Author Biographies

Yulanda Florence

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Yulanda Florence is a freelance Journalist and Writer who has been published in various local newspapers and magazines in Rochester, NY. She has always had a love for writing and has been doing so since grade four when she received her first typewriter. 

She currently works for the Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) at a local University. She assists underrepresented or economically disadvantaged students who are pursuing an education in STEM.

Yulanda’s delightful storytelling abilities allow her to tackle stereotypes and various other social ills in print. Her carefully crafted lessons are entertaining yet powerful.

Yulanda is married with three children. She earned an Associates in Communication from Monroe Community College and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from Brockport State University.

Luvelle Brown

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Luvelle Brown is an experienced educator who has held positions as teacher, assistant principal, principal, school CIO, and superintendent of schools. Dr. Brown is currently serving as Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, NY. During his tenure there, the ICSD has experienced unprecedented levels of success. 

Dr. Brown has facilitated conversations in multiple communities resulting in transformative shifts in culture and achievement. Using systems thinking in schools, Dr. Brown’s leadership has led to innovative programs, redesigned learning spaces, and numerous technological initiatives.  

He has received various awards and recognitions including: The 2017 New York State Superintendent of the Year as one of the nation's top educators and thought leaders (TrustED). Dr. Brown has also been recognized by the National School Boards’ Association as a “20-to-Watch" and "Difference Maker", receiving the Center for Digital Education Top 30 Award, and the 2014 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award. 

He was selected by the US Department of Education as one of the nation's top 100 Innovative Superintendents and was invited to be a featured speaker at President Barack Obama’s 1st National Superintendent Summit at the White House. Additionally, Dr. Brown has served on the New York State Council of School Superintendents’ (NYSCOSS) Executive Committee, The School Superintendents’ Association (AASA) Digital Consortium, The Center for Digital Education Advisory Council, and CoSN’s Empowered Superintendent Advisory Panel.


Lesli Myers

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Brockport Central School District Superintendent Dr. Lesli C. Myers has dedicated her life to the pursuit of high quality education. She is the first African-American woman to become Superintendent of Schools in Monroe County and has served Brockport Central School District in that role since 2012.

Dr. Myers received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development from the University of Rochester. She also earned a master’s degree in Urban Educational Administration and her Doctorate of Education in Executive Leadership from Saint John Fisher College. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Myers has had a tremendous impact on the field of education. She is the first African-American president of the New York State School Counselor Association. She appeared before the United States Congress and her testimony, in part, resulted in a spending bill that included the largest increase (77.5 percent) ever to the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program. 

Dr. Myers has received many prestigious honors that reflect her dedication to education and community, including the BreakThru Magazine Empowering Award, NYS Women of Distinction Award, Rochester Business Journal 40 Under 40, Saint John Fisher Distinguished Alumni Award, Urban League of Rochester Educator Award, and Western New York School Counselors Consortium Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, she was named a 2016 Athena Award finalist. 

Dr. Myers has designed and conducted workshops and presentations for elementary and secondary students, undergraduate and graduate students, varied educators, and many others at the local, regional, and national level. 

She presented, Racism: A Mere Pigment of the Imagination, at the 2017 TEDx ROCHESTER event. Her style is humorous, straightforward, and sincere, and she encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to creatively use their abilities and talents to serve others.

Terrell Brady

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Following his release from prison, Terrell Brady attended Bryant & Stratton College where he earned a dual major in Business and Accounting. He was placed on the Dean’s list for five consecutive semesters and held a G.P.A. ranging between 3.50 to 4.0. In 2007, Brady received an A.O.S degree in both fields. At Bryant & Stratton College, Brady received the Accounting Award of Excellence, as well as the Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges recognition. 

Terrell completed two significant internships and began several businesses including Brady Management, a Lawn Care & Property Management Company and the Charleston House restaurant. 

He also attended the Urban League of Rochester’s Minority & Women Business Development Division Business Planning Workshop Series, in 2008. Upon completion he attended RIT’s Saunders College of Business and received a certificate in Strategic Marketing in the Virtual World and later that same year attended the Enhancing Financial Performance workshop. 

Terrell Brady volunteered at the Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) GED Classes, where he assisted in tutoring young and older adult males in mathematics. 

Terrell continued his educational pursuits at Roberts Wesleyan where for three consecutive semesters he received Dean’s List recognition for academic performance of a 3.50 or higher. In May 2013, Brady graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Roberts Wesleyan College. 

Briana Williams

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Briana M. Williams provides us with a candid, look at life through the eyes of a young girl, on to womanhood, and beyond. Her willingness to share her very personal trials, shortcomings, failures, and triumphs opens the gates of wisdom and instruction for young women currently navigating the complexities of life. 

Growing up in Rochester, NY Ms. Williams experienced education both in urban and suburban environments. This provided her with invaluable insight that she openly shares with young women in hopes of inspiriting them to take control of their destiny at an early age. 

A graduate of Canisius College, Briana Williams is impacting her community through her work and in her role as co-founder of the Courtney Tenea Foundation. 

Briana has a passion for educational reform. Her firsthand knowledge of the inequity between the urban and suburban academic experience, inspired her to create this valuable resource for young women. Carefully crafted lessons in etiquette, networking, money management, resilience, and grit are sure to establish The Come Up for Girls as an inspirational guide in navigating life in today’s world.

Johnny Scott

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I began my career as a driving instructor in the summer of 1997. I’ve completed on-the-road instruction with more than 30,000 students and regularly conduct five-hour pre-licensing and six-hour defensive driving classes three or more times a week. My experiences as a driving instructor are precisely what led me to write this book. My expertise has made me a resource for driving law and technique which has resulted in frequent consultant appearances on local television. My hope and prayer is that the contents of this book will help new drivers pass their road test and inspire all drivers to stay focused behind the wheel so that we all may be safer and Drive Alive.

Obtaining a driver’s license is a privilege that is difficult to come by these days, particularly for urban youth. They do not always have the necessary resources nor do they have access to driving lessons. Though some schools are gradually reinstating Driver’s Ed, many urban families don’t own a car in which they can practice driving. This results in many not obtaining driver’s licenses until much later in life thus preventing people from qualifying for well-paying jobs that require travel to and from. Therefore, for some, having a driver’s license is paramount to earning a living wage. The goal of this book therefore is to provide clear, and helpful instruction to those hoping to obtain a driver’s license, thus increasing the probability of success.

Gerald Hector

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Gerald L. Hector, CPA currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer for Morehouse College in Atlanta,Georgia. 

Prior to Morehouse College, he served as the Vice President for Financial Affairs and Treasurer at Cornell University, one of the nation’s eight Ivy League schools. He also served as the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Ithaca College, Vice President for Business and Finance at Johnson C. Smith University, and the Corporate Controller for the United Negro College Fund. While at the United Negro College Fund under the leadership of William H. Gray, III he was afforded the opportunity to become part of a team that created the initial budgets and financial operations of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, a $1 billion scholarship program established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the purpose of educating 20 thousand minority students. 

He is an avid supporter of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). 

Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, he earned an athletic scholarship to Howard University where he graduated with honors within four years. Although he has written white papers and articles for the higher education industry, "It's Easy 'Son', Quit Making Things Difficult" is his first book. 

 He continues to speak on the public circuit, which includes two HBCU’s one medium-sized PWI, and one of the nation’s eight Ivy League institutions. Gerald Hector is highly sought-after regarding matters of HCBU’s and higher education in general.

Kareem Hayes

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A proud Rochester native. Kareem Hayes is a business owner, consultant, and university professional with a wealth of experience working with youth, parents and community members. He has worked for almost a decade in youth development with colleges/universities, non-profit organizations, school districts and city government in various capacities leading and serving students and families in K-12. In addition to working with youth and families within the City of Rochester, Mr. Hayes also provides consulting services in college planning, character building, and mentorship at North Carolina Central University, SUNY Brockport, the University of Rochester, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and other institutions.

Kareem’s areas of expertise range from college-preparation and character-development to inspiring youth to use their education as a vehicle towards individual success. Kareem is known as a thought leader, strategic planner, and a fearless pioneer. Moreover, Kareem is an award-winning author for his literary work, “Men’s Daily Affirmations: 21 Days of Affirmation” and has written two other books about college planning and character development. Kareem earned his Bachelor’s in Communication from SUNY Brockport, a Master’s in Human Development and a Master’s in Educational Policy, both from the University of Rochester. Kareem is happily married and the proud father of two children. He currently resides in the Rochester, NY.

Tracy L. Williams

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Tracy Williams is founder of the TLW Group and President of WGW Publishing Inc. 

He has written six books and recently launched a series of children’s books. All of Tracy’s books take the reader through a series of twists and turns, sure to offer an invigorating read. The underlying social commentary offers a subtle look at ways society perpetuates poverty and other societal ills. 

Tracy holds a Bachelors in Marketing from the Rochester Institute of Technology and is passionate about social entrepreneurship. 

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