Renelda Batts, Community Action Café Academic Coach

123_1 (1)Renelda began working with youth while she was still a “youth” herself. And she is grateful that life has led her to YELLS. Despite Renelda’s own childhood challenges, she graduated as Valedictorian of her high school. From this, she made it a point to help students work past struggles and excel academically and personally. Renelda is a graduate of The University of Georgia. She has taught youth in Yangzhou, China and has been a mentor and tutor in Georgia for over 5 years. When she is not in the books, you would probably find her traveling, enjoying outdoor activities, or creating art.

“As soon as I entered YELLS, I knew I had found my home and new family. It’s a place of empowerment, inspiration, and love.”

Frank Beckwith, YELLS Afterschool Program Leadership Instructor

20160809_151451The oldest of his siblings, Frank Beckwith understood at a young age the importance of leadership and role models. Born and raised in New York City, Frank has seen much, and knows how positive choices can have a profound effect on one’s life. Frank has over five years of experience working in education and is a graduate of Mercy College where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science. He believes deeply in hard work and the unlimited potential of the youth. “The darkness doesn’t change the road,” is a quote that often inspires Mr. Frank to reach for new heights.

“Education is powerful – and I would go so far as to say it is the only – thing that can create a positive and fulfilling reality. I’m excited and proud to be a part of a community of staff, parents and students that believe in that concept.”

India Graden, YELLS AmeriCorps VISTA Fundraising Specialist 

India GradenIndia Graden is a native of the best corner of the beautiful and sunny south, Fayetteville, North Carolina and a graduate of Howard University where she majored in History with a concentration in the African Diaspora and Public History. She enjoys salsa dancing, running, and is a reality TV junkie when not working.

“I came to YELLS seeking a bit of change from the small town environment I’m used to. I remember looking for my family away from home and immediately found that sense of home at YELLS.”

Kendolyn Harris, YELLS Mentoring Program Coordinator

Harris_KendolynA true kid at heart, Kendolyn Harris feels right at home as part of the YELLS family. After receiving her bachelor’s in Psychology with an emphasis in writing from Spelman College, she honed her skills marketing and writing for FOX News and curlBOX. Driven by her yearning for work with purpose, she found her way to the YELLS family as the Mentoring Program Coordinator. When she’s not managing her “Bigs” and “Littles”, Kendolyn enjoys reading, writing and outdoor sports.

“Within my first few weeks at YELLS I explored waterfalls in Blue Ridge, danced with my new students and cried tears of joy with my coworkers. It was then I knew that I’d found my new home.”

Timothy Parham, YELLS Community Action Café Program Manager

Parham_TimothyTimothy has been a part of the YELLS family since the Afterschool Program started in 2011.  Growing up in a family of educators motivated him to pursue a life of servant leadership. Although seemingly destined to work with youth, he could have never imagined the immeasurable rewards of working in the Franklin Road community. Timothy uses his 10 years of experience in youth program development, facilitation, and management to help teens engage with their community in positive and effective ways in the YELLS Community Action Cafe – a place where there is never a dull moment.

“YELLS  has a consistent focus and vision to making an impact for the families we serve. It’s a great feeling when you can walk the streets of Franklin Rd. knowing that you’re making a difference.”

Kierrah Smith, YELLS AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Engagement Specialist 

20160816_123250Kierrah is a recent graduate from Syracuse University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. She is excited to put together a ton of new ideas and welcome volunteers into the YELLS family. Kierrah is originally from New York City, New York. In her free time, she enjoys shopping and studying Farsi (Persian).

“Working for a cause that I believe in motivates me to do my absolute best to ensure that the most important facet of YELLS – our students – can continue on their path of growth and empowerment!”

Bobby Staten, Community Action Café Tutor

Bobby StatenBobby’s passion for empowering people ignited his initial interest in YELLS.  He has a gift for carefully guiding visions through to fruition.  In “The [Community Action] Café,” he leverages this gift by partnering with YELLS students to help them achieve their academic and personal goals. A 2004 graduate of Florida A&M University, Bobby has excelled professionally, gaining over 10 years of Fortune 500 experience in project management and IT solution delivery. His broad experience offers a unique perspective to YELLS students that serves as a healthy supplement to their academic pursuits. In his spare time, he enjoys serving at his church and testing out new methods on his journey to becoming the next Pit Master.  Hobbies aside, Bobby finds his greatest fulfillment in being husband to Tiffany and caretaker of the family dog, Remy.

“The opportunity to engage and empower today’s youth to lead and serve is what keeps me jazzed about YELLS. The focus on the Franklin Road community concentrates the effort and magnifies the potential.”

 Anesha Truesdale, MPA, YELLS Community Action Café Program Coordinator

Truesdale_AneshaAnesha’s high energy and dedication to empowering youth has led her to YELLS, where she is able to “reach & teach” teens in a fun, innovative, & enriching way. Her passion to serve, and love for developing nonprofit organizations led Anesha to receive her Masters of Public Administration and Nonprofit Administration degree at Kennesaw State University. Anesha has dedicated her life to ensuring teens achieve their purpose and communities grow stronger. When Anesha isn’t working she can be found traveling, binge watching her favorite TV shows, or cooking a new recipe!

“There is never a dull moment at YELLS, but why should it be?! Doing what you LOVE will always keep you on your toes!”

Christine Woolford, M.Ed, YELLS Afterschool Program Coordinator

Woolford_ChristineDriven by her passion for equity and her love of children’s books, ​Christine joyfully combines her loves in this role. After teaching 2nd grade in rural North Carolina, her desire for social justice lead Christine to receive her Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy at The University of Michigan. Her experiences in education and non-profit careers lead her to YELLS where she looks forward to continue to strengthen communities and empower youth to reach their full potential. When Christine isn’t working, she can be found reading, traveling, or spending time with loved ones.

“In one day you can have a meaningful conversation with a family about the changes on Franklin Road, visit a partner school for an event, receive a hug from a youth and told ” thank you for helping me”, and attend a community meeting. YELLS is more than a job, it is a movement!”

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