Jaykyri Simpson, Director
Originally from Cleburne, Texas, Jaykyri attended Hill Junior College and completed his B.A. in Sports Management at the University of New England (UNE).While at UNE he captained their division-winning basketball team and was named team MVP. Jaykyri received his MBA from St. Joseph’s College in Maine and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program at New England College. Prior to becoming Director of Young Man with a Plan, Jaykyri led Project Ochendo at New Mission High School in Boston, where he mentored students of color, helping them improve their study skills and grades, and to access and persist at college. Previous employment also included positions in admissions, retention, campus life, and coaching at Mt. Ida College. Jaykyri is a founding member and the treasurer of Men on a Mission, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization serving children and families in his Texas hometown.
Desmond Kennard, Assistant Director
Native of Boston and graduate of New Mission High School and Medaille College, Des served as a Mentor and a Group Co-Leader for Young Man with a Plan prior to becoming Assistant Director. At Boston Community Leadership Academy Des worked with autistic students, collaborating with teachers and school leaders to design and implement life skills and enrichment activities. Prior to his work at BCLA, Des was a Senior Youth Counselor and After-School Teacher at Cooper Community Center in Roxbury, where he co-facilitated a program dedicated to children's continuous growth in an educational, cultural and recreational environment. Desmond brings a working knowledge of Spanish to Young Man with a Plan.
Marcia Felth, Strategic Program Manager
Since 2014, Marcia has worked with the Boston Hayden Coalition of school leaders to design, launch and oversee program development, management and evaluation of Young Man with a Plan. Marcia, who received her B.A. from Barnard College and M.Ed from the University of Vermont, has worked in leadership, consulting and grant writing roles in the corporate, non-profit, and educational sectors.
Eleazar Clayton, School Based Mentor
Born in Jacksonville, FL, and raised in Boston, Eleazar Clayton graduated from East Boston High School where he received a scholarship to North Platte Jr. College. He later graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he studied History, and Sociology. Eleazar has worked as a therapeutic mentor engaging with children with social, and emotional issues. He is currently working at New Mission High School coaching JV boys basketball, and leading Project Ochendo where he mentors students of color, helping them improve their study skills, grades, and to access and persist at college.
Lenward Gatison, School Based Mentor
Lenward joined Codman Academy in 2012 after working as a Personal Trainer at the Dorchester YMCA and Bally Fitness. Previously, he also served as the Assistant Manager for Collective Brands, Inc., a corporate gym where he trained and prepared participants for the Corporate Challenge and the Spartan Race Challenge. Lenward graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. A collegiate athlete, he played varsity ice hockey for the Beacons. Lenward ran the Boston Marathon and raised money for Team Codman in 2013 and 2014.
Mitchell Hercule, School Base Mentor
Mitchell is the Physical Education teacher at BCLA. He is the coach for the Varsity girls’ basketball program (defending city champions), the JV boys’ soccer team (undefeated 1st season) and the outdoor track and field teams at New Mission/BCLA. He founded and established a program in 2012 called Herc42skills. Herc42skills is a basketball skill development program that was established to provide young student athletes an opportunity to develop physically as well as fundamentally. It is a differentiated programs for boys and girls of all ages and abilities. They have worked with many college and professional athletes across New England. They aim to help provide athletes a safe learning environment for maximum success. Mitch has also organized a women’s basketball tournament called “Mitch’s women’s tournament” in Boston for the last 14 years to help empower women through sports. They use the tournament as a fundraiser for backpacks and school supplies for inner city youth. Last year they passed out 450 bags full of supplies to less fortunate underprivileged youth. Herc42skills.com
Victor Martinez-Diaz, School Based Mentor
Victor Martinez-Diaz is in his second year with the YMWAP program. In addition to being a mentor Victor is also the Admissions Director at Cristo Rey Boston High School, a small private Catholic high school in Dorchester. Victor has a tremendous passion to see all young men of color grow into young men of purpose. 'I live my life as intentionally as possible, because I believe everything you do and say throughout your life should be meaningful, not just for yourself but for others as well. Through this I have found true happiness, true freedom.' Victor is also a part time fitness instructor at Crossfit Southie in South Boston. He is also the founder of the non-profit The Village Initiative which focuses on bringing fitness and health to black and brown youth in Boston.
Eric Tabb, Boston Preparatory Charter School
Born and raised in Boston and a graduate of Boston Latin Academy. Eric Tabb played collegiate football at Mt. Ida College for 2 years then transferred to Virginia State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. He joined Boston Prep in 2016 after working at Excel Academy Charter School as the Health and Fitness Teacher/Athletic Director. Mr. Tabb is the Athletic Director and Physical Education Teacher at Boston Prep. He is the coach of the Varsity boys’ basketball program. Mr. Tabb is very passionate about working with our young men and lives by the quote “be who you needed when you were younger” by Ayesha Siddiqi