Give Something Back has named Darrell Edmonds as its new Regional Director of Mentoring and Partnerships.
“We are very fortunate to have Darrell join our team,” said Melissa Helmbrecht, Executive Director of Give Back’s Princeton office. “He’s a real catalyst for social change in South Jersey and has become an inspiration for so many young people who face adversity, particularly through his work with Friday is Tie Day.”
In his new role, Edmonds will develop partnerships with community-based organizations to help support Give Back students, including those living in foster care and those who have experienced homelessness or the incarceration of a parent.
“Darrell’s background and expertise in working to improve the lives of youth who face adversity will be extremely helpful as we expand our program in the region,” said Kevin A. O’Donnell, Give Back’s Senior Director of Student Mentor Services. “His vast experience will serve to bolster our program and help our staff and mentors more effectively serve our scholars.”
Under the Give Back program, academically eligible students from lower-income families are mentored through high school. Students are required to complete a college prep curriculum, to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA throughout high school, and to demonstrate good character. After graduation, scholars attend one of the organization’s partner universities and colleges in Illinois, Delaware, California, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Edmonds founded the non-profit organization Friday Is Tie Day, Inc., so called because it encourages young men to wear ties to school on Fridays. Its mission is to build men through male youth mentoring and responsible fatherhood. He was previously program manager for The Pascale Sykes Foundation, where he oversaw the South Jersey Strengthening Families Initiative.
“Darrell showed us something different. He believed in us when nobody else did and he gave us a great experience,” said an 18-year-old student from Atlantic City High School, who participated in Edmonds’ Friday is Tie Day program. “Because of Darrell I want to be a better person and focus on success.”
In 2014, Edmonds was awarded the prestigious Starting Bloc Fellowship for social innovation. Starting Bloc brings together entrepreneurs, activists, educators, and innovators working to create change. That same year, he was selected to attend the International Young Leaders Assembly at the United Nations with change makers from around the globe.
A graduate of Give Back’s partner college, University of Delaware, Edmonds received his MS in Non-Profit Management from Eastern University. He was recognized by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 40 young professionals under the age of 40 (Top 40 under 40), and was part of the planning committee for the first ever New Jersey Celebration of Fatherhood event. Edmonds was also a partner with President Obama’s Fatherhood Buzz initiative.
“It is a privilege to assist Melissa and her team in supporting the amazing scholars of Give Back,” said Edmonds. “I’m really looking forward to making a difference in their lives and helping break the cycle of poverty in the communities they live.”
Give Back recently announced that it will secure long-term funding from the payments processing company, Beyond, launched by Give Back Founder Bob Carr. Give Back is the beneficiary of all of Carr’s personal earnings in this venture and is the majority shareholder.
Edmonds noted that Give Back is actively recruiting volunteer mentors to help support its scholars through high school. To learn more visit http://www.giveback.ngo/mentors/