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.


Phil Olaleye

Executive Director

Tim Eldredge

Director of Finance & Operations

Dana Nichols

Director of Development

Symone Gerren

Director of Programs

Netanya Bledsoe

Partnerships Manager

Josee Dolce

Programs Manager

Kerrigan Natera

Programs Coordinator

Eric Thomas Jr.

Programs Coordinator

Board of Directors

Michael Baptiste

Metro Atlanta Chamber

Vice President of Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Ramona Burada


Senior Vice President, Transportation & Logistics Industry Manager

Erica Cummings

Community Volunteer

Former Educator

Board Secretary

Joyce Davis


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

Cara Frattasi

Purpose Built Schools Atlanta

Chief of Staff

Vice Chair

Eric Hurst


North American Utility Engagement Senior Energy Manager

Arthur Mills

America's Promise Alliance

Chief Operating Officer


Ladonna Murphy

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Executive Director Marketing Director Banking

Ashani O'Mard

Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership

Senior Vice President

Board Chair

Rob Schuler


Senior Director, Business Process Transformation

Sabrina Serafin

Frazier & Deeter

Partner and National Practice Leader

Heiwote Tadesse

Associated Credit Union

Executive Vice President, Member Relations

Dayton Velarde

Alston & Bird

Project Attorney

Advisory Council

Arlenis Almonte


Sr. Project Lead, Integrated Creative - Multicultural

Jessica Johnson

Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Business Development Manager

Daniel L. Stahl


Assurance Director

Sara Simonds


Manager, Talent

JP Ortiz


Account Manager,
US Education

Christen Wright

CDW Management Group


Emeritus Board Members

Ian Cohen

TARA Education Technologies LLC

Founder of Next Generation Men and Women

Brian Sadler

University of Georgia


Travis Salters

Boston College Law School

J.D. Candidate

Founder of Next Generation Men and Women

Ben Sperling

Mars Wrigley

Associate Brand Manager

Founder of Next Generation Men and Women

Chris Thomas

Chick-fil-A Corporate

Principal Team Leader

Exposure Partners

Exposure Partners


Corporate Sponsors

Special Events

Next Gen in the News

Our Community


NGM Class of 2018
Georgia Tech Class of 2022

Teacher Coach

Ms. Bennett
NGW Class of 2021
Creekside High School


NGM Class of 2020
Creekside High School

College Mentor

NGM Class of 2019
Morehouse College

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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.

Dana Nichols

Director of Development

Raised in multiple states – New York, New Jersey, Virigina and Florida – Dana earned her B.S. in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences from the University of Florida. Prior to Next Gen, she served as the Director of Corporate and Individual Giving at KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools and Director of Donor Engagement at Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City. Dana has dedicated her career to advocating and empowering youth through education, exposure, and opportunities.  She resides in Covington with her husband and two fur babies.

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

Community Partnerships Manager

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. 

Josee Dolce

Programs Manager

Raised in Riverdale, GA– Josee earned her B.S. in Integrative Studies with a minor in Sociology from Clayton State University and her Masters in Student Affairs with a concentration in Professional Counseling from the University of West Georgia. Prior to Next Gen, she worked in education for the University System of Georgia with various colleges and universities, as well as Junior Achievement of Georgia. Josee resides in the Buckhead area. She is passionate about bridging the opportunity gap for students. Josee enjoys cheering on the Boston Celtics and spending time with family and friends. 

Kerrigan Natera

Programs 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. 

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.