Ike Griffith, Ed.S.
Special Assistant to the Mayor and Director of MOYS

Ike Griffith is the Director of the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services. Prior to his position at the helm of the City’s youth services division, Ike was the Electronic Media Instructor for Hamilton High School and Media Trainer/Recruiter and Curriculum Developer and Instructor for Brown Baptist Church. Including Hamilton, Ike has held positions at several Shelby County Schools and has held various roles within the school system such as Interim General Manager and Lead Instructor of the Telecommunications Center. He also served in production and directing roles at Cable 12 (Memphis City Schools), CBS Television Network, ESPN, WKNO-TV and WHBQ-TV. Griffith earned a B.A. in Mass Communications and Journalism from the University of Mississippi, a Masters of Education from Union University and an Education Specialist degree from Union University. Griffith’s volunteer and community activities include serving as a board member for the State of Tennessee Selective Service Administration, a facilitator for the Third Monday “Meet and Greet” in Whitehaven, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and a member of the Red Oaks Neighborhood Association. He has also been a member of the Shelby County Democratic Party and of the Memphis & Shelby County Film Commission.

Email: ike.griffith@memphistn.gov

Select thumbnail of each team leader to view their respective biographies.
Joyce Douglas
Program Manager
Mary Higgins Brooks
Community Organizer
Pamela Buford
Administrative Assistant to the Director
Taylor Binnix
Research and Development Analyst
Denita Hedgeman, D.Min.
Event Coordinator

Joy Lang-Stone
Receptionist

Marquis Robinson
Memphis Ambassadors Program Manager

Seria Ross
MAP Co-Manager

Markell Vaughn
MAP Zone Supervisor

Anjie Ash
MAP Zone Supervisor

 

Christine Jones
MAP Zone Supervisor

Aaren Todd
MAP Youth Specialist

Alyncia Clark
MAP Youth Specialist

Barrett Shaw
MAP Youth Specialist

Brandon Shaw
MAP Youth Specialist

D’Onna James
MAP Youth Specialist

Desmond Morgan
MAP Youth Specialist

Lola Conway
MAP Youth Specialist

Marshall Dezell
MAP Youth Specialist

Raven Boyce
MAP Youth Specialist

Serita Crawford
MAP Youth Specialist

Kanisha Williams
MPLOY Administrative Assistant

Audrey Coleman
MPLOY Job Developer

Crystelle Hunter
MPLOY Job Developer

Drusheena Kyles
MPLOY Job Developer

Kemario Davis
MPLOY Youth Specialist

 

Joyce Douglas
Program Manager

Joyce is a proud graduate of Melrose High and University of Memphis where she received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree. She is dedicated to serving the community by inspiring youth to pursue their dreams. Her guiding quote is Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Email: joyce.douglas@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

Mary Higgins Brooks
Community Organizer

Mary has served in various capacities at MOYS since 2012, including Community Organizer, Senior Internship Coordinator for MAP, and Accounts Payable Representative. She enjoys the opportunity to engage with youth and enhance their livelihoods throughout Shelby County. According to Mary, the most rewarding piece of her work is the opportunity to collaborate around MOYS programming and bridge the gap for organizing community involvement. Mary attended Melrose High school in Memphis, TN, Lambuth College in Jackson, TN, and also spent time living in Dallas, TX. In her free time, Mary loves watching football (especially the Dallas Cowboys!), as well as bowling, traveling, and spending time with her family and grandchildren.

Email: maryh.brooks@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Pamela Buford
Administrative Assistant to the Director

Pamela has been in her role as Administrative Assistant to the Director of MOYS for almost two years; she has worked for the City of Memphis for nearly four years. She studied at Strayer University; she holds a degree in Business Administration and Human Resources. Pamela is an adventurous and creative person; she likes bike riding, walking nature trails, parasailing, watching the sun rise over the water, writing poetry, and playing board games with her three children. Pamela’s favorite book is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. Her favorite quotes from the book read, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it,” and “In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens.” In addition, in Pamela’s opinion, “The Alchemist” teaches (1) never to give up on your dreams, and always follow your passions, (2) look for omens as guideposts on your journey, and (3) sometimes the journey is the destination.

Email: pamela.buford@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Taylor Binnix
Research and Development Analyst

Taylor is a Memphis-transplant from the Chesapeake Bay region of the East Coast. An avid Ultimate Frisbee player and dancing enthusiast, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Spanish from Elon University, and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Memphis. She enjoys learning new things, traveling the world, and socializing with interesting people. At MOYS, Taylor uses her skills in data management, research analysis, and program administration to seek innovative and creative solutions for improving the student experience in MOYS initiatives. The personal growth and professional development of young people are important to Taylor; she hopes that her students will be empowered and successful as society’s future leaders.

Email: taylor.binnix@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP


Denita Hedgeman, D.Min.
Event Coordinator

Denita is the Special Events Coordinator for the Office of Youth Services at The City of Memphis. Her duties include planning and coordinating events, as well as establishing, recruiting, and securing relationships with sponsors, vendors, corporate partners, volunteers, students, facilitators, organizations, colleges, and internal departments. She was previously a Job Developer for the Memphis Office of Youth Services, where she trained youth in job readiness, developed jobs where young people could be employed across the city, and managed Youth Specialists. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Advertising, a Master's degree in Religious Fine Arts, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Religious Dance. She was recently the Director of Career Services at LeMoyne-Owen College and is currently an author, motivational speaker, choreographer and certified Zumba instructor. She loves inspiring people to find their life purpose.

Email: denita.hedgeman@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Joy Lang-Stone
Receptionist

Joy graduated from Kingsbury High School, and is currently studying International Business at the University of Memphis. In her position, Joy interacts with all the people who come through MOYS. Joy believes that the citizens of Memphis are good people from all different cultural backgrounds. She enjoys reading, and studying diverse cultures and languages. Her all-time favorite movie is Forrest Gump, because the character Forrest is an overcomer who learns to navigate the challenges and events in society.

Email: joy.lang-stone@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Marquis Robinson
Memphis Ambassadors Program Manager

Marquis received his Bachelor of Professional Studies degree from the University of Memphis with a concentration in Non-Profit Administration. Marquis enjoys the unique flavor of Memphis culture, especially when giving back to the Memphis community through his role at MOYS. Marquis is a hard-working student; as a non-traditional student, he had a different perspective on his college courses than his peers, but still relishes in the camaraderie of fandom for the Memphis Tigers. Marquis is inspired by the New England Patriots because of how the former underdogs worked hard to earn their success, relying on one another and cultivating a team-centric mindset.

Email: marquis.robinson@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Seria Ross
MAP Co-Manager

Seria received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Memphis. Born and raised in the Bluff City, Seria has seen the good and bad that the city has overcome or prospered from. Memphis has so many things to offer, from churches on every corner to some of the best BBQ in the country. This city shines bright in its own light. Memphis gives the feel of family with so many different cultures being present and meshing together for the common goal of an onward and upward, thriving city. At MOYS, Seria lauds her work family as one of the best she has ever encountered, with unique personalities coming together daily for one goal in mind: the betterment of the youth in the City of Memphis. According to Seria, what she enjoys most about her role at MOYS is being a mentor to so many youth throughout the City of Memphis, and also making connections with the parents of the youth, seeing their faces light up regarding information about post-secondary opportunities for their child to follow. For Seria, it is truly a blessing to stand behind MOYS’s mantra everyday—“Empowering Our Youth for Positive Results.”

Email: Seria.Ross@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Markell Vaughn
MAP Zone Supervisor

Markell hails from Brownsville, TN. Markell graduated from Lane College, and is currently pursuing his MBA from Belhaven University. He is a God-fearing man who prioritizes faith and family, setting aside time for prayer, family dinners, daddy-daughter park days, and dates with his lovely wife. Markell serves as a MAP Zone Supervisor for Districts 2, 3, and 6, making sure that the curriculum is taught, orchestrating site visits, communicating with parents, and acting as positive role model for Ambassadors. A Memphian since 2014, Markell enjoys the Memphis area because it acts like a big melting pot where people from diverse walks of life come together for a common cause. The city offers different training and job opportunities for lower, middle, and upper class people, as well as different ways to be involved and express oneself. To Markell, the most important thing about his role at MOYS is being able to “Empower Our Youth for Positive Results.” That mantra is at the forefront of everything we do at MOYS, and it brings Markell joy to put in the work that guarantees this mantra is not only words, but has consistent actions behind it.

Email: markell.vaughn@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Anjie Ash
MAP Zone Supervisor

Anjie has been with MOYS for two years. Her duties include managing and coordinating aspects of MAP, organizing and facilitating program related activities, evaluating and training program staff, engaging and encouraging students to meet personal goals and objectives, marketing and planning the social, cultural, and educational program components, and serving as a liaison between youth specialists, students, parents, community members, and staff members. Originally from Little Rock, AR, Anjie came to Memphis to attend Rhodes College and the University of Memphis. For Anjie, people are her passion; she is motived by having room for growth and change in her surroundings, her people, and for herself. In the words of the late great Babba Chokwe Lumumba, “If you do not love the people, sooner or later you will betray the people.”

Email: anjelica.ash@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Christine Jones
MAP Zone Supervisor

Christine is an alumna of Lemoyne-Owen College where she received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work. She also has earned a Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Management from Strayer University. Christine has provided assistance and counselling to clients of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. She is passionate about life, people, and sharing her gifts with others.

Email: christine.jones@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Aaren Todd
MAP Youth Specialist

Aaren, a MAP Youth Specialist currently assigned to District 6 (Mitchell Community Center), uses his role to encourage and support young Ambassadors throughout the week. Born and raised in the great City of Memphis, Aaren is the middle child out of six siblings. He is honored to serve his native City by exploring his abilities and investing in the next generation. Aaren is working towards a Master’s degree from the University of Memphis, where he also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Art with a minor in African American Studies. Aaren hopes to one day start a non-profit organization that will continue to empower young people of color and help them to reach their goals for education, economic stability, and moral values, both within themselves and their community. His motto for life is “When we invest in tomorrow, the future has no choice but to be brighter.”

Email: aaren.todd@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Alyncia Clark
MAP Youth Specialist

Alyncia graduated from Cordova High School, and is currently studying Exercise, Sport, and Movement Science at the University of Memphis. As a Youth Specialist, Alyncia abides by the mission of MOYS to “Empower Our Youth for Positive Results” by cultivating leadership skills, encouraging community service, striving to reach personal goals for each of her students. Alyncia enjoys trying new foods in Memphis; in fact, the first time she tried BBQ chicken nachos was at the Redbirds Stadium/Autozone Park, and it was a life-changing experience!

Email: alyncia.clark@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Barrett Shaw
MAP Youth Specialist

Barrett is a 2009 graduate of Hillcrest High School. Barrett graduated from Christian Brothers University in 2013, earning his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Also in 2013, he married his high school sweetheart whom he started dating in 2009. With Barrett’s leadership skills, he has served as Assistant Manager at Hibbett Sports, Acting Team Leader at FedEx Express, and he won the “Most Likely to Succeed” award as an insurance salesman for Cigna Healthspring. Barrett has a tremendous passion for serving the youth; he believes it’s important to “invest in the future of tomorrow.” He’s so dedicated to serving the youth that he and his friends from college started a mentoring program called 901 Evolution to empower the youth. He has volunteered and dedicated his time almost every Saturday since 2013 to the youth he mentors. Barrett and his wife also teach the youth at his childhood church. Now, Barrett looks to leave a positive impact on the youth that are a part of the Memphis Ambassadors Program.

Email: barrett.shaw@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Brandon Shaw
MAP Youth Specialist

Brandon serves as a Youth Specialist at the Hickory Hill Community Center in District 2, administering life skills training to the youth in the program, and assessing students’ educational, health, economic and civic responsibility goals. He enjoys that his work is not purely educational, but also inspirational and motivational for the students. Brandon attended Central High School in Memphis, TN, before pursuing higher education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and the University of Memphis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and is currently working towards a graduate degree in City and Regional Planning. In his free time, Brandon produces music, practices the drums, saxophone, and piano, writes, does photography, watches sports, and co-organizes his mentoring program, known as 901 Evolution. Motivated by his passion to build up and positively impact his community, Brandon is driven to impact, encourage, and collaborate with the youth in the City of Memphis.

Email: brandon.shaw@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

D'Onna James
MAP Youth Specialist

D'Onna James graduated from Ridgeway High School. Her accolades include the Ambassador of the Year Award in 2012, Tennessee Hope Scholarship award-recipient, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority member, Ghanian History and Culture Study Abroad scholarship recipient, Co-Chair for the Fashion Show of the Black Student Association in 2014, and formal model and runway coach. After high school, D'Onna interned with MAP, and was later offered a position as a Youth Specialist. Presently, she serves in District 6 at the Pine Hill Community Center. D’Onna has experienced many challenges and opportunities for growth as an outgoing young woman in her profession. For example, in 2013, D’Onna had a damaged nerve injury and was forced to balance her recovery with her work and her undergraduate studies. In addition, she studied abroad in Ghana and Cuba, taught at a primary school in the village of Ho in the Volta region of West Africa, researched Afro Cuban History and Culture, and led a two-week seminar about the African Diaspora for high school students. Now, D’Onna is working towards her degree in African and African American Studies with a concentration in humanities and a minor in Marketing. In her role, D’Onna prioritizes giving back to a program that has given incredible value and sustenance to her life. She walks by faith, and not by sight, and strives to do right unto all. 

Email: donna.james@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Desmond Morgan
MAP Youth Specialist

Desmond Morgan, a Youth Specialist for District 4 at the Glenview site, was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. A proud graduate of Lane College, Desmond received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. His passion is helping people and serving within his community in every aspect. He firmly believes that in this day and time, our youth need our help the most. In the great words of President Obama, "change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Email: desmond.morgan@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Lola Conway
MAP Youth Specialist

Lola serves MOYS as a Youth Specialist for MAP. Lola graduated cum laude from Christian Brothers University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology and Organizational Behavior, and a minor in Business. She also holds an Associate of Arts degree in Psychology from Southwest Tennessee Community College, a Diploma from John Casablanca Modeling and Career Center, and a Branell Business College Medical Secretarial Honors Diploma. Lola enjoys using her many talents to serve the MAP students at Gaisman Community Center, in District 5.

Email: lola.conway@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Marshall Dezell
MAP Youth Specialist

Marshall received his degree in Graphic Communications from Mississippi Valley State University before relocating to Memphis from Indianola, Mississippi. Marshall retired from his position teaching Digital Arts and Design for Shelby County Schools before joining the team at MOYS. As a Youth Specialist, Marshall appreciates the opportunity for active involvement with students in the community. In addition, Marshall gives back to the community by giving blood to help children with sickle cell diseases. In Memphis, Marshall enjoys the excitement from the diverse people and the culture of blues. In his free time, Marshall loves reading, weight lifting, and traveling.

Email: marshall.dezell@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Raven Boyce
MAP Youth Specialist

Raven was born and raised in the City of Memphis. Presently, she is working towards her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. She is very involved at the University of Memphis; she serves as Co-Fundraising Chair for the University of Memphis chapter of the NAACP, a member of the Black Scholars Unlimited Honor Society, a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization, a member of the University of Memphis Football Recruiting and Staff Team, and a three-time award recipient for her contributions as a S.T.E.M. Guide. In her position at MOYS, she enjoys mentoring youth through life skills and team building skills, teaching the types of skills that they will need to maneuver through life. In addition to her work, Raven loves to sing, dance, model, and spend quality time with her family and friends.

Email: raven.boyce@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Serita Crawford
MAP Youth Specialist

Serita was born and raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois. She is a single mother to three (now grown) children. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Dance, and an Associate’s degree in Psychology. After college, she worked on a task force for the Joliet Public Schools, and coached the 8th grade girls’ basketball team as well as cross country. She moved to Memphis in December of 1999, and began working as a substitute teacher at Frayser High School in Memphis City Schools in February of 2000. Continuing her work in Shelby County Schools, Serita is confident that her career started the day she walked into Frayser High School with a Substitute ID card in hand. She introduced herself to the Assistant Principal, made it known that she was willing and able to begin work as a Substitute Teacher, left her first day of work with an assignment, and stayed a Ram for 13 years. Ironically, the Ram is also Serita’s zodiac sign, and she felt at home. Serita is excited to offer her talents as a Youth Specialist for the Raleigh Community Center in District 1, doing her best work, leading young men and women into society with purposefulness, and helping them become Ambassadors for themselves, their parents, and the City of Memphis.

Email: serita.crawford@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Kanisha Williams
MPLOY Administrative Assistant

Kanisha, a graduate of Fairley High School, is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from Strayer University. Kanisha enjoys acting, and spending time with her family and friends. Kanisha is inspired by Jada Pinkett Smith, Taraji P. Henson, and Queen Latifah, because of the way these ladies carry themselves as respectable women and bring life to their unique characters. On the MPLOY Team, Kanisha enjoys working behind the scenes and with the students to make the program successful. There is always something exciting happening!

Email: kanisha.williams@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Audrey Coleman
MPLOY Job Developer

Audrey is a proud graduate of Melrose High School and LeMoyne-Owen College. Before joining the MPLOY Team, Audrey retired from the Shelby County Division of Corrections after 25 years of service as a Corrections Officer Sergeant, and she still continues her work in real estate. Audrey is dedicated to inspiring our youth in a positive manner as it relates to their future, by helping them to believe that they can reach their goals with effort. She is motivated by seeing the youth that she has impacted live their dreams and help others by sharing those experiences that lead them to be successful in life.

Email: audrey.coleman@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Crystelle Hunter
MPLOY Job Developer

Crystelle, a native Memphian, received her degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Education and Sociology from the University of Memphis. She also studied Spanish at the University of Murcia in Spain, as well as Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. She brings her diverse talents to MOYS through her role as a Job Developer for MPLOY Youth, coaching a team of youth specialists in managing their caseloads of students, as well as building relationships with businesses across the Memphis area for placing students during the summer. For Crystelle, the most rewarding part of her job is seeing her students succeed by bettering themselves and growing as individuals. When she is not working at MOYS, Crystelle enjoys traveling abroad, spending time with her family, and relaxing to jazz music.

Email: crystelle.hunter@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Drusheena Kyles
MPLOY Job Developer

Drusheena attended Central High school in Memphis, TN, and received her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Post-college, Drusheena lived in Los Angeles, CA for many years, and relocated to her hometown (Memphis) in 2015. Her return was inspired by the opportunity to cultivate within the next generation of Memphians the life skills that will lay the foundation for healthy, happy, and productive communities. As a Job Developer, Drusheena has a lead role in the development, implementation and evaluation of MPLOY. Drusheena says that the ability to engage in such intimate interactions with our youth inspires her nurturing instincts; she enjoys the involvement with local programs that ultimately help shape the lives and career possibilities of Memphis youth. As a person, Drusheena is eternally curious and passionate. As much as possible, she shares the story of food and its power to heal and sustain life, especially using community gardens as a fruitful tool.

Email: drusheena.kyles@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

Kemario Davis
MPLOY Youth Specialist

Kemario is a Class of 2014 graduate of the George Washington Carver High School in Memphis, TN. Kemario is now a junior at the Lemoyne-Owen College where he served as the Freshman Class President, and he led his Freshman Council in creating a program that helps to decrease youth violence in the City of Memphis. In addition to promoting youth leadership, Kemario majors in political science, and currently serves a Youth Specialist. Kemario enjoys being witness to the growth and development of the youth that he encounters as a staff member at MOYS. He is steadfast in his quest for youth empowerment across the county, and especially in the City of Memphis. Kemario serves as a Transition Team Member for Mayor Jim Strickland, and is the youngest councilmember of the Mayor's Community Advisory Council.

Email: kemario.brown@memphistn.gov

BACK TO TOP

 

315 S. HOLLYWOOD STREET    |   MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE 38104    |   PHONE: (901) 636-6264