What is SOUL?

How It All Began

SOUL was established in June 2013. The organization started as a summer initiative with six youth residing in DC’s Clay Terrace public housing community, which is in Ward 7. The program worked in partnership with Alicia Vicks of the City Gate and the Richardson Dwellings Resident Council. The inaugural youth initiative was held at Spingarn Senior High School.

In 2014 we began working with our first school partner, HD Woodson STEM High School in Ward 7. There we supported the Warriors boys’ varsity basketball and Lady Warriors’ softball teams, via our CASH program. In 2015 we expanded our CASH program to Luke C. Moore Senior High School. Today we support youth in three cities – Baltimore, MD, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC. We run six youth programs.

Student Trajectory

Each unique SOUL program will build from this platform and enhance the student experience from that programs’ specific mission.

Self Awareness

Cognitive Development

Social Norms

Accountability

Risky Behaviors

“SOUL helped us stay on track in school. We visit colleges, go to workshops, and meet mentors. Before SOUL I didn’t have a mentor!”

Tamara Tinker

Staff

Donald Curtis

Founder, Executive Director

Donald Curtis was born in Washington, D.C., raised in Palmer Park, Maryland. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and an M.S. in Strategic Communication from American University. Donald has always had a passion for youth development and has worked to empower youth in various capacities from mental health institutions and foster care to coaching and teaching.

Yun Simpson

Program Manager for Women's Initiatives

Yun Simpson, originally from West Chester, PA, moved to DC to attend American University where she received a BA in International Relations. She began volunteering with SOUL in 2014 and eventually transitioned to full-time staff in July of 2017.

Abla Alodjinou

AmeriCorps VISTA

Abla is a recent graduate of Trinity Washington University with a degree in Criminal Justice. She has a big family with five siblings who mean the world to her. She is of Togolese & Ghanaian decent. She plays soccer, basketball, and softball! A quote she lives by is "Persistence, Positivity, Patience."

Chloe Krueger

Program Manager - San Francisco

Chloe Krueger is a San Francisco native, and began volunteering with SOUL in DC in 2014 while attending American University. She is a co-founder of Sister Circle, and the lead manager for SOUL SF. Chloe brought SOUL to the Bay through partnership with San Francisco Coalition for Essential Small Schools after identifying the need for more resources for student-athletes at Thurgood Marshall High School.

Staff

Board Of Directors

Mia Powers

Management and Program Analyst, OVAC, Department of Veterans Affairs

Mia Powers is a Management and Program Analyst within the Access office for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Central Office. Recently, Ms. Powers moved to Washington, D.C. to help stand up a new program office to focus on Veterans access to healthcare from VA facilities around the country. Ms. Powers earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Masters of Healthcare Administration from the University of Memphis.

Amy Bowser

Regional Managing Director, JLL

Amy Bowser is a Managing Director in JLL’s Mid-Atlantic Brokerage Group. She has specialized in the Washington, DC office market since 1999 and currently is involved with the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), and the Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Association for Greater Washington DC (CREBA). Amy holds a B.A. in History from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Michael Kirshbaum

Chief Financial Officer, EAB

Michael joined The Advisory Board Company in 1998 and became the CFO in February 2006 and treasurer in March 2007. Prior to his current role, CFO of the Education Advisory Board, Michael held a variety of positions across the finance group. Michael has a B.S. in Economics from Duke University.

Justin Gaither

Senior Vice President - Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch

Justin is a Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch. Born and raised in Wellesley, MA, he moved to DC in 1999 to attend Georgetown University where he earned a B.S. in economics. Justin helped found the Merrill Lynch, Washington, D.C. Community Service Board and acts as a mentor to undergraduate students through the Georgetown University Scholarship Program.

Seth Blackely

President and Co-Founder, Evolent Health

Seth is the President and Co-founder of Evolent Health. Prior to Evolent Health, he held positions at The Advisory Board Company and Bain Captial Partners. He earned a BS from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Alex MacDonald

Director of Practice Management, Venable LLP

Alex Macdonald is the firm wide Director of Practice Management at Venable LLP. Alex is a bar admitted lawyer with over 15 years of experience in the legal industry. Prior to his current position with Venable LLP, Alex was the nationwide Practice Manager for both the Litigation and Employee Benefits Departments at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

Matt Garcell

Managing Director, Cushman and Wakefield

Matt Garcell is a Managing Director in the Washington, D.C. office of Cushman & Wakefield. Matt’s client portfolio includes Fortune 500 companies, law firms, not-for-profit organizations, technology, and media companies. Matt holds a B.S. in Science from Johnson and Wales University.

Colin Rogister

Harvard Business School

Colin Rogister, served at the White House in the National Economic Council. He joined the Administration in 2012, where he worked in the Office of the Secretary at the US Department of Education. He began his career as a Bay Area Teach for America member. Colin is currently earning his MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Board

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