Ignite Board of Directors


Demetrees L.



I am a 39-year-old former foster youth who was emancipated from the Indiana child welfare system at the age of 16. I am not married nor do I have children. I currently work for Indiana University (IU) in School of Education (SOE) on the campus of IUPUI as a Management Analyst, research consultant for the Indiana Urban Superintendents Association (IUSA), a Research Associate for the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education (CUME) and serve on the Youth Engagement team at UWCI. I am a Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholar Alumni, AmeriCorps National Service Alumni and state liaison, one of the IU Great 8, a certified Zumba instructor, a private data consultant and a business owner specializing in 100% natural hygiene and beauty products.

I restarted my academic career as a freshman in the Fall of 2001 after my first failed attempt at college in 1997. In May of 2016 I graduated with a Ph.D. from the IU SOE’s Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) and in 2012 a Post-Graduate Certificate in Institutional Research from the same program. I obtained a Masters of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from the IU Lilly School on Philanthropy in 2007 with a Graduate Certificate in Non-profit Management from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). I secured a Baccalaureate of Science (BS) in New Media; Media Arts from the IU School of Informatics and an Associates Certificate in Applied Computer Science from Purdue University’s School of Computer Science in 2004.

I have received numerous awards for my civic engagement, community service and research efforts. I have provided key testimony in the passing of Indiana SB336 and SB497 for local foster youth. I currently serve various nonprofit agencies and p-20 education institutions throughout Indiana in several capacities that include action research; data collection and analysis; evaluation and assessment; program management, leadership, development and coordination; and fundraising and development.

My board service includes former Chair of the Peace Learning Center,  former Co-Chair for the Villages Foster Care and Adoption Agency Young Professionals Advisory Board, current board service at The Villages, Ignite Achievement Academy and the Children’s Policy and Law Institute (CPLI).

Alicia Ramsey Board Member

Alicia C.



Mrs. Alicia C. Ramsey, born Alicia Beidleman, is a native of Elyria, Ohio. She is the oldest of Gary and Beverly Beidleman’s four children. Mrs. Ramsey graduated from Elyria West High School, then attended the University of Akron where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education in 1993. After moving to Indianapolis in 1995 to marry her current husband of twenty-two years, she furthered her education at Indiana University where she received her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership in 2005. In 2015, Mrs. Ramsey took classes at Ivy Tech Community College in Early Childhood Education to serve as the director for Rhema Childcare and Preschool Ministry.

Mrs. Ramsey spent fourteen years working in Perry Township Schools. She maximized her tenure in Perry Township as the principal of Clinton Young Elementary School and Perry Meridian 6th Grade Academy. Prior to those positions, she was an Assistant Principal and Dean of Students at Southport Middle School. In 2002, Mrs. Ramsey was the first African-American female to be elected to the school board in Pike Township for a four-year term. In June of 2009, she decided to make a life change for her family and she resigned from her position as Principal of Clinton Young Elementary School. Mrs. Ramsey has taken her professional experience and is currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer at New Life Worship Center Church in Indianapolis, IN.

Mrs. Ramsey is the founder of “Women of Excellence” a non-profit ministry that empowers women through self-help seminars, events, and workshops. She participates on many women discussion panels, does motivational speaking, and is a strong advocate for families of special needs children.

Mrs. Ramsey was appointed to the Governor’s Council for People with Developmental Disabilities in 2014. Their youngest son Jeremiah David was born in 2001 with Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum a serious brain defect which causes Epilepsy, Mild Cerebral Palsy, and Intellectual Disabilities. Mrs. Ramsey has taken her passion for advocacy and in 2017 founded AR Consulting a business that conducts educational workshops, presents motivational workshops, along with giving educational counsel and support to ensure the best quality of life for special needs children.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and spending quality time with her husband John F. Ramsey Sr, their two sons, John, Jr. twenty, Jeremiah David sixteen and their baby girl Judah Maree who is seven years old.




Michael Williams currently serves as the Major Account Executive for Xerox. He is responsible for developing and growing relationships with key business owners and high level executives in the state of Indiana. Michael holds a degree from Indiana University where he was a student athlete and a student mentor. At Indiana University Michael earned a B.A. in Sports Communication and a minor in Telecommunications. Upon graduating Michael joined Cintas the Uniform company; he spent over 10 years in various leadership roles. In addition to his current responsibilities at Xerox Michael is the founder of a non for profit geared to help youth and young adults learn the importance of financial stewardship. Michael has earned licences in the area of financial management and seeks to help others to become financial secure. Michael believes in faith, family and a good work balance. Michael loves spending time with his two kids, Michael II, London and his wife LaToya.




Ms. Cassandra Anderson, is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana and the oldest of five siblings.  Ms. Anderson attended Arsenal Technical High School and graduated from Pike High School.  After completing high school, she attended Spelman College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.  Ms. Anderson received her Master’s Degree in Sports Management from Georgia State University and Management with a concentration in Human Resources from Indiana Wesleyan University.  She is currently pursuing a professional coaching certificate from Indiana Wesleyan’s Graduate School of Counseling.

Ms. Anderson has spent over a decade working in the nonprofit sector and with youth.  Her current position is with the State of Indiana as the 21st Century Cures Grant Director.  She formerly served as the Director of Programs for the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis.  Prior to this position, she was a case manager with the Homeless Initiative Program and worked directly with homeless veterans and their families.  In addition, she serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College.  Additionally,  she’s a cohost/producer for The Conversation Lounge, an internet talk radio show, on JHM radio.  The show is broadcast in over 14 countries and averages 1,000 listeners weekly.

Ms. Anderson believes her purpose in life is to uplift, inspire, motivate, empower and encourage people. In 2015 she founded InPowerU, a company dedicated to cultivating one’s potential, with an emphasis on women’s empowerment.   She is committed to transforming the lives of others by helping them activate the power within to reach the greatness they are destined for.




Michael Wilson is a senior accountant at Simon Property Group, an American commercial real estate company in the United States, headquartered in Indianapolis. Simon is the largest real estate investment trust and the largest shopping mall operator in America. Michael is a graduate of Indiana State University where he balanced academics with being a two year captain on the football team. He received his BA in accounting.

After graduation, Michael launched his career here in Indianapolis. He elected to work for a placement company where he was able to experience different aspects and fields of accounting. Michael soon landed at Madame Walker Theatre where he served in the capacity of assistant controller. This opportunity provided him with experience in the not for profit world, as well as, all aspects of accounting including payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, etc. After a couple of years, he pursued a real estate accounting opportunity and has never left that field. It started with AIMCO/NHP, one of the largest owners and operators of apartment homes, and led him to Simon Property Group which operates over 276 malls and premium outlets globally. Currently, at Simon Michael oversees the accounting functions and financial reporting for 5 premium outlets. He has worked for Simon Property Group for over 17 years. In 2010, Michael was selected to the Executive Registry of Who’s Who.

Michael is a family man with a devotion to God, his beautiful wife of 25 years and 4 children. He is an avid gym rat and continually challenges himself playing in 40 and Over basketball leagues. Michael coached football and track athletes for over 10 years. He also has a true passion for mentoring to his peers as well as young adults.




Alisa is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida but is proud to call herself a Hoosier.  She’s a dedicated wife and mother of two wonderful children.  Along with serving in church ministry for almost 15 years, she also has an extensive background in banking and is the co-founder of a pre-school ministry.  Being a board member at <span class=”markq4duxzclf” data-markjs=”true”>Ignite</span> Achievement Academy allows her to further continue in servant leadership within the community, all while helping improve the lives of others.  Alisa is a successful real estate broker who serves clients all throughout the Indianapolis area and in the surrounding counties.

In her spare time she enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching movies, vacationing, trying different kinds of foods and spending quality time with her family.


Photo of Dr. Judy Bardonner Founding Board Member

Dr. Judy



Dr. Judy Bardonner holds a B.S. in English education from Indiana University, an M.S. in special education from Butler University, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University.  She has over 20 years of teaching experience at all levels.  As a college educator, she has focused on teaching methods courses and directing community learning projects for the Indiana University School of Education and for the Marian University School of Education.  In her current role as Director of the Center for Community Learning at Marian University, she has created the Summer Learning Institute and the education program for Employ Indy’s YouthBuild Indy program. Dr. Bardonner’s research focuses on teacher education, adult learners, and summer learning loss. She is currently researching methods of bringing university resources to summer programs in order to close the math achievement gap.  She is fiercely committed to developing outstanding educators for all youth – especially those who are most at-risk.

Photo of Dr. Lindan Hill Founding Board Member

Dr. Lindan


ASSISTANT DEAN & DIRECTOR, Center for School and Community Success

Lindan B. Hill, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Quality, The Educators College, Marian University. Coming to Marian University in 2006, he became Vice President and Associate Dean in 2016. Prior work includes five years as Director of Teacher Education at Manchester University, North Manchester, Indiana and P-12 public school teaching and administration for 32 years, with 25 of those years as Superintendent of Schools in two districts in Indiana. Hill earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Indiana University-Bloomington in 1969, Master of Science in Special Education at Purdue University in 1972 and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Special Education and Education Administration at Purdue in 1975. He has served on numerous professional committees and advisory groups, including Unites States Department of Education Blue Ribbon School Selection Committee and President of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents. In 1996, Hill was awarded the Distinguished Hoosier designation from Governor Evan Bayh and in 2001, was awarded Indiana’s highest civilian award, Sagamore of the Wabash, from late Governor Frank O’Bannon. Dr. Hill is co-author of the book, Rethinking the Education Mess: A Systems Approach to Education Reform, along with Ian Mitroff and Murat Alpaslan. Palgrave McMillan, October, 2013.

The mission of IAA is to provide the community with an accelerated learning institution that propels scholars academically by utilizing a holistic curriculum built upon cultural and community responsiveness, project-based learning and the leading literacy, socio-emotional, and neuroscientific research; thus providing scholars rich opportunities for enrichment, achievement, and increasing degrees of impact in every field of endeavor.


  • Ignite Achievement Academy at Elder Diggs 1002 W 25th St. Indianapolis, IN 46208
  • 317.226.4242
  • info@igniteindy.org
  • 317.226.3315
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