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Deborah Mayfield













Infant Lead Teacher
FERC Child Development Center - Washington, DC

Assistant Conference Coordinator


Deborah Mayfield is presently working in the field of Early Childhood Education.  She coordinates parent conferences to facilitate parent partnerships, conducts team meetings, collaboratively creates a great environment for the students; produces documentation panels, newsletters, and individual educational plans; supervises and completes student assessments and progress reports.
 
Her work experience includes the following: Office Manager, Office Assistant/Dispatcher in Communications, Early Child Care Development Site Director, and Assistant Director and Program Coordinator in various childcare programs.
 
Deborah’s educational experience includes three years at Benedict College (Columbia, SC), ninety hours in child care at Prince George’s Community College (Largo, MD), and serving as a Child Development Associate for the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition (Washington, DC).
 
Throughout her life, Deborah has had an avid desire to work with youths, recognizing the positive influence one can have on them.  Her dream is to one day open her own daycare center.


What happens to a dream

deferred?


Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?



Or fester like a sore--

And then run?



Does it stink like rotten meat?


Or crust and sugar over--

like a syrupy sweet?


Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.



Or does it explode?

 ~ Langston Hughes ~





Intelligence plus character -

that is the goal

of true education.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ~








(Opportunity)

With doubt and dismay

you are smitten

You think there's no chance

for you, (daughter) son?

Why, the best books


haven't been written

The best race hasn't been run,





The best score


hasn't been made yet,

The best song hasn't been sung,

The best tune

hasn't been played yet,

Cheer up, for the world is young!



No chance?

Why the world is just eager

For things that you ought to create

Its store of true wealth is still meagre

Its needs are incessant and great,



It yearns for more power and beauty

More laughter and love and romance,

More loyalty, labor and duty,

No chance--

why there's nothing but chance!



For the best verse

hasn't been rhymed yet,

The best house hasn't been planned,

The highest peak

hasn't been climbed yet,

The mightiest rivers aren't spanned,



Don't worry and fret, faint hearted,

The chances have just begun,

For the Best jobs haven't been started,

The Best work hasn't been done.

~ Berton Braley ~






Courage is more than a daring deed:

It's the breath of life

and a strong woman's creed.

~ Edgar Guest ~





Be the best that you can be

Pursue your goals persistently

Make your fondest dreams come true

and most of all believe in you

~ Author Unknown ~





Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches on the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops - at all

~ Emily Dickinson ~






My mission in life is not merely

to survive, but to thrive;

and to do so with some passion,

some compassion, some humor,

and some style.

~ Maya Angelou ~






Mistakes are a fact of life.

It is the response to the error

that counts.

~ Nikki Giovanni ~








With the new day comes

new strength and new thoughts.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~






Optimism is the faith that leads

to achievement.

Nothing can be done

without hope and confidence.

~ Helen Keller ~






It always seems impossible

until it's done.

~ Nelson Mandela ~






We delight in the beauty

of the butterfly but rarely admit

the changes it has gone through

to achieve that beauty.”

~ Maya Angelou ~






Believe you can and

you’re halfway there.

~ Theodore Roosevelt ~

 




When one door of happiness closes,

another opens,

but often we look so long

at the closed door

that we do not see the one

that has been opened for us.

~ Helen Keller ~
 





Too many of us

are not living our dreams

because we are living our fears.


~ Les Brown ~






Never underestimate the power

of dreams and the influence

of the human spirit.

We are all the same in this notion:

The potential for greatness

lives within each of us.

~ Wilma Rudolph ~






Just don’t give up what

you’re trying to do.

Where there is love

and inspiration,

I don’t think you can go wrong.

~ Ella Fitzgerald ~






I hated every minute of training,

but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now

and live the rest of your life

as a champion.

~ Muhammad Ali ~






There is no passion to be found

playing small -

in settling for a life

that is less than the one

you are capable of living.

~ Nelson Mandela ~






The greatest glory in living

lies not in never falling,

but in rising every time we fall.

~ Nelson Mandela ~





The positive thinker

sees the invisible, feels the intangible,

and achieves the impossible.

~ Anonymous ~





Self-pity is our worst enemy

and if we yield to it,

we can never do anything

wise in this world.

~ Helen Keller ~

​I used to want the words

"She Tried" on my tombstone.

Now I want "She Did It." 

~ Katherine Dunham ~





The question is not whether

we can afford to invest
 
in every child; it is whether

we can afford not to. 

~ Marian Wright
Edelman ~





Never underestimate the

power of dreams


and the influence

of the human spirit.


We are all the same


in this notion:

 
The potential for greatness

lives within each of us.
 
~ Wilma Rudolph ~





Whatever we believe

about ourselves
 

and our ability

comes true for us. 

~ Susan L. Taylor ~




Never be limited by

other people's limited

imaginations.

~ Dr. Mae Jemison ~



Success is to be measured

not so much by the position

that one has reached in life

as by the obstacles which

he (she)

has overcome

while trying to succeed.

~ Booker T. Washington ~






Hold fast to dreams,


for if dreams die,


life is a broken winged bird


that cannot fly.


~ Langston Hughes ~




Education is the passport

to the future, for tomorrow

belongs to those

who prepare for it today.

~ Malcolm X ~




The time is always right

to do what is right.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~





No one can make you feel

inferior

without your consent.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~




The most common way

people give up their power

is by thinking

they don’t have any.

~ Alice Walker ~




Keep your face

to the sunshine and you

can never see the shadow.

~ Helen Keller ~



Don’t count the days,

make the days count.

~ Muhammad Ali ~




One of the lessons that I

grew up with was

to always stay true

to yourself and never let

what somebody else says

distract you from your goals.

~ Michelle Obama ~




Surround yourself

with only people who

are going to lift you higher.

~ Oprah Winfrey ~







Never be limited by

other people’s limited imaginations.

If you adopt their attitudes,

then the possibility won’t exist

because you’ll have already

shut it out…

You can hear other people’s wisdom,

but you’ve got to

re-evaluate the world for yourself.

~ Mae Jemison ~






Every great dream

begins with a dreamer.

Always remember,

you have within you the strength,

the patience, and the passion

to reach for the stars

to change the world.

 ~ Harriet Tubman ~






It’s not the load

that breaks you down,

it’s the way you carry it.

~ Lena Horne ~






I’ve learned that people

will forget what you said,

people will forget what you did,

but people will never forget

how you made them feel.

~ Maya Angelou ~





 
I alone cannot change the world,

but I can cast a stone

across the water

to create many ripples.

~ Mother Teresa ~
 
 




The most common way

people give up their power is by

thinking they don’t have any.

 ~ Alice Walker ~






Don't judge each day

by the harvest you reap

but by the seeds that you plant.

~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~







Always remember,

you have within you

the strength, the patience,

and the passion

to reach for the stars

to change the world.

~ Harriet Tubman ~






What lies behind you

and what lies in front of you,

pales in comparison

to what lies inside of you.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~





Turn your face to the sun

and the shadows fall behind you.

~ Anonymous ~






As we express our gratitude,

we must never forget

that the highest appreciation

is not to utter words,

but to live by them.

~  John F. Kennedy ~





If you’re walking down the right path

and you’re willing to keep walking,

eventually you’ll make progress.

~ Barack Obama ~





Do not bring people in your life

who weigh you down.

And trust your instincts …

good relationships feel good.

They feel right. They don’t hurt.

They’re not painful.

~ Michelle Obama ~

Gwendolyn Mayfield, BA













Center Director
KinderCare Education, Alexandria, VA

Director of Training


Gwendolyn Mayfield is a “warm and energetic” professional that has exemplary customer service skills.  She has years of experience working with teachers, children, parents, and clients.  She has conducted staff development trainings and parent seminars; directed meetings with teachers, parents, and Boards; as well as held motivational events to maintain a high retention of teachers and families.
 
After receiving a BA Degree in Elementary Education in South Carolina, Ms. Mayfield moved to D. C. to continue her career in education at Early Environments, Inc. to develop the skills that would eventually lead her to become a Director at Fingerprints Child Development Center for Bright Horizons.
 
During her time at Early Environments, Inc., she worked as an Acting Director and Preschool Program Coordinator before accepting a position as an Assistant Director and Infant/Toddler Coordinator at FERC Child Development Center through Bright Horizons.  She later became a director at this center and worked there for 14 years.  She helped lead this location through NAEYC accreditation on three occasions.
 
Ms. Mayfield has been described as one who “has the servant leadership skills to influence and guide organizational effectiveness that provides excellent customer service with proficiency for all involved.”

Mary Davis McNeil













Women's Ministries Coordinator - Marriage Counselor & Realtor - Columbia, South Carolina

2nd Vice President / Chaplain



Professionally, Mary Davis McNeil is a realtor, a member of the National Association of Realtors, South Carolina Association of Realtors, Greater Columbia Association of Realtors, and Columbia Multiple Listings Service.

Mary was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has been a member of the Lord’s Church for 40 years. Mary has been married to Jack McNeil for 42 years. Jack McNeil is minister of the Sunset Blvd. Church of Christ in West Columbia, South Carolina. They have four children Nicole (Darnell), Avery, Jack Jr, Danyel (Horace) and 10 Grandchildren.

Some of her activities at the Sunset Blvd. congregation include the following: She has taught from the cradle roll class to the adult ladies class. Mary has served on the Education Committee, Youth Coordinators Committee, and she chairs the Ladies Weekend Program Committee. Mary has spoken on numerous Ladies Day Programs, Retreats, has served as a guest speaker on the Ministers Institute Conference Ladies Sessions in Fort Lauderdale Fl. Southeastern Lectureship Ladies Programs, and the National Ministers’ Wives Conferences.

Mary presently serves on the National Minister’s Wives Advisory Committee, and she is the Executive Chairperson of the Santee Retreat Board and serves on the Sensible Women Initiative, Inc. Board of Directors. ​

Dr. Andrea Yvette Morris













Director of Washington Semester School of Public & Int’l Affairs - Virginia Tech.

Director of Resiliency


Andrea loves exploring the natural beauty of God’s creation and the man made environment to understand how they co-exist and support one another.  She has been blessed to live, learn, and work in communities that support and strengthen her thirst for seeing God transform both people and spaces for His glory.
 
Andrea was the Mistress of Ceremonies for “Daughters of the King,” a Christian conference for young women and has been the keynote and session presenter for several Ladies Day programs and conferences.  She has also presented at local, regional, and national meetings and conferences on economic and community development; workforce and education; resilience and emergency management.
 
Andrea has been interviewed by various media on topics of economic development, workforce development, collaboration, transportation, and resiliency.  Andrea’s foundational scripture is Jeremiah 1:5, believing that she has been called by God to be an ambassador to each “nation” He sets before her and trusting that He will equip her for this work.
 
As an example of His equipping, Andrea earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University, a Master’s Degree in Urban Studies from Long Island University, and a PhD in Public Policy from George Mason University.
 
Andrea is passionate about building God’s people, especially His daughters, to Stand, “and after you have done everything, to Stand,” (Ephesians 6:13) living a life under His covering and anointing.  You can often find her snapping pictures and writing about her life’s journey or watching/attending sporting events. 

Jennifer Murry, BS, MBA (pending)













Technical Management Resources, Inc. - Washington, DC

Chief Financial Officer


Jennifer Murry was born in Washington, DC and grew up with five brothers and sisters as an army brat with her family.  In 1985, Jennifer graduated from Hampton University (formerly Hampton Institute) and since then has completed post graduate studies and received several management certifications.

After college, Jennifer moved to California and began her career working for the Federal Government as a civilian worker in the IT field.  After working for the Department of Navy and Department of Army, Jennifer transitioned into the private industry.

In the private sector, Jennifer has worked in IT Program Management as an employee for Booz Allen & Hamilton, Metropolitan Life Insurance, Lockheed Aeronautical Systems, Coca Cola Enterprises and IBM Global Services.  Jennifer has managed critical programs and large teams and budgets.

In 2001, Jennifer began IT consulting on her own; and from 2001-2016, Jennifer provided management consulting services to several companies including United Way, JP Morgan Chase, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Sallie Mae, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority.

Since 2016, Jennifer has been employed at Technical Resources Management, Inc., and she currently manages a team of 33 team people for a $25 million-dollar contract at the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Jennifer has also been a dedicated partner in the ministry with her husband, Earnest Murry.  Earnest & Jennifer are the proud parents to their son, Martin.

Lillian D. Norman, BS, MS, CAS













RCSD Educator/Administrator (Retired) - Rochester, New York

Executive Senior Advisor - Director of Website Management



Lillian D. Norman, a native of North Carolina, is a retired English Teacher and Administrator for the Rochester City School District. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Her graduate study was done at the State University of New York at Brockport, where she earned a Master of Science Degree in Secondary Education, a Certificate of Advanced Study, and a Certificate of Permanent Certification as a School District Administrator.  Her professional career includes thirty-three years as a secondary school educator and administrator.
​​
During her years with the Rochester City School District, Lillian was very active at the district and school level.  In 1978, she worked as a "Teacher on Special Assignment," serving as the "Team Leader" for one of the District's three Secondary School Reorganization plans.  Also, at the District's request in 1991, she traveled to Houston, Texas, to assist in conducting a professional development, site-based management workshop for the Houston Independent School District's "Schools of Excellence Convention."  On the high school level, she worked with the school-based planning team and served as an advisor of extra-curricular activities.  In this capacity, she often organized assembly programs, workshops, and conferences, and brought in outstanding local and out-of-state presenters.  Many of the activities in which she engaged were sponsored by the East High School Ebony Culture Club, which she founded in the early 70's and dedicated to promoting knowledge of African American history and culture, academic achievement, higher education, and career awareness.
​​
Lillian is married and has one son.  She is a Golden Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service sorority and Phi Delta Kappa, a professional association for educators.  Among her awards are the St. Augustine's University Certificate of Merit, Urban League of Rochester Certificate of Outstanding Service, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.'s Community Service Award, J. C. Penney Golden Rule Award for Community Service, and Delta Great Teacher Award for New York State.

Vicki Osbourne













Performing Artist, Theatrical Productions Creator & Producer, Health Care Technician - Ruskin, Florida
 

Director of Youth Program Development


​ 
Vicki V. Osbourne has over 30 years of professional performing experience in voice and theater. As a young woman, she was offered the opportunity to tour as a background singer for The Platters. However, as a new mom and wife, she declined the offer after learning she could not bring her young daughter on tour. This led to her shifting her focus to local opportunities. 
 
As a highly requested local artist, Mrs. Osbourne sang for the West Volusia National Association of Women’s Equality Day Gala; Daytona Beach Circuit Judge Candidate Campaign Event; the national anthem at Deltona City Hall on its day of incorporation; Martin Luther King Commemorative programs; NAACP banquets; induction of local City Commissioner; high profile weddings including of local NBA player; and various sorority and fraternity events among others. 
 
In addition to her voice career, Mrs. Osbourne created and produced theatrical productions that celebrate both local Florida communities as well as national Black American culture. Specifically, she was recruited to work as the Theater Director for the DeLand African American Museum of Arts’ Little Theatre. In particular, her production, “The Unforgettable Spring Hill” casted members of the local community of all ages in order to shed light on one of the community’s golden ages from the late 1930’s to early 1970’s. Mrs. Osbourne also independently created a Black Heritage Program, with an all children cast, to honor African American heroes and heroines. 
 
To authentically tell the stories of those she brought to life onstage, Mrs. Osbourne would conduct independent research in preparation for her productions. This included but was not limited to: interviewing local personalities, reviewing newspaper articles and books, and requesting the services of local agencies and organizations like military recruitment offices that would train young actors in their roles to honor former Tuskegee Airmen in the local community.
 
Beyond the performative arts, Mrs. Osbourne has worked in the health care field in various positions: Medical Assistant, EKG Technician, Phlebotomist, and a Certified Nurse Assistant. She’s also worked with special needs children.
 
Her love of children has led to her creating Rose Valley Productions. She’s created over 80 children’s songs, which have been sung at various venues, and she currently is working on picture books she hopes to publish in the near future. 

Dr. Valerie U. Oji, RPh, PharmD, BCPP













Adjunct Professor/ Director IPAC - Katy, Texas


Director of Mental Health


Dr. Valerie Oji is Clinical Pharmacologist, Innovative Pharmaceuticals and Consultants (iPAC), and Associate Professor with the College of Pharmacy, Harding University.  She is also a consultant for the Sensible Women Initiative, Inc.  Dr. Oji is an accomplished professional with 25 years of pharmacy practice experience and board-certified in Psychiatry and Neurology.  She also has post-doctoral education and experience in Health Administration.  Dr. Oji is a multidisciplinary educator (pharmacy, medicine, nursing, social work, psychology) primarily in the areas of Psychiatry and Health Policy.  She is engaged in clinical psychopharmacology services as well as research in the application of biblical principles to health services and recovery for individuals with mental disorders.


Dr. Oji is a mother with passion for ministry to women, children, families, and survivors of domestic abuse.  She has served her community as past Co-Chair for Health Affairs, Women-In-NAACP, Houston, among other positions.  She currently serves the body of Christ with “medications ministry” and pharmacology support and consultation with biblical framework counselors.  She is an innovative professional, a creative writer, and author of several journal publications and a book.

Amanda Stafford, MS













Mental Health & Addiction Specialist - Bridgeway Rehabilitation Inc. - Elizabeth, New Jersey

Director of Scholarships


Amanda Stafford has functioned in many capacities during her decades of service to society. She currently serves as a Mental Health & Addiction Specialist, has been a former educational administrator and is a certified Christian Counselor.

As a Youth mentor during her teenage years and Student Leader in elementary school, she has always been passionate about her calling to help others in whatever capacity she could.

Amanda received her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees from Jersey City State College in the field of Education. She has also completed Post Graduate course work at William Paterson College and at Yale University with the nationally recognized Comer School Development Program. Amanda has recently embarked on a second career path in the Co-occurring Field (Mental Health & Addiction) and has most recently completed course work at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She considers herself a lifelong learner.

During her leisure time Amanda enjoys traveling; she has studied in Egypt with the late Dr. Ben Yosef Johanna from Cornell University. She has been a guest speaker in Brazil on Character Development in Schools. She has traveled extensively to Caribbean Islands and has been to Senegal, West Africa. She also enjoys reading, writing (particularly poems & words of wisdom), and socializing with family and close friends.

Amanda is divorced and has three adult children: Symone, married to Stephen with two children, (Summer & S J); plus Blair and Imani. She resides in Hillside, NJ.