EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/PREVENTION CONSULTANT,
VALERIE KELLEY-BONNER, MBA, CPC-R
Valerie Kelley-Bonner is the Founder and Director of Strategies to Overcome Obstacles and Avoid Recidivism (SOOAR), a 501C3 nonprofit substance use prevention agency. SOOAR is a licensed CAIT (Community, Change, Alternatives, Information and Training) provider by Michigan Department of Community Health Substance Abuse Prevention Section and prevention provider for Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority.
On the surface, she is an extremely accomplished professional who rose through the ranks in the fields of science, engineering, and information technology for over 20 years. But if you scratch the surface, you will discover that she is very passionate about social causes which prompted her to pursue her desire for social entrepreneurship. Inspired by her mentor, the late Reverend Sarah Anderson, in 2006 she founded Beacon Life Skills Coaching (now known as SOOAR), a 501C3 Nonprofit Prevention Agency, to collaborate with educational and community institutions to bring knowledge, information, and heightened awareness of issues and problems impacting community health, effective parenting, life skills, and community mobilization.
She has an MBA and has worked in the fields of business, science, education, engineering, and information technology. She is a Certified Prevention Consultant (CPC-R) under the auspice of Michigan Certification Board of Addiction Professionals, a College professor, a Certified Trainer of several evidence-based prevention programs and has several other certifications and different areas of expertise. She enjoyed volunteering her time for Kiwanis Club #1 of Detroit for 10 years, she enjoyed co-founding New Beginnings Charter School Academy in Ypsilanti Michigan and presiding over the Board of Directors for 17 years until January 2015. She currently volunteers on the board of the Metro Detroit Charter Center. She cares passionately about social causes involving children, poverty alleviation, community development and mobilization and economic empowerment which is why she proudly and presently serves on the Executive Board of the Belleville Area Chamber of Commerce and The Downtown Development Authority for the City of Belleville, Michigan.
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND OUTREACH, TRISCHE' DUCKWORTH, LLMSW
Trische' has been working with SOOAR since April of 2017. By profession she is a social worker, graduating with her master's Degree in December 2014. She loves to build connections within the community, as well as building bridges between the community and agencies that can offer help to community members in time of distress. Her greatest passion is helping people become who they are destined to be.
PEER LEADER AND DIRECTOR OF YOUTH ENGAGEMENT, CANDACE STREETER,
Candace has been working with SOOAR since 2017. However, she was a participant in SOOAR' programs since the age of 10. Candace has overcome many obstacles in her life and is a great example of an achiever. She builds connections with youth and brings new ideas that bridge the gap between adult and youth engagement. Candace has a passion for helping youth find their purpose in life and walk in their truth.