Education Success Strategist and Congressional award-winning author, Hotep is widely known for his proactive, “tough love” approach to education. He is a 15-year master teacher that has developed a reputation for requesting the most troubled students and transforming them into willing participants in their own education. Hotep is the founder of MAKE A WAY, a series of high relevancy programs which are used in over 1000 schools throughout the U.S. His profound work has earned him nominations for the Presidential Citizen’s Award and as a CNN Hero. Hotep is also creator of the revolutionary Outcome Progression Model, which he uses to transform the climate and culture of poverty, excuse making and helplessness into one of empowerment, resiliency and success!
Angela Ray is an actress, award-winning speaker, and author. As an actress, she is best known for her role as “Carol” the shady landlord on this season’s Tyler Perry’s Love Thy Neighbor on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). A few of her other film and television credits include a recurring role on the CW’s Keeping up with the Joneses, One Tree Hill, Dawson’s Creek, and Louis, where she played the role of Louis Armstrong’s mother. She is the author of the books Rehearsing for the Leading Role: Lessons I Learned as an Actress That Can Help You Become a Megastar Student Leader, Rays of Motivation™, Blackberry Whispers. She is a recipient of the George Moses Horton Award for poetry and the Voice Award from Perfected in the Light. Angela was nominated as the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Play for her role in The Dance on Widow’s Row by the Triangle Theatre Awards.
She is regarded as a powerful inspirational speaker for high school and college students as well as an authority on women’s empowerment. She has spoken on campuses around the country and is often brought back to inspire the same colleges each year. As the creator of the Mahogany Dime Awards—which celebrates the achievements of African American women across the state of North Carolina—the city of Durham presented Angela with a key to the city.
America it’s called having ‘heart’. There’s no other way to describe it. J.R. Henderson, a native of Atlanta and authentic “Grady baby” as they are called, had that ‘IT’ factor; that relentless spirit of forward motion and the ability to implement and execute a vision. His life starting from his birth in Atlanta to the place he would stand between two crack addicted parents wondering what his future would hold. Many would assume his outcome was rather bleak, like a million shades of gray; however even this didn’t disturb his movement. Bleak to anyone else possibly, but J.R.’s inner voice would tell him, this is what you’re living, but this is not your life. That’s what’s called J.R. to his philanthropic fight for the cause of lost children and youth. He is a frequent speaker at schools and family advocacy agencies across the nation; his messages touch the hearts and heads of youth and families.
Dr. Sharon Fisher Green
Dr. Sharon Fisher Green is known by her professional work ethics, motivational leadership, and continuous quest for self-efficacy in the workplace. She is a Shreveport native; completed the formative years of education in Caddo Parish; received her undergraduate degree at Northeast University (currently known as the University of Louisiana, Monroe), the terminal degree at Grambling State University; and, wrote and directed the Radiologic Technology Program at Southern University Shreveport-Bossier Campus (currently known as Southern University at Shreveport Louisiana). Dr. Green was one of Southern University Shreveport-Bossier’s first Upward Bound participants during 1973 -1975. In 1980, she began her career as a Mammography Technologist and Clinical Instructor for Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. In 1983, she began her career at Southern University as a Counselor for Health Careers Opportunity Programs. She is a founding faculty member of the Division of Allied Health and a tenured Radiologic Technology Associate Professor.
Dr. Jessica Houston
Dr. Jessica Houston has more than a decade of social work, counseling and educational leadership experience. She continues to mentor and provide professional counseling to hundreds of at-risk youth. She also serves as an adjunct professor for Kaplan University. As a success coach and empowerment speaker, Dr. Houston is dedicated to helping others maximize their potential and begin living their best lives now. She has a speaking style that is captivating and engaging. She speaks from her heart and believes in exceeding expectations. Dr. Houston always delivers practical tools and strategies that her audience can begin implementing immediately.