Writer's Room

Our Founder, Our Board

Kimberly Collins

Founder/Director

Kimberly A. Collins, MFA, founded SOAR in 1990 after working as an elementary teacher and bearing witness to the trauma, conflict, and confusion some of her young students were experiencing. An advocate for writing for healing, her poem, “Remember My Name” gave voice to the movement against domestic violence and has become a mantra used by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.   As a published poet and writer who is an English Professor at Howard University, Ms. Collins has conducted Writing for Healing workshops for over 30 years for various organizations in and around the Washington, DC metro area. Her book Choose YOU! Wednesday Wisdoms to Wake Up Your Soul (2018)comes complete with over 50 motivational essays, personal challenge requests and writing prompts to correlate with the SOAR modules. As the first employee for the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Ms. Collins has extensive experience and success working with teen moms and domestic violence survivors.

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MELANIE AUSBROOKS

Secretary

Melane Conyers-Ausbrooks brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to

the Board of SOAR, having served in multiple legal positions over the last

twenty years. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Board for the

National Credit Union Administration. In this role, she ensures the proper

governance of the NCUA Board.

 

Before serving on this board, she has held legal positions at the Fairfax

County Attorney Office, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and

CitiMortgage, Inc. These positions have allowed her to understand legal

issues and support teams in a manner that increases productivity.

 

Mrs. Conyers-Ausbrooks is a highly skilled and innovative leader. She has

successfully implemented and led initiatives resulting in increased awareness

of the African American experience within the NCUA. In April 2020, she wrote

an editorial about the stress of being a mother of an African American teenage

son that was received with critical acclaim within and outside her agency.

 

Mrs. Conyers-Ausbrooks earned her Bachelor of Science from the University

of Maryland, her Juris Doctorate from the Howard University School of Law

and she is a member of the Maryland Bar Association.

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NIKKI NICHOLS

Advisory Board

Nikki Nichols is founder of Buona Donna Productions LLC. a multifaceted, comprehensive, innovative film, television, and social media company. It was created as a result of the collaborative work of two dynamic, professional, inspirational and energetic people- Nichole “Nikki” Nichols and Tonya Moses. These managing partners founded Buona Donna on the basic principle of delivering creative, thought-provoking masterpieces. Ms. Nichols attended The School of Performing Arts High School in New York City before moving to New Jersey.  Nichols attended Essex County College where she majored in Business. As a graduate of Natural Motion School of Cosmetology in Jersey City, NJ., she grew a high-end, celebrity-based clientele, eventually becoming the youngest stylist to hold a contract with the prestigious Jack and Jill of America, New Jersey Chapter. She has leveraged her celebrity clientele to build her bi-coastal business Eventruly, where she plans upscale events for her corporate and celebrity clients. Along with Ms. Nichols other talents, she is a gifted teacher who works with special needs children in Baltimore County.  

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