RKLEF 2016 Annual Report


RKL Education Foundation, Inc. is a 501(C) (3) nonprofit organization based in Gwinnett County, GA. established May 14, 2002.

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.


Funds Disbursed


Funds Raised

33 %

Scholarship Giving



The RKL Education

Foundation, Inc.

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

mentoring programs.


Dear Fellow Members

and Supporters

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

County community.

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



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.


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.


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

Dennis Group.


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

the year.

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

young men.



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

Ivan Barksdale

DaJuan Neal


Thompson III


Williams Jr.


Financial Standing

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


Vision 2020

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.

Programming Goals:

Partner with other 501c3 organizations within Gwinnett


Obtain assets to promote & support the organization.

Expand Programming.

Proposed Programming

Alpha Youth Academy (fall 2016) (accomplished)

RKLEF Scholarship Brunch/Dinner (accomplished)

RKLEF Robotics Camp (summer 2017)

Black & Gold Ball (fall 2018)

Scholarship Goals:

Increase scholarship giving by 300%.

Increase scholarship award amounts by 100%.

Scholarship Proposal:

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)

2017: $10,000

2018: $10,000

2019: $10,000

2020: $10,000

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

5) Grants

RKL Education Foundation

PO BOX 1945

Duluth, GA 30096


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