Our Why

Next Generation Men & Women was founded in August 2014 by three educators who recognized that students attending Title I Schools (in particular young men and women of color) lacked exposure to professional examples and environments. Lagging graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment did not represent an achievement gap — but an opportunity gap, as students were without the necessary support to graduate and be prepared for College and Career.

Next Gen provides Atlanta youth with regular exposure to career pathways, professionals, work environments and personalized support in the form of Teachers and College Mentors.

Our Mission

To close the opportunity gap for under-resourced students in Atlanta through exposure and support to graduate prepared for college and career.

Our Vision

Every student is prepared to seize the opportunities life has to offer.

Leadership

Phil Olaleye

Executive Director

Tim Eldredge

Director of Finance & Operations

Symone Gerren

Director of Programs

Netanya Bledsoe

Community
Partnerships Manager

Khayree Womack

Programs Manager

Kerrigan Natera

Programs Coordinator

Mya Sullivan

AmeriCorps VISTA
Administrative Coordinator

Essence Adams

AmeriCorps VISTA
Site Coordinator

Eric Thomas Jr.

AmeriCorps VISTA
Site Coordinator

Board of Directors

Michael Baptiste

Metro Atlanta Chamber

Vice President of Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Deisha Barnett

UPS

President, Global Communications and Content Strategy

Erica Cummings

Community Volunteer

Former School Teacher
Secretary

Joyce Davis

Pearson

Director of Communications for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Social Impact

Cara Frattasi

Purpose Built Schools Atlanta

Director of Communications & External Relations

Vice Chair

Ashani O'Mard

Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership

Senior Vice President

Board Chair

Eric Hurst

Amazon

North American Utility Engagement Senior Energy Manager

Sabrina Serafin

Frazier & Deeter

Partner and National Practice Leader

Arthur Mills

New Teacher Center

Chief Operating Officer

Treasurer

Rob Schuler

Cox Communications

Senior Director, Technology

Ladonna Murphy

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Executive Director Marketing Director Banking

Dayton Velarde

Alston & Bird

Project Attorney

Advisory Council

Arlenis Almonte

Chick-fil-A

Sr. Project Lead, Integrated Creative - Multicultural

Jessica Johnson

Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Business Development Manager

Daniel L. Stahl

BDO USA

Assurance Director

Sara Simonds

Deloitte

Manager, Talent

JP Ortiz

Microsoft

Account Manager,
US Education

Christen Wright

CDW Management Group

President

Exposure Partners

Exposure Partners

Funders

Corporate Sponsors

Special Events

Next Gen in the News

Our Community

Alumni

Amadou
NGM Class of 2018
Georgia Tech Class of 2022

Teacher Coach

Ms. Bennett
NGW Class of 2021
Creekside High School

Student

Jordan
NGM Class of 2020
Creekside High School

College Mentor

Paul
NGM Class of 2019
Morehouse College

Essense Adams

AmeriCorps VISTA
Site Coordinator
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Phil Olaleye

Executive Director

Raised in Stone Mountain, GA – Phil earned his B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Phil previously served as the Director of Performance Management at WorkSource Atlanta, as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines and was a Sales and Trading Analyst with Citigroup in New York City. A 2017 LEAD Atlanta & 2019 Atlanta Regional Commission RLI Alum, Phil is passionate about leading systems change that improve the lives of youth, families and communities.

Tim Eldredge

Director of Finance & Operations

From Portland, Oregon – Tim graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Oregon. Prior to Next Gen, he directed the staffing and communications operations for a world-renowned summer camp and began his post-grad career as a STEM Teacher at a Title I Elementary School. Tim resides in East Atlanta with his wife and daughter. He is committed to serving his community and sits on the Board of Directors at East Atlanta Kids Club and The Dharma Project. As a first-generation college graduate, Tim is passionate about ensuring all students have equal access to resources, support and success.

Symone Gerren

Director of Programs

Raised in Acworth, GA – Symone earned her B.S. in Psychology from Georgia State University, her Masters in Social Work from the University of Georgia, and her Masters of Public Administration from Arkansas State University. She has previously served as the Director of Programs for the Don’t Be a Bully Foundation, a Behavioral Youth Counselor for at-risk youth, and a Licensed Social Worker in the Metro Atlanta area; Symone is passionate about advocating for disenfranchised youth and families. A fan of the performing arts, Symone loves to travel and is always cheering on her GA Bulldogs!

Netanya Bledsoe

AmeriCorps VISTA Site Coordinator

Raised in Seattle, WA – Netanya earned her B.A. in Psychology from Whittier College in Whittier, CA. Netanya previously worked in education as an instructor to Pre-K students as well as a Program Coordinator for elementary and middle school students. A former youth basketball coach, Netanya is huge basketball and football fan (go Seahawks!) and is committed to working with youth to help them reach their full potential. 

Khayree Womack

Programs Coordinator

From San Diego, California – Khayree attended the University of Idaho and North Carolina A&T, where he received his B.A. in Sociology and Psychology and played football. Khayree grew up around his mother’s youth development program and has been involved as a mentor and mentee since his youth. Khayree enjoys giving back to his community, reading up on health and wellness and rooting on his Philly sports teams. Khayree is deeply passionate about community engagement and youth development.

Kerrigan Natera

AmeriCorps VISTA Site Coordinator

Born in the DMV area & raised in Georgia, Kerrigan earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice with a Women & Gender Studies Minor from Georgia Southern University. Passionate about the advancement of minority communities, she is always looking for advocacy opportunities. Kerrigan enjoys cheering on the Atlanta Falcons & spending time with her family. 

Mya Sullivan

AmeriCorps VISTA Site Coordinator

From Prentiss, Mississippi – Mya attended Lander University in South Carolina, where she received her B.A. in Spanish and a B.S. in Media and Communications. She spent her college years on the school’s dance team, performing in plays and advocating for women’s mental health. Mya enjoys self development, advocating for Pan African people and people of African descent and letting it loose on the dance floor with her girlfriends. Mya is deeply passionate about family and exploring different cultures. 

Essence Adams

AmeriCorps VISTA Site Coordinator

Raised in Detroit, MI, Essence is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance at Spelman College. She has been apart of the Joseph E. Lowery Institute Capstone Research Program both last year and this upcoming year. Being an avid reader her entire life, you can usually find her immersed in a book!

Eric Thomas Jr.

AmeriCorps VISTA Site Coordinator

Born in Riverdale, GA and raised in McDonough, GA – Eric received a B.S. in Human Development and Aging Services with a Gender Studies Minor from Georgia Gwinnett College. Eric is passionate about youth development, identity formation, and community reform that encourages healthy human development. When Eric is not rooting for the Atlanta Falcons, they are either traveling, cooking, or binge watching tv shows.