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DBT40 Honoree: Verlin Jay Alexander III

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Age: 37
Executive Director,
Future Promises Foundation 
(Wilmington)

Introduction: Verlin Jay Alexander III launched Future Promises Foundation with a mission of inspiring youth empowerment and social change for children, youth, and families through education, positive youth development, and leadership. 

Professional accomplishments: For almost 20 years, Verlin has been an adjunct professor, working alongside colleagues at Wilmington University as a Career and Professional Development Counselor.  He was awarded the 2019 Educator of the Year at the Shatter Your Ceilings Conference and won the 2012 Most Happening Author of the Year award for his first literary fiction novel. In addition, in both 2008 and 2009 he received the Community Service and Presidents awards for exemplary service to the community by way of social action from the Nu Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Leadership examples:  Under Verlin’s leadership, Future Promises Foundation has implemented a Spring Break Heroes Camp and an Extreme Adventures Summer Camp that serves more than 30 youths ages 5 to 13 as an affordable child-care and recreational program alternative for low-income families. In addition, he has developed and implemented the Young Leaders Chess Club After-School Program in partnership with the Eastside Community School initiative within one of the city’s “underperforming” elementary schools. 

My Vison:Their vision for growth is to increase community and corporate partnerships to further implement dynamic after school and summer curriculum’s creatively designed to teach children from kindergarten through 5th grade critical thinking, logical reasoning, and decision making skills which aims specifically at decreasing behaviors leading to youth violence, victimization, and poor academic performance. The goals are ambitious. However, with strategic partnerships they are also highly achievable.

Community service: In 2017 and 2018, Verlin and Future Promises Foundation has hosted Back to School Festival and Book-Bag Giveaways; providing free services, resources, backpacks and school supplies to more than 600 families throughout the city of Wilmington. He’s also partnered with community organizations and local business to host Thanksgiving Day dinners, providing full meals for families of four or more on the Day of Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve Dinner & a Movie for homeless families with Children on Christmas Eve.

 Tell us something that’s not on your LinkedIn profile. I love to write and I love testing the limits of my creativity.  Every year I create life-size and realistic costumes during the Halloween season and later use for elementary school visits. To date I’ve created a full-scale costume of Optimus Prime, Raphael from the Ninja Turtles, Hulk, and most recently Thanos.

Advice 10 years ago:Find MY voice and break the mold of trying to fit other people’s expectations. 

Where are you most at ease?  When I’m with the people I love and that mean the world to me.   I am a father of two pretty awesome kids that drive me up the wall and back, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Being a dad is one of the best parts of who I am. 

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