Jaleesa Hall, a second year Master of Divinity Student at Wesley Theological Seminary, is a gifted and passionate advocate for addressing social inequality, particularly educational inequality. She is the founder of the Raising a Village Foundation, a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization that is committed to improving the quality of life for children and families in underserved communities by providing services in education, health and wellness, and arts. Jaleesa is a community leader, currently directing an in-school program, Driven 2 Succeed, at the Luke C. Moore public charter school in the District of Columbia. Through the Driven 2 Succeed program, Jaleesa has recruited and trained volunteers from the seminary and other universities to support students in the areas of academic studies, social emotional learning, and college and career preparedness. The goal of Driven 2 Succeed is to create clear pathways to productive citizenship by giving students the necessary tools to thrive in a global society. Jaleesa is a passionate and committed advocate for social justice with a creative and innovative spirit, putting to good use her social entrepreneurial skills for the positive transformation of the community.
I first became involved in community engagement in April 2008 when Driven Student Organization was born. Driven is a faith-based organization that I was honored to found on the campus of Clark-Atlanta University. Driven promotes positive events and activities for the campus community and communities abroad. Serving an audience of 10,000 Atlanta University Center students, Driven was founded on the premise that no matter your financial or family background you can fulfill your ultimate potential. Although Driven has made tremendous strides since its inception, the organization's most noted endeavor was the creation of the Truth or Dare Campaign, an AIDS and HIV awareness event held in the month of October to promote healthy living and awareness. Throughout this week, Driven Student Organization along with community and corporate sponsors assisted in providing materials, interactive discussions, musical entertainment, and HIV testing for all student participants in the Atlanta University Center. Witnessing firsthand the effect community has on the lives of people, motivated me to create Raising A Village Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, committed to providing high-quality intervention programs and community resources to children and families in the areas of education, health and wellness, and the arts.