Sapphire Youth Development Center is an educational, recreational, and social organization designed to provide after school programs available to youth 5 - 17 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.
A lifelong resident of Gwinnett County, Schelly has served in various roles with focuses on management, marketing, education, public forums and community outreach. Schelly was appointed as executive director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GC&B) where she advances their mission to Connect People & Resources for a Sustainable Gwinnett with guiding principles of championing and supporting environmental education curricula and programs. She is passionate about people, applying her 25 plus years of experience networking and building relationships to inspire others to accomplish incredible things.
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.
Laura, an Atlanta native, attended the Galloway School and graduated from Georgia State University. She launched her career in arts management more than twenty years ago, coordinating the community education programs. She also directed SCAD Atlanta’s summer art camps, pre-college programs, art educator conferences, and other non-degree programming initiatives. She planned the 2009 National Arts Honors Society, a multi-day conference, exhibition and awards ceremony for more than 400 students and their families. In 2010, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Art Education Association.
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.
Daniel has over a decade of experience of providing services to at-risk and disabled youth. He previously taught in the Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration undergraduate and graduate program at Western Illinois University. Daniel has been the Director for Greening Youth Foundation Urban Youth Corps where the programs are designed to develop the youth and help improve the communities that they are from.
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.