Michael Love was born in Brooklyn New York and moved to San Diego at the age of 15. He has taught mathematics at Mount Miguel High School since 1993 and has served as the department chair since 2008. He also taught advanced mathematics and statistics in the San Diego State Upward Bound Math/Science Program from 1994 to 2007. During his tenure at Mount Miguel, he served as the AVID coordinator for three years, as advisor of the African-American Student Union for three years and has served as co-advisor of the Student African-American Brotherhood since its founding at Mount Miguel in January 2005. In 2003 he was honored by Mount Miguel students with a Golden Apple Award. The UCSD Teacher Recognition program, the National Society of High School Scholars, the National Honor Society and Who’s Who in America also have recognized him as an outstanding teacher. In 2008, the San Diego State University Student African American Brotherhood chapter presented him with its Distinguished Leader Award. For the school year 2009-2010, he was selected as Teacher of the Year for Mount Miguel High School and the Grossmont Union High School District. He was further recognized for teaching excellence when chosen as a San Diego County Teacher of the Year for 2010.
Mr. Love holds a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science, a master’s degree in Education, a Certification in Diverse and Cross-Cultural Teaching and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Redlands.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Vincent E. Green
Founder & CEO G-SQUARE CONSULTING SERVICES LLC
Mr. Vincent E. Green has been an integral part of worldwide efforts to combat corruption for more than 40 years. He began his crime-fighting career in 1977. In 1981, he joined the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) as a Confidential Investigator. Green has also served as Assistant Supervisor, Deputy Inspector General and First Deputy Inspector General in his goal to combat corruption and fraud. At a 1991 City Hall awards ceremony he was slated to receive recognition for his uncompromising anti-corruption efforts. In addition, the Mayor of New York and DOI announced his promotion to the position of Inspector General. Green progressed to the position of Deputy Commissioner. He was the first entry-level investigator as well as the first person of color to progress through the ranks to such a high position in DOI’s 140-year history.
His numerous accomplishments include leading an investigation uncovering the largest tax fraud scheme in New York City history, leading to the recovery of 20 million dollars. Green managed a joint investigation with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that uncovered a multi-million dollar tax fraud scheme that had been in play for thirty-five years. He also led a probe of home heating oil companies that uncovered 14 million dollars in fraudulent billings that victimized thousands of families leaving them without heat and hot water.
Green was the founder of the DOI Peace Officer Academy. He is a New York and NRA Firearms Instructor as well as an instructor in the use of tactical batons. Green is trained to respond to “Active Shooter” incidents. Mr. Green was a “First Responder” during the attack on the World Trade Center; he was overseeing an undercover operation in the North Tower when the attack took place. Green participated in the rescue and recovery effort where he contracted respiratory and muscular illnesses due to his time spent at Ground Zero.
After a successful thirty-year career at DOI, Green was asked to take on the challenge of forming a department at the City University of New York with a mission of ensuring the integrity and a corruption-free environment in the five billion dollar construction program that was being implemented. Green himself is a graduate of the City University of New York where he earned both his Bachelors of Science and Master’s degrees. He is also an Adjunct Professor lecturing on global corruption and related topics. Green’s global impact includes lecturing to United Nations Ambassadors and dignitaries as well as meeting with representatives from more than 75 countries to help in establishing anti-corruption programs.
Green has been the recipient of awards for promoting integrity in government and recognition from four Mayors of the City of New York for Outstanding Achievements in Major investigations. Upon his departure from the Department Of Investigations, the Commissioner of DOI established the “Vincent Green Award for Outstanding Strategic Initiatives” to be given out each year to a deserving investigator.
Green is a contributor to the book, Government Ethics and Law Enforcement. He is the author of Corruption in the Twenty-First Century; Who Rigged the Bids?; Respond, Don’t React; and “A View from My Bay.”
Green is Chief Executive Officer of G-Square Consulting LLC, providing corruption awareness and fraud recognition training to government and private concerns. He takes the unwavering position that he will go anywhere in the world to speak against corruption. He takes a firm stand for the implementation of integrity and ethics in all organizations. Mr. Green can be reached at GSCTraining@optimum.net or 917-681-2810.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Mayor Racquel Vasquez
Mayor Lemon Grove
Mayor Vasquez proudly serves the City of Lemon Grove as a historic mayor. She is the first African American Female Mayor to be elected in both the City of Lemon Grove and County of San Diego.
Public service has long been important to Mayor Vasquez. Prior to serving on the Lemon Grove City Council, she was an active Lemon Grove community member, serving in various community groups, associations and City task forces.
Mayor Vasquez’s passion to serve the public grew. She served for five years on the City’s Planning Commission, was elected Councilmember for the Lemon Grove City Council in 2012, and Mayor in 2016 for the City.
Mayor Vasquez prides herself on putting people and community first. She has pinpointed three key priorities to focus on: public safety, economic development and neighborhood improvements.
Mayor Racquel Vasquez is originally from Los Angeles and attended Cal State Northridge where she graduated in 1993 with a BA in Radio, TV & Film Management.
Mayor Vasquez moved to Lemon Grove in 2001 and she has been a Lemon Grove resident and homeowner for the past 16 years. A Navy wife for 24 years, she has two beautiful daughters.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Jordan Jerome Harrison
Jordan Jerome Harrison is the former Director of College Town at Reality Changers. He worked with over 2500 8th-11th grade first-generation college-bound students annually throughout San Diego. His work focused on 8th-grade students with a 2.0 and below in jeopardy of not promoting. He built curriculum, taught on a nightly basis, developed and led the program which focused on changing students trajectories while creating college-going identities within under-resourced student populations.
Since Reality Changers started in 2001 with $300, his students have earned over $120,000,000 in scholarships from all sources. Harrison is committed to changing the educational outcomes of low-income, underrepresented and first-generation students from underserved communities. Jordan has worked on finding solutions to urban education challenges with the U.S Attorney’s office, U.S News and World Reports, San Diego State University, UC San Diego, San Diego Diplomacy Council, Harvard University and many others.
Currently, Jordan Harrison is pursuing a Master’s in Education at Harvard University. He earned a full ride fellowship as an Urban Scholar for his work within urban education. Harrison is committed to changing education and making it accessible to every student.
He is focused on restorative justice practices and how to best support students of all backgrounds in their social-emotional growth.
Damion Donaldson pursues innovative and creative approaches to increase the productivity, computer literacy and financial capabilities of young professionals through strategic planning, career coaching, game-based learning, public speaking, program development and instructional design. He has served non-profit organizations, universities, community programs and a government agency within the past 15 years. Damion has recruited and coached talented minority college and high school students to obtain competitive internships with several Fortune 500 companies as a National Recruiter for INROADS and as Leader of Tomorrow program Director (Orange County Area) for LA’s National Black MBA Association. Damion has designed and facilitated professional development workshops for the University of Southern California (USC) Career Center, Cal Poly Pomona’s MESA program, CSU Fullerton/San Bernardino, HACU Scholars, TEALCU Scholars, Raytheon college internship program and Tavis Smiley’s Youth-2-Leaders program. Damion has a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts and Science in Psychology from San Diego State University and a Master’s of Science in Education from the University of Southern California.
Student African American Brotherhood of San Diego State UniversityOf the events that SAAB puts on every year, 5 major events include the Powderpuff game put on for the sisters, helping at the YMCA for the annual Halloween event, the SAAB Talent show, and the SAAB Signature Program, in which the brothers hold a dinner for members/students, faculty/staff, and other organizations that have supported them. They take this time to reflect on the events of the year, recognized outstanding students/faculty, and officially announce the new executive board for the upcoming year. The last major event is the annual Young Men’s Leadership Conference at Mount Miguel high School, which SAAB has been supporting since the first conference in 2006. Other events also include leadership conferences, retreats, luncheons with faculty and staff, and intramural athletic teams. As well as the weekly meetings and discussions, they facilitate business professional meetings, social activities, and community service with various organizations in the community. The weekly meetings will range from topics including hip-hop culture and black identity to faculty/guest speaker led discussions. They also include some lighthearted topics such as dating advice and general tips and tricks that everyone could benefit from knowing.
TEAM WATKINS: Lavar J. Watkins & Kristina H. Watkins
Co-Founders and Presidents of Learning Knowledge Worldwide LLC
Lavar J. Watkins expertise is in the field of Workforce Development, Counseling and STEM Engagement. He has provided guidance, job search, career development and vocational assistance to thousands of clients and has also assisted Veterans and clients towards the goal of successful placement into employment in various STEM fields. Mr. Watkins has also worked with numerous groups charged with stimulating local economic growth and creating educational programs, career pathways and sustainable entry-level employment in the field of Biotechnology and Life Sciences through coordination with local high schools, colleges, universities, military installations and corporations.
Mr. Watkins’ educational background consists of extensive undergraduate course work in the discipline of Chemical Engineering, a B.S. in Workforce Education and Development, a M.A. in Teaching with a specialization in Educational Technology, a M.S. in Educational Counseling, a Pupil Personnel Services Credential with a School Counseling Authorization and his active pursuit of the CA Professional Clinical Counseling License (LPCC) and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.
Mr. Watkins has served as the Governing Board Member and President on several local boards of trustees of several schools; the San Diego Employment Advisory Council (SDEAC) member at large; the BIOCOM Education Subcommittee member at large; an active member on several Educational, STEM and Veteran councils as well as local Chambers of Commerce. Mr. Watkins volunteers through coaching Forensics: Speech and Debate for various schools and community organizations. Mr. Watkins is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and is an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Navy.
Kristina H. Watkins innovatively provides engaging and exciting experiences with STEM content (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in and outside of the classroom, up and down the California coast for over the past decade! Mrs. Watkins has taught in a plethora of environments: in classrooms at private, public, charter schools; weekend workshops; summer camps and conferences. She has traveled the world, taught at International Schools, and understands the value of a “global mindset” constantly reminding her students to perform with academic excellence because their competition is NOT in the seat next to them. Mrs. Watkins’ educational philosophy is that “Learning and Laughter are NOT Mutually Exclusive!” Her covert objective is helping students to fall in love with the learning process so that they can pursue whatever content they find the most fulfilling!
A life long learner herself, Mrs. Watkins’ educational background consists of a B.A. in Biology; a M.A. in Teaching with a specialization in Global Education; a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in STEM Education. She is finalizing her California State Teaching Credentials in Biology, Mathematics and a Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science Education. She is also in active pursuit of an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership with emphasis in K-12 Leadership. Mrs. Watkins has served as a content specialist in various capacities for several organizations including: San Diego Chapter, The Links Inc. – Links to STEM Program; League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers; San Diego’s Women’s Hackathon; San Diego STEAM Maker Fest; Maker Faire San Diego; San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering; and Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.
Mr. and Mrs. Watkins are Co-Founders and Presidents of Learning Knowledge Worldwide LLC, a growing organization specializing in STEM Educational Programs, Academic Counseling, and Consulting. TEAM WATKINS travels the city, state, and nation inspiring students, staff, businesses and various community stakeholders of the importance of learning and applying STEM concepts and content to everyday life. ‘Learning Knowledge Worldwide’ works in partnership with 501(c)(3) nonprofit ‘Be The Change International’ to provide access in STEM Education and Counseling, empowering minorities, women and children to “sySTEMicly” impact our world as the next generation of innovative thinkers, creators and developers!
Jataun GilbertJataun Gilbert is a twenty years young aspiring artist residing in San Diego. Raised around old school funk, jazz and soul, he found a way to infuse today’s music with each of those. Currently in school studying for a degree in sociology, Gilbert spent most of his high school days at Mount Miguel either in Brother 2 Brother meetings, theatre, or battle rapping at lunch. He has come very far from talent shows to music videos, poetry to spoken word and mainly from a boy to a man.
Dr. Mark Jeffers
Dr. Mark Jeffers was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was the first person in his family to earn a college degree. A twelve-year English teacher at Mount Miguel High School, he currently serves as Intervention and Literacy Coordinator of Mount Miguel’s Matador Early College Academy (MEC).
In 1980, two years after dropping out of high school, Jeffers enlisted in the United States Marines, where he was honorably discharged after fourteen years. After being discharged he immediately opened a fitness center (Total Fitness) in Fresno, CA, which he owned until 2001. In 1996, while still a fitness center owner, Jeffers was hired by California Kings County Probation Department where he worked with troubled juveniles. It was this work that spawned his desired to help young people excel and fulfill their dreams. He believed and still believes that education gives our youth the best opportunity to live happy productive lives; therefore, during the summer of 1997, he enrolled in West Hills Junior College with the goal of becoming a teacher.
Jeffers has a Bachelor’s degree in American Literature, a Master’s of Education, a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Curriculum.
Armand King, 36, is the co founder of the aptly named non-profit ‘Paving Great Futures’. Fueled by his experience in the streets King serves as a shepherd to guide others out of the prison pipeline he knows all too well. He feels his mission in life is a path set out for him by God with his only goal being saving lives from the many pitfalls that he has witnessed himself growing up in underserved communities in San Diego. For many years he was misguided by the streets and helped to misguide others, not realizing the detriment of his actions. Life for him is now filled with rewriting his past but helping others pave a greater future.
Armand’s experience includes creating and implementing new programs serving former gang members, parolees, former felons and high-risk youth. Programs include a culinary, hospitality and management program and positive life reinforcement activities. Armand serves on boards and task forces on law enforcement relations, human trafficking and victim advocacy issues and conducts community outreach for at-risk individuals. He also serves as a Credible Messenger and Mentor to young adults and juveniles on probation or in custody. Armand draws upon his direct experience with the criminal justice system, including incarceration and the challenges of re-entry, to guide others.
Nadia Susana Contreras
Currently serving as a board member and Lead Case manager for Paving Great Futures, Nadia Susana Contreras started her career in the non-profit / humanitarian sector in 2009 when she founded Team Green Warming Machinez, a group located in San Diego catering to our homeless population. In late 2011 Nadia co-founded the non-profit IM MY OWN BLESSING where she is currently the president. IM MY OWN BLESSING focuses on empowering empathy everywhere through school curriculums, bi-monthly humanitarian family & youth outings and much more. Nadia has served as an independent community outreach specialist within the communities of Lemon Grove, Southeastern San Diego and Barrio Logan. Between 2012-2014 Nadia worked for La Maestra Community Health Centers, where they started & ran a Legal Advocacy department representing victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. By the end of 2014 Nadia decided to change client services to recovering homeless veterans through a company named Volunteers of America. In 2016 Nadia Co-founded People Over Profits-SD where they focus to bring true and authentic reentry programs to our community members coming out of prison but also working toward the ending of current legal slavery through our prison systems. Humanizing is her main focus to all her works outcome.
In the same year she became a legal minister and graduated from the Pomegranate facilitator Trainings where she is able to share these skills with other team members. She is currently working on a local policy for SDPD as well as social justice awareness education and plans to run for City Council in Lemon Grove Nov 2018. Some of her
Safe Space building projects includes the gathering space on 50th and Imperial, The Peoples Lot, 4 Corners Of Life and various community events throughout the year.
Social experiments surrounding economical development, Mental wellness and Community empowerment include The Mile Of Art, Emotional Intelligence Literacy Training, Art Is Therapy and through the ACEs ; Self-Healing Communities Initiative.
Nadia is a firm believer that all human pain, happiness and trauma is intersectional and it should all be addressed with humanistic-based goals. Care for the mind & anything is possible.
Juan Carlos Reyna
Project Director – Title V HSI Grossmont CollegeBorn in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Juan Carlos Reyna immigrated to the United States at a young age. As an undocumented immigrant, Juan Carlos and his family lived in fear of deportation and overcame many adversities. Along with his brothers, he struggled to navigate the systems of education. Juan Carlos became the first person in his immediate and extended family to attend a 4 year university. One of his proudest moments is walking the stage and receiving his Bachelor’s degree in History from the California State University, San Marcos. He proudly says, “іSi Se Pudo!” Juan Carlos has transformed his academic barriers and challenges into opportunities in his professional life and has completed a Master’s Degree as well. He is currently the Title V HSI Project Director at Grossmont College and has worked in the education field since 2007 and has focused his efforts in providing comprehensive, equitable and robust student services to marginalized populations to help increase college enrollment, retention and completion. Juan Carlos strongly believes that the U.S. is the land of opportunity and that education is the great equalizer for those that are seeking a better future. He’s a leader in education and is currently enrolled in a Doctoral Program at San Diego State University that focuses in Educational Leadership in Community Colleges.
Timothy Duane Shaw
Timothy Duane Shaw was born in Los Angeles, California, but was raised in the home of his grandparents in Alexandria, Louisiana for most of his elementary school years. Tim completed his education and graduated from Garey High School in Pomona, California. After graduation from high school Tim attended Chaffey Community College and Mount San Antonio Community Colleges before transferring to San Diego State University in 1981. Tim has served as a member of the public education system for 30 years.
- Bachelors of Arts Degree from San Diego State University (Elementary Education)
- Multiple Subject Teaching Credential – San Diego State University
- Master of Arts Degree – San Diego State University (Middle School Instruction and Curriculum)
- Pupil Personal Services Credential (School Counseling Credential)- University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
- Teacher: Madison Elementary – 2 years – Pomona Unified School District
- Teacher: Horace Mann Middle School 11 years – San Diego Unified School District
- Counselor: Wangehiem Middle School (Mira Mesa) 2 years
- Counselor: Crawford High School (15 years)
In May of 2002, Timothy Shaw was selected through an interview process to serve out the remaining term of a school board member for the Lemon Grove School District and was elected by the voters of Lemon Grove in November of 2002 to serve as a member of the Lemon Grove School Board; making him the first person of color to be elected to a public office in the city of Lemon Grove. Timothy Shaw has been re-elected three times and continue to serve as a member of the Lemon Grove School Board.
Timothy Shaw is a member of the Bayview Baptist Church in San Diego where he is the Director of Christian Enrichment and is an instructor and servant for The Usher Ministry.
Timothy has been married for 28 years to his wife, Toni, and they have 3 daughters: Lisha, a 2013 graduate of California State University, Sacramento (Sac State) and is in her second year of teaching Physical Education for the San Diego Unified School District. Daughter, Micah, a 2014 graduate of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and is a grad student studying to become a dentist. Kayla a 2014 graduate of Helix Charter High School is in her second year attending University of California, Irvine (UCI).
Anthony Haile Jr.
Raised in Oakland, CA in a no excuses household, Anthony Haile Jr. is the son of a bus driver and bus mechanic and a first generation college graduate of Morehouse College, located in Atlanta, GA. He has gone on to complete a Master’s degree at UCSD and currently serves as a Certified Engineering Project Manager at SPAWAR Systems Center, Pacific, managing $10 million projects that develop and deliver technologies for our Nation’s military. By night, Anthony serves as a community advocate supporting a variety of education related community initiatives.
Anthony has been acknowledged for leadership in different forums and was most recently honored as a BEYA: Modern Day Technology Leader and received the SPAWAR Lightning Bolt Award for exemplary team performance. His greatest passion and interest is in helping others, especially the youth, reach their own potential.
Michael D. Love
Michael D. Love is a graduate of Mount Miguel High School, as well as an alumnus of
San Diego State University gaining his Bachelor’s in Political Science in 2009 and his
Masters in Educational Counseling in 2011.
The majority of his professional experience
has come in education, holding previous positions in the EOP office at San Diego State
and working in San Diego area high schools with Cal-SOAP. As an assistant professor of
counseling at Riverside City College he is currently working to expand his network and
continue his professional and educational endeavors.
Along with his best friend and
business partner, he co-founded We Will Rise, an organization created for the education
and empowerment of black men through community dialogue and community building in
San Diego. Looking forward he would like to become a publisher author, a professional
motivational speaker and to return to college for his doctorate.
My name is Dustin Hollins and I am 36 years old. I was born and raised in San Diego by a White mother and a Black Father. My parents divorced when I was about 4 years old and I went with my mother. When I was 13 I moved to my father’s house in Spring Valley. I attended Mount Miguel High School where I participated in Football, Basketball, and Track. I received numerous awards and certificates including Student Athlete of the year, 4 year Golden Pyramid Award, and Perfect Attendance, among others. Even though I excelled in Football and received numerous letters from various colleges, after every visit I was told I was not big enough for their program. I wouldn’t take no for an answer and attended San Diego Mesa College and once again excelled in Football and Track for the two years I attended. Once again I was contacted by several colleges who said I was too small for my position. I took that rejection and negative energy I was building up inside to Arizona State University where I walked on to their football team and was accepted into the Sun Devil family. I played behind Terrell Suggs and spent 3 years as a Special Teams player.
After earning my degree in Justice Studies and Psychology I decided it was time to go back home. When I arrived in San Diego I had some decisions to make; I could either continue my dream to play in the NFL, or pursue my other dream to be a Deputy Sheriff. I chose to apply for the Sheriff Department and was hired. I worked three years in George Bailey Detention facility then 7 years in patrol in various assignments. During those 10 years I was able to join a Public Safety Football league and that allowed me to have the best of both worlds. The San Diego Enforcers are a charity organization that contributes all our revenue from ticket sales and merchandise to a charity of choice. We have donated to Breast Cancer, Sempra Fi, Cerebral Palsy and many others over the years.
My current assignment is as a School Resource Officer back at Mount Miguel High School where it all began for me. This position has given me the ability to give back to the community in full force by being able to work with the kids and giving them the knowledge that members of law enforcement can be helpful even in an urban environment.
Thomas GomesThomas Gomes is a native of San Diego. He received his Bachelor’s of art in Speech/Communication with a theatre minor from San Diego State University and received his Teaching Credential from United States International University. Gomes as been teaching theatre and coaching speech at Mount Miguel for 17 years. A former high school and collegiate speaker himself, he has coached 100 students to the State Championship Speech Tournament and 20 to the National Championships. Gomes was named the 2005 and 2012 San Diego-Imperial Valley speech league’s Coach of the Year and in December of 2015 he was named Speech Coach of the Year at the Fullerton Invitational Speech Tournament. Before becoming a teacher, Gomes spent his time working with Plus Fire Performance Group, singing for the local band Flatten Manhattan and life guarding on the beaches of Camp Pendleton. In 1994 he traveled to Guinea, West Africa, where he was able to study with artists from Guinea’s National Dance Company, Les Ballets Africains. Mr. Gomes has been a surfer for 36 years. He is happily married to his wife Sara and is the proud father of two beautiful children.
Dr. Jerome C. Payton
Dr. Jerome C. Payton was born in Norfolk, Virginia. As a young child, his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland from Norfolk, Virginia, where his mother raised him along with his four sisters and a brother. Dr. Payton attended Southern High School in Baltimore, Maryland where he was an honors student who loved to read, write and play sports. Knowing that resources were limited after his dad left his mom; Jerome got his first paid job when he was thirteen-years old so that he could help support his family.
Motivated by a desire to stay away from neighborhood gangs and other trouble, Dr. Payton played basketball, football, was on the track team, but spending time with friends, reading novels and watching funny movies was his passion.
In 1982, Dr. Payton joined the United States Navy. During his twenty-three year career in the U.S. Navy, aviation community, Dr. Payton led thousands of men and women from all diverse backgrounds as the Aviation Maintenance and Production Control Senior Chief Petty Officer.
While in the Navy, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in Political Science, his master’s in Public Administration at National University and after retiring went back to school to earn his Doctoral degree from Alliant International University.
Currently, Dr. Payton works for the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Point Loma, CA.as a member of the Organizational Development & Training Team. In addition, Dr. Payton is an Adjunct Professor teaching Business Management, Economics, American Government, Political Science and World Politics.
Dr. Payton can be reached at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.