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Dr. Richard Glover

Chairman of the Board

Dr. Richard Glover implemented a school safety assessment and prevention approach process. He supervised and participated in gang prevention, Internet safety, student-driven problem solving, and similar complementary projects. He was responsible for 50 executive protection staff and educational facilities officers with peace officer status. He wrote and managed grants and RFPs. Simultaneously he was responsible for managing emergency management operations for the Department. While implementing a USDOE EmergencyManagement and Crisis Response Grant, he helped create an innovative industry-leading database, SAGE, specifically designed to serve the emergency management needs of schools. He restructured emergency management within the Department to bring together all departments under one planning and operational structure in support of emergency management. Served as liaison with the NYC Office of Emergency Management. He obtained an additional $1.4 Million grant from USDOE to further the accomplishments realized.

"I had a fantastic mentorship with Mr. Ben and Mr. Derrick, and have made a lot of progress with my work ethic and future plans" - Student Mentee

Benjamin S. Blakley

President / Co-Founder

 With a professional background in telecommunications and real estate, Benjamin leverages professional and life experiences in his youth advocacy approach. Benjamin has shown a continued desire and passion for creating environments and programs to support the local youth. Benjamin's interests span arts, culture, science, sports and music; however, he is most interested in the betterment of  he youth. As a father, a mentor and a basketball coach Benjamin's focus is on building confidence, self-esteem and critical thinking skills. He works with community groups to create and collaborate on youth gatherings, activities and workshops. His work promotes self-awareness, situational awareness as well as care and contribution for the community.



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Derrick S. Veney

Vice President / Co-Founder

Derrick A. Veney brings with him a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in trauma-informed care for youth. He spent 5 years working with Northeastern Family Institute, Inc., / Grafton Integrated Health Network Counselor/Direct Care Program Staff II. Derrick has the ability to identify and relate to youth in a manner that allows trauma to be
addressed and the healing journey to begin. Also a father, coach, and mentor, Derrick is passionate about the eradication of youth food insecurities and homelessness problems within the community.



Vernell Wilks

Secretary and Treasurer

Vernell Wilks is a graduate of Binghamton University (Bachelor's in Rhetoric & Literature) and George Mason University (Master's Degree in Secondary Education, Certificate in Grant & Proposal Writing). In 1990, Vernell launched Academic Professional Services (formerly known as College Prep Consulting) after realizing the gap in SAT scores among the races. Her business has been successful, and has helped more than 3,000 students achieve their academic goals. Vernell’s team of professional teachers has helped students to increase their SAT scores by as much as 400 points. Vernell is a strong advocate for at-risk youth as evidenced by the 17 years she spent at Youth For Tomorrow. There she taught English, Life Skills, Culinary, College Preparedness, Career Tech. Education, Sewing, and Art. For four years, she implemented and successfully managed Youth For Tomorrow's first Mentor Program, recruiting and training up to 70 mentors per year. Vernell enjoys painting, sewing, and writing in her spare time. She is the author of three books (two children's stories, and an anthology of short stories).



Helping a Student

Our volunteers/interns are extremely important to building our community. Please email us if interested.  


Connor Polston

As a volunteer/intern, Connor Polston has been in charge of building and designing our website, updating the website for future events, and assisting in managing the social media. She is a senior at Virginia Tech pursuing a major in National Security and Foreign Affairs. 

Piano Practice


Volunteer Mentors

Marcie Pearson - Brandriff

Grant Writter

Chris Bray - Mentor

Terri Randolph - Mentor

Tracey Doyce - Mentor

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