Irina Curenton is a devoted wife to her handsome husband of 17 years, a lovingly authoritative mother of six (6) boys including a set of twins, and a committed daughter/sister/friend. Her passion is seeing families thrive. She is a purposeful Speaker, Writer, Educator, Coach, and Visionary Entrepreneur who intentionally bridges the gap in Faith & Family. While working with At-Risk Youth in a Group Home setting, Irina developed a burning desire to partner with parents to help their children succeed in life. Based on that desire, Irina founded Shining STARZ Learning & Development Center in 2008 to serve as a safe space for children ages 0-12 to grow and develop holistically. Her program has grown organically to include Parent Coaching and Kids Leadership Development classes where Irina empowers Christian families to heal from the inside out, develop their voice, and walk in their purpose. Through her work, Irina shares the message of reconciliation and restoration through faith, hope, and love with her audience, and she’d love to know how her work has inspired you.
Rit Fuller-Yates sits with Irina Curenton to talk more about her life
Amber Gresham has been an educator for 11 years. For the greater part of her career she has taught third grade, and now serves as an Instructional Coach for Columbus Public City Schools. Amber believes in educating the whole child and exposing them to the community around them. She has a sweet spot for children that live in urban communities. She believes all students deserve to have great teachers that will do whatever it takes to provide the best education they can provide.
Amber did her elementary and childhood studies at Otterbein University, in Westerville, Ohio. She then earned her Masters at Concordia University in Illinois and is currently working on her Doctoral degree in Teacher Leadership at Concordia University in Illinois. When she earns this degree she hopes to become a college professor to help encourage students of color in Columbus to become great educators and reach the younger generation.
Amber is a very active member at First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio where she worships. She serves on the media ministry, is a head cheerleading coaches for their upward program, and a part of the drama and mime Ministry "Through His Eyes." While she is not working or at church, she spends time with her daughter Laila and her family. She enjoys having fun, watching and playing sports, sewing, and traveling to new places. As one of the co-hosts for Columbus Black News, she hopes to inspire fellow millennials and encourage others in the Columbus city community that we have a voice and great things happen in our community.
Amber believes learning from others and building relationships is important for her to grow as a person. She doesn’t take life for granted and enjoys new experiences along the way. In the future she hopes to have touched the lives of those she meets in a positive way.
Rita Fuller-Yates sits with Amber Gresham to talk more about her life.
Blair has always had a glass half full approach to looking at relationships. He uses his common sense approach to teach people how to leave toxic relationships. He provides strategies to help followers find their soulmate without wasting time on the wrong person.
He shares perspectives on why you keep attracting disrespectful suitors in your dating life.
Blair enjoys sharing his online dating advice and tours the country speaking with thousands of single and married individuals. His direct candor and life experiences set him apart from other relationship and dating advice experts.
In less than four years – Blair has authored two successful books, with over 15,000 copies sold worldwide.
Blair has logged over 2,000 hours conducting one-on-one and group counseling sessions for men and women. He teaches how to find “that certain someone”.
“I also help women and men to get over the hump with the person they’re currently seeing,” shares Blair.
Blair has spoken to audiences internationally from The Bellagio in Las Vegas, Canada, Atlanta, Chicago, and numerous other cities throughout the country.
Blair Nash currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife.
Rita Fuller-Yates sits with Blair Nash to talk more about his Life.
Dr. Jones is the Assistant Dean of Community Engagement, and Chair of the Public Safety Programs at Franklin University. She also oversees the Center for Public Safety and Cybersecurity Education (CPSCE), and the Global Center for Healthcare Education (GCHE) at Franklin University. Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. in the Administration of Justice from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. Her research interests include race and crime, policing, and juvenile delinquency. She is particularly interested in issues of police/community relations, disproportionate minority contact (DMC), mass incarceration, and the intersection of race and gender in the criminal justice system.
Dr. Jones currently serves as the National Director of Research for the Teen and Police Service (TAPS) Academy, a federally funded program designed to reduce social distance between police officers and youth. As the Director, she is responsible for establishing the research agenda, analyzing data, and serving as a consultant for best practices in improving relations between teens and the police. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on public perceptions of the police, race, and the administration of justice. She is also the co-editor of A Critical Analysis of Race and the Administration of Justice.
Dr. Jones is a highly sought-after speaker, and has conducted several presentations, keynotes, and media appearances on issues of race, police/community relations, and disproportionate minority contact. She is a reviewer for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and several academic journals including the Journal of Juvenile Justice, the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, and Race and Justice. She is a crime analyst for TV One’s hit show “For My Man.” She was appointed by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther to serve on the Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission. She is a member of the Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment Team for Franklin County. She is an ambassador for the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services’ Change Starts Here campaign. She is featured in “An Unfinished Documentary…Change Starts with You” which highlights law enforcement and community-wide efforts to improve police/community relations. Dr. Jones founded Come Together Columbus, which is a loose collective of organizations and individuals committed to racial justice, community empowerment, and police reform in Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. Jones is the recipient of numerous awards including Franklin University’s Dean’s Award Recognizing Excellence, Franklin University’s Core Value Award for Respect, the Central Ohio Social Justice Award for Education Advocacy in Higher Education, Columbus CEO’s Future 50 Award, Columbus Business First’s 40 Under 40 Award, the Conley Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Sankofa Award for Education, and the Visionary Award by Columbus City Council and the Create Columbus Commission. Dr. Jones is the 2018 recipient of the Emerald Literati Award for Most Outstanding Author Contribution for her book chapter The New Jane Crow: Mass Incarceration and the Denied Maternity of Black Women. She serves on the Board of the Grant Foundation for Grant Medical Center, the Columbus Impact and Inclusion Advisory Board for Columbus Young Professionals, and the Advisory Board for the Black Legacy Advancement Coalition (BLAC), which is a national policy think tank organization established to advance and defend African American interests for life and legacy. Dr. Jones is also a member of several community and professional organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the Create Columbus Commission, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, and the Racial Democracy and Criminal Justice Network.
Rita Fuller-Yates sits with Chanelle Jones to talk more about her life.
A true native of the Columbus area, Donald has been raised in real estate. Being mentored by farther, a veteran real estate pro first licensed back in 1979, Donald has developed wisdom in this business far beyond his years. And because they are a family, Donald, just like Don Sr. and Denise, continues to take a family focus in how he approaches his clients and customers, keeping their best interests at heart and in the forefront of every decision.
Donald is a native of Franklin County, graduated from Gahanna Lincoln High School and subsequently attended The Ohio State University (GO BUCKS!).
Donald currently lives in the Gahanna area. In his spare time, Donald spends time with his family and friends, doing church work, attending sporting events, mentoring students and working out
Donald has been awarded the ABR (accredited buyer representative) designation and along with the rest of the team, he constantly seeks out educational opportunities and the latest technology that continue to enhance the quality of his service. The vast majority of his business is now referral-based; nothing is more honorable than being referred to family and friends.
Rita Fuller-Yates sits with Donald Payne Jr. to talk more about his life.
Erin Upchurch MSSA, LISW-S presently serves as the Executive Director for Kaleidoscope Youth Center, an organization that works to serve and support LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults.
She is an integrative social work practitioner, a long standing community leader, and facilitator of conversations centered on reducing harm related to the experiences of oppression for marginalized and minority communities. Erin specializes in working with youth, families, and communities in the areas of mental health, trauma recovery and resilience; and building collective and individual power .
Ernest Levert Jr. is a passionate, community-oriented and ambitious servant-leader. A native of Dallas, TX and the son of two buckeyes, Ernest received his Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University before pursuing his passion for financial health and economic empowerment.
After spending 5 years in the financial services industry as a personal financial coach, Ernest transitioned into youth workforce development. Ernest currently serves as a Youth Advocate and Quality Assurance Associate with Lead The Way Learning Academy. Ernest is also the founder of The Royal Oak Initiative (ROI), an innovative chess-based social change agency that uses the royal game of chess to inspire and empower the leaders of tomorrow to master their own future of personal and economic success through mentoring and coaching. Ernest also spends his energy learning and serving with New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and the Columbus Urban League Young Professionals Civic Engagement Committee.
Ernest currently resides in Columbus, OH with his partner, Ivory
W. Kay Wilson is a Columbus Native who serves as the Director for Strategic Initiatives at IMPACT Community Action where she guides their community engagement and development efforts. She is an author of two books; HOLDING ON TO SOMEWHERE and EAT TO LOVE, youth advocate, and servant leader. Prior to overseeing a strategic merge with IMPACT, Kay served as Executive Director for LeaderSpark; a thirty-two year old nonprofit which ignited youth in three core areas; leadership, workforce development and civic engagement.
Kay serves to empower women, advocate for at-risk youth, using her experiences to help them gain the necessary navigation skills and the foundation they need to break generational patterns and make it through tough situations.
Kay graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, her Masters from the University of Enugu, Nigeria in Mass Communications and an MBA from Ohio Dominican. In 2007 she was recognized by Oprah Winfrey and in O Magazine as a Warrior Women, she was a 2016 Smart Business Smart Woman awardee, 2018 Columbus Africentric Sankofa Award winner, 2019 Femergy Change Agent awardee and TEDxColumbus speaker. Kay lives and laughs with her husband Karl and boys in Gahanna where she continues to empower women and youth with the courage, skills and strategies to build stronger relationships and enjoy greater success in their work and life.