Sapphire Youth Development Center is an educational, recreational, and social facility designed to provide after school programs available to youth age 5 - 18 years of age.
Our mission is to equip youth with invaluable skills through creativity and personal development putting them on the path to fulfilling their full potential. This is accomplished by providing after school opportunities that allow the youth to explore, dream, and grow into outstanding citizens, building lasting, positive changes in their lives. We instill our core values of integrity, excellence, self-discipline, and personal growth and development.
Sapphire is solely funded by donations and grants. No donation is too small. Our goal is to raise enough funds to change the lives of our youth and enrich and deepen their growth and development. To date, we partner with local school systems as a part of their community school division.
We offer a wide variety of after school programs promoting positive youth development recognizing their developmental needs and encouraging the expansion of their minds during various phases of their social, physical, and intellectual maturation.
Derek is the owner of Higgs Leadership Development and is a native of Queens, NY. He is a married father of five and a grandfather of one. Derek is a certified speaker, coach, and trainer and has been the director of local youth mentoring programs. He once organized a mentoring partnership with the Gwinnett County North Metro Program, which served students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD).
Robyn Higgs is a native of Long Island, NY. She is married, a mother of five and a grandmother of one. Robyn is a certified speaker, coach, and trainer and a former professional runway model and concert dancer. Robyn has 30+ years of leadership experience in the dance community as well as working with youth and young adults.
Ronda Youngblood, MBA is Owner and Executive Director of Infinity Learning Educational Services in Alpharetta. Ronda has over 20 years experience in education as a teacher, tutor and administrator. She spent 10 plus years working on executive teams for some of the top tutoring and test prep companies in the industry.
Christopher Ramage, a Mississippi native, found his way to New Orleans, LA in 2008 where he worked, volunteered, mentored, and created a non-profit organization. Although he did not develop his charitable backbone in New Orleans, he did develop his love of community outreach and youth development while living/working in the city for 12 years. In addition, his experiences in volunteering and fundraising also consists of multiple collegiate and local community organizations. He is excited to be a part of the Sapphire Youth Development Center and to make an impact in his new city...Atlanta, GA.
Wendy Karlin-Pace is a native New Yorker and graduate of HUNTER College CUNY. With her degree in Communications and Theater, Wendy has worked as both a speech teacher and drama teacher with the LISD in Lewisville, TX. Wendy has been a director and assistant director in many Off-Broadway productions. Her theater of choice is drama, and her favorite play is The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov.
The owner and founder of Pace Setting Media, Wendy, works in online marketing and social media management. Though she loves what she does for businesses, her passion lies with kids and the arts.
Derek is the lead pastor of NewGrace in Commerce GA and is steadily engaged in ministry, leadership and public speaking endeavours. He enjoys serving others and has a real love for people, regardless of their age, background or situation. Derek is happily married to his wife Ashley and they have four beautiful children.
A Mom, G-Mom, and Entrepreneur with a passion for making life better for the people whose lives she touches. Bianca was born in Ecuador and came to the US to attend high school in Connecticut. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Finance and Accounting, with a minor in Marketing. During her professional career, she held senior leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies, influencing the future of business operations and finances. Her love for delivering stellar financial results to her clients, coupled with her passion for serving others and her love of family, truly allows Bianca the opportunity to make life better for others while making her own dreams come true.