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Independence through Education
Education should be an attainable goal for even the most disadvantaged. That's why we're here.
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Board Members

Darius G. Nevin

Darius G. Nevin is co-founder of G3 Capital Partners, an early-stage investment company, and expert adviser to private equity firms regarding the security industry.  He is also the former CFO of two publicly-listed security monitoring companies: Protection One, the third-largest in the U.S. during his tenure; and Guardian International, which he helped grow into one of the larger companies in the industry.  He has served as an Educate Tomorrow mentor since 2012 and as a board member since 2013. 

Melanie Emmons Damian
Attorney, Damian & Valori, LLP

Melanie Damian Bio

Virginia Emmons McNaught
Co-founder, Educate Tomorrow

Virginia Emmons McNaught co-founded and was CEO of Educate Tomorrow from 2003-2010.  She is President and founder of the non-profit consulting company, Funky Genius.  In 2015 Virginia was recognized at the Red Cross Women's Spectrum Awards for her work in Education.  She was awarded the Junior League's Women Who Make A Difference Award and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Everyday Freedom Hero Award.  She was featured in the book America's Way to Change and was recognized at the White House by President Obama as developing one of twenty-five Programs With Promise.  In 2012 Virginia was a finalist for the White House Fellowship.  Virginia served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a remote village in Niger, West Africa and continues to support the schools she helped establish. She has represented the Peace Corps as a spokesperson for White House events.  Raised as the youngest of eight from humble beginnings in Greendale, Wisconsin, she has traveled to over 45 countries. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she was student body President and captain of the soccer team. She is a graduate of the University of Miami with a M.S. Ed in Community& Social Change.

Chris Damian
Gibraltar Bank

Chris Damian joined Gibraltar Bank in 1999 after a fast-rising career at Citibank Private Bank where he served as Vice President for five years and NationsBank where he served as Assistant Vice President for the previous six years. At both institutions, he oversaw portfolios in excess of $100 million consisting of law firms and middle market companies.

Mr. Damian was ready for new challenges when Gibraltar Private recruited him. His initial duties included managing the company's Private Banking team and spearheading business development efforts to grow the young bank. Promoted in 2008, Mr. Damian provides sales leadership to Gibraltar Private's lending areas and manages three high-performing teams.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mr. Damian gives his time, as well as emotional and financial support, to Educate Tomorrow, which he helped to found through his mentoring of a family of siblings in foster care.

Garth Headley
FIU, Center for Leadership

Garth D. Headley is an Industrial and Organizational Psychologist and Associate Director for the Center for Leadership (CFL) at Florida International University, Miami, FL. The Center's unique approach to executive education facilitates the design and customization of practical programs that weave together research, real-world application, reflection, and feedback. Garth was instrumental in the development and growth of The Center and the design of its leadership development offerings, resulting in The Center’s leadership programs being ranked #1 among educational institutions in the USA by and Leadership Excellence. Garth is also an Adjunct Instructor of Organizational Behavior for the FIU Department of Psychology and College of Business.

Patrick Gannon
Kauffman Rossin & Company

Pat Gannon Bio

Kara Sharp
CPA, Kauffman Rossin & Company

Kara Sharp Bio

Dr. Donnie Hale

Dr. Donnie Hale, Ed. D, is the Florida International University Faculty Director of the Education Effect at Booker T. Washington Senior High School, a university community school partnership with Miami Dade County Public Schools and the Lennar Foundation. His research agenda is focused on race, equity, educational opportunity, college access, and human development. He teaches Sociocultural foundations of Education, History of Public Schools, Sociology of Education, African American History, Democracy in Schools, and Cultural Diversity for Preservice Teachers.  

Jason Mazer
Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, PA

Jason Mazer Bio

Antonio Shelton
Crispin Porter & Bogusky

Antonio Shelton has been with advertising agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky since 2005 as a Broadcast Engineer. He is responsible for studio recording, sound design and effects, music production, and post-production work. Mr. Shelton received his A.S. degree in Recording Arts from Fullsail University in Orlando, Florida in 2004. Mr. Shelton also has an active artistic career as a hip hop and R&B musician, releasing his first single "Remember" in 2008. Mr. Shelton was a foster youth in Miami-Dade County. The efforts of Melanie Damian and Chris Damian to assist Mr. Shelton further his education provided much of the inspiration for the formation of Educate Tomorrow. Mr. Shelton sends a message to our youth of the possibility of attending college.


Tony Jones
Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield

Tony Jones is a Senior Director at Cushman & Wakefield's Miami office.  Tony is a commercial real estate veteran with more than a decade of experience.  Prior to Cushman & Wakefield, Mr. Jones was Managing Director with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank where he became the top producing broker in 2012.  Tony is married with a son and two daughters.   

Sarah Clasby Engel
Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP

Sarah Clasby Engel Bio

Melissa Visconti
Damian & Valori

Erika Leigh Lucas
Baker & McKenzie

Erika Leigh Lucas

Erica French
Director, International Society for Autism

Erica French Bio

Robert Levenson
Securities and Exchange Commission

Mr. Levenson is a lawyer with the Miami Regional Office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Since May 2004, he has been Regional Trial Counsel, overseeing all litigation in the Miami office. Prior to joining the SEC in 2002, Mr. Levenson was in private practice in the Miami office of Holland + Knight LLP. He is a 1996 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Miami School of Law. After graduating, Mr. Levenson clerked for the Hon. Edward Davis, Chief United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

Prior to going to law school, Mr. Levenson spent 13 years as a newspaper reporter with the Chicago Tribune, the Omaha World Herald, and the Orlando Sentinel. He has bachelors and masters degrees in journalism from Northwestern University.Mr. Levenson also has a lifetime history of volunteer and pro bono work, including serving as a big brother with Big Brothers and Big Sisters organizations in several cities, serving as an Educate Tomorrow mentor, and coaching youth sports teams. In 2000, he was the first winner of the John Edward Smith Award from Lawyers for Children America for his work representing dependent children in Florida state court.

Melissa Emmons McCarthy
Holistic Health Practitioner

Melissa McCarthy is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and co-founder of Educate Tomorrow.  Previously, Melissa served as an Executive in the Defence Sector as the General Manager/CEO of OCAS Inc. and the VP of Buisness Development for Innovative Concepts both based in Washington DC area.  Melissa is a graduate of the United States Military Academy wiht a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management.  She served for six years in the US military as a Communications Officer rising to the rank of Captain.  Since her visit to Niger in 2001, Ms. McCarthy has become especially involved with the Educate Tomorrow International Outreach Program.

Jennifer Pakradooni
Director of Corporate Communications, DHL, Global Forwarding, Americas

Jennifer graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. in Mass Communications & Journalism with a minor in Spanish.  Following her long-time interest in studying and working abroad, Jennifer moved to Miami and began her career with a leading global Public Relations firm, Burson-Marsteller.  Jennifer's career in Corporate and Marketing Communications has had her working across Latin America Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific with both agencies as well as large multi-national companies.  In 2001-2002, Jennifer's love of travel encouraged her to take some time off and backpack around Asia and Africa. She speaks Spanish and has basic knowledge of German and French after living in Germany and Belgium. Jennifer currently works as the Director of Corporate Communications for DHL Global Forwarding, Americas in Miami, FL and is involved with several local South Florida organizations which work in the area of Foster Care to independence. In addition to serving on the Board for Educate Tomorrow, since the fall of 2007, she has been a Board Member for the Andrus Family Fund in New York City.