Dr. Shango A. Blake, CEO founded TRU SK Consultants, LLC founded his company on the principles of innovative and unique approaches to whole school reform. This solutions-oriented company is dedicated to improving America’s urban schools. Dr. Blake believes that the best and brightest students in the country are trapped in low-income neighborhoods and failing school district. In addition, he believes in order to meet the demands of working in such challenging environments teachers and school leaders need support rooted in ‘outside the box’ professional development. Moreover, Dr. Blake believes that those who work in low-performing schools must have a missionary mindset, respect the history and culture of those who they teach and develop community models for school improvement. TRU SK Consultants, LLC is dedicated to building a movement for school improvement.
- Yvonne Rolle-Watts, Director of Curriculum and Staff Development
During her thirty-two years as an educator, Yvonne Watts was always passionate about the future of our youth as well as the future of the educational process. However, it wasn’t until she was out of the four walls of my classroom, she began looking at a much larger educational picture, that she realized that all of the constant changes in education, the strategy changes, the assessment tool changes the curriculum changes only further darkened the plight of all of the stakeholders involved especially the main focus group, that is often the last consideration, “The children”. Many of the models used for educating our young people has flaws, resulting in low performance outcomes. She saw first hand the plight of the students, the teachers and the parents, and she kept asking herself, “When did this happen?
Understanding the predicament of the children today, and where the educational system has found itself, Yvonne Watts is driven with the notion that it is imperative, now more than ever, that being creative, innovative and progressive is what is needed to make the educational process a success, ultimately creating an environment conducive to the students being life-long learners. Creating an enthusiastic, collegial environment continues to fuel her desire to inspire and guide all stakeholders on the necessary tools needed to assist in making our students, teachers, administrators and parents be victorious.
If the “Every Student Succeeds Act” is truly the Educational objective of today, and tomorrow, then understanding the road map to obtaining these educational milestones are the key to success, while assisting the students as they catapult up this educational ladder and raise to the occasion and beyond.
Youth Development Specialists
- Professor Maurice L Williams
With over 10 years of teaching and youth mentorship under his belt, Professor Williams has the experience and passion it takes to nurture at-risk youth while proactively guiding them to safety. His own triumphant battle over juvenile delinquency affords him the ability to identify and remedy many of the issues our troubled youngsters face. He is founder of the “Youth Empowerment Syndicate” also known as Y.E.S. whose mission statement is simple yet powerful “Say Yes To Our Youth”. He and his colleagues work diligently at finding ways to undermine delinquent behavior and reducing recidivism. He is a licensed vendor for the New York City Department of Education which gives him the opportunity to conduct etiquette and awareness training for public school children in New York City.
He aspires to become one of the most dynamic youth development agencies in the country using his hands on approach to helping our young people realize and reach their full potential. He is recognized in many New York City neighborhoods as a beacon of light in otherwise dimly lit communities. He believes that personally engaging children and their parents is integral when it relates to youth development.
Holding a Master’s Degree in Communication from The College of New Rochelle, Professor Williams is a humble trend-setting communicator with good diction and leadership skills. He is also a former hip-hop artist who was featured in “National Geographic” magazine in an article on the origin of hip-hop. His ability a songwriter inspired him to write a screenplay loosely based on his life, entitled ‘A Fathers Love” a film presently in production.
- Professor James Blake
James Blake is a tenured Professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Prior to his service at the City University of New York, he worked as a Social worker with the New York City Department of Social Services, Division of Foster Care. Having grown up in several foster homes himself, Professor Blake’s brings a wealth of personal and professional knowledge and insights into the emotional and psychological pain children feel when they are separated from their families and communities.
Professor Blake has an exceptional ability in helping troubled youth and aiding professionals who work with at risk youth. His personal background as a foster child, his professional work as a social worker and college professor has given him keen insight and sensitivity to the struggles of troubled youth.
Professor Blake an innovative educator, accomplished community organizer, academic advisor, and a skilled program developer, who has designed successful and innovative programs to prevent youth from deteriorating into negative behavior that lead to drug abuse and incarceration.
Professor Blake is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition for his work with community youth and college students. In March of 2006, his work with families, the community, youth and students was recognized by CBS-TV “Fulfilling the Dream” series. He was named as one of the 15 individuals in the tri-state region whose work exemplifies the work of Dr. Martin Luther King.
A recent book, “God’s Bad Boy”, James Blake and the System, written by his wife, of 53 years, Dr. Bessie Blake, is a moving and inspiring account of his journey from foster care to a college professor. His ability to overcome adversity is both inspiring and informative. Professor Blake is a most sought after lecturer, he is an engaging speaker who effectively articulates information and responds honestly to questions. As a sensitive, inspiring and talented educator/ Social Worker, he is dedicated to fostering a learning environment in which people become problem solvers, life-long scholars, and learners. His more than The 46 years of practicing social and psychological intervention strategies that contribute to a person’s growth and development are instrumental in helping him successfully achieve his professional goals.
Youth Entrepreneur Specialist
- Savannah Banana- Savannah Banana Clothing, LLC
Savannah Smith was born April 2009 to Warren and Jessica Smith. In her brief fabulous seven years, she has blossomed into a stylish, well-spoken, and caring, young lady. Savannah comes from a background of strong, intelligent, and determined individuals. Having the foundation laid before her she has and will always be destined for success. At the age of four, Savannah began expressing herself with construction paper and colored pencils. When her family saw how clear and understanding her drawings were they decided to begin a clothing line in honor of Savannah and her talents. The line would be called, Savannah Banana. The clothing line includes items for young girls infant to preteen. All design ideas are given by Savannah. The designer works hard to create trendy pieces that any girl would enjoy wearing. All designs of Savannah Banana Clothing are ready to wear and fashionable. Savannah is also the owner of her very own fashion studio where she teaches students 5-15 how to create their own clothing line; just as she was taught. Savannah’s Fashion Studio is located in Orange, NJ. When fashion is not enough Savannah and her family dedicate their time to giving back to the community through clothing and food drives.
- The Dowe Twins
PRINCETON and BRAZIL DOWE today better known as the “DOWE TWINS” are CEO’s of Water2Kids and More2Learn, two brands that are both driven by the needs of their peers! But those two started their journey very early, at only 27 weeks they were determined to make a grand entrance. Together the both of them didn’t even weigh more than 4 lbs. Yet even at that small size, you could see they both had huge personalities. As they grow those personalities have grown tremendously with them. While they get older it is obvious that they both have something very special, Princeton has an amazing playful personality and BRAZIL has this warm loving compassionate way about her, both of which can be very contagious to anyone that comes in contact with them. Whenever the two into a room they are quickly noticed by their bright smiles and happy vibes. However, at even the young age of seven, they are able to flip on the professional caps and get right to work. They both take pride in their work ethics and always look to put their best foot forward. Together they are working hard to have a full understanding of business and to embark on ventures that may not be traveled by young entrepreneurs too often. With full support from their parents, these two young full spirited twins know their future is truly limitless.
- Chloe D
Chloe D. Pope known as Chloe D. is a nine-year-old Celebrity Blogger. Chloe D. started her blogging career in the summer of 2016. She was an astute student in Math and Science, however, Reading and Writing were not her forte. Her Language Arts and Reading grades suffered because she did not find these subjects interesting. She absolutely hated to read and write but she was an amazing story teller. Chloe D. always admired her mom, Sandra. Sandra is an attorney, radio host and publicist. Chloe D. thought it was cool that her mom interviewed celebrities. So, Sandra suggested that Chloe D. start a blog so that she may interview celebrities as well. Sandra only hoped that would get Chloe interested in writing. Little did she know that this would spark Chloe D. Speaks! She is now the youngest contributing blogger to YAC Radio, Inc. She has been invited to attend events as a correspondent and most recently she had a speaking engagement at a Junior High School in Brooklyn, NY. Chloe D.’s grades and behavior improved tremendously! She is now a High Honor Student at her school. She has straight A’s. Over the summer she read over 30 books. For Christmas, a few book sets were on her wish list. Chloe D.’s new passion as a blogger has created a book worm and passionate writer. Let’s not forget that she’s still a kid. She is a member of the Girl Scouts Heart of NJ chapter, a Junior Usher at Calvary Baptist Church, a budding seamstress and fashion designer and finally the Fourth Grade Editor-in-Chief of the class paper. Her blogging career has improved her education in ways traditional education could not. Marrying her passion for writing and the importance of education has helped shaped her thirst for knowledge. There is so much in store for this budding media mogul!
Parent Empowerment/Engagement Specialist
- Pete (The PEST) Smith
Glenroy Peter Smith is one of the pioneering parents that participated in the Parent Empowering Students Today Program (PEST), founded by Dr. Blake. As head of the program, Mr. smith was responsible for organizing daily patrols with a group of volunteer parents. Thus, securing a five-block radius around the school his children attended. As a result, incidents around the school (i.e. fights, burglary and gang initiations) significantly decreased. This also resulted in a safe passage for students to and from school; improved school/ community relations and a budding partnership between a community of color and local law enforcement.
Mr. Smith and Dr. Blake co-presents workshop to school leadership teams, on how to increase parent participation in urban schools. The specific focus of workshops is to assist school leaders with innovative approaches to engaging parents around helping their child(ren) school and creating safe and orderly school/community environments.
- Sandra Dieudonne
Sandra Dieudonne, also known as Sandikane, is Chloe D.’s mother. She is also an Attorney, Radio Host, and creator of her own all-woman talk show “The Sitdown” on YAC Radio and she is also a publicist for her firm SK Public Relations and the VP of Public Relations for LaBelleLaDiva Enterprises, LLC. Known as a go-getter, Sandra has always strived to achieve new heights. She feels that her greatest accomplishment to date is to spark her daughter’s interest in reading, writing, and entrepreneurship. Sandra’s accomplishments have spanned across a multitude of disciplines, however, she makes a seamless transition into each position. Sandra is a master multi-tasker but her family life is the most important part of her life. Sandra’s mantra is “never give up!” She truly embodies that spirit.
- Alina Dowe
Alina Dowe, mother of the Dowe Twins, Princeton and Brazil. Whom together are on a mission to encourage the great minds of children that are usually overlooked. She is working hand in hand with her kids to introduce the entrepreneurial process and aiding them in developing tools needed to assist children in the early learning of school age education. While it is with joy that she is able to watch her children begin to create brands that are geared towards their peers of all ages; she also feels empowered by being able to show them that is it completely alright to think outside the box of what is known to be normal. She hopes all her work will inspire other parents to do the same. Without any plans of stopping anytime soon, they have decided together as a family to focus on creating and developed more brands that are geared towards “Kids Empowering Kids”.
- Jessica and Warren Smith
Jessica and Warren Smith wed in December of 2009. When they formed a family the union knew and understood the importance of loyalty and being self-sufficient. It was their goal and intention to create a family business that would give their children the opportunity to see entrepreneurship on a daily basis. Jessica and Warren currently own 4 businesses together related to providing services to their community. Together the parents have made a strong effort to extend their entrepreneurial talents to their children. They have created businesses for each of their three children. Each child will become a successful business owner with the assistance of their parents and their own creativity. The parents plan to invest their time into their children’s dreams. They hope that their efforts will encourage other parents to support the dreams of their children as well. In the future, the family will launch campaigns and events that support literacy and high self-esteem. These events will allow more audiences to observe the proof in parent engagement and time well spent.