NeQuan White is a native Detroiter. She was educated through the Detroit Public and Catholic School System. After graduating from High School she attended Marygrove College, majoring in Psychology. After graduating from Marygrove College she was employed at Spectrum Child and Family Services, as a Foster Care Case Manager. Thereafter she switched gears into the automotive industry, “Nissan Technical Center North America” currently as a “Technician”.
In 2006, she married her college sweetheart Anthony White. Two years later they welcomed their daughter “Shyel White into their life, who is a member of The Detroit Youth Choir.
NeQuan has worked alongside with her husband Anthony White for many years. In fact, due to having only 7 choir members, she assisted in the alto and tenor section. Her journey with working with the Detroit Youth Choir, began at the age of 23. From that point on there was no turning back. She now serves on the board as an Interim Financial Secretary.
Bianca has been a leader on youth development teams within Metro Detroit’s public-school system training fellow educators, students and youth. Bianca has found success with her graduate degree in Social Work from Wayne State University, in helping to increase awareness and prevention on at risk youth issues such as homelessness, lack of adequate elementary and secondary education, sufficient behavioral health and lack of access to health care.
She is currently looking to maximize her skills and educational capacity as a leader with the launch of her Behavioral Health Company, Umbrellex Behavioral Health Services, LLC. This company offers an array of services from in home respite care, individual and family therapy, program development, specialized residential services and court ordered treatment. Bianca is poised to step into a role within the behavioral health administrative position.
Bianca received her master’s degree from Wayne State University with a concentration in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a specialization in School Social Work. She has been a panelist on many mental health forums and has afforded the opportunity to meet with politicians to discuss current mental health issues within our school systems. Bianca has also been honored by Detroit’s City Council for her work with Domestic Violence, awarding her a Spirit of Detroit award. Bianca continued her career path to become a fully licensed clinical social worker by the State of Michigan. Bianca presents a high standard of competency and ethical standards within the clinical setting. She can accurately assess, diagnose and treat individuals managing behavioral health issues. Additionally, she is a competent trainer. She develops community and staff trainings on some of the most emerging mental health topics in the field. She recently received a certification as a Certified Trauma Practitioner. She has used her knowledge of the behavioral health field to develop a platform for youth in urban areas, individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities and mental illness.
Recent collaborations with Mott College, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Flint Housing Commission, include provider services to the Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) recipients. CNI is making strides to transform neighborhoods in Flint in an effort toward social equity. Umbrellex's role is to develop and implement a framework consisting of treatment plans and goals that focus on crisis planning and address the CNI recipient’s psychological barriers to relocate to uncharted neighborhoods.
Bianca is a current active Board Member for the Detroit Youth Choir. The nonprofit organization strives to educate students on music, theater and dance. Additionally, Bianca is an active board member for the Ways and Means foundation, a metro Detroit non- profit that supports funding for local nonprofits. Bianca serves on the Executive Branch of the Southfield Democratic Club and was recently nominated a Precinct Delegate for the city of Southfield. Most recent accolades include being honored as Michigan Chronicle’s top “40 under 40” emerging leader class of 2019, deemed Who’s Who in Black Detroit” by Real Times Media and induction as a young professional in Oakland County’s “40 under 40” elite class of 2020.
James E. Means
James, the second oldest of 3 brothers and 1 sister,
was born in Union, South Carolina on August 15, 1943.
In 1961, at the age of eighteen, James relocated to
Brooklyn, New York where he lived until joining the
Navy in 1963.
James’s career in the Navy started with basic training at Great Lakes, Illinois and upon completion, he was shipped out and assigned to a helicopter squadron in Pensacola, Florida. After 1 year in Pensacola, James was again shipped out and assigned at the Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. After a 2 month stay in Norfolk, he was shipped out and sent to Dunoon, Scotland where he was assigned and station for 2½ years on the U.S.S. Hunley, a submarine tender, anchored out in the Holy Loch.
Early in 1967, the Hunley picked up anchor and set sail for Charleston, South Carolina. Shortly after arriving in Charleston, James applied for, and as 3rd Class Petty Officer, received an Honorable Discharge from active duty. He was also awarded a National Defense Service Medal.
James continued his military career by serving 8 years in the Naval Reserves and being promoted to the rank of 1st Class Petty Officer.
After being discharged from active duty, James and his newly married and late wife Jeanie chose to move to and make Detroit their home. After arriving and settling in Detroit in March of 1967, they started a family and to the union 3 sons, James Jr., Eric, and Ronald, were born. The family has since grown and James is now the proud parent of 6 grand children, a boy and girl born to each son.
Since arriving and settling in Detroit some 52 years ago, James’s travels have taken him in many directions:
In 1967, to better his chance of being accepted into skill trades, James enrolled in and received certification from the Wolverine Trade School for welding. In 1968, he hired in at the Cadillac Eldorado Plant where he attempted to break into the skill trades by applying for and taking the exam to become a Millwright. After passing the exam he was placed on a waiting list where he remained until the opportunity for employment became available elsewhere.
In 1970, James got the opportunity to take the exam and apply for the position of Firefighter in the Detroit Fire Department. He passed the exam, completed basic training and was hired. In 19 years, James rose from the rank of Trial Firefighter to Research & Development Coordinator Chief; where he served as the Financial Officer, Budget Director, Purchasing Director and Auditor for the Detroit Fire Department.
As Budget Director, James always took pride in preparing and maintaining a balanced budget. He retired from the Fire Department in 1996 but continued working as other job offers were received.
In 1996, he was offered the job of Manager for Tixon Medical Billing Services, Inc. that he accepted and continued for 3 years. In 1999, he was offered and accepted the job of Business Manager and Business Consultant for Saint Scholastica Parish. He continued serving in that capacity until 2008. In 2017, he went back to work part time with Delta Global services, Enterprise Holdings and Quality Professional Products.
While employed, James continued his education:
Earning a Bachelor of Science Degree from Madonna University in 1977; majoring in Fire Protection & Occupational Safety, with a minor in business. Receipt of various certifications from budget, financial, on-the-job training workshops and classes attended through 1996. In addition: certification from the Academy for Competent Youth Work in 2015.
James’s volunteer service spans some 49 years:
He was a member of the St. Scholastica/Benedictine DADS Club for some 42 years, from 1970 to 2012, where he served as President, Vice President, Treasurer, Fundraising Committee Chairman, Boy Scout Leader, Baseball Coach and Umpire.
He was a member of the Strategic Builders Incorporated where he served as board member and treasurer from 2010 to 2014 and board member with the Detroit Eagles Athletic Club for the same years.
He was the Treasurer for the Sisterhood Foundation in 2014, the Detroit Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees vice Chair from 2014 to 2016 and the Chairman from 2016 to 2018.
During his tenure as Vice Chair and Chair of the Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees, James was instrumental in helping re-activate the Actors Workshop that was suspended in 2012, as well as, planning and staging a summer street fair. In July of 2019, James was honored by the Repertory Theatre with the Irma Wertz patron of the year award.
James is currently and has been the President of the Ashley Park Condominium Association since 2006 and the Executive Director of the “Way and Means” Community Foundation, aka the Livius Paoli Foundation, since 2004.
Other organizations that James is affiliated with include the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Retired Detroit Police & Fire Fighters Association, Inc., the Phoenix of Detroit, the Detroit Fireman’s Fund, the NAACP, the Western View – Next Door Block Club and the Detroit Youth Choir.
Patrice holds a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University and is an aggressive planning and development, and outreach management professional with several years’ organizational leadership and administrative experience. Patrice’s experience includes program launches and implementation, communications development and delivery of public speaking engagements, outreach coordination, and organizational development with an emphasis on client development and retention. Her varied background as a program management and outreach professional has effectively left a trail of successful development and nurturing of customer experiences and relationships.
With an interdisciplinary background in planning, development, outreach and management, Patrice is equipped to develop unique approaches to program implementation. She is experienced in managing programs for utilities, municipalities and non-profit organizations.
Notably Patrice has led multi-million dollar program launches, with responsibility for planning and coordinating with multiple partner organizations and internal and external teams to design the project approach and plan. She has also managed programs servicing over 25,000 customers annually.
Patrice believes that teamwork makes the dream work and is a strong believer in collaboration to meet the shared goals. She is also Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence honoree, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, African American and Blacks in Energy (AABE), serves as a board member of the Detroit Youth Choir and holds a Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification.
Lutricia M. Valentine, CMP is an internationally certified meeting professional and Travel Consultant who has been working professionally in the hospitality industry over 20 years. Lutricia was amongst the first African American woman to achieve this designation. She lives in Detroit, MI but was born and educated in Chicago where she received her degree in Computer Programming with a minor in Business Administration. She has managed conferences and events from board meetings to 8,000 attendants throughout the US and internationally. She is a mentor in the industry and have trained several event and meeting planners. She is blessed to have 31 years of marriage, 2 sons and grandchildren. She is currently Owner, Professional Details, LLC an Independent Planning Company; Executive Director, Urban Village Network, a 501c3 non-profit community based organization that focuses on youth and emerging leaders; Physical Education/Health Teacher, The James & Grace Lee Boggs Academy, and a Nationally Certified Doula. Lutricia is passionate about giving back. Lutricia began serving the Detroit Youth Choir when her son joined as a member in 2007. She has supported and served DYC for 13 years in various roles including Board Member.
LaTasha Williams is passionate and driven in serving people. She absolutely loves working with children and ministry. LaTasha is the founder of an outreach ministry titled Release and Rejoice. She is one of the board members who serves as the Executive Secretary for the renown Detroit Youth Choir (DYC). In addition, she volunteers as an event planner for Tenna Harris Ministry. Lastly, she is a Special Education teacher.
LaTasha graduated from Davenport University in 2004 with an associate degree in business administration. She later graduated from Marygrove College in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in English and in 2015 a master’s degree in special education. In May 2018, she earned a certificate in the Education Specialist Program in Administration and Supervision at Wayne State University.
LaTasha’s primary goal is to make a difference in the life of children. She wants children to know they can and will succeed in school and in life. She believes in the quote, “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” (Theodore Roosevelt). LaTasha is a risk-taker; she enjoys taking on challenges and stepping out on faith. She focuses on solutions to problems and works hard daily to make sure each day counts!
Anthony White is the Artistic Director for the Detroit Youth Concert Choir and Performing Arts Company. Mr. White succeeded Fleming Ivory, the founder of the organization in 2001. He has directed more than 1000 youth from the metro Detroit area, in which he has created a platform for them to develop their skills in performing arts. Anthony White has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Marygrove College. While matriculating through Marygrove College, Mr. White performed in various productions such as Ragtime, Godspell and Ain’t Misbehavin. He also formed “Soulful Expression Ensemble” where he was able to use his God given talents of vocal music, music production, songwriting, music composition and theater.
Mr. White and the Detroit Youth Choir have performed at various places in the U.S and Canada. The organization was awarded the Spirit of Detroit, Mary McLeod Bethune Award and the DMC Community Service Award, and was nominated for the Gospel Showcase 2015 Youth Choir of the Year Award. In 2016, Mr. White received recognition from WXYZ Local 7 News as “Person of the Week”. Lastly, the Detroit Youth Choir also won the Texas Gospel Music Excellence Award 2018.
Under his leadership, DYC has performed on local television stations such as; WDIV Local 4 News, WJBK Fox 2 News and the aforementioned PBS program Detroit Performs. DYC was given the opportunity to be a guest on the Ron Todd Radio Talk show, as well as the Be-Moor Radio Talk Show. Throughout his journey, doors continued to open. DYC auditioned for “America’s Got Talent”, the group was also featured on an album with the “Go Team” and recently showcased in a film documentary “America’s Musical Journey”. In 2018, Mr. White received the 40 under 40 award from The Michigan Chronicle. Last but not least, his ability to lead young people to musical success, has allowed the Detroit Youth Choir to receive the 313 Best in Black Detroit Award 2018 “Best Community Choir of the Year”
His passion for working with young people extends beyond DYC Mr. White is currently employed as the Elementary District Choir Director of Oak Park, offering performing arts to any youth who wishes to use it as a vehicle for success.
Lastly, all this would not be worthwhile if it wasn’t for the love and support of his loving wife, NeQuan White and daughter Shyel, who is also a member of DYC.
Stephen E. Shepherd
Stephen E. Shepherd is the Vice President/Director of Operations of the Detroit Youth Choir & Performing Arts Company. He has served with the organization since 1998 in rolls such as Theatre Director and now Director of Operations. Stephen also serves as Vice President on the DYC Board of Directors. He is a Graduate of Virginia Union University where he earned his bachelor's degree in Speech and Theater with a Minor in Music. Stephen has 20+ years in the performing arts world. He has been involved in many productions such as Ain’t Misbehavin, Purlie, Mojo: A Black Love Story, Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, The Fantasticks, Zooman and the Sign, The Wiz and many more.
Yolanda Hamilton is a native Detroiter, mother of two adult children and currently employed at Detroit’s John D. Dingell Veterans Medical Center. Since her employment she has earned her Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Wayne State University and in her efforts to support the veterans she plans to pursue her master’s degree in 2021. An advocate and catalyst for change, Yolanda volunteered to participate in a program designed around the concept of storytelling to bridge and forge relationships between Veterans, their families and employees. She enjoys dining in the city’s newest restaurants, live entertainment and reading.
In 2006, her then 10-year-old daughter Reagan expressed an interest in singing. After seeing a flyer on the information board at Marygrove College, she enrolled her into The Detroit Youth Concert Choir after rehearsing for Mr. Anthony White. After witnessing the devotion and passion that Mr. White has for children and teaching, Yolanda invested her free time to the choir. In the early days at DYC she played many supporting roles…. chaperone, chauffer, den mother, fundraiser, make-up artist, parent coordinator, treasurer, etc. Under Mr.White’s tutelage Reagan’s vocal skills and range made her a principal performer for the next six years. Today as a proud board member she can continue to support DYCs mission and witness the many continued blessings bestowed upon them.
Lacetia B. Walker is co-founder and independent educational consultant with Scholar Builder, LLC. Lacetia holds an Educational Specialist Certification in learning disabilities and an endorsement in mathematics from Wayne State University. She earned a master’s degree in urban education from Cambridge College and a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in computer information systems from Alabama State University. She has an extensive knowledge of research-based strategies in differentiated instruction, student engagement and multiple intelligences which she uses to guide and instruct educators who service struggling learners.
Mrs. Walker has more than 30 years of experience in public education. She has served in several capacities ranging from classroom instruction to school and district program administration in the special education and mathematics curricula. More specifically, she has lead classroom instruction for elementary and middle schools, and served as a Curriculum Instructional Specialist for her district in the Office of the Assistant Superintendent. She has developed and presented numerous research-based professional developments ranging from effective instruction to Total Quality Management.
Mrs. Walker is deeply committed to education and development and growth of young people. She strongly believes that all children have the right to a quality educational experience.