his career, he performed in the same role with unmanned aircraft systems and fighter jets. In 2014, Maurice was a recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Modern Day Technology Leader award and graduated from the Journeyman Leadership Development Program at his place of employment.
#28 Antonio White
Antonio White is a senior advisor in the Office of Business Affairs and Public Liaison at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where he advises the department on outreach and public engagement strategy, and serves as a liaison to business leaders and stakeholders. He previously served as Associate Director of Scheduling and Advance, where he managed travel, event, and press logistics for the Treasury Secretary. Prior to joining Treasury, he served as an intern at the White House, where he assisted with the recruitment of political appointees. From 2010-2011, Antonio served as the 20th president of the National Black Graduate Student Association, where he oversaw national conference planning, membership affairs, and development initiatives. The Cleveland, Ohio native earned a Master’s degree from Morgan State University after graduating from Miami University (OH).
#29 Tayvon Jackson
Tayvon Jackson is a 27-year-old financial advisor, author, mentor and motivational speaker dedicated to helping his community learn the basics of investing. A residence of Waldorf MD, Tayvon has a triple major in Math, Accounting, and Business, while also a former collegiate basketball player who bypassed a professional career overseas to pefect his craft as a financial advisor.
Tayvon is the author of an investment book for African Americans called “40 Acres and Some Dividends”. He is known for taking confusing concepts such as investing and explaining it at a level that a child can understand. Helping people is his passion, and he is determined to break the cycle of not understanding investing, and help everyone reach financial freedom.
#30 Maurice Simpson
Maurice Simpson Jr., born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a youth advocate, public servant, and political strategist. As president of the Prince George’s County Young Democrats and vice president of the Young Democrats of Maryland, he works to increase the social and political activism of young people through advocacy and issue-based campaigns, and serves as a voice for Millennials of color throughout the state. Simpson’s advocacy portfolio includes: raising the minimum wage, equal funding for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU), juvenile justice reform, and college affordability.
While studying political science in Atlanta, Simpson worked on several campaigns, including: Students for Barack Obama 2008, Alvelyn Sanders for Atlanta City Council, and Mayor Kasim Reed’s successful campaign in 2009. Additionally, he served as a legislative aide to a member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. After graduation, Simpson returned to Prince George’s County and worked tirelessly on President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and the Maryland Democratic Coordinated Campaign. He was also active with local grassroots campaigns on state ballot initiatives, including the Maryland Dream Act.
Outside politics, Simpson serves on the board of the Maryland Community Development Corporation and is an active member of the Prince George’s County NAACP and First Baptist Church of Glenarden. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Clark Atlanta University and is currently pursuing his juris doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Professionally, he serves on the intergovernmental affairs team of the Prince George’s County council.