Austin Dragon – Founder, President & Chairman of the Board

Austin Dragon has been a dynamic Fortune 100 corporate recruiter and manager in such diverse industries as healthcare, banking & finance, IT, manufacturing, sales & marketing, and HR for nearly 25 years. A native New Yorker, Mr. Dragon also served in the U.S. Army and received a degree from the L’universite Sorbonne in Paris, France. Politically, he sought election to the Los Angeles Board of Education in 1999 and served as the Chief Deputy to the President of the Los Angeles Unified School District (1999-2000). For the last 15 years, he has served on the board of Strive, a mini campus for inner city children in Watts offering after-school academic programs, tutoring, computer workshops and arts.


Lawrence Phillips – Chief Administrative Officer & Treasurer

Lawrence Phillips has a successful track record of leading team projects both professional and in volunteer community services.  Professional he has lead dozens of computer technicians on sit projects.  As a community volunteer, he has lead projects at church as well as well as volunteer work in political campaigns. He has put on community events including fundraising and club meetings.  Lawrence served in the U.S. Air Force and later earned a Bachelor’s Degree in IT Business Technology. He served as the Political Action Ministry Leader for Faithful Central Bible Church, one of the largest African-American churches in Greater Los Angeles.


Danielle  Kelley – Board Member & Secretary

Ms. Kelley  has  a proven track record in  the  area  of business and  human  behavior in  the corporate and nonprofit sector spanning  over 35 years  of  experience.  Ms. Kelley began  her  career, utilizing  her skills  in  analyzing human  behavior  and  trends  analysis at JW Robinson.

Changing  Paradigms’  is  Ms. Kelley’s motto and  approach  to  addressing  society’s  challenges thru  collaboration with  nontraditional partners, an area  where she  started  her  own  consulting  company, DLHcommunity, to  remove any  barriers  to her  mission of thinking  outside  of the  box.  Ms. Kelley’s  commitment  to  the  community  has  led  her  to enter, as  a clinical social scientist,   into  new nontraditional partnerships  with  law enforcement,  courts, education,  and community  organizations in order  to directly impact  individual, family  and  the  community’s mental health outcomes.  An innovative, entrepreneurially minded leader, who leads with a long-term view on vision and strategy; Ms. Kelley  has  served  on  several committees  and  in  leadership and   ‘think tank’ roles  to  advance  strong  outcomes and  performance measurements  in  the  area  of  policy,  optimal delivery of  public services, and  local, national,   and state  legislative  initiatives addressing violence prevention  and intervention,  strengthening  families  and  communities,  educational attainment, ending poverty thru education on  wealth building,   and  juvenile  diversion. Recognized  by organizations  such  as  the  City of  Compton,  California legislature,   Los Angeles Unified School District’s Black Education Commission,  Rosa Parks  Sexual Assault Center,  Psychiatric Social Workers Association,  and  First AME Church, Ms. Kelley has  received  several  awards  from  the  community as  the  result  of   her  direct service contributions  and programs designed  to   changed  paradigms  and spearhead major strategic shifts for transforming the government and  community agencies investment in  human capital.  The  ‘Changing Paradigm’ motto  has  led  to  Ms. Kelley  being  at  the  forefront of  several legislation in its  infancy educating   and  collecting  data  to  ensure  its  sustainability, such as  the School Based Mental Health Initiative. Recognized as an industry “thought” leader, Ms. Kelley continues to provide her expertise in legislation analysis  for  various  organizations.

As a USC Masters Program graduate, Ms. Kelley is trained as a clinical social scientist and policy analyst.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications with a specialization in marketing and public relations from California State University, Northridge.


Deacon John Wilson – Board Member

Deacon John Wilson is the Education & Enrichment Director of West Angeles Church of God in Christ.  Under the vision and with the support of Bishop Charles E. Blake, the program expanded from a modest after school math program in 1998 to one that now serves more than 700 families mostly from over 50 middle schools and high schools all across the Los Angeles area, from Pasadena to Long Beach.  The program now provides successful after school, summer programs and a life-changing college admissions and financial aid process support program that has helped over 2,000 youth achieve an affordable, quality college education.

Deacon Wilson graduated from George Washington University in 1980 as a major in Electrical Engineering and moved to California to work for Hughes Aircraft Company and later, Northrop Grumman.  He enjoyed a nearly 20-year career as an aerospace engineer, before leaving to work full-time as the Education & Enrichment Ministry Program Director at West Angeles Church.  His passion in life is working with youth and parents to help fulfill youth to affordable colleges and careers.

In addition to teaching and tutoring math to youth, Deacon Wilson has also coached math teachers all across Los Angeles County, served on educational boards in the community, is a strong supporter of School choice, and has consulted for charter schools.

Honors, Associations & Awards

  • Delta Sigma Theta of Los Angeles – Wertie Blackwell Lifetime Achievement Award – March 2018
  • Member of Advisory Board for Campaign for College Opportunity – 2012 to Present
  • Member Advisory Board for El Camino College STARS/Project Success – 2007-08, 2011-Present
  • California State University African American Initiative – 2010- Present
  • Member LA Parent Union – Executive Board Member – March 2007 to June 2011
  • El Camino College Community Service Award – 2007
  • NAACP “Man of Valor”/ Los Angeles – 2006
  • Lawry Master Educator - 2006


Carl Brodt, C.M.A. – Board Member

Carl Brodt is the Managing Director at Prescio Consulting. He is an accomplished financial manager with 25+ years of progressive accounting, financial, IT, and administrative experience emphasizing efficiency and productivity, design and implementation of financial controls, and disciplined growth management.

He is an Adjunct Professor at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA teaching corporate finance, banking, and accounting classes to students in the university’s MBA program and to undergraduates. He is the Managing Director at Prescio Consulting the San Francisco Bay Area responsible for client relations, project management, model and system design and development, finance and accounting, and certain risk management and legal matters.

He has also served as Vice President, Finance and Administration, Vice President, Real Estate Special Assets Division, and Vice President, Commercial Loan Administration at Union Bank over 23 years.


Dave Carr - Board Member

David Carr is the principal of LA’s Promise Charter Middle School #1. David has been in education for 23 years. He started his career as a Teach for America Corps member teaching English Language Development at Compton High School where he taught for five years. David spent two years teaching ELD and adult ESL at Franklin Middle school for two years and then he became the Program Director with the LA office of Teach for America. As David returned to school to get his administrative credential and masters in administration he became a founding teacher at Animo Venice Charter High School where he taught Ethnic Studies and Reading Intervention. He went on to spend three years at the Green Dot home office as Assistant Director of New Teacher Support. In the Fall of 2008 David became a Teaching and Learning Coordinator with the Los Angeles Unified School District where he helped coach and train teachers on their new evaluation system.

When asked to describe what led him to LA’s Promise David states, “I wanted to join an organization that had the radical idea to promise an excellent education to all students in LA. That’s the type of promise I have made as a teacher, a program director, a coordinator and now principal. I believe that all kids can learn and all kids deserve an excellent education.”

David’s favorite books are The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Children by David Halberstam and Punk Rock Dad by Jim Lindberg. In his free time he sings lead for the rock band Max 80’s.




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