WHO WE ARE

Haven's House Academy was founded by a group of individuals passionate about creating a safe and comprehensive space for students categorized as at risk, homeless, or foster youth. Too often these marginalized students fail classes, do not have the resources needed to reach academic achievement, or have outside forces that dominate their priorities.

OUR TEAM 

Advisory Board

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Doris Arango-Reyes

Doris Arango-Reyes was born and raised in the heart of Downtown Los Ángeles, in Koreatown. Mrs. Arango-Reyes is a product of after school  programs. Being a part of after school gave her the opportunity and the tools to experience many life changing moments that she wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise. Therefore, after high school, she naturally began working with youth through after school. She has worked and volunteered with multiple non-profit youth programs in the Los Ángeles Area for 11 years. 

 

During this time she has worked with students grades K to 12 providing vital after school services as a volunteer, frontline staff member and as a Site Coordinator. She attended California State University, Long Beach where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science. 

 

Mrs. Arango-Reyes understands that providing support to our community and youth is vital to their success. Growing up in Koreatown she experienced first hand the different struggles the community faced. Therefore she strives everyday to ensure that all students have a safe place to stay after school and that they are provided with the tools they need to be successful. She believes that collaborations and partnerships within the school and community are key factors to student success. Her ultimate goal in life is to be able live and give like no one else. 

 

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, collecting art from the different countries she visits, and running marathons. She believes in not only being physically healthy, but also being mentally healthy. 

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Rosemary “Taliba” Carr

While raising 3 wonderful children, I worked as an Educator for 40 years. I began as a Teacher’s Assistant, became a Teacher and Completed my glorious career in Education as a High School Counselor. I am a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for the County of Los Angeles.  Assisting children in the Foster Care System.

I have been married to a wonderful man, loving known as “Butch” for the past 35 years and look forward to many more years together.  We enjoy traveling, eating, gardening, and spending time with our children. My whole being is dedicated to the Health and Welfare of young people.  My Dream is that All children will have Love, Stability and Equal and Equitable Educational opportunities to become All they Can Be. 

Former Teacher and School Counselor with a total of 40 years in Education. Focused on supporting students in accomplishing personal and academic success. Experienced in counseling, student advocacy and preventive education to meet the goals and objectives of the counseling program. Delicate in handling issues involving cultural and socioeconomic differences. Driven to do the work that assures each Students Equal Access to an Equitable Education.
Carolyn Cota

Carolyn attended UCLA and received her B.A. in Women’s Studies. She has worked in a variety of industries including accounting, aerospace and tech. She currently works as the Business Office Assistant at  Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena. 

 

Carolyn is passionate about female education and says that being at Mayfield feeds that sense of purpose. “I love being in a place that is educating women to be themselves and explore talents they may not have known they had,” she says. 

 

Carolyn has volunteered with the Mayfield Alumnae Council since 2011 and serves as this alumnae leadership association’s 2020-21 President. She says her family always encouraged social justice work, and she has especially enjoyed the Alumnae Council’s involvement with South Central LAMP, empowering women to advocate for themselves and their families.    Carolyn has also served as President of Friends of Foster Children, a local nonprofit whose purpose is to enhance the quality of life for abused, abandoned and neglected children in the San Gabriel Valley, and currently serves on the Board of Directors as secretary.

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Angelique McGrue

Angelique McGrue hails from Pasadena, California. Through her educational journey, she found a passion for working with and serving others. She received her Bachelor's at UC Irvine (majoring in Education Sciences and Psychology and Social Behavior) and her Master's at Cal State Long Beach (Counseling - School Counseling with PPS credential). While receiving her masters, Angelique began working at College Bridge Academy - Compton and in this position she learned what it meant to foster youth with disabilities and be a supportive educator. Since graduating, she decided to further her education in Special Education and is receiving a second Master of Education in teaching, option in Education Specialist with Mild/Moderate Disabilities. 

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Kianna scott 
Kianna Scott has worked in secondary education for over 20 years and is an avid supporter of people gaining knowledge and information that will lead to progressive, transformative pathways. Kianna graduated from Occidental College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.  She went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at CSU Dominguez Hills.  Kianna is also a Senior Certified Professional under SHRM, Society for Human Resource Management.
 
Kianna began her teaching career in 2000 at a small charter high school in Watts, Los Angeles. She taught Social Science and English for 8 years before becoming principal of that site. After three years in that role, Kianna transitioned into her second administrative role, becoming director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Los Angeles Education Corps.
 
Within her professional tenure, Kianna has developed and led a variety of trainings; most have centered on: classroom management, formative and summative assessments, classroom engagement, building a culture to support standardized testing, and practical ways to approach critical thinking using Bloom’s Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. She has worked with both teachers and administration on developing focused, objective professional evaluation tools while intentionally building an environment that supports them. Kianna believes in the transformative power of a quality education. She espouses the truth that both teachers and administrators are vital, determining factors toward this aim. 
 
Kianna is a minister and is Ministries Operations Director at The ARMED Church under Dr. Robert James Thrash III. Additionally, under her company IHI Consulting, Kianna works with business and ministry leaders on improving organizational operations through assessing and strengthening leadership practices. Kianna has been married to Roger Scott for 6 ½ years. She shares two older sons-in-love, Rajan and Ramses Scott and she is mother to their two younger sons Josiah and Eszra Scott.

Board of Directors

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Abeni Carr, M.Ed.

Abeni Carr began her journey as an activist for homeless youth in high schools throughout Los Angeles and Compton. As an educator, fundraiser, and college counselor, she has spent years working with unaccompanied youth and students experiencing homelessness in order to ensure that they applied and were admitted to college, received access to academic and financial aid, and began their post-secondary endeavors with the skills and supplies they needed for a successful college experience.

In December 2016, Ms. Carr was reunited with her biological mother and maternal sister, whose life trajectories were complicated by histories of homelessness and human trafficking. As a result of her experiences, Ms. Carr was drawn to engage in the work of combating homelessness and to implement support systems in her own school that would help homeless students overcome the barriers they faced in education. Ms. Carr has fully committed herself to the work of serving homeless students and creating ways to assist these students with gaining mental health care as well as access to transportation, food, and clothing. However, it soon became clear that the needs of this vulnerable population were greater than what her school could provide. 

In 2019, Ms. Carr launched her nonprofit, Haven's House Youth Services. The fundamental goal of Haven’s House is to change that. Haven’s House Youth Services is a multifunction organization aimed at meeting the educational, residential, and supplemental needs of students, specifically those experiencing housing instability and human trafficking.

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Kimberlee Bilbrew
Kimberlee Bilbrew is a multifaceted addition to our board. She has worked in Child Welfare for over 23 years. She has worked in the capacity of a Children's Social Worker, Supervising Children's Social Worker and currently serves as a Children's Service Administrator with the Department of Children and Family Services. In these roles, she has worked with families and children who have been directly impacted by homelessness, racial disparities and educational disproportionality. In addition, she is a Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Beach Cities. Her goal is to assist individuals, families and businesses to understand wealth through Real Estate. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Inglewood Alumnae Chapter. She brings with her a vast experience serving nonprofits boards. Ms. Bilbrew attended Tuskegee University where she earned her Bachelor's Arts in Social Work Degree and then attended California State University, Long Beach to obtain her Master's in Social Work and Pupil Personnel Service Credential.   
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Sandra Davidson, J.D, MSW 

Sandra Davidson is a proud native of South Los Angeles and the product of the public-school system. It was during her time at Locke High School that she became interested in alleviating social problems in underserved communities. Ms. Davidson currently serves as a Senior Fundraising and Development Associate, where she is
dedicated to building and sustaining community-based programs that address the needs of vulnerable communities. She has obtained both a Master of Social Work (MSW) and Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D). Ms. Davidson has spent the past several years combining both her expertise and knowledge of social work and the law to prevent and intervene in youth violence, youth recidivism, and mental health intervention in school and community settings. Ms.Davidson is a proud alumna of Bennett College for Women and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she volunteers in community engagement projects in underserved communities.
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Dominique Porter Wallace
Dominique Porter Wallace is an experienced producer, events director, designer and founder of the loungewear brand The Glad Hours. A native Angelino, Dominique has used her creative skillset to support and fundraise for various local and national non profit organizations and political campaigns. She received a BFA in Photography from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and went on to receive her Masters in Modern and Contemporary Art from the University of Edinburgh. Dominique is passionate about mental health awareness, social justice and reframing narratives in education. 
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SEAN ray james

Sean James was a special admit through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) where he started his educational journey as a student Mentor. EOP was designed to administer support programs that deliver access and retention services to highly motivated, first generation students from historically underrepresented low-income communities. His work EOP instilled in him the desire to give back, be open minded to life, culture, education, and most of all, understand the importance of helping disadvantaged communities. 

 

Sean received his B.A. in African American Studies/Social Science in 2006, and his M.A. in Higher Education Administration in the spring of 2011 from CSUN. Currently, he is finishing his Doctorate at the University of Southern California, in the Urban Education Program, scheduled to be completed spring 2021. Sean has focused his research on the experiences of students from marginalized communities throughout his academic career. His dissertation focuses on the experience of men of color in higher education, emphasizing the challenges and support needed to successfully address the inequities they face in education, and thus how to successfully transition and graduate from four-year universities. He has branched out into the community creating partnerships with community organizations, high schools, community colleges, and youth groups. Sean has served as a guest speaker for incarcerated youth in the Los Angeles County probation department, mentors students at CSU, Dominguez Hills, and does personal outreach to young men in the inner city with hopes of changing their paths from negative to positive.

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La Tasha R. Shorts is an at-large community leader with a focus on giving back to the less fortunate/underserve population of people. She is a humble servant who is most passionate about mentoring and developing youth that are most in need. La Tasha was born and raised in Stockton, California. She learned the importance of giving back to the community a very young age under the influence and guidance of her Father, the late Rev. Dr. Willie A. Douglas Sr., a respected at-large community human-civil rights and social justice advocate in her home town. Although her professional career is in the insurance industry, her dedication is to the youth. 
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hanami sutton
Los Angeles native Hanami Sutton is a creative director, activist, producer, and founding partner of LA based design agency Made by Super. She uses visual communication to empower organizations, political campaigns, and clients alike. In 2016 she partnered with Compton Bridge Academy to create a sex education booklet geared toward all humans, especially at risk youth, entitled "How to Human: Sex and Relationships." 
 
Her professional work specializes in brand identity, layout, user interface, and production design for a wide range of industries. Her background includes design firms in New York and Los Angeles with clients in entertainment, film, technology, consulting, fashion, beauty, non-profit, and the food & wine industry.

Are you interested in joining our Board, Volunteering, or Are a Development Company that wants to support our work?

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