Meet the Board

Zhalarina H. Sanders   

is a rapper/producer/organizer from Tampa, FL who co-founded and serves as Executive Director of The JVN Project- an organization that seeks to use Hip-Hop as a tool of empowerment. She is a graduate student of counseling psychology at UW-Madison and conducts research examining the psychological wellbeing of performance artists.

Pastor Sylvia Lee 

  has been working with the youth for many years and has a strong desire to ensure our youth understand they are wonderfully made just as they. As a wife, mother and grandmother Pastor Lee helps lead many activities  throughout the year and is the chair for our annual youth gala. 

Alayyah Washington

  A  high school teenager with a 3.5 GPA, currently considering a career is law or psychology. Alayyah brings a youthful insight to all of our decisions. Her input     ensures the youth's perspective    is considered and is the focus of our planning. 

     Dijonette Gilbert 

is business administrator for a global audit provider. Dijonette is the mother of a wonderfully blended group of six adult children. She has five girls and one boy whose ages range from 21-30. She is a native Floridian, but has family ties that originate in a small southern town in Georgia. After raising her children found a passion in continuing to help youth grow into their potential. 

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Rodney Washington
 a husband, father of four realtor and entrepreneur. As a fatherless young man, Rodney knows the gap the absence of a father can build. As a personal fitness trainer, Rodney uses his passion for fitness and exercise to engage the youth. He believes through wellness and health our youth will feel more confident and empowered to reach their dreams. Rodney leads our young men’s meetings and is the chair for all wellness events.

Rebecca (Morris) Washington

   co-founder of SOAR First,  President, wife and mother of  four. Rebecca understands the issues young girls face both through her own personal trails and in the lives of her two daughters. It is for that reason, she strives to ensure every young girl     is Engaged,  Encouraged and Empowered to SOAR to their highest potential.