We here at dfoww, Incorporated pride ourselves on being an inclusive opportunity educational, nonprofit charity organization, and employer. Inclusion at dfoww, Inc. is about creating a culture where people’s differences are welcome!
Mr. Lorando Lockhart – Chairman of the Editing Committee (Editor-In-Chief)
Lorando started writing early in life having been taught how to spell before he entered kindergarten. His introduction to the written language began with his aunt teaching him how to spell his name when he was about four-years-old. From there, he quickly learned to spell everyone’s name in his grandmother’s house. While his older cousins were at school, he began reading books he found around the house.By the time he was in elementary school, his teachers were encouraging his gifts. Throughout middle and high school, Lorando would become a member of the newspaper and yearbook staff where he had the opportunity to sharpen his writing skill.
When he entered college at Claflin University, Lorando knew he would major in English. He was taken under the wing of Vivian Glover, a former NBC Field Producer who further pushed the him to learn as much as he could about sentence construction and the storytelling arts. He took the craft seriously and graduated before joining The Greenville News as a staff writer. Lorando would go on to cover several small cities within Greenville South Carolina, During his 10-year tenure, he covered city government, elections, the local police beat and entertainment.
Following his journalism career, Lorando went on to become a business owner. As a business owner he wrote procedures for banks, edited books, created work instructions and website content for local start ups. He just completed editing his eighth book and is currently working on his first novel. He also splits his time between Atlanta, Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina as a technical and proposal writer. Lorando has spent the past 20 years working as a professional writer and is now looking for opportunities to teach others the craft he learned so many years ago. While he understands writing is not everyone’s passion, he does realize the importance of knowing how to correctly express and document thoughts through the written word.
Ms. Ronda Spencer – Co-Chairwoman of the Teaching Committee
Ms. Spencer is a native of Augusta, Ga currently residing in the Metro Atlanta Area. She graduated from Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High school, received her B.A in Social Psychology from Augusta State University and then earned her M.Ed. from Augusta State specializing in Special Education.
As a former mental health clinician of 5 years and a special educator for over 18 years she maintains that all students can learn with access to the correct tools. She believes that nurturing the whole child is pivotal in meeting the educational needs of students. Ms. Spencer is currently an Administrator for a behavior based therapeutic program that provides services to local school districts in the Metro Atlanta area.
Having a strong foundation in literacy has the ability to impact lives. Ms. Spencer looks forward to sharing her ideas and working with others as it relates to connecting children and their parents to valuable resources in the community through dfoww.
Mr. Jamaal Francis – Co-Chairman of the Marketing and Social Media Outreach Committee
New York City resident Mr. Jamaal Francis serves as a Vice President at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., where he manages successful teams and partnership initiatives. Mr. Francis has over 18 years of experience in the financial services industry with expertise in customer identification, anti-money laundering and process improvements. Mr. Francis has held various leadership positions throughout his career, including his role as a departmental Procedural Advisory Committee member.
Amongst a gambit of volunteering experience, he found his niche in mentoring to both colleagues and inner-city youths of color. Mr. Francis mentored with the Young Men’s Initiative and was previously awarded Partner in Education by the New York City Mentoring Program for his dedication to the community. During his teenage years, Mr. Francis left St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to live in New York. Much of his adolescent years were spent living in economically disadvantaged areas. He owes many of his achievements to programs like dfoww, Inc. and hopes to provide similar opportunities to today’s youth.
Mr. Francis earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Human Resource Management from the Zicklin School of Business at the City University of New York, Baruch College. He enjoys reading, martial arts, traveling, hiking and outdoor water sports.
Mr. Sidney Bohanen – Marketing and Social Media Outreach Committee
Mr. Sidney Bohanen began helping others by volunteering within the Detroit Public School System. Over time, he has volunteered at several organizations within his community and worked with individuals of all ages. Mr. Bohanen is passionate about empowering and advocating for women to conquer the cultural challenges of our society. Currently, Mr. Bohanen is working as a Clinical Mental Health Intern to improve the well-being of others. He is also completing his master’s degree at the University of Phoenix.
Mr. Savitra Kulkarni -Chairman of the Correspondence Committee
Mr. Savitra Kulkarni was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is currently an undergraduate student attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; he is completing his bachelor’s degree in statistics. Mr. Kulkarni is an avid fan of the Panthers and Hornets sports teams. Mr. Kulkarni also has a passion for tutoring and helping others. He looks forward to supporting others by working with dfoww, Incorporated.
Ms. Amberle Davis – Chairwoman of the Appropriations and Executive Committee
Amberle Davis is a 2020 University of Maine graduate having earned a bachelor’s degree in University Studies. Ms. Davis also minored in Sociology and Child Development and Family Relations. A voracious reader, Ms. Davis’ mom swears she taught herself to read at only three years old.
She is extremely passionate about philanthropy and has dedicated a large portion of her life to volunteering in various capacities. Other passions include writing. In fact, she recently trained in a rigorous grant writing certification program. “I believe strongly in ensuring people have their basic needs met and continually strive in my everyday life towards creating an equitable future for our youth.”
Mr. Tasmai Vulli – Appropriations Committee
Tasmai Vulli is an undergraduate student double majoring in Neuroscience and Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr. Vulli enjoys chess, reading, writing, sketching and boxing. His understanding of the importance of education – especially education focused on reading and writing proficiency in building a more united community – is why Mr. Vulli decided to join dfoww, Incorporated.
Ms. Lauren Polson – Chairwoman of the Teaching Committee – Co-chair of Development
Ms. Lauren Polson lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English from The University of California, Berkeley. For years, she has been an essay tutor and editor for college students. She also loves to help others find and polish their voice.
Ms. Polson loves creative writing and dreams of becoming a published novelist. She believes that literacy skills open many doors and are essential for everyday successes such as acing exams, writing effective cover letters, and tackling college application essays.
Ms. Polson is passionate about social justice and advocacy. She wants to do all that she can to help dfoww, Inc. carry out its mission of creating and providing accessible literacy education resources to the community.
Ms. Janyah Glenn – Chairwoman of the Marketing and Social Media Outreach Committee
Ms. Janyah Glenn is from Tallahassee, Florida, but grew up in Sanford, Florida. She is an advocate for criminal justice reform and has worked as a juvenile probation officer with the Department of Juvenile Justice for four years. Throughout her career, Ms. Glenn has advocated for the rights of juveniles in the criminal justice system.
Ms. Glenn is a higher education enthusiast. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Florida A&M University, where she has returned to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work. Ms. Glenn is an active member of her community and spends time mentoring inner-city youth at community centers and churches.
Ms.Glenn’s hobbies include reading, writing, swimming, and crafting. She has been an avid reader and writer since she was a young girl. Her favorite authors include Zora Neal Hurston, Lurlene McDaniel, and Sister Souljah.
Ms. Cynthia R. Stockard – Teaching Committee
Ms. Stockard is a proud mother of three and has three grandchildren. She enjoys movies, crocheting, and traveling. Having worked with children for 20 years, Ms. Stockard began her career as a volunteer. She later became a program director for at-risk children.
As she continued to work within the education system, Ms. Stockard’s passion for helping children and their families expanded. Ms. Stockard is an active advocate for the welfare of children and their families. She has developed several programs that target at-risk children and adolescents. Ms. Stockard has trained 3,000+ parents and professionals in the areas of child abuse and neglect and human trafficking.
Ms. Stochard has earned her bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Development and a master’s degree in Family Studies. Her desire is to provide reading and writing assistance to underprivileged individuals and communities by joining the dfoww, Inc.
Ms. Terri Perry – Co-Chairwoman of The Appropriations Committee
Ms. Terri Perry attended DePaul University and majored in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting. She graduated from the University of Phoenix. Ms. Perry has worked with various non-profits handling grant management. She also served on several committees and boards that support people living with low-income, the homeless community and ex-offenders to reduce recidivism. Ms. Perry’s hobbies include sewing, listening to music, and taking any opportunity to learn something new.
Mr. Elijah Dorneval – Secretary
Elijah Dorneval is a Miami, FL native and University of Central Florida graduate where he majored in Health Sciences Pre-Medicine. He currently resides in Orlando, FL. Since childhood, he has loved helping those around him. He also had a strong affinity towards the sciences including chemistry, physics and biology. With these two loves, Mr. Dorneval chose to heal because medicine combines his love for helping others and science. Growing up as a Haitian and Puerto Rican double minority proved challenging, but he persevered. Now, he feels a strong sense of duty to help those who may seem to have the odds stacked against them. Mr. Dorneval’s aim is to bring to dfoww, a strong level of organization, communication and fresh ideas
Ms. Victoria Tejeda – Appropriations Committee
Ms. Tejeda is a south Florida native in her senior year at Florida State University. Ms. Tejeda is obtaining her undergraduate degree in Science. Her hobbies include reading, cooking and traveling. She loves exploring different cultures and developing a wider world view. Ms. Tejeda is a proponent of higher education and is thrilled to join dfoww, Incorporated Board of Directors.
Ms. Zahariah Leggett – Correspondence Committee
Ms. Leggett recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida. While earning her degree, she volunteered as community outreach coordinator with UCF’s multicultural academic and support services. In that role, she helped connect students with the necessary resources to pursue higher education. Currently, Ms. Leggett is working on her master’s degree in educational leadership also at UCF. Afterwards, she plans to pursue a specialist degree in school psychology. Ms. Leggett is also learning ASL (American sign language).
Mrs. Arisha Williams-Bradley – Teaching Committee – Co-chair of Planning
Mrs. Williams-Bradley was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. She is a graduate of the University of Mobile where she majored in Elementary Education. Currently, she is completing a master’s at the University of Phoenix. Having taught English and Literature on a secondary education platform, Mrs. Williams-Bradley also enjoys writing poetry and children’s literature. In her free time, she loves reading and spending time with her family. Her strengths are reading and writing development as she believes that being proficient in reading and writing is a skill that is useful in every area of life.
Ms. Jessica Lowmaster – Correspondence Committee
Ms. Lowmaster graduated from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in May of 2019. Her love for communication started when she was very young. Growing up with a mom who had a degree in technical communications, the importance of communicating properly and effectively was always stressed to her and her two sisters.
Throughout her educational journey, the ability to communicate her skills, desires and help others communicate their needs has always served Ms. Lowmaster well. In college, she discovered a love for writing essays, and as she co-founded a public speaking club, she found that giving speeches was something she loved to do. Today, she works as a finance analyst. In her free time, she loves to read and learn. Ms. Lowmaster is passionate about positive business and is an avid video gamer.
Ms. Shantell Hadley – Appropriations Committee
Shantell Hadley is a Gainesville, Florida native. She has her MBA in Nonprofit Management and her Bachelors in Organizational Management. Shantell is also a Notary Public for the State of Florida. She has eight years of experience in finance, accounting, billing and administrative operations. Ms. Hadley is a current Fundraising Committee Chair and board member of Keep Alachua County Beautiful, Community Volunteer Leader for the American Red Cross, Site Coordinator for United Way of North Central Florida Vita Tax Program, External Affairs Liaison for Life Target and Data Research Analyst/External Affairs Liaison for Touching Hearts.
She enjoys traveling, volunteering, mentoring and spending time with her family. Ms. Hadley is enthusiastic about providing support using her current and previous work and educational experience to further dfoww’s mission to provide literacy to minorities.
Ms. Rebecca Harris – Appropriations Committee
Ms. Harris currently resides in New Jersey. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Financial Economics with a Minor in Computer Science. She also completed cluster studies in Spanish in 2020 from the University of Rochester.
Rebecca is specifically passionate about creating and implementing effective programs to encourage sustainable international development and has volunteered in several organizations such as SHH (Students Helping Honduras) and Sofiar Despierto (Volunteer foundation for underprivileged children).
Ms. Harris has experience implementing and controlling a small business accounting system and has served in business management for the University of Rochester’s Daydream Foundation and Kwetu Business Entrepreneurship Clubs.
Ms. Harris has chosen to join dfoww Inc. to help grow an organization dedicated to providing opportunities.
Ms. Crystal Reese – Teaching Committee
Ms. Reese, a native of Thomson, GA, has always been an avid reader. Surrounded by a family of educators, she knew early on that her purpose was to help people reach their academic goals. Ms. Reese currently serves as a schoolteacher in Washington, DC, after having chased the dream of working in education as early as high school.
She enrolled in classes that gave her exposure to interacting with youth, especially those who might have otherwise been ignored in the classroom setting. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia and her master’s degree in Counselor Education from Clemson University. She has had various roles that have enabled her to work with students from K-12 and even those on the collegiate level. While at the University of Georgia, she busied herself with tutoring and volunteering for different programs within the Athens area that aided low-income, minority students.
She truly believes education is directly correlated to quality of life and wants to help others pursue their goals. Ms. Reese hopes to support the dfoww, Inc. mission by making sure that students who otherwise might not have had a fair shot, are given just that.
Ms. Lorrdyn Boulay – Editing Committee
Ms. Boulay is a native to the Columbus area of Georgia and finished her degree at Georgia State University. Her degree is in English with a concentration in rhetoric and composition. She loves volunteering and giving back to the community. She also loves reading, writing, film and learning more about the world and everything in it. Lorrdyn is a proponent for higher education and hopes that she can make a difference by bringing literacy to those in need while learning more about the nonprofit world.
Ms. Demi Famisan – Marketing and Social Media Outreach Committee
Ms. Famisan lives in the Los Angeles area and earned her B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Riverside. As an immigrant and first-generation college student, she is very passionate about education and its ability to reduce poverty. She has been a tutor for years, and in university, she worked as a supplemental instruction leader conducting her own discussion style tutoring sessions for traditionally difficult courses such as calculus and biology. While STEM disciplines fascinate her, Ms. Famisan also has a deep love for reading novels and prose poetry. She hopes to share her love for learning through dfoww, Inc. by carrying out its mission in advocating accessible literacy programs to underserved communities.
Dr. Kathy Sumbry-Wilkins D.M. – Appropriations Committee
Dr. Sumbry-Wilkins is a retired GS-14 civil servant with more than 30 years of service within the federal government. Her list of educational achievements includes a Doctor of Management from the University of Phoenix; a BA and MA in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama and an Advanced Certificate in Management from the University of New Mexico. She also brings a broad range of executive experience related to management and organizational leadership. Presently, she is an adjunct faculty member with the University of Phoenix serving in this position for more than 14 years. Dr. Sumbry-Wilkins has an excellent approach to transformation leadership which will play a key role in ensuring the continued success and growth of dfoww.
Ms. Michele Buford – Teaching Committee
Ms. Buford has served in the field of education for over 20 years with humble beginnings as a teacher’s assistant; a teacher for various grade levels and subjects, to Academic Specialist, Principal, and adjunct faculty. Ms. Buford received her bachelor’s degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Speech Communications, then went on to obtain her M.Ed. with a concentration in curriculum and instruction from the National-Louis University. Ms. Buford earned her Ed. S. in Educational Leadership from Barry University and has proved her passion for education. As an educator, Ms. Buford understands the importance of serving the community and has thus been on numerous local boards, PTA/PTO’s and other nonprofits to add more value to her community.