Board of Directors

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Veronica N. Lee

Veronica Lee is a Dallas, TX native who has been involved in youth development, mentoring and advocacy for more than fifteen years – impacting young lives across the nation, including Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Arizona. She earned a BA in Economics with a minor concentration in Business Management & Organization from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.  

Veronica’s passion for working with youth began in her early years in church, but deepened while at Spelman where she directed a student-led mentoring program named Sister Steps for middle school girls in the surrounding inner city. Since then, she has received several community awards for her commitment to serving youth and is often called upon by churches, schools and other non-profit organizations to inspire youth and young adults through dynamic and engaging presentations and interactive workshops. Her most recent endeavors include (on the natural side) a workshop that she created and presented at a national youth conference that focuses on helping girls Find their Identity, Goals, Hope and Truth entitled Girl F*I*G*H*T*. On the spiritual side – Jesus Geeks is a three-day youth conference that includes fellowship, a musical workshop and performance, and a worship service all in an effort to glorify God and let young people know that we were chosen by God to be peculiar and stand out. 

Veronica served for more than 10 years as the Youth Director at Holy Temple COGIC, and President of the PURITY Class for Texas East Jurisdiction.  For the past 7 years she has worked in DFW and surrounding area high schools coordinating programs, mentoring seniors and juniors and training them to mentor at-risk freshmen students.  It was during this time that she realized a need for reaching the “un-churched” and introducing them to Christ, which led to the founding of Level UP (a ministry comprised mostly of college students that includes Bible study and fellowship) in June, 2018. Level UP’s mission is, “Going Deeper to Go Higher and Draw Closer!” 

 God’s Word declares that “without a vision, people perish.” Veronica describes her ministry as “beyond the four walls” and has a personal mission is to inspire hope in today’s youth and young adults so they have a clear vision of their identity, dreams, and a bright future. Most importantly, Veronica loves the Lord and is excited about salvation!!

Almeta Stokes, PhD, Chaplain

Dr. Almeta Stokes began her teaching career in the Washington, DC Public School (DCPS) System with experience in most of the elementary school grade levels. After retiring from the DCPS Dr. Stokes became an instructor at the university level. For the last fourteen years she has engaged in teaching and research in the School of Education at Howard University. As an adjunct professor her area of specialty is educational psychology. She prepared for a teaching career at the University of the District of Columbia (Bachelor of Science), Howard University (Master of Education) and Howard University (Doctor of Education).

Dr. Stokes has been privileged to interact with hundreds of young people enrolled in her classes. Because of the numerous opportunities God has provided for her to listen to the hearts of young people on the college campus, in the church, in the family and also in the neighborhood, Dr. Stokes has developed a special interest in the spiritual growth and development of young people. Dr. Stokes’ research interests at the present time focus on classroom cultural ecology. As part of the research team of the Howard University School of Education Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR) she has been responsible for the conduct of focus group interviews with African American students from low-income backgrounds attending urban public schools. The team has completed data collection for this project. Members are now in the process of writing reports. To date several papers have been published and others are near completion.

Dr. Stokes has shared CRESPAR Classroom Cultural Ecology findings at professional meetings, namely, the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Research Association of Minority Professors in Houston, Texas in February 2000, and the Third Annual Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Educational Research in Ponte Vedra, Florida in November 2000. Recent CRESPAR Classroom Cultural Ecology findings have been presented at the American Education Research Association Meeting held in April 2002 in New Orleans, Louisiana and the Twenty-Second Annual Research Association of Minority Professors Conference in Washington, DC in February 2003.

Dr. Almeta Stokes is a native of Washington, D.C. She is the wife of James Stokes. She and her husband have parented two children.

Kristen B. Rankins 

Kristen B. Rankins is a Christian young woman who loves spending time in God’s Word and sharing it with others. She is married to her loving husband Minister Donald Rankins. She has many hobbies that include writing, reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. She runs a blog called Practical Faith and operates her own tax preparation and consulting company. She is a Sunday School Teacher and Assistant Sunday School Director at her church where she also serves in the Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the Marriage Ministry. She was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and has strong ties to St. Gabriel, Louisiana, her great-grandmother’s birthplace, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she attended Louisiana State University and received a Bachelor’s in Business and a Master’s in Public Administration. After receiving her Master’s, she went on to receive an Associate’s in Accounting from Delgado Community College. Kristen loves learning and passing the knowledge and insight she gains onto others. She has a passion for sharing God’s Word and teaching others how to apply the principles of the Bible into their everyday life.    

Irrayna Uribe, Executive Director

Irrayna Uribe is currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary pursuing a Master of Theology in Parachurch. She has worked in the field of non-profit financial management including owning a bookkeeping service. She has volunteered with The Impact Movement, a campus ministry affiliated with CampusCrusade and has served as a missionary with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Her past publishing experience includes working with two start-up magazines, girlfriend, The Magazine and Fortress. Most recently she has worked as a Case Manager for a rebuild project in New Orleans, LA as an employee of Samaritan’s Purse International. She earned her Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing from Howard University, Washington, D.C. and her Master of Business Administration in Finance from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Irrayna is a native of New Orleans, LA. She enjoys playing tennis.

Maresa Young, Treasurer

Maresa Young has been a process engineer at Alliance Refinery for eighteen years. She earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University and her Master of Business Administration in Finance from Tulane University. During her career with Alliance, Maresa Young has worked as an economist and lead process engineer in the projects group.

She has been responsible for following an operating budget of over ten million dollars, reconciling the monthly plan production and pricing with actual data, scoping projects and finding alternate solutions, mentoring less experienced engineers and leading teams including a team of process engineers, investigation teams, and a team of engineers. She currently recruits college students at assigned universities.

Maresa Young is an active member of her church. There she participates in the Women’s Ministry. She and her family are active with the community AAU basketball team.

Maresa is a native of New Orleans, LA and is the wife of Matthew Young and the mother of Jordan and Gabrielle and the stepmother of Austin and Mallory.