“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:
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:
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 received its first Jacqueline Robinson Grant from Jack and Jill Foundation to conduct extensive ACT workshop and preparation sessions with students at Mt. Clemens High School. The Pillars of Success program also received a Foundation grant. It began as a
yearlong pilot and launched in 2007 by Joya Shepard, Chair; Gabriela Darris, Bernadette Gebregiorgis, Ellie Hawkins and Laurie Taylor.
NOM hosted the Michigan/ Ohio Area Workday Cluster in 1999, Mid-Western Regional Teen Conference in 2011 and Michigan Center of Excellence Founders’ Day led by the Associates in 2014. Also, NOM hosted Children’s Cluster in March 2006 titled Science Safar, March 2014 titled Full STEAM Ahead and will host in March 2019. The Chapter also hosted the Leadership Summit in 2018.
As a result of the chapter’s signature fundraising events, ‘April in Paris’, held in 2006 NOM contributed over $10,000 to Orchard Children’s Services in addition to a significant donation to the Jack and Jill Foundation. Other fundraisers include the 2013 and 2015 Real Housewives of Jack and Jill along with 2016 ‘Uncorked’ fundraiser of spoken word and the arts . With Fundraising Chair Carrie Clark in 2017 ‘Mystique’ fundraiser contributed over $13,000 to Oakland County Children’s Village and donated a significant amount to Jack and Jill Foundation. In 2018, NOM launched a partnership with Oakland University and established an emergency grant program.
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, Regional Grievance Committee Chair and Regional Secretary. Recently, five NOM members served on regional committees:
Angelica Anderson-Tasker Regional Associates Liaison
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 for 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. Also, Nyla Outlaw was the Regional Teen Communications Chair. Noah Clark served as Co-Chair of the Regional Teen Governance Committee. In 2017-2018, Alyssa Tasker served as Chair of the Regional Teen Community Service Committee. For 2018-2019, Jessica Hunter was selected as Co-Chair of the Regional Teen Community Service and Fundraising 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.
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 2015-2019 program years, our chapter realized several significant accomplishments:
As a result of the excellent visionary work of Program Director Tuanda Ward-Holmes and Cheryl Vowels, our chapter received multiple Superior ratings on our Chapter Program Handbooks.
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.
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 2010 under the leadership of President Alison Jones, NOM expanded our geographical boundaries to include all of Oakland County. This created the impetus for future chapter growth. 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.
During the 2016-2018 program years, NOM sponsored and guided the Great Lakes Bay Provisional Chapter to become a Jack and Jill of America, Inc. chapter chartered in October 2018. The guidance included sharing information and ideas on programming and chapter operations.
Today a Chapter of 50 mothers, NOM is more determined than ever to uphold the rich history of our charter mothers. The Chapter consistently demonstrates 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. Throughout the years, our chapter realized several significant accomplishments:
· Over 15 of our teens participated and excelled in oratorical contests as winners at the Michigan/ Ohio Area Workday Cluster. Several advanced to place and/or win at the annual Teen Leadership Conference including Nnamdi Osimiri, Anthony “Tony” Will, Austin Jones, Derrick “Dex” Roman, Nya Mullens, Nyla Outlaw and Maya McEntyre.
· The Fathers’ Auxiliary consistently support chapter events and children’s activities from hosting Breakfast with Storytime, chaperoning teen fundraising parties, and on “How to Interact with Law Enforcement Officers” workshop for community youth. Our chapter’s very own father, Anthony Will, served as Regional Fathers’ Auxiliary Chair for 4 years. Fathers’ Auxiliary under leadership of Kyle Holmes and Michael Taylor hosted workshop on “How to Interact with Law Enforcement Officers” for community youth.
· 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 updated the youth room in Pontiac Public Library and provided new books. 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 Foundation Committee was also awarded $1500 grant from Target Corporation for story time at Pontiac Public Library.
· The Foundation Committee began “Watch Me Win: Teen Series” at Pontiac Public Library and Mt. Clemens School District largely through efforts of Nikki Mariner. Recently, the program evolved under current Foundation Chair Cecelia Mullens for young ladies. NOM Foundation Committee was recently awarded a $3000 Health and Wellness grant from Jack and Jill Foundation for an upcoming Health Fair at Mt. Clemens High School.
· In 2016, NOM earned the only 5 Star excellence designation, a Reading Corner Award and a Legislative Award Honorable Mention.
· The poem by then 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.
· At the 2018 National Conference, earned the 5 star excellence for a second time for chapter operations; finance; membership; programming; and fundraising and community involvement. Also, at the 2018 National Convention, Hayden Howard achieved the newly created ‘Children Who Inspire Us’ community service Award for Mid-Western Region.
· NOM teens won awards for demonstrating excellence. The following teens were selected for Mid-Western Region Outstanding Senior: Anthony “Tony” Will (2nd place 2012), Derrick “Dex” Roman (2nd place 2014), Justin Hunter (2nd place 2015), Brielle Ashford (3rd place 2016) and Alyssa Tasker (1st place 2018).