R K L E D U C A T I O N F O U N D A T I O N , I N C .
Training our youth for manly deeds,
scholarship & love for all mankind.
RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT | 3
The RKL Education
The mission of RKLEF is to aid “downtrodden humanity” in its efforts
to achieve social, economic and intellectual status by funding educational
programs, social activities, seminars, and support groups who
provide services to children, adult individuals and families.
The RKL Education Foundation, Inc.
(RKLEF) is a 501(C) (3) nonprofit organization
based in Gwinnett County, GA.
RKLEF was established in May 14, 2002
by nine men interested in consolidating
their efforts in mentoring youth while
uplifting humanity through charitable,
educational, and social activities. The
Foundation is the philanthropic arm
of the Rho Kappa Lambda Chapter of
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. seated
in Duluth, Georgia.
The mission of RKLEF is to aid “downtrodden
humanity” in its efforts to achieve social,
economic and intellectual status by
funding educational programs, social
activities, seminars, and support groups
who provide services to children, adult
individuals and families. The foundation
has helped young men and women,
ages 11-21 years, who are seeking to
be leaders and attend college. We also
provide educational, motivational and
skill building tools on issues of responsibility,
relationships, teen pregnancy and
sexually transmitted diseases. In additional
to helping the youth, RKLEF also helps
in creating economic development in
the community and provides viable
opportunities for positive change. The
foundation is based upon three primary
values of Manly Deeds, Scholarship and
Love for all mankind
The RKL Education Foundation consists of
numerous members with various professional
backgrounds ranging from education
and corporate to military and business
owners in the metro-Atlanta area. The
members are dedicated to mentoring our
youth, empowering the community and
sending high school students to college.
We mentor students from the ages of 11
to 21 years old, in Gwinnett and DeKalb
counties. The majority of these students go
on to college and major in areas, such as
education, engineering, business, science,
journalism, and political science.
We encourage and welcome support of
our programs from community members
and the business community. Together,
we can continue our long history of
community service. Donations to the
RKL Education Foundation, Inc. are tax
Since 2002, RKLEF has
Awarded over 30 scholarships
totaling over $35,000 and
funded individual and group
4 | RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT
Dear Fellow Members
Thank you for making 2016 yet another remarkable year for RKL Education Foundation (RKLEF)! 2016 marked 14 years of service
for the organization. Our dedicated Board Members have done an incredible job at expanding our outreach while strengthening
our programs and services. We have once again been able to increase the value of services delivered directly to the Gwinnett
A few program highlights include:
• Hosted the 4th Annual Mother Son Dance,
• Hosted the 6th Annual MLK Unity Breakfast,
• Supporting the annual feed the homeless initiative during the Thanksgiving Holiday providing over 100 meals to those in
• Established new partnership with the Juvenile Court of Gwinnett County to conduct a 8 week series of workshops for at-risk
youth designed to inspire creativity, teamwork and guiding these young men on the right path through the Alpha Youth
• Established new partnership with a Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation to provide facilities and services to support the
Future Men of Distinction Program mentoring program of high school and middle school aged young men,
• Increased scholarship offerings to aid high school graduating seniors afford the cost of tuition to a 4-year college institution,
• Held the Inaugural Scholarship Luncheon to recognize our graduating senior and families.
Our ongoing goal is to keep our overhead low while increasing our service and financial giving within Gwinnett County, and
you truly make this possible! RKLEF is stronger than ever due to our continually expanding community who comes together
to donate time, resources, and talent in support of our important mission. This year alone our Board of Directors and members
has helped us dramatically increase our donor base and youth programs.
Thank you for wholeheartedly being a part of the RKLEF movement. We are looking forward to much more in 2017!
Servants of All
Aaron L. Ruffin
RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT | 5
RKL Education Foundation 2016 Board Members
Aaron L. Ruffin, President
Aaron is a Network Real Estate Manager for Mobilitie, LLC., a Telecommunications Infrastructure
Company headquartered in Newport Beach, California with satellite offices around the United
States. Aaron is responsible for managing a team that oversees market activities in New Jersey,
Long Island and the Philadelphia Metro area as it relates to permitting activities and establishing
Aaron, a graduate of Mississippi State University and native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, received a
Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration
with a concentration in Urban Planning.
After graduation in 2007, Aaron began his career in the metro Atlanta area, where he worked as a
long range land-use planner for Henry Country Government. In 2009, he accepted a position with a small minority development
firm, The Collaborative Firm, providing consulting services to local governments as a Senior Planner until 2013.
Before joining Mobilitie, Aaron worked for Jacobs Engineering from 2013 to 2016 where he offered a unique background of
land use planning, design, and landscape architecture. He demonstrated a capacity to incorporate various planning concepts
into real-life applications resulting in planning processes and documents that can be easily applied by local jurisdictions.
Aaron is active with several organizations that work to build communities such as, the American Planning Association and the
American Society of Landscape Architects. In 2016, he was recognized in a press release by the American Society of Landscape
Architects titled “Celebrating Six Leaders of Landscape Architecture During African American History Month”.
Outside of Aaron’s professional accomplishments, he has served on several non-profit boards which includes, Clayton County
Grassroots Leadership Institute, Resources for an Inclusive Future, and is currently the President of the RKL Education Foundation.
Aaron is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and has served as President of the Rho Kappa Lambda Chapter
located in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
Maurice Thompson, Vice President
Maurice is the Director of Vertical Marketing leading teams focused on the Federal, State, Local
Education and Public Safety. In this role he is responsible for the development and implementation
of the marketing strategy, campaigns, promotions, association and event strategy.
In his prior role, Thompson was the Director of Business Development for the Open Development
organization of Verizon Wireless. In this role he is responsible for a) developing partnerships to support
the expansion of the Open Development Ecosystem and b) identifying and enabling device solutions
to access the Verizon Wireless network by utilizing the new Open Development device specifications
and testing processes.
Previously, Thompson was Associate Director – Wholesale Marketing. In this role he was responsible for the Product Development,
Project Management, Strategy and Training for the Wholesale Channel supporting both Traditional Resellers and MVNOs.
Over his nineteen year career with Verizon Wireless, he has served in a numerous roles including Associate Director – Enterprise
Product Development responsible for VZEmail (BlackBerry, Good, Wireless Sync) and Regional Network Operations Manager for
Verizon Wireless in the Washington/Baltimore/Virginia Region, responsible for managing the operation of the Verizon Wireless
Network in Greater Baltimore and D.C. areas.
Maurice also serves President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Rho Kappa Lambda Chapter.
6 | RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT
RKL Education Foundation 2016 Board Members
Earl Sharpe, Treasurer
Earl has over 20 years of financial and management accounting experience working for a variety of
companies that include: Farberware, Johnson Controls and Exide Technologies. He is currently Manager,
Accounting at Scientific Games in Alpharetta, GA. As a volunteer, he has been Finance chair for his
homeowners association and at Allgood Road United Methodist Church. He was also Treasurer for
the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra Parents Association for seven years and continues to serve as a
member of the advisory committee of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program
where he is also a Parent Mentor on the Family Support sub-committee. In his spare time, Earl is an
avid runner who has completed over 20 Half-Marathons. He holds a BS degree from the Rochester
Institute of Technology and MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a Certified
Management Accountant (CMA). He is an original member of the RKL Education Foundation.
Lorenzo Gonzalez, Secretary & Director of Scholarships
Lorenzo is an Account Executive for Windstream Communication where he offers critical business
solutions specializing in increasing revenue and lowering total cost of operations.
Calvin Brown III, Board Member
Calvin was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He attended the University of Buffalo, where he received a
BA in Communication and MS in Urban Studies. He is a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc..
He currently reside in Atlanta, GA, since February 2009. He is proud father of a son and daughter.
Jerry Pope Jr., Board Member
Jerry was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in
Communications – Advertising. Jerry spent his last twenty plus years in the insurance industry serving
in various capacities from Underwriter, Trainer, Management and his own successful Insurance Agency.
Jerry currently serves as the Metro Atlanta Regional Manager for an Accounts Receivable Company
Headquartered in Ohio. Jerry is a Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he was a Charter
Member of the Rho Kappa Lambda Chapter and also Charter Member of the RKL Education Foundation,
Inc. Jerry has been a resident of Gwinnett County for 16 years, married with three children, two
daughters and a son.
RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT | 7
RKL Education Foundation 2016 Board Members
Andre Neblett, Board Member
Andre is High Touch Operations Manager for Cisco Systems. He also serves as the immediate past
President of the RKL Education Foundation.
Michael Jones Jr., Board Member
Michael is a Risk Analyst for JRMS Consultation Group. He specializes in analyzing and consult insurance
risk for small business and business professionals by utilizing risk management principles to
evaluate potential area of loss, redesign work flow and strategic forecasting to maximize profits
and creating stability.
Robert Lott Jr., Board Member
Robert is a Information Technology professional with the State of Georgia.
Baron Griffin, Board Member
Baron is a Network/Systems Administrator recognized for precision and knowledge in administrating,
analyzing, installing and troubleshooting enterprise-level firewalls, routers, switches.
proxies and applications while solving technical problems, completing projects and providing
user-focused customer service.. He currently works as a Information Technology Manager for The
8 | RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT
RKLEF 2016 At A Glance
2016 Board Kick-off Meeting
January 26th of 2016 marked the kick-off of the 14th year in
operation of the RKL Education Foundation. During this meeting
the Board set its operating goals and rededicated themselves
to continuing to fulfill the mission of the organization.
6th Annual MLK Jr. Unity Breakfast
On February 27, 2016, community members and business owners
from across Gwinnett County and surrounding communities
came together to celebrate black history month. More than
fifty residents attended the event hosted by the RKL Education
Foundation, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the
Rho Kappa Lambda Chapter whereas, community groups and
corporations were recognized for their continued emphasis
on promoting diversity through leadership, innovation, and
community volunteerism in several categories. The event also
featured a special keynote address by Gwinnett Commission
Chairman Charlotte J. Nash. The recipients of the 6th Annual
Diversity Awards were as follows; Diversity Community Service
Award was awarded to Bridges Peachtree Corners, Corporate
Social Responsibility Award was awarded to Stone Mountain
Community Center and Diversity Social Action Award was
awarded to Charlotte J. Nash.
4th Annual Mother Son Dance
On May 1, 2016 RKLEF presented its annual “Evening of Elegance”
Mother-Son Dinner and Dance. The program originated by
members coming together and discussing the need to honor
the most important person in a young man’s development. After
our discussion, it was evident that we MUST pay tribute to the
mothers of our community. While the father-son relationship
is instrumental in the development of our sons, a mother’s
love and nurturing is what allows our sons to develop into
men. With this spirit in mind, we engaged the boys from our
enrichment program, The Future Men of Distinction, to lead
the way in helping to promote the event. We knew that it was
important for our young men to experience an evening in
which they would be an active participant in paying tribute
to their mothers.
RKLEF Inaugural Scholarship Dinner
On July 31, 2016 the inaugural RKLEF Scholarship Dinner was
held at the Sugarloaf Country Club. During the event 4 young
men received scholarships to attend 4-year college institutions.
Three of the young men receiving scholarships participated in
the Future Men of Distinction (FMOD) Mentoring program.
Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation Partnership
On September 9, 2016 RKLEF and the Gwinnett Parks and
Recreation entered into a partnership agreement to house
our programs and support their programming throughout
Gwinnett County Juvenile Court Partnership
On October 19, 2016 RKLEF and the Gwinnett County Juvenile
Court entered into a partnership agreement to mentor young
men through newly established Alpha Youth Academy. The
overall program objective includes promoting self-awareness,
decision making, life skills, and academic achievement of our
RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT | 9
Eddie Nesby Jr. Scholarship: Maurice Thompson III
($1,000.00) Butler University
FMOD Scholarship: Ivan Barksdale
($1,000.00) Kennesaw State University
FMOD Scholarship: Dajuan Neal
($750.00) Kennesaw State University
FMOD Scholarship: Tron-Wesley Williams Jr.
($750.00) University of Louisiana at Lafayette
10 | RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT
Account balance beginning 2016: $11,084.25
Amount of Funds Disburse: $6,987.19
Amount of Funds Raised: $12,704.53
2016 Financial Summary
Account balance ending 2016: $16,801.59 (not including restricted and pending liabilities)
Restricted Funds: $1700.00 (Eddie Nesby Scholarship & Rockwell Collins Donation)
Pending Liabilities: $1875.00 (2016-2017 Scholarship Disbursements)
2016 Approved Budget Detail
Item 11,084.25 2016 Opening Bank Balance
Scholarship (875.00) Scholarship
MLK Breakfast Income 1,237.05 MLK Breakfast Income
MLK Breakfast expense (1,161.53) MLK Breakfast expense
Mother Son revenue 3,195.00 Mother Son revenue
Mother Son expense (1,991.79) Mother Son expense
FMOD (1,016.67) FMOD
2015 Cards & Cocktails Revenue 1,771.60 2015 Cards & Cocktails Revenue
2016 Cards & Cocktails expense - 2016 Cards & Cocktails Deposit
WellsFargo Image access (21.00) WellsFargo Image access
Georgia Secretary of State - Georgia Secretary of State
2016 Derby Fundraiser 5,016.00 2016 Derby Fundraiser
2017 Derby Fundraiser Deposit - 2017 Derby Fundraiser Deposit
PO Box rental (68.00) PO Box rental
Feed the Homeless (100.00) Feed the Homeless
Kroger Community Rewards 44.54 Kroger Community Rewards
Scholarship Reception (1,431.00) Scholarship Reception
Website (322.20) Website
Donations 1,440.34 Donations
Total 16,801.59 2016 Ending Bank Balance
RKLEF 2016 ANNUAL REPORT | 11
In August of 2016 a plan was laid by the RKLEF President
entitled “Vision 2020”, which consists of a comprehensive look
at our program offerings, scholarship giving, and fundraising
campaigns. Parts of the vision have begun to take shape with
the help and support of the RKLEF Board of Directors. Please
find below an outline of the plan.
Partner with other 501c3 organizations within Gwinnett
Obtain assets to promote & support the organization.
Alpha Youth Academy (fall 2016) (accomplished)
RKLEF Scholarship Brunch/Dinner (accomplished)
RKLEF Robotics Camp (summer 2017)
Black & Gold Ball (fall 2018)
Increase scholarship giving by 300%.
Increase scholarship award amounts by 100%.
Create a Director of Scholarship
(Foundation Board Member) (accomplished)
Create a Scholarship Coordinator
(RKL Director of Education) (accomplished)
Offer supplemental scholarships for current RKLEF Scholarship
Vision 2020 5yr Fundraising Campaign ($50,000.00)
Vision 2020 Annual Fundraising Campaign ($10,000.00)
2016: $10,000 (accomplished - $12,704.53)
Bro. Stanley Doucette with
mentee DaJuan Neal
How Do We Reach Our Goals?
1) Friends and Family Give me 5 Annual Campaign
RKLEF Members find 100 friends and family willing to donate
2) RKLEF Eddie Nesby Jr. Brotherhood Fund
Each member donate $100 for Eddie Nesby Jr. Scholarship
3) Corporate Sponsorships
4) Corporate Matching Programs
RKL Education Foundation
PO BOX 1945
Duluth, GA 30096