OUR STAFF

ike-griffith

Ike Griffith, Ed.S.
Special Assistant to the Mayor and Director of MOYS

Ike Griffith is the Director of the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services. Prior to his position at the helm of the City’s youth services division, Ike was the Electronic Media Instructor for Hamilton High School and Media Trainer/Recruiter and Curriculum Developer and Instructor for Brown Baptist Church. Including Hamilton, Ike has held positions at several Shelby County Schools and has held various roles within the school system such as Interim General Manager and Lead Instructor of the Telecommunications Center. He also served in production and directing roles at Cable 12 (Memphis City Schools), CBS Television Network, ESPN, WKNO-TV and WHBQ-TV. Griffith earned a B.A. in Mass Communications and Journalism from the University of Mississippi, a Masters of Education from Union University and an Education Specialist degree from Union University. Griffith’s volunteer and community activities include serving as a board member for the State of Tennessee Selective Service Administration, a facilitator for the Third Monday “Meet and Greet” in Whitehaven, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and a member of the Red Oaks Neighborhood Association. He has also been a member of the Shelby County Democratic Party and of the Memphis & Shelby County Film Commission.

Email: ike.griffith@memphistn.gov

Select thumbnail of each team leader to view their respective biographies.

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    Joyce Douglas

    MPLOY Program Manager

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    Marquis Robinson

    Memphis Ambassadors Program Manager

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    Mary Higgins Brooks

    MAP Support Coordinator

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    Joy Lang-Stone

    Receptionist

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    Denita Hedgeman, D.Min.

    MAP Lead Youth Specialist

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    Seria Ross

    MAP Lead Youth Specialist

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    Markell Vaughn

    MAP Zone Supervisor

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    Anjie Ash

    MAP Zone Supervisor

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    Brandon Shaw

    MAP Youth Specialist

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    Lola Conway

    MAP Youth Specialist

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    Marshall Dezell

    MAP Youth Specialist

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    Raven Boyce

    MAP Youth Specialist

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    Serita Crawford

    MAP Youth Specialist

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    Crystelle Hunter

    MPLOY Job Developer

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    Drusheena Kyles

    MPLOY Job Developer

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    Joyce Douglas

    MPLOY Program Manager

    Joyce is a proud graduate of Melrose High and University of Memphis where she received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree. She is dedicated to serving the community by inspiring youth to pursue their dreams. Her guiding quote is Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

    Email: joyce.douglas@memphistn.gov

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    Marquis Robinson

    Memphis Ambassadors Program Manager

    Marquis received his Bachelor of Professional Studies degree from the University of Memphis with a concentration in Non-Profit Administration. Marquis enjoys the unique flavor of Memphis culture, especially when giving back to the Memphis community through his role at MOYS. Marquis is a hard-working student; as a non-traditional student, he had a different perspective on his college courses than his peers, but still relishes in the camaraderie of fandom for the Memphis Tigers. Marquis is inspired by the New England Patriots because of how the former underdogs worked hard to earn their success, relying on one another and cultivating a team-centric mindset.

    Email: marquis.robinson@memphistn.gov

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    Mary Higgins Brooks

    MAP Support Coordinator

    Mary has served in various capacities at MOYS since 2012, including Community Organizer, Senior Internship Coordinator for MAP, and Accounts Payable Representative. She enjoys the opportunity to engage with youth and enhance their livelihoods throughout Shelby County. According to Mary, the most rewarding piece of her work is the opportunity to collaborate around MOYS programming and bridge the gap for organizing community involvement. Mary attended Melrose High school in Memphis, TN, Lambuth College in Jackson, TN, and also spent time living in Dallas, TX. In her free time, Mary loves watching football (especially the Dallas Cowboys!), as well as bowling, traveling, and spending time with her family and grandchildren.

    Email: maryh.brooks@memphistn.gov

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    Joy Lang-Stone

    Receptionist

    Joy graduated from Kingsbury High School, and is currently studying International Business at the University of Memphis. In her position, Joy interacts with all the people who come through MOYS. Joy believes that the citizens of Memphis are good people from all different cultural backgrounds. She enjoys reading, and studying diverse cultures and languages. Her all-time favorite movie is Forrest Gump, because the character Forrest is an overcomer who learns to navigate the challenges and events in society.

    Email: joy.lang-stone@memphistn.gov

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    Denita Hedgeman, D.Min.

    MAP Lead Youth Specialist

    Denita is a Job Developer with MPLOY at MOYS. Her duties include establishing relationships with business partners, recruiting youth and developing them in job readiness, developing jobs for students to be employed across the city, and managing youth specialists. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Advertising, a Master’s degree in Religious Fine Arts, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Religious Dance. She was formerly the Director of Career Services at LeMoyne-Owen College and is currently an author, motivational speaker, choreographer, and certified Zumba instructor. She loves inspiring people to find their life purpose.

    Email: denita.hedgeman@memphistn.gov

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    Seria Ross

    MAP Lead Youth Specialist

    Seria received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Memphis. Born and raised in the Bluff City, Seria has seen the good and bad that the city has overcome or prospered from. Memphis has so many things to offer, from churches on every corner to some of the best BBQ in the country. This city shines bright in its own light. Memphis gives the feel of family with so many different cultures being present and meshing together for the common goal of an onward and upward, thriving city. At MOYS, Seria lauds her work family as one of the best she has ever encountered, with unique personalities coming together daily for one goal in mind: the betterment of the youth in the City of Memphis. According to Seria, what she enjoys most about her role at MOYS is being a mentor to so many youth throughout the City of Memphis, and also making connections with the parents of the youth, seeing their faces light up regarding information about post-secondary opportunities for their child to follow. For Seria, it is truly a blessing to stand behind MOYS’s mantra everyday—“Empowering Our Youth for Positive Results.”

    Email: Seria.Ross@memphistn.gov

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    Markell Vaughn

    MAP Zone Supervisor

    Markell hails from Brownsville, TN. Markell graduated from Lane College, and is currently pursuing his MBA from Belhaven University. He is a God-fearing man who prioritizes faith and family, setting aside time for prayer, family dinners, daddy-daughter park days, and dates with his lovely wife. Markell serves as a MAP Zone Supervisor for Districts 2, 3, and 6, making sure that the curriculum is taught, orchestrating site visits, communicating with parents, and acting as positive role model for Ambassadors. A Memphian since 2014, Markell enjoys the Memphis area because it acts like a big melting pot where people from diverse walks of life come together for a common cause. The city offers different training and job opportunities for lower, middle, and upper class people, as well as different ways to be involved and express oneself. To Markell, the most important thing about his role at MOYS is being able to “Empower Our Youth for Positive Results.” That mantra is at the forefront of everything we do at MOYS, and it brings Markell joy to put in the work that guarantees this mantra is not only words, but has consistent actions behind it.

    Email: markell.vaughn@memphistn.gov

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    Anjie Ash

    MAP Zone Supervisor

    Anjie has been with MOYS for two years. Her duties include managing and coordinating aspects of MAP, organizing and facilitating program related activities, evaluating and training program staff, engaging and encouraging students to meet personal goals and objectives, marketing and planning the social, cultural, and educational program components, and serving as a liaison between youth specialists, students, parents, community members, and staff members. Originally from Little Rock, AR, Anjie came to Memphis to attend Rhodes College and the University of Memphis. For Anjie, people are her passion; she is motived by having room for growth and change in her surroundings, her people, and for herself. In the words of the late great Babba Chokwe Lumumba, “If you do not love the people, sooner or later you will betray the people.”

    Email: anjelica.ash@memphistn.gov

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    Brandon Shaw

    MAP Youth Specialist

    Brandon serves as a Youth Specialist at the Hickory Hill Community Center in District 2, administering life skills training to the youth in the program, and assessing students’ educational, health, economic and civic responsibility goals. He enjoys that his work is not purely educational, but also inspirational and motivational for the students. Brandon attended Central High School in Memphis, TN, before pursuing higher education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and the University of Memphis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and is currently working towards a graduate degree in City and Regional Planning. In his free time, Brandon produces music, practices the drums, saxophone, and piano, writes, does photography, watches sports, and co-organizes his mentoring program, known as 901 Evolution. Motivated by his passion to build up and positively impact his community, Brandon is driven to impact, encourage, and collaborate with the youth in the City of Memphis.

    Email: brandon.shaw@memphistn.gov

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    Lola Conway

    MAP Youth Specialist

    Lola serves MOYS as a Youth Specialist for MAP. Lola graduated cum laude from Christian Brothers University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology and Organizational Behavior, and a minor in Business. She also holds an Associate of Arts degree in Psychology from Southwest Tennessee Community College, a Diploma from John Casablanca Modeling and Career Center, and a Branell Business College Medical Secretarial Honors Diploma. Lola enjoys using her many talents to serve the MAP students at Gaisman Community Center, in District 5.

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    Marshall Dezell

    MAP Youth Specialist

    Marshall received his degree in Graphic Communications from Mississippi Valley State University before relocating to Memphis from Indianola, Mississippi. Marshall retired from his position teaching Digital Arts and Design for Shelby County Schools before joining the team at MOYS. As a Youth Specialist, Marshall appreciates the opportunity for active involvement with students in the community. In addition, Marshall gives back to the community by giving blood to help children with sickle cell diseases. In Memphis, Marshall enjoys the excitement from the diverse people and the culture of blues. In his free time, Marshall loves reading, weight lifting, and traveling.

    Email: marshall.dezell@memphistn.gov

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    Raven Boyce

    MAP Youth Specialist

    Raven was born and raised in the City of Memphis. Presently, she is working towards her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. She is very involved at the University of Memphis; she serves as Co-Fundraising Chair for the University of Memphis chapter of the NAACP, a member of the Black Scholars Unlimited Honor Society, a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization, a member of the University of Memphis Football Recruiting and Staff Team, and a three-time award recipient for her contributions as a S.T.E.M. Guide. In her position at MOYS, she enjoys mentoring youth through life skills and team building skills, teaching the types of skills that they will need to maneuver through life. In addition to her work, Raven loves to sing, dance, model, and spend quality time with her family and friends.

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    Serita Crawford

    MAP Youth Specialist

    Serita was born and raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois. She is a single mother to three (now grown) children. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Dance, and an Associate’s degree in Psychology. After college, she worked on a task force for the Joliet Public Schools, and coached the 8th grade girls’ basketball team as well as cross country. She moved to Memphis in December of 1999, and began working as a substitute teacher at Frayser High School in Memphis City Schools in February of 2000. Continuing her work in Shelby County Schools, Serita is confident that her career started the day she walked into Frayser High School with a Substitute ID card in hand. She introduced herself to the Assistant Principal, made it known that she was willing and able to begin work as a Substitute Teacher, left her first day of work with an assignment, and stayed a Ram for 13 years. Ironically, the Ram is also Serita’s zodiac sign, and she felt at home. Serita is excited to offer her talents as a Youth Specialist at MOYS, doing her best work, leading young men and women into society with purposefulness, and helping them become Ambassadors for themselves, their parents, and the City of Memphis.

    Email: serita.crawford@memphistn.gov

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    Crystelle Hunter

    MPLOY Job Developer

    Crystelle, a native Memphian, received her degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Education and Sociology from the University of Memphis. She also studied Spanish at the University of Murcia in Spain, as well as Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. She brings her diverse talents to MOYS through her role as a Job Developer for MPLOY Youth, coaching a team of youth specialists in managing their caseloads of students, as well as building relationships with businesses across the Memphis area for placing students during the summer. For Crystelle, the most rewarding part of her job is seeing her students succeed by bettering themselves and growing as individuals. When she is not working at MOYS, Crystelle enjoys traveling abroad, spending time with her family, and relaxing to jazz music.

    Email: crystelle.hunter@memphistn.gov

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    Drusheena Kyles

    MPLOY Job Developer

    Drusheena attended Central High school in Memphis, TN, and received her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Post-college, Drusheena lived in Los Angeles, CA for many years, and relocated to her hometown (Memphis) in 2015. Her return was inspired by the opportunity to cultivate within the next generation of Memphians the life skills that will lay the foundation for healthy, happy, and productive communities. As a Job Developer, Drusheena has a lead role in the development, implementation and evaluation of MPLOY. Drusheena says that the ability to engage in such intimate interactions with our youth inspires her nurturing instincts; she enjoys the involvement with local programs that ultimately help shape the lives and career possibilities of Memphis youth. As a person, Drusheena is eternally curious and passionate. As much as possible, she shares the story of food and its power to heal and sustain life, especially using community gardens as a fruitful tool.

    Email: drusheena.kyles@memphistn.gov

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