Before entering education, Shy-Quon served his community volunteering, tutoring, and innovating. On a mission to inspire character development, peak performance and personal growth, Ely was the Head Instructor at a martial arts college, and went on to co-develop FusiK MusIQ Inc., an academic and character enrichment program for K-12 students in Indianapolis. He then formally entered traditional education and applied his methods to the classroom where he led his students to achieve at high levels at one of the top performing charter networks for minority and underprivileged youth. Shortly after, Ely was promoted to an inaugural co-principalship where his innovation and leadership led to high achievement of the new school. He then set out to develop his own network of schools and co-founded Ignite Achievement Academy at the historic Elder Diggs School where he currently serves as Head of Schools. Ely is also researcher, minister, and community ambassador and is frequently sought after as a public speaker. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Purdue University with an emphasis in Pharmacology, an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Building Level Administrative education license from Marian University. He is currently finishing a doctorate in educational leadership at Indiana State University.
Jessica English is a passionate and dedicated educator with 13 years of experience in the field, working with levels kindergarten through college. Jessica first began her career as a middle school teacher and 7th grade team leader for Maple Crest Middle School in Kokomo, IN. She later moved back to her hometown, Indianapolis, and has held various roles in education, including Director of Assessments for Tindley Accelerated Schools, and most recently working at the collegiate level as a Program Chair overseeing curriculum and instruction in the general education department.
Jessica received her bachelor’s degree in teaching from Ball State University, a masters in management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a masters in school administration from Indiana Wesleyan University (spring 2017).
John is a graduate of Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He has been in law enforcement for twenty-two years. While at Shortridge Magnet High School, John taught the dual credit courses, “Surveying Criminal Justice” and “Intro to Law Enforcement” for Law and Public Policy. While working for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, he trained young men and women to become sheriff cadets (STC). While working for Indianapolis Public Schools, he created a cadet program called the Thin Blue Line (T.B.L.)
John is an Indianapolis native and has a great passion for young people.
Rodney Rivers is a strategic professional with over 13 years of experience managing others, engaging students and families as well as building business relationships. Studying Business Administration as an undergraduate, Mr. Rivers has spent over 8 years in the proprietary education arena with ITT Technical Institute, where his responsibilities included increasing retention and overall student success rates. After leaving the Proprietary Education sector, “Coach Rivers” launched a non-for profit youth organization called RiverSports Athletic Association. The organization’s mission is to promote character development by way of athletics. In doing this, Coach Rivers has served over 500 kids across the city of Indianapolis. In 2010, he was granted the opportunity to become the Athletic Director at Imagine Life Sciences Academy, where he created the athletic program there from the ground floor. While at Imagine, he also wore the hats of Title I Instructor and Behavior Specialist. Five years later, Mr. Rivers took his drive to help young people succeed to Job Corps. While at Job Corps, Mr. Rivers held the positions of Business Administration Instructor (Atterbury) and Career Development Manager (IndyPendence). Mr. Rivers continues to be passionate about helping young people be positive citizens of their community. Lastly, Mr. Rivers is very excited about the opportunity to help assist the young scholars unleash their inner genius and become lifelong learners at Ignite Achievement Academy.
President and CEO of “Courage To Encourage”
Courage to Encourage, LLC exists as a process through which youth and young adults are inspired, instructed and empowered to develop the processes needed to overcome life’s challenges in order to move toward greater levels of fully functioning adulthood, economic self-sufficiency and positive social and generational impact.
It is the company philosophy that this concept has great merit and posses the key elements and components necessary to create transformation. Military style training and compliance procedure are one of the approaches used for turning youth behavior around. It addresses discipline, personal barriers, and accountability while the training targets self-improvement and human development.
After graduating from high school, he entered the military where he served for eight years through three war campaigns, although he was never deployed. He also served on the Administrative Team with 5th Corps under the command of Retired General Colin Powell. After his military career, he earned his Associates Degree in Administration, followed by his Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Northwood University. “Through my education, I knew I could achieve my goals.
Mr. Johnson accomplishments range from co-authoring the Indianapolis Crime Prevention Plan to overseeing as the Director of one of the most successful at-risk program in the State of Indiana called YouthBuild Indy, sponsored by Employ Indy.
“Mr. Johnson is the lynchpin for our program. This kind of program needs a leader that youth can look up to and respect, and hold them accountable. “Mr. Johnson teaches and emphasizes responsibility, this is very important for their ultimate success.”
Executive Director of Lutheran Child & Family Services