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Chapter History

“Children First” was the first theme of the North Oakland/Macomb (NOM) Chapter of the Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Under the leadership of Jacqueline Gadson-Veal, Ruth Bowers, Artice Ledbetter and Carol Mitchell an “Interest” group was established in 1996.  NOM was chartered in July 1998 under the leadership of President Ruth Bowers and Officers Jacqueline Gadson-Veal, Cynthia Martin and Vicki Brown along with the following members:  

Doris Bailey
Carlene Bohannon
Ruth Bowers
Vicki Brown
Gabriela Darris
Joyce Dean
Donna Demby
Yvonne Dixon
Bernadette Gebregiorgis
Brenda Griffen
Beverly Gooden
Carolyn Lee
Karen Lewis
Cynthia Martin
Glenda Minor
Barbara Moore
Uwa Osimiri
Priscilla Rice
Jacqueline Veal
Tara Washington
Eleanor White
Monica Wiley

This “Chapter of 23” made it their goal to instill strong values in their children while creating a sense of pride in the communities in which they worked and lived.  They inspired a rich history of exemplary programming that resulted in many accomplishments for NOM throughout the years.

Since becoming a chapter in October 1998, the parents and children of the North Oakland/Macomb Chapter continue to instill strong values and create a sense of pride in our community by working with organizations including:

Lighthouse of Pontiac
Lutheran Family Services
Mt. Clemens and Pontiac School Districts
Grace Hope Rescue Mission
Crossroads for Youth
Strides for Breast Cancer
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
Hospice of Michigan
American Heart Association
March of Dimes
Boys and Girls Club of Auburn Hills
Pontiac Public Library
Oakland County Children’s Village

Over the years NOM worked closely with the community to ensure that the programming goals and ideals of Jack and Jill of America were demonstrated toward the betterment of all children.  From service projects at Lighthouse, the Macomb County Head Start, local homeless shelters, to pre-college preparation and exposure (ACT prep, college visits), to working in the community on the behalf of children in foster care system and senior citizens, NOM has undertaken a wide range of service-oriented tasks.

NOM mothers and teens have also demonstrated their commitment to serving wherever the organization calls.  In 2007, our very own Kimberley Will was elected as the Midwestern Regional Secretary/Treasurer.   She served as the Regional Secretary Treasurer for two years then moved on to become the Regional Director in 2009.  In 2012, our own Angelica Anderson-Tasker was appointed to Regional Logistics Chair and later appointed as Regional Secretary.  Currently, five NOM members serve on regional committees:

Angelica Anderson-Tasker                 Regional Chair, Grievance Committee
Cynthia Miree-Coppin                        Regional Growth Committee
Nicole Tate                                         Regional Chair, Technology Committee/Member National Technology Committee
Reeshemah Ross Howard                 RegionalCommunications Committee
Tuanda Ward-Holmes                        Regional Programming Committee

NOM teen Anthony Will was elected Regional Teen Vice President in 2010 and later was elected Regional Teen President in 2011. Anthony Will also won 2nd Place National Up The Hill Recognition in years 2007 and 2011.  NOM teen Justin Flynn was elected Regional Teen Treasurer in 2012.  For 2016-2017, Nyla Outlaw served on the Regional Teen Nominating Committee and Noah Clark served as Co-Chair of the Regional Teen Governance Committee.  For 2017-2018, Alyssa Tasker was selected as Chair of the Regional Teen Community Service Committee.

NOM also maintains a strong Associates Group.  On November 21, 2009 at the Michigan Ohio Fall Cluster, National President Jacqueline Moore Bowles installed a group of five mothers as NOM’s Charter Associate group.   Past president Cynthia Martin, serves as Associate Chair.  Other officers include Regina Phillips, Assistant Chairperson, and Cynthinian Gentry, Treasurer.  Remaining members include Tammie Lott, Joya Shepard and Loretta Woolridge Brown.

In addition to numerous awards and other commendations since the chapter’s founding, the NOM chapter continues to receive recognition as we build on our reputation for excellence.  Today a Chapter of 43, NOM is more determined than ever to uphold the rich history of our charter mothers. 

NOM’s 2016-2017 program year was a great example of how hard work, love for our children and a strong commitment to our community will result in significant accomplishments.  Each month, our young people anticipate and flourish in the activities planned for them.  The creativity of our membership is taking our programming to greater heights full of ideas, excitement and tons of fun!

During the 2015-2017 program years, our chapter realized several significant accomplishments:

At the 2015 Michigan/ Ohio Fall Cluster, Nya Mullens, Nyla Outlaw and Audrey Thedford were all oratorical contest winners.

As a result of the excellent visionary work of Program Director Tuanda Ward-Holmes, our chapter received a Superior rating on its 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Chapter Program Handbooks. 

Through collaboration and a true commitment to teamwork, Past Vice President Orletta Cross and Program Director Tuanda Ward-Holmes redesigned our initiation tea to include both organizational information AND a realistic preview of programming activities for our prospective moms.    

Fathers’ Auxiliary under leadership of Kyle Holmes and Michael Taylor hosted workshop on “How to Interact with Law Enforcement Officers” for community youth.

At the March 2016 Children’s Cluster, Amaru Abdullah-Raheem, Bobby Clark, Nathaniel Coppin, Kaylin Cross, Kyle Holmes, Sydney Townsend and Elece Vandergeld won awards in Tween Apprentice Program.  Tween Apprentice Program in Children’s Cluster was designed by NOM’s Past Regional Director Kimberley Will.

Also in March 2016, North Oakland/Macomb hosted the fabulous “Uncorked” fundraiser of spoken word and the arts under leadership of Fundraising Chair Carrie Clark.

Under the leadership of Foundation Chair and Editor Reeshemah Ross Howard, NOM started its first community-based literacy program at the Pontiac Public Library.  Through reading, crafts and fun, our children give back to the community and support the academic success for all children. 

NOM was 1 of 24 Jack and Jill of America, Inc. chapters nationally awarded an inaugural Reading Corner Grant for $3000.  With the grant, NOM Foundation Committee is updating the youth room in Pontiac Public Library and providing new books.

NOM Foundation Committee also awarded $1500 grant from Target Corporation for story time at Pontiac Public Library.

Foundation Committee began “Watch Me Win: Teen Series” at Pontiac Public Library and Mt. Clemens School District largely through efforts of Nikki Mariner.

Legislative Committee through Chair Ursel Mayo held a letter writing campaign to elected representatives donated water to Flint, MI residents impacted by water crisis and hosted a voter registration drive. 

In 2016, NOM earned 5 Star Excellence designation, Reading Corner Award and Legislative Award Honorable Mention. 

At National Convention, members won following awards Outstanding Chapter Leader - Tuanda Ward-Holmes, Outstanding Mother Member - Carla Stamps, Outstanding Associate - Colleen Joseph and Power to Make a Difference Honorable Mention - Reeshemah Ross Howard. 
The poem by 6th Grader James Patterson, Jr. titled “Kindness Makes You Happy and Free” was one of 24 works selected for the first anthology by Jack and Jill of America Inc., “The Super Chronicles” in 2016.

In February 2017, NOM hosted the “Masquerade” Fundraising Ball under leadership of Carrie Clark with proceeds benefitting Oakland Children’s Village and Jack and Jill of America Foundation.

During the 2017 Teen Leadership Conference, NOM teens won 2nd place for largest teen group attendance.

At 2017 Regional Conference, NOM earned 2nd place in programming for Children’s Retreat.  Karen Hunter was named Outstanding Mother Member.