I worked with Horace Dukes to create the Dukes Foundation many years ago. This was a dream of Horace’s and mine, and it was made a reality. Since that time thousands of youth’s lives have been transformed. I still work with the kids in the areas of stress and mindfulness and love every one of them. These youth are challenged daily with incredible stressors, and it is pure joy teaching them stress resilience and mindfulness practices. Each child is a precious gem that needs encouragement, skill training, and love. The love I receive from these precious souls is immeasurable.
The Dukes Foundation is an Atlanta, Georgia based youth mentoring program that provides, academic coaching, career development workshops, wellness sessions, cultural exposure tours, motivational training, and personal development coaching. With over eleven years of successful youth mentoring (including being instrumental in the transformation young ‘at risk’ lives) in urban communities throughout Metro Atlanta. The Dukes Foundation received channel 11 Alive’s Community Service Award.
The Dukes Foundation helps create successful, healthy, and productive individuals with invaluable life skills. Dukes Foundation participants are ready to contribute and transform our society.
I volunteer at Cross Keys High School regularly. I have created a curriculum for Cross Keys High School students to help them develop stress resilience and mindfulness practices. Research shows the incredible benefits to students who learn stress reduction and mindfulness practices. I teach students stress reduction, stress resilience and mindfulness practices. Many students suffer from lower grades because they experience test-taking stress. I have developed a curriculum that trains students in test-taking stress reduction, and they become better at taking tests.
I also created a Teacher’s Mindfulness group. Teachers are one of the most stressful professions on the planet. They experience incredible stress daily. We support the Cross Keys teachers by helping them in developing resilience and learning mindfulness practices.
Cross Keys High School opened in 1958 and is located in Brookhaven, a community located on the western edge of DeKalb County, Georgia, directly northeast of Atlanta. The school serves students from the Doraville and Chamblee areas of the DeKalb County School System. The student body is composed of 80% Hispanic, 11% Black, 6% Asian, 1%, White, and less than 1% other racial groups, including 2 or more races. The total composition of the student population excluding White, not of Hispanic Origin is 98.59%.
Our family had a horse farm in the North Georgia Mountains for over 30 years. During that time, we developed a rescue operation and over the years sent thousands of animals to new homes all over the country. The local animal shelter had one of the highest euthanization rates in the country. It was a horrible situation. This was a looming crisis in our community.
A group of concerned animal lovers created the Habersham Humane Society, and I was the founding president. We cut the euthanization rate of shelter animals in our county by 75% and supported the needs of the Habersham County Animal Shelter. We supported the county shelter in most facets of its operation including food, crates, veterinarian care, animal treatment, medical testing kits, housing, maintenance and volunteer staffing. We also lobbied the County to increase funding for the shelter which was successful.
During this time our family fostered, housed, vetted and cared for an average of 30 dogs at a time on our farm. We emptied a horse stable and transformed it into a dog foster facility. This allowed us to feed, nourish, medically treat, train, love and get dogs ready to ship around the country for adoption. It was quite a family work commitment. We have years of precious memories and the invaluable knowledge that enumerable dogs found forever homes of love.