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

Ike Griffith serves as the Special Assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland and the Director of the Memphis Office of Youth Services where he is responsible for the oversight of all youth programming for the City of Memphis. Director Griffith responsibilities also include the development, implementation and evaluation of the city’s two primary youth programs; the Memphis Ambassadors Program (MAP) the city’s year round youth program, the MPLOY Summer Youth Employment Program, the city’s six week summer experience, and the Memphis Youth City Council which is  a youth member council that serves to represent youth interest in the City of Memphis government by serving as an advisory board to the Mayor and the Memphis City Council. Its’ purpose is to engage Memphis Youth in the political process and create leaders for the future. Managing a 3.5 million budget, Director Griffith assures quality programming is provided for over 1,500 program participants annually. This includes, but not limited to working with parents, program participants, community members, businesses and governmental representatives.

Director Griffith earned a B.A. in Mass Communications and Journalism from the University of Mississippi, a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Union University and an Education Specialist Degree in Education Leadership also from Union University. He has been an instructor with Memphis City and Shelby County Schools for 20 years, board member for the State of Tennessee Selective Service Administration, Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative 2018 participant, member of the Shelby County Democratic Party, member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and former member of the Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission.

 
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Denita Hedgeman, D.Min.

Youth Services Event Coordinator/ Executive Assistant to the Director 

 

Denita has served in various areas of MOYS such as MPLOY Job Developer, Special Events Coordinator, MAP Zone Supervisor, MAP Lead Youth Specialist and Program Specialist. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Advertising, a Masters in Religious Fine Arts and a Doctor of Ministry in Religious Dance.  She was recently the Director of Career Services at LeMoyne-Owen College and is currently a national/international author, motivational speaker, choreographer, entertainer and certified Zumba instructor.  She loves inspiring people to find their life purpose.

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Marquis Robinson

MAP 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. As a hard-working 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.

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Mary Higgins Brooks

MAP Support Coordinator

 

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.

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Donna Dancy

MPLOY Program Manager

 

Donna received her B.A., in psychology, from Hampton University and a Master of Social Work from Howard University, with a focus on child/family welfare and mental health. Her background consists of working with foster/adoptive children and families, on a local and national level. She has worked with the US Agency for International Development, US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Office of Refugee Resettlement. Donna is a licensed social worker in the state of Tennessee and a very active volunteer in the Memphis and Shelby County community, through her church and sorority. She volunteers in her free time with the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation and a local homeless shelter. Donna’s work with children is driven by the quote,

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men…. “

~Frederick Douglass

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Daphne Evans

MPLOY Senior Program Analyst

 

Daphne Jones Evans is a Memphis Native and a proud graduate of Hamilton High School and The University of Tennessee at Martin where she graduated with a degree in Social Work.  Daphne is a former flight attendant with Delta Airlines. She has also served as a substitute teacher and financial secretary in the Memphis City School system, where she worked with teens during school activities such as the Girls Softball Coach at Ridgeway High/ Northside High and assisted at several High School Football and Basketball game activities.

As you can tell, Daphne loves working with teens.  As a mother of two herself, Daphne knows her job is making a difference in helping mold the future of Memphis.  She realizes the youth that come through the MPLOY program will eventually be the adults that  make the decisions for  Memphis that will make people want to visit or better yet to live in.

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Joy Lang-Stone

MPLOY Data Analyst

 

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.

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Candy Munn

MPLOY Job Developer

A Memphis native, Candy Munn is currently working towards her Master of Business Administration – Marketing/Social Media Management, as well as studying for her Real Estate license. She is the creator of ‘Keeping Up With Candy’, a blog focused on fashion and travel. She also co-hosts ‘Sunday Mornings With Brother Love’, a local relationship call-in radio show. Her passions include reading, international travel, helping others, planning, and mixology.

Candy believes Memphis is one of the greatest U. S. cities with so much room for improvements. She feels each generation of youth will ALWAYS be the key to Memphis’ future – acting on these improvements, making it a better place for themselves and the next generations. She believes that “we must reach our youth while they are young and show them we care, provide them with love and hope, instill in them that they matter, give them the tools necessary to succeed, let them know manners and morals go a long way, and impress upon them that no matter their present situation, THEY can change it, if necessary, through desire, determination, education, hard work, and helping hands along the way.”

Candy said, “this is why I feel MPLOY is such a precious and valuable program. It gives students hope and a sense of self-worth, teaches them about work ethics, money management, and getting along with others, and gives them training and experience in areas that interests them. Thanks to MPLOY and our business partners, our youth experience self-pride and self-esteem, which is a first for many. And because of this, I am proud and honored to be a part of the MPLOY staff as a Job Developer.”

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Seria Ross

MPLOY Program Specialist

Seria Ross is a proud alumna of East High School and the University of Memphis (U of M). She obtained her B.S. in Education from the U of M in 2014 and is pursuing a M.S. in Education at Jackson State University (JSU). 

 

In 2015, Seria began her journey of passionate service for youth through personal and professional endeavors through her work with the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services (MOYS). 

Seria annually coordinates the Southern Heritage Classic College & Career Fair, reaching about 1,000 high school seniors; she spearheads the MOYS Youth Empowerment Conference, exposing students to pre- and post- graduation opportunities; she serves as the liaison between MOYS and Shelby County Schools CCTE - where about 250 students are incentivized to complete technical education courses. 

Outside of MOYS, Seria partners with youth-based organizations throughout the city such as STS Enterprises and UCAN of Memphis. Seria prides herself in being a part of the effort to save and inspire the youth in the City of Memphis.

Seria is quoted in saying “I want to be to Youth, what my Mentors and Villages were and still are to ME.”

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Serita Crawford

MPLOY Project Coordinator 

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 at MOYS, 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.

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Marshall Dezell

MPLOY Job Developer

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.

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Angela Brown

MPLOY Job Developer

 

Angela graduated from Melrose High School (Golden Wildcats). She received her B.S. in Organizational Leadership & Management with honors (magna cum-laude) from Union University. She served in many capacities during the years but to name a few, life insurance agent writing for various agencies, substitute teacher with Shelby County Schools, and personnel assistant in Recruitment before moving to properties & facilities assistant handling contracts & leases at FedEx Express.

 

Her hopes are that the youth of Memphis will be taught, shown and exemplify how to be the best version of themselves and to represent Memphis with great pride in business, life and community!

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Audrey B. Coleman

MPLOY Lead Job Developer

 

Audrey B- Coleman, born and raised in Memphis TN. I'm a graduate of Melrose High School and studied at Lemoyne Owen College. I retired from the Shelby County Division of Corrections, after 25 years of service. I'm currently a Realtor and a licensed  Insurance Claims Adjuster. 

 

I'm a excited Grandmother of one and mother of two young adults.  My heart is very sensitive when it comes to our youth. I'm very passionate about recruiting Business Partners to be a part of our team to provide a meaning work experience for the youth of Memphis area.  

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Taylor Hall

I Am Included Lead Youth Specialist

 

Taylor is a proud graduate of Briarcrest Christian High School. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Sociology and African American Studies from the University of Memphis. She enjoys giving back to her community and has worked at multiple SCS summer camps over the last few years. As a Youth Specialist, Taylor enjoys teaching her ambassadors life skills and helping them grow not only as students but as young adults. "We provide them with a set of skills to navigate through life easier. Then they are able to apply these skills whether it is at school, at home or out in their own communities". Taylor knows that Memphis is a growing city full of youth that want to succeed and it is our job to uplift their voices and help them excel in every aspect of their lives.

“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.” – Barack Obama

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Lametria Gillespie

MAP Project Coordinator

Born and raised in the inner city of Memphis, Tennessee, Lametria has inherited a passion for organized growth and process improvement. Throughout the years, she’s gained business etiquette, quality operations, leadership, and hospitality skill sets to align with those passions from the University of Memphis as an International Business student focused primarily within the medical device supply chain sector.

 

In her personal life, she serves as a bonus mom to several children where striving to instill and build core values are the key focal points and has proven that leading by example is the ultimate staple.

 

Making a difference and being happy to engage directly with our Youth has quickly brought those passions and forefronts to life as the key way to keep them thriving. "Instilling profound life skills in our future leaders is a foundational base and pathway that cannot be ignored while servicing the City of Memphis".

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Renita Lemons

MAP Job Developer

 

Renita Lemons is a Memphis native, former Urban Fellows and Youth Specialist (Memphis Office of Youth Services). Graduate from The University of Memphis with a GPA of 3.5 in Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Human Resources, Social Sciences and Counseling (Youth and Young Adults) from The University of Memphis; University College. She is a mother who loves seeing her baby grow and smile. Before working at MAP, she worked with youth in church and community activities; BRIDGES, USA as an Event Planner Intern; Youth Villages as a Senior Overnight Teacher Counselor; La Petite Academy as a Team Lead; and an Education Assistant at The University of Memphis Campus School. She is passionate about the youth in aspects of education and development. 

 

-In the words of my Grandmother, “Look Up and Live”. 

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Ashley Chapman 

MAP 9th-12th Grade Lead Youth Specialist

 

Ashley was born in Cheraw, SC, the hometown of the famous composer Dizzy Gillespie. She was raised as a military child, which allowed her to be exposed to different cultures. Her childhood was split up between South Carolina, Washington state, Texas, and Hawaii, which helped her find her purpose. 

Ashley is currently a Child Development and Family Studies major at the University of Memphis. Ashley has a passion for empowering youth and serving her community and plans to continue living and working by these values.

Outside of MOYS, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters. Also, she enjoys reading and exploring the city for hidden gems.

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Sandi-Marie Sadler

MAP Youth Specialist

 

Sandi-Marie Sadler is a native Memphian and a proud graduate of Memphis Academy of Health Sciences. Sandi-Marie attended the historic Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas where she received her degree in Psychology. During her time at Philander Smith, Sandi-Marie was a part of the Psychology Club, Spanish Club, and the Panther Dolls Cheer/Dance Team where she served as the Captain all four years. Sandi-Marie has a passion with helping the youth transition from childhood into adulthood while helping them seek their greater purpose and passion. She has worked with youth for six years through summer camps and specialized treatment programs. She believes that we may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can and we must prepare our children for the future.

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Shelby Culver

MAP 9th-12th Grade Youth Specialist

Shelby Culver is a graduate student at the University of Memphis pursuing a Master of Public Health degree. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health at Middle Tennessee State University in 2016. In high school, she would have loved to have had this opportunity as a student to gain community service hours, resume building/assistance, incentives for excelling in class, a chance to tap into her social and emotional needs, and the many other resources that the MAP program provides. She is very excited to give back to her city while also taking a public health approach to learning what students need to thrive mentally, physically, and academically. As a Youth Specialist, she feels it is an honor to work with an amazing bunch of students during this critical time of their lives.  

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Randi Fason

MAP 9th-12th Grade Youth Specialist

 

Randi was born and raised in Memphis TN. She graduated from Southwind High School and is  currently in pursuit of her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work at the University of Memphis. Randi  has had the opportunity to work with Communities in Schools and Refugee Empowerment Program Organizations. She has always had a passion for working with youth of all ages. 

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antonio roddy

MAP Youth Specialist 

 

Antonio Roddy is a 21 year old from Memphis, TN. He is currently in his last semester at Jarvis Christian College and will be receiving his bachelor’s degree in Social Work. He plans on receiving his Master’s degree in the future as well. Antonio enjoys playing soccer, reading, and interacting with people of different cultures. Antonio is characterized as a kindhearted and easygoing person with a desire to help others.

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Asha Grace LOVE

MAP Youth Specialist

 

Asha Grace Love is a proud native Memphian and a current Urban Fellow with the Office of Youth Services. In her youth, she was a member of Girl's Incorporated and Eureka! programming, driving her passion for youth services and mentorship. Asha is currently in her senior year at the University of Memphis, pursuing a double major in Sociology and History. During her time at the U of M, she has served as a Tour Guide, Orientation Guide, Frosh Camp Counselor, member of the Student Government Organization, and Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Coalition (SAPAC). 

 

Most recently, Asha worked as a Success Coach with the Peer Power Foundation at Melrose High School, and as a Student Marketeer with Red Bull North America. In her free time, she enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles, painting, and seeking new adventures. She is looking forward to working with her students and discovering what this year has in store.

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DeVone Gainey

MAP Youth Specialist 

 

DeVone is a native of Southeast Raleigh, Raleigh, North Carolina and a Graduate of North Carolina A&T State University where she received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Multimedia Journalism. Because of her gifts and passion for community relations with the youth, DeVone has continued her work and studies in education through teaching middle school and high school students in Providence, RI, working as a Behavioral Analyst in Raleigh, NC and a Sports and Exercise Coach through the Memphis Grizzlies Basketball Foundation in the state of Memphis, TN.  DeVone is most excited about growing and networking in the city of Memphis as she prides herself on maintaining a growth mindset through every obstacle and learning opportunity. Her goal is to someday open and establish her own youth sports living facility. 

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Brandon Porter 

MAP Youth Specialist 

 

Brandon is a born and raised Memphian. He is a proud alum of the University of Memphis, and also has a master’s degree from Liberty University. Before working for the Office of Youth Services, he worked for the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis where he worked as a fundraiser, social media manager, and vocational rehab job coach. Brandon loves Memphis and is blessed to work for an office that works for the betterment of our city’s next generation. He lives with his wife and two dogs in the Shelby Farms area and spends most of his free time reading, exploring the outdoors, and supporting Memphis sports’ teams. Go Tigers Go!

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Kimmie Webb

MAP Team Lead

 

Kimmie Webb was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2010 from the University of Phoenix. She moved to Memphis in September 2020 after becoming an empty nester once the last of her two daughters headed to college. She has worked in the Juvenile Justice System as well as Child Protective Services for Clark County of Nevada for multiple years. To continue pouring into the lives of youth she volunteered as a Truancy Judge within the Clark County School District for three years. These areas of services have offered her years of experience mentoring, teaching, and coaching the youth of Las Vegas. She has brought her passion into Shelby County to continue working with youth through MAP.  She started and operated a youth girl’s Majorette Dance Team, which has been featured on the hit TV show America’s Got Talent. Kimmie founded and ran a successful youth volleyball team through the local community center. Her passion for the youth and the direction of their futures is of high importance. While reaching and changing each youth is the goal successfully doing that with at least one is a huge accomplishment. Currently working with MAP, she looks forward to being an invaluable member of the team paying it forward one youth at a time.

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Marcus Coleman

MAP Youth Specialist 

 

Marcus is a native Memphian, who had the opportunity to work as an Assistant Director of Camp Porter 12 years ago in which he worked well with kids all ages. Also, he volunteered at SCS and FCP school systems. He is so excited about the new opportunity to engage with the Memphis Ambassadors Program to work with the youth. 

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