Writer's Room

Our Founder, Our Board

Kimberly Collins

Founder/Director

www.Kimberlyacollins.com is an author of two books of poetry, Bessie’s Resurrection (Indolent Books 2018) and Slightly Off Center (1993) as well as a collection of essays Choose You Wednesday Wisdom to Wake Your Soul (2017). She created SOAR (So Others Ascend Righteously) in 1992 to conduct Writing for Healing workshops for underserved youth, domestic violence survivors and for men and women suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Ms. Collins, a prolific writer and teacher, is a Callaloo Fellow who currently teaches English at Howard University. Her early work appeared in In The Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black Writers. Her most recent poetry appears in: Beltway Quarterly, 50/50: Poems & Translations by Women over 50, Pittsburg Poetry Review, Revise the Psalm: The Gwendolyn Brooks Anthology; Syracuse Cultural Workers’ 2017 Women Artist Datebook, Truth Feasting: Anthology of African American Writers (2016), The Berkeley Review and more. She is a native of Philadelphia and currently resides in Washington, D.C.

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Toni George

Chair

Use this space to write a brief description of what this team member does. You can include relevant degrees, experience or other special qualifications they may have.

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Thomas Redmond

Legal Advisor

A twenty year resident of Woodridge, Thomas is employed by the University of the District of Columbia as an Assistant General Counsel.


He has worked for the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, NYU School of Law, a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, the Department of Housing and Community Development and the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency. He holds degrees from the University of Mississippi; Howard University School of Law and Harvard Law School. He loves politics, motorcycles, languages and DC.

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Pat Doyle

Financial Officer

My name is Doyle “Pat” Chedick a DC metropolitan native, born and raised in New Carrollton, MD to two beautiful immigrant parents, were I attended local schools, built lifetime friendships, and received a lot of wisdom from the wonderful diverse neighbors who surrounded me. My passion is to live and laugh, you are only given one life, and it is important to me to enjoy every little bit of it.  I am always intrigued to hear someone else’s story, but love to talk about business.
My high school education started at Parkdale (Riverdale, MD), then went onto pursue my collegiate studies at Prince Georges County Community College were I obtained an Associates of the Arts in Business Management, then onto University of Maryland University College for my Bachelors of Science in Finance, and American University for my Masters of Science in Taxation.
I presently run and manage a Tax & Small Business Consulting company (Chedick Financial), while also doing my civil duty to our Nation by taking on a public position at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Staff Accountant. My purpose is to bring my expertise and knowledge to all facets of my career to help build upon the foundations that were created in the past, while leaving my mark to help those in the future to succeed. 
It is having been an honor to fulfil my goals and dreams with the opportunities that were presented to me. But most importantly it is my main duty to take it upon myself to give back to the community, through partnerships, mentoring, support, and leadership.  The gift of being able to be a part of IT Take Two’s Board will be one of the greatest learning and professional experiences ever, because what they are doing will positively impact families across our region, which will grow our future leaders, and that makes me proud to know I can have a small stake in this change.

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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 in the last twenty years. She

currently serves as legal counsel for the National Credit Union Administration. In this

role, she ensures that the agency's staff and leadership govern themselves legally

and ethically.


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

Office, the National Association of Federal Credit Union 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 successfully

implemented and led initiatives resulting in increased awareness of the African-American

experience. 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 and her Juris Doctorate from the Howard University School of Law. She is a

member of the Maryland Bar Association.  In addition to her professional credentials,

Mrs. Conyers-Ausbrooks is a Diamond Life member of Delta Theta Sigma Sorority,

Inc. She resides in Washington, DC, with her husband of twenty-six years and her two

children.

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LAINI JARRETT

Fundraising Chair

Laini Jarrett is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the design and management of community-based solutions to address various health and social needs that impact health and wellness. Her work spans support to federal sponsored programs, health associations, hospitals & health systems, community-based clinics and social service non-profits. She is a committed advocate for health equity among all communities and champions the use of approaches that subscribe to population inclusion and diversity as core tenants for operations. She holds degrees from Howard University and East Carolina University in Health and Physical Education and Community Health Center Administration respectively. She is a mom of two and a co-owner and operator for Good to Go Cleaning Services, a health based-cleaning company offering opportunities for persons with challenging employment histories and needs.

  

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