SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Monty harris

BOARD MEMBER

Monty Harris is the owner of MLH Consultants. He has been in the IT Field over 20 years servicing small to large businesses. Monty was the IT Director under Judith Jackson at YouthVille Detroit during her time as President and CEO of the largest Youth Development Center in Detroit. Monty has trained and mentored many youth in the technology field, who are professionals today. Monty have served on many boards of non-profit organizations that are geared towards helping young men and families. In addition to serving on the JDJ Board, Monty is also a founding board member with Threads For Success.

SHARON HAYES-ROBY

BOARD MEMBER

Sharon Hayes-Roby retired from Detroit Public Schools after a 38 year career in education. She served as an elementary school teacher, special education consultant/teacher and English Language Arts Instructional Specialist.  As Instructional Specialist, Sharon conducted demonstration lessons and assisted with curriculum planning and pacing to ensure that adopted reading materials were used as designed. Other accomplishments included the provision of ongoing professionally embedded assistance to teachers through team teaching and cognitive coaching, Coordination and facilitation of client seminars, Implementation of a school-wide differentiated instruction reading program for at-risk student and a major participant in writing a proposal for Skillman Good Schools Grant as well as managing the budget for the grant awarded to Macomb Elementary School.

She has an Ed. S. degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Detroit, a M.S. in Special Education from Wayne State University, and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Indiana University.

SHEILAH P. CLAY

board SECRETARY 

Sheilah P. Clay has been the President and CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) since 2000. This $30 million Detroit-based nonprofit human service organization provides mental health, addiction treatment, crisis intervention, homelessness, youth leadership, violence prevention, and workforce development, supportive housing development, and other services to individuals and families in Wayne and Oakland counties. NSO's historic Bell Building is the largest permanent supportive housing development in the State of Michigan. Ms. Clay is a member of various boards, including Vice Chair of the Farmington Board of Education, Michigan Nonprofit Association and Michigan League for Public Policy. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Eleanor Josaitis Award and the Nonprofit Leadership Award from the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan. She earned a Masters Degree in Counseling from WSU College of Education. 

aSIA RAWLS

BOARD MEMBER

Asia Rawls is a Division 1 Graduate Assistant Coach for Men’s and Women’s Track and Field. She is a former track and field athlete who accomplished various Mid-American championships, records, titles, and scholar-athlete awards; while also receiving NCAA All-American qualifying honors in the 400m hurdles. After earning her B.S. in Communication and Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University, she traveled to Olympic Park, Salt Lake City, Utah as a preliminary Bob sled contestant.  Asia is currently studying for a Masters in Business and a secondary Masters in Computer Information Systems at Detroit Mercy University. At Detroit Mercy she serves as a University Ministry Leader where she is invested in service leadership, mentoring, and social development. She is also a member of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools. During the IAJBS World Forum in 2016, Asia gave a presentation on Economics and Global Sustainability in Nairobi, Kenya. Her favorite hobbies are journaling, traveling, running, and reading. 

AMY COLETTE PARNELL

BOARD MEMBER

Amy (Colette) Parnell is a manager in Underwriting for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She has been in healthcare for almost 25 years. Colette graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelors in Accounting and Central Michigan University with a Masters in Health Administration. She enjoys volunteering with children, spending time with family and friends, and shopping of course. Colette is the niece of the late, great Judith Dianne Jackson.  

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DEVON JACKSON

board chair / mARKETING CHAIR 2019

DeVon joined Principal Associates in March 2015 after a 5 ½ year stint with The CoStar Group where he sold and supported CoStar & LoopNet. During his time at CoStar, DeVon served Brokers, Lenders, Appraisers and other clients in Detroit, Columbus, Omaha & Cleveland. Before CoStar, DeVon was at Marcus & Millichap in Detroit from 2003 thru 2009. There he brokered Commercial Real Estate Investment properties for private individuals, small businesses and institutions. He specialized in Retail, but also brokered deals for Office and Industrial properties. Prior to embarking on Commercial Real Estate, DeVon had a successful career in B2B Information Technology sales for major companies like IBM and Sun Microsystems, as well as several independent software vendors. DeVon is the husband of the late Judith Dianne Jackson. 

OMARI d. TAYLOR

BOARD MEMBER

Omari D. Taylor is the senior director of corporate development for Neighborhood Service Organization. Omari is responsible for managing the operations and resources for fundraising, corporate giving and development. He also oversees the organization's public relations and marketing efforts. Prior to joining NSO, he served as the director of communications at Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and marketing manager at Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Among his various accomplishments, Omari was named a 2015 International Ford Motor Co. Fellow, which included attending classes at Columbia University and Yale University in the areas of nonprofit management strategy, fundraising and leadership training. On behalf of Gleaners, he received the 2012 Blackbaud Impact Award for “Best Multi-Channel Campaign.”  Omari is married to Catheren Taylor, and together they have 3 children. 

roberta sanders

BOARD Member, Former board chair 2018

Roberta Sanders is presently retired from 30+ years as CEO of the New Center Community Mental Health. She currently works in her own company, RVS and Associates, which offers mental health consultation and services to a variety of clients that are working to improve the lives of mental health consumers. Ms. Sanders also spends time as a certified mental health first aid trainer. This training is offered to the lay public and is an opportunity for them to understand more about mental health and mental health issues in order to decrease the stigma attached to this illness.

WILLIAM ROBY

BOARD MEMBER

William Roby retired from Detroit Public Schools after a 35 year career in education. He was recognized for Outstanding Commitment and Unselfish Devotion to the Advancement of Education for the Children and Citizens of Detroit as Assistant Director of Cass Corridor Youth Advocates in late 1970’s where he developed programs for at risk students.  During his Thirty-two years of teaching in the Detroit Public Schools, he had a high success rate with implementing a male gender based classroom and looping split grade classrooms.  Other accomplishments include service on the state of Michigan Testing Reform Committee by the Michigan Department of Education in 2007 and Chairing the Beckham Academy’s Site Based and School Planning and Management Team from 1998-2009. He also assisted with curriculum planning as a teaching consultant, assisting classroom teachers in diagnosing math difficulties and planning appropriate instruction, conducting demonstration lessons.

He has a B.S. degree in Art Education from Wayne State University and continues to pursue his passion of creating art.