LaShondra HemphillCoordinator, Project DREAM at Promise Center Southlhemphill@raisingexpectations.org
LaShondra, native of Birmingham, AL and has over 15 years of experience in social services, cultural work, and the arts. Her passion for empowering others to become their best selves laid a foundation for her career in social services, community engagement and social innovation. Since then she has founded and directed community and youth development agencies such as Serenity Treatment Services, Inc and The Initiative for Creative Arts in Birmingham, AL.
LaShondra is an advocate for girls/women in STEAM/STEM fields specifically within the music industry. Through The Initiative for Creative Arts’ unique programming she educates girls/women about music industry fields such as audio production, engineering, and sound design. She is currently an artist in residence at Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (Art Play) in Birmingham, AL, a member of Women of Color in the Arts, has taught Hip Hop Education and Music Technology workshops at Wayne State University, St Louis University, and Next Level Cultural Diplomacy, and has facilitated music technology workshops internationally and workshops on how to incorporate and simplify music technology and digital art for music teachers. She earned her BA in Psychology from Jacksonville State University and has completed over 30 hours towards her community counseling certificate specializing in youth development, group and school counseling.
At Raising Expectations, LaShondra oversees and is responsible for 2 staff, over 20 volunteers and directly supports our middle school youth via our collaborative partnership at the At Promise Center, where she also supports high school students with their educational, collegiate and career readiness plans. She is an avid vinyl record collector and has a beautiful collection of real butterflies.
Faith PorterCoordinator, Project DREAM at Bethunefporter@raisingexpectations.org
Faith Porter is an educator, researcher, and activist currently serving as the Project DREAM Elementary Coordinator at Raising Expectations. An alumna of Spelman College where she served as a Bonner Community Service Scholar, Faith holds degrees in International Studies and Spanish. In fulfillment of the requirements of her degree programs, Faith studied in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where she also served as a development intern at Community Service Alliance. Through the Bonner Scholars Program, she gained hands-on experience through internships at a number of Atlanta-based non-profits and received a certification in non-profit management. In addition to her academic and scholarship commitments, Faith was a member of Spelman’s award-winning Model United Nations team, through which she attended Harvard WorldMUN conferences in Singapore and Belgium. She is also a member of the 2012 Cohort of Harvard Kennedy School’s Public Policy and Leadership Conference.
Faith is a 2016 recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship through which she studied Portuguese language and Brazilian culture at Middlebury College. She possesses years of classroom experience through her positions as a lead English Language Development and Spanish teacher as well as a teacher’s assistant during her tenure at Summer Institute for the Gifted.
Empathy and cultural competence are at the core of Faith’s personal and educational philosophies. She is passionate about child advocacy and is committed to using her skills to assist RE in the fulfillment of its mission. She currently supervises our Project DREAM Elementary Program and supervises a team of four SALs.
Wade JohnsonProject DREAM Coordinator at Promise Center West
Wade Johnson was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. After surviving childhood in one of the most dangerous zip codes in America, Wade credits his upbringing for encouraging and motivating him to be the change he desperately needed. Although he would never change his foundation, he nostalgically remembers the men of his neighborhood who taught him the skills that contributed greatly to his masculinity and it is this reminder that encourages him to impact and inspire children today.
Wade's community both inspired and emboldened him to pursue a degree in Sociology at Florida State University, because studying human interaction has allowed him to understand himself and the youth. Because of this, for over a decade, Wade has tirelessly served the youth of his community as a mentor, teacher, tutor, and counselor. Working as an After School Program Director, he was able to guide and develop programs to enhance and improve student performance in under-served communities. Wade brings a wealth of knowledge and a genuine love for humanity.
Jenill JacksonProject STEMWARE Coordinator
Jenill Jackson is a native of Washington, D.C. and yields from Dallas, Texas, where she resided for over 10 years. As an alumna of the illustrious Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and is an advocate for girls and women in the STEAM fields.
After working as an educator with both Fulton and Clayton County Public school systems, she decided to shift her energy to an environment that would allow her to support the whole child. This researcher and activist currently serves as the Project STEMWARE Coordinator with Raising Expectations where she oversees and is responsible for the success of the organizations enrolled high school youth. In this role, she supports students with their academic, collegiate and career readiness plans. She leads a team of 3 staff and 10 volunteers in support of Project STEMWARE.
Empathy, structure and cultural identity are at the core of Jenill’s personal and educational philosophies. She is passionate about child advocacy and committed to using her skills, both personally and professionally to help young people succeed. Creating a sense of belonging and a feeling of appreciation for each of her students is of paramount importance. Jenill’s personal mantra is that "One day, ALL children in this nation will have an opportunity to attain a fair, equitable and excellent education”.
S.T.E.A.M Academic Leaders (SAL’s)
Project DREAM (3rd-6th)
Tamara Burke (AmeriCorps)
Kimani Leftridge (AmeriCorps)
Michael Thomas (AmeriCorps)
Abena Fredua-Agyeman (Virtual)
Project DREAM-At Promise Center (7th-12th)
Jerrica Davis (AmeriCorps)
Project STEMWARE (9th-12th)
Lyric Bell (AmeriCorps)