Our Members

Kedarious O. Colbert 

Texas Southern University | B.S. Public Affairs '11, B.A. Psychology  '11
Cornell University | M.R.P. '14 
Central European University | M.A. Sociology and Social Anthropology '15 

Urban Planner 
Longview, Texas 
Founder and CEO

 
Kedarious Colbert, M.R.P, is a 2011 graduate of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with honors. As President of the Student Government Association at Texas Southern University, and a member of the Delta Theta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kedarious was heavily involved within the Houston, Texas community. This involvement contributed to his strong passion for youth empowerment, mentorship, community development and educational policy.   
Consequently, Kedarious utilized his Ronald E. McNair Scholarship to conduct extensive research on public land-use and the interconnectivity between local school districts funding and community development within Houston, Texas. After learning about the drastic funding and investment inequalities, Kedarious decided to pursue a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University where he concentrated in community development and educational policy. 
As a student at Cornell, Kedarious served as President of the Black Graduate Professional Student Association; Mentor within the Ithaca Independent School District, and Graduate-Mentor for the Scholars Working Ambitiously to Graduate (SWAG) organization. Kedarious' passion for mentorship, educational policy, and community development has created an urge to give back to the young men of color in his home community.

 
 

Rosheia S. Hodge

University of Texas at Arlington | B.A. Sociology '13

Elementary School Teacher
Longview, Texas 
Board Member

 
Rosheia Hodge is a 2013 graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, with a specialization in Social Diversity. Partnering with Catholic Charities, as part of her service learning, Rosheia conducted research on infant mortality rates in the Tarrant county area. This research based on the presence, or absence of fathers during gestation. During her time at the university, Rosheia worked with several organizations and afterschool programs, such as The Boys & Girls Club of Arlington to help close the achievement gap amongst minorities. After graduation, Rosheia relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where she volunteered at a Title 1 elementary school for a semester ultimately gaining a teaching certificate. This classroom experience gave her keen insight on how she could contribute to the improvement of her own community of Longview, Texas.
 

Michael G. Cox

Morehouse College | B.A. Sociology '11
Georgia State University | Masters of Arts in Teaching '16 

3rd Grade Teacher - Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta, Georgia
Board Member

 
Michael Cox, M.Ed., is a former, 2007, Longview High School graduate. Mr. Cox graduated in the Top Ten percent, was a Texas Scholar with Distinction and completed the Distinguished plan of coursework. Soon after, Mr. Cox transitioned to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Morehouse College where he was offered a full scholarship to complete HIV/AIDS research in Mental Health. His desire to research landed him the chance to travel to Ghana, West Africa to complete a longitudinal study about the Preferences of HIV/AIDS treatment among rural and urban Ghanaians. After returning to the states, Mr. Cox graduated from Morehouse College with not only a 3.92 GPA and a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Sociology, but also graduated as Summa Cum Laude, initiated into Phi Beta Kappa, in addition to graduating as the Top Scholar in the Department of Sociology. In August 2011, Mr. Cox began a career in education by serving as an Americorps member through the Teach For America program. For next two years, Mr. Cox worked as an elementary school teacher and Model Teacher Leader. In May 2013, Mr. Cox was awarded a Master's Degree in Education with highest honors from Georgia State University, as well as completed a 2-year term of service through Teach For America. Mr.Cox currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he is employed with Atlanta Public Schools.
 

Taylor N. Norman

University of Houston | B.S. Consumer Science and Marketing '11
University of Houston | Master of Business Administration '13

Dallas, Texas
Board Member

 
Taylor N. Norman is a 2011 graduate of the University of Houston, Main Campus, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Science and Marketing. Throughout her collegiate years, Taylor remained heavily involved with the management and operations of her family's home health business – HNB Home Health Agency, which proudly serves 16 counties in the North-East Texas region.  Upon graduation Taylor returned to Longview, Texas to work as the branch manager and marketing director of the agency. Concurrently, Taylor pursued her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing, which she has utilized effectively to create a nexus between HNB and the Texas community as a member of the community outreach program.  Driven with a keen ability to motivate, support, and provide academic enlightenment to ensure healthy and educationally enriched futures for young men, Taylor is enamored to continue to serve her home community as a board member for Academic and Community Empowerment.
 

Stevie Johnson

University of Oklahoma | B.S Health and Exercise Science '11
University of Oklahoma | Master's of Education - Adult and Higher Education '13
University of Oklahoma | PhD candidate in Higher Education Adminstration '19

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Board Member

 
Stevie Johnson, M.Ed., was born and raised in Longview, TX and is the son of Mary Johnson. Stevie is a 2007 graduate of Longview High School. After High School, he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science in 2011, and became of member of the Zeta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Following his undergraduate career, he immediately starting working on his Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education, which he received in 2013. While finishing up his Master’s Degree, he became a full-time staff member at the University of Central Oklahoma as Assistant Director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Stevie Johnson became the first male ever to hold this position. His office focuses on helping to retain students of color, while making sure they are culturally competent students that are prepared for the real world. Outside of his student affairs role, Stevie has been a disc- jockey for four years. His DJ name, DJ View, was formed on the basis of his childhood upbringing. Everyone back home in Longview calls the city The “View” for short, and that has always stuck with him.
He is currently engaged to his lovely fiancé Ariel Polk, who is two-years away from becoming a certified account. Stevie’s passion is working with African-American males and helping them to see their potential, regardless of the social and cultural issues they encounter.
 

Makenzie B. Hodge

Baylor University | B.S. Biology '11
University of Texas Medical Branch | M.D. '15

Resident - GSMC 
Longview, Texas
Board Member

 
Makenzie Hodge is a 2011 graduate of Baylor University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a double minor in Chemistry and History.  During her time at Baylor, she served as a Community Leader in her residential complex for three years, which involved tending to the physical, circumstantial, and spiritual needs of the resident-students.  While serving within this capacity, Makenzie learned the importance of uplift, encouragement, and edification, which are the same principles she seeks to apply to Academic and Community Empowerment. Voluntarily, serving as the 1st Vice-President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Makenzie became well versed on the challenges presented before minorities in today’s society.

Ms. Hodge is pursuing a Doctorate of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. There she serves as a Student Ambassador and member of the Student National Medical Association, having once served as Academic Coordinator.  As a 2007 graduate of Longview High School, where she graduated class Valedictorian, Makenzie will always call Longview home.  MaKenzie, wholeheartedly would not like anything more than to see the young men and women of her community excel.
 

Damilola Oliyide

Texas Southern University | B.S. Accounting/Finance '12

Financial Analyst at Chevron
Houston, Texas
Board Member

 
Damilola Oliyide is Financial Analyst at Chevron Corporation where he supports the company in its oil and gas production business. Prior to pursuing a career at Chevron, Damilola attended Texas Southern University where he obtained a Bachelors of Science in Accounting graduating class Salutatorian after completing his degree in three years. The recipient of numerous prestigious university and community scholarships, Damilola was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. Serving as President of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), Psychology tutor for the Psychology Department, and Residential Assistant throughout his undergraduate matriculation, Damilola believes in giving back to his community.
As a passionate entrepreneur, Damilola is preparing to launch his second start-up – Town, having successfully launched Cleaner’s Box in 2012. In his spare time, Damilola enjoys spending time with his family and friends, developing his relationship with God and meditating.

Damilola’s commitment to community, education and the uplift of young men is essential to the development and success of Academic and Community Empowerment.
 

Chardee' Snoody

LeCordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts 2011

Director of Food Nutrituion - LISD 
Longview, Texas
Board Member

 
Roshundlyn Chardee' Snoody is a 2006 graduate of Longview High School and 2011 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Dallas, Texas. Throughout Chardee's time in Dallas, Texas, she worked with the underprivileged youth in Dallas Independent School District teaching nutrition, safety, and sanitation.   
Upon graduation, Chardee' returned to Longview, Texas working as a Sous Chef at The Summit Club while also serving as a child care counselors with the Boys and Girls of Longview, Texas. 
Chardee' is committed to the mission of Academic and Community Empowerment and looks forward to creating long-term change in the lives of youth in Longview, Texas.





Katie Johnson

Grambling State University | B.S. Biology '11 
Oklahoma Central University | B.S. Forensic Science '14

Lab Science's 
Oklahoma City 
Board Member  


Katie Johnson is a 2007 graduate of Longview High School and 2011 graduate of Grambling State University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Currently serving as a clinician at the Oklahoma Diagnostic Center, Katie has committed her life to the field of forensic sciences and education. As the only girl in a large family of men, Katie is familiar with the inequalities and injustices challenging young men of color in our country. Committed to making a difference, Katie is eager to serve as a board member of A.C.E. and give back to her home community. 




John W. Preston Jr.

Grambling State University | B.A. Mass Communication ’11

Media & Marketing Specialist
Longview, Texas
Board Member

 
John W. Preston Jr. is a 2007 graduate of Longview High School and a 2011 graduate of Grambling State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication with a concentration in Visual Communication. During John’s matriculation at Grambling, he became an active member of the Delta Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. John also became an award-winning photographer for The Gramblinite Newspaper. Over the last seven years, John has been the owner of JWes Media & Marketing formerly known as JWes Photography. After living in Atlanta, Georgia, Dallas, Texas, and San Diego, California, John returned to Longview, Texas to work with troubled high school students at Longview High School. John believes that education is the number one tool for any young person who wants to be successful; however, there are a number of challenges that may inhibit this success such as no support systems, no academic or life guidance, and lack of access to sufficient resources. Because of this growing problem, John has become a motivational speaker to reach today’s youth to strive for something beyond mediocrity. God is the leader of John’s life, and his family is the backbone of his inspiration to motivate and encourage those who want to live a life full of purpose. In John’s spare time, he loves to travel and learn from his experiences in different cultures.
 

Jourdan T. Hughes  


LeTourneau University | B.A. Kinesiology ’12

Varsity Basketball Head Coach
Dallas, Texas
Board Member

 
Jourdan Hughes was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, where he graduated from W.H. Adamson High School in 2008. Upon graduating high school, he received an athletic scholarship for basketball to attend Southwestern Christian College.  After one year, he transferred to LeTourneau University where he graduated with a B.A. in Kinesiology and served as team captain for three seasons. Jourdan is currently the Head Coach for the Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team at East Texas Christian School. When not coaching, Jourdan serves as a coordinator of youth activities at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Gregg County, where he mentors young men and women. Jourdan credits his parents, who are both educators and coaches, as his inspiration and role models. It is their dedicated examples that he has chosen to follow in life.
His passion is to help young men reach their full potential, whether it’s in academics or athletics. He has a unique ability to steer youth in the right direction and an unfaltering will to ensure that young adolescents become the best person they can be.