Cathryn Calhoun is currently the Ticketing Operations and Patron Services Manager at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center where she is head of the volunteer program, all ticketing operations, manages guest services and patron services staff, and assists with educational programming. Cathryn holds a BA in Psychology, MA in Organizational Leadership, and is currently pursing her doctorate in Education with a specialization in Organizational Leadership. She currently sits on the Board of Directors with the Point Park University Alumni Association and volunteers with multiple organizations. Cathryn is a Zumba Fitness Instructor, Community Ambassador with Healthy Ride Pittsburgh, and is a mentor to both high school and college age women. She is happy to be a part of the YEA Board!
Carla Knight is an English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Manchester Academic Charter School. She co-facilitates the Cultural Literacy class, a collaboration between traditional History, Social Studies and ELA classes. Knight enjoys giving her students an opportunity to connect with the world through reading, writing for expression, and speaking for change. She motivates her students by encouraging them to “use your pen as your tool, change the world with your words.”
Knight is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications. Aside from teaching, Knight enjoys reading and volunteering for community programs.
Leon M. Harrison Sr. is originally from a Farrell Pa, and now resides in Pittsburgh. He holds his Bachelors degree in Speech and Communications Studies, Masters in Leadership, and currently is completing his course work for his Ph.D in Community Engagement. Mr. Harrison is the lead Pastor of The Empowerment Church which is a church plant in West Mifflin Borough. He also serves as the Executive Director over A.C.E. Ministries, Inc, which is a Non-Profit organization supporting youth against anti-violence. Mr. Harrison has 15+ years working with adjudicated youth in the community. Most Recently, Mr Harrison opened up his own financial practice to promote generational wealth amongst families, small business owners, and working professionals.
Diana Lowe is the Founder and President of Humbly At Your Service, LLC, a company that specializes in providing executive administrative support to business professionals, companies and nonprofit organizations; and event logistical management. With over 20 years of experience, she has established herself as a master of details, managing and executing projects while setting a standard of timeliness and excellence. She is also a NNA Certified Signing Agent and mobile notary public.
Parrish Davenport is the Executive Director and Chair of the Family and Friends Initiative. He is a founding board member and has years of non-profit leadership experience.
Ola is a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher/administrator; an alumna of Spelman College, University of Pittsburgh, Slippery Rock College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her current career path is in insurance.
Damian is from Pittsburgh. He is an experienced information security professional with a career history of working in the financial service industry demonstrating skills in Risk Management and Identity & Access Management solutions. He attained a Master of Science degree in Communication Information Systems from Robert Morris University including an Advanced Banking degree from the Pennsylvania Bankers Association. He is currently an Information Security Specialist/Program Manager, Vice-President at Citizens Bank. He also serves as a board member to the non-profit, Historic Fairview Park Association, founded in 1945 when it was established as a place of entertainment for African Americans during the time of segregation.
Denise Graves held a 30-year position as Worship Pastor at Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, a multi-cultural congregation located east of the city where Bishop Joseph Garlington is Senior Pastor.
She is a singer/songwriter who has traveled extensively with Worship International, a subsidiary of Integrity Music, as well as Maranatha Music, and Saddleback Church (The Purpose Driven Church), leading Worship Leader Workshops across the country. She has also been a writer for Maranatha Music and has had material recorded for Promise Keepers. Her song “Send Me” can be found on the Purpose Driven Life CD accompanying Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life.”
Denise has written for Worship Leader Magazine as well as teaching workshops on worship and leading for Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. She is also currently host of the Cornerstone Television show, “More than a Song.”
She is an activist using the tool of worship to evangelize. Working with her mentees, they have raised funds over the past decade to distribute 14,000 backpacks to underprivileged children, have led worship for and fed the homeless of Pittsburgh, as well as providing Christmas to local orphanages that house horrifically abused kids. Denise has partnered local volunteers with various businesses and organizations to be about creating and seeing a positive change for their surrounding communities.
Her most recent work, now in it’s 10th year, has been in establishing a nonprofit 501(c)3 called Extravagant Love Project of which she is Executive Director. ELP seeks to inspire, empower and equip women from every socio-economic background with tools to unlock their God-given potential through an understanding of God’s unconditional and extravagant love. Extravagant Love Project hosts conferences, makeovers and follow up curriculum.
With a zero operating budget for 3 of those 10 years, Denise and her team, coordinated and organized fundraising efforts to host a day and evening of pampering for homeless and abused women of Pittsburgh. With the help of many sponsors, the day is about the outer person, with full makeovers that include a brand new outfit. The evening red carpet gala includes a fashion show, a lavish sit-down dinner, encouraging words, and gifts and surprises which touches the spirits of the participants in letting them know they are valued and extravagantly loved Denise is mom to her 27-year old daughter, Dani.
Amirah Hunt is a native of Pittsburgh who has worked in the education and counseling field for the past 10 years. Amirah currently works as a school counselor for the Pittsburgh Public School District and volunteers her time as a Professional mental health counselor at the Mt. Ararat Counseling Center. Amirah is passionate about helping others see beyond their current obstacles to achieve academic, social/ emotional and career success.
Marvin is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. His professional expertise is in voice and data network architecture. In his role he supports the UPMC Enterprise and Urban Hospitals of Pittsburgh. He also manages the Mount Ararat Baptist Church network where he also serves as a musician. Marvin holds a B.S. in Systems and Industrial Engineering, B.S. in Computer Information Science and Master of Science in Information Science. He also holds professional level certifications in Avaya, Cisco and Nokia.
J.R. Jones serves as the Social Security & Medicare Liaison to the Office of Congressman Mike Doyle. He has committed his life to service and helping others. He is excited to be apart of the YEA Board of Directors!
With over a decade of experience leading and problem-solving in the United States Army and public sectors, Brigette brings a unique perspective and extensive skill set ranging from leading in multicultural environments such as South America and South Africa to managing complex school consolidations in American urban school settings. Brigette is pursuing her Doctorate in Education Leadership at Point Park University. She earned her MBA at Georgetown University and completed her undergraduate studies in Public Relations at Hampton University. She serves as the Director of Leadership Development for a National Career and Technical Student Organization and if the founder and Lead strategist of ULEAD a premier leadership development organization.
Dr. Randy Tillmutt is a native of Kingston, Jamaica, and is a music educator, pianist, songwriter and conductor. He has served as the Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI) scholar at California University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and is an assistant professor of music and conductor of the University Choir at California University of Pittsburgh- Cal U.