Speakers and Mentors

Please continue to visit this page as the speaker and mentor list is populated.


Dana Beasley-Brown
Week 3 , Grades 3-5, Life Skills 

Dana Beasley-Brown is the Assistant Coordinator for the Youth Services Center at Bowling Green Junior High School. She is also a candidate for the Bowling Green City Commission. She has been a community advocate for working families across the state of Kentucky for the last fifteen years. Dana has authored several Op-Eds published in the Courier Journal and the Herald Leader. She has testified in a KY House of Representatives committee hearing, debated on live television on Kentucky Tonight, and has lobbied extensively over the last decade for numerous issues affecting working families. She was a founder of The Homeless & Housing Coalition of South Central Kentucky, and has served as a member of the Family Advisory Committee for the Marguerite Casey Foundation. Dana was the Editor-and-Chief for the Barren River Area Renters’ Handbook. Dana was a delegate for the It Takes Roots delegation to the COP21 UN Climate Conference in Paris, France. Dana holds a Bachelors of Science in Political Science and Communication from Western Kentucky University. Dana lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband Jason, a United Methodist Minister, her ten year old son, Stockton, and her seven year old daughter, Evangeline.


Leyda Becker
Week 2, Motivational Charge

Leyda Becker has served as International Communities Liaison for the City of Bowling Green since 2011.  As a liaison she coordinates the City’s role in communicating and working effectively with the diverse international communities represented in Bowling Green, and serves as an advocate for LEP (Limited English Proficient) persons who may seek City services.

Leyda is a licensed trainer in Cultural Competency and Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter Training from the nationally recognized Cross Cultural Health Care Program in Seattle, Washington.

Leyda Becker is the Host/Producer of La Nuestra Spanish Radio program on WKCT.  Leyda was instrumental in bringing this unique program to the station and worked to launch the program in May 2012.  Leyda has hosted a radio segment featuring City services since the program went live and has moved into the Host/Producer role in May 2016.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Corporate and Organizational Communications from Western Kentucky University. Leyda is a native of Venezuela, South America, and has made Bowling Green her home for over 24 years.


Andrea Denise Bolden
Applied Learning

Andrea Denise Bolden is an artist of life, manifest influencer, girl boss and women empower. It her aspiration to help women manifest their best life, and business, while promoting radical self love. She received her Masters of Art’s in Education: Student Affairs in Higher Education from Western Kentucky University in 2017. She currently works as a therapeutic foster case manager, where she strives to build families and enhance the quality of life for foster youth. Follow her on Instagram @andreadenisebolden


Carolina Escobar
Teaching Assistant

Carolina Escobar is a senior at Western Kentucky University earning her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  Carolina is a member in the National Society of Leadership and Success and in Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education.  She has worked at the Jones Jaggers Daycare for four years and mentors two children at Natcher Elementary School.  She chose her profession because of her 5th grade teacher; she wants to make an impact in a child’s life, like her teacher did to her. Carolina plans to graduate spring of 2019, and she hopes to begin a job in the Warren County/ Bowling Green City School Districts.


Shante Galloway
Week 1, Grades 6-8, Life Skills

Shante Galloway has served as an educator at Rockfield Elementary, and she a Diamond Leader Executive Distributor within It Works! Global! She earned her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and Masters in Elementary Teacher Leadership and an Instructional Computer Technology Endorsement from Western Kentucky University.

Shante is married to Timothy Galloway, Jr., and they have a son named Timothy Alan Galloway III.

She received The Right Shot Award from her colleagues and the Parent Teacher Organization for always motivating others to achieve their greatest potential. She is also a recipient of The Golden Apple Award from the Warren County Public School System for going above and beyond the call of duty for students, families, and fellow educators. For efforts given within her church, 11th Street Baptist Church and within the community, she received the NAACP’s Hugo and Jean Becker Golden Heart Award and Women of Achievement Awards from the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission. Shante is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  Her personal mission and purpose is to be a sponsor of dreams and a merchant of hope!


Dr. Kacey Jenkins
Week 1, Motivational Charge

Dr. Kacey L. Jenkins’ clinical practice focuses on family counseling.  She holds a doctorate in counseling and a master’s degree in clinical psychology and has experience in several different settings including alternative school/day treatment facilities, community mental health care agencies, Tennessee’s Department of Correction, and private practice.  Dr. Jenkins currently supports couples and families as well as individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities with group therapy, couple’s and family therapy and the implementation of behavioral interventions/modification. 

Dr. Jenkins also enjoys teaching both undergraduate and graduate college courses including introductory psychology, child abnormal behavior, human growth and development, multicultural diversity, and psychological testing and assessment courses. She has a passion for teaching and helping people to recognize that they are the experts of themselves and their personal situations.


Joda A. Johnson
Week 3, Grades 6-8, Life Skills

Joda Johnson was born in Logan County, KY and raised in Bowling Green, Ky. She is married to Minister Curtis Johnson, Sr.  They have four children and three grandchildren. Joda is a member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Nashville, TN.  At Mt. Zion, she serves in the Prayer Ministry, teaches Bible Study for the Mt. Zion College Ministry at Western Kentucky University (WKU).  In May 2018, she will be a License Minister completing a three-year Ministry Training Program.

Joda has a Baccalaureate of Science in Integrated Studies with an emphasis in Behavioral and Social Sciences from WKU. She is also a graduate of the University of Phoenix, where she received her Master Business Administration.  Joda returned to WKU to complete her Certification of Adult Education in May 2017. Currently, she is the Coordinator and an Instructor with the Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, the Barren County Adult Education division, located in Glasgow KY.

In 2017, Joda started a non-for-profit. This Youth Writing Initiative helps develop creative writing skills. The six-week workshop served over 25 Youth in the Bowling Green, KY community.  She is actively serving as a board member for Highland Elementary Family Resource Center, The Barren County Resource Responders, and Networking Neighbors in Barren County, KY.  She served as a board member for Warren Central Family Resource Center from 2012 – 2016.

Joda is a highly sought Speaker/Facilitator has worked in the South Central KY Region with different Churches, conferences and civic organizations. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, traveling, and just taking long walks. Her love and excitement to see others develop in character, leadership skills, and achieve their personal goals are why Joda loves sharing her time, life, and God given gifts and talents with others.

Heather LaRue

Heather LaRue is from Bowling Green, Kentucky.  With over 15 years of management experience, she specializes in enhancing company profitability through training and development, employee retention, and enhancing the overall customer experience.  Ms. LaRue earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Relations from Eastern Kentucky University as well as a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Western Kentucky University.  In her personal time, she devotes herself to tutoring kids and adults of all ages.  Also, she teaches seminars of finance, leadership, management, and ministry.  Her goal is to build as many people as possible.  She believes the greatest assets are people and has devoted her life to cultivating others.  She currently works as a Service Support Manager at Lowe’s and will be releasing a devotional for leaders later this year.


Lacretia Pratt
Coordinator; Applied Learning

LaCretia Pratt holds an Associates in Social and Behavioral Sciences along with a Bachelors in Sociology from Western Kentucky University. LaCretia is a certified Trainer of Trainers for Suicide Prevention, Certified Facilitator of Stewards of Children’s, Darkness to Light Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training and Certified Facilitator of My Life My Choice Human Trafficking Training. LaCretia Pratt is also Certified in several Active Parenting Now Curriculum’s. She was previously the Human Resource Manager and Case Manager for a homeless shelter in Logan County and a House Manager for a group home in Bowling Green, Ky. LaCretia is currently working as a Community Access Specialist and formally a Family Services Associate for Community Action of Southern Kentucky providing In-home Services to children and families and serves as Minister and Vice President for the youth department at Jesus Church of Russellville. LaCretia is the founder of L.I.F.E. Community Development Corporation and L.I.F.E. Mentoring Program.


Dr. Martha Sales
Week 3, Motivational Charge

As the Executive Director of Western Kentucky University’s TRIO programs and the Intercultural Student Engagement Center, Dr. Martha Sales is both diligent and committed to the success of students. Her passion is evident in the programs that she directs first being the TRIO programs, that are federally funded through the Department of Education and are designed to assist low-income and first generation individuals with enter in, succeeding, and graduating from postsecondary education. The Intercultural Student Engagement Center promotes a culturally inclusive campus environment, cultural awareness and competence. This office serves as a hands-on recruitment and retention resource for the many cultural, religious/spiritual, and indemnity groups reflected within the WKU community. In addition, the center provides student support services to foster academic success and sponsors culturally based celebratory events for all students, faculty, staff, and Western Kentucky University’s service region.

With her 12 years of grant writing experience she has been awarded over 12 million dollars for the success of students. Aside from her administrative roles, Martha also teaches and facilitates courses and trains students and her colleagues in her various areas of expertise. She serves and has served in many capacities throughout the campus, community, and nationwide sharing her knowledge in the success of students. As an educator and administrator, Martha is honored to have received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her 21 year career.

Dr. Martha Sales a native from Franklin, Kentucky born to the late Mr. and Mrs. Hezekiah (Georgia) Robey. She overcame the barrier of being a low-income and first generation student herself, in which has become her career long passion.  Martha obtained a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership, an Educational Specialist in Student Affairs, a Masters of Arts in Counseling, Marriage and Family, a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work with a Minor in African American Studies, and a Women’s Studies graduate certificate all from Western Kentucky University.

Martha not only serves as an Executive Director but sets priorities and creates the balance of home life and work, she is married to Pastor Shawn Sales and they have two children Seth and Kiah, they reside in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Martha is a member of the Loving Springs Baptist Church where she serves as one of the musicians, youth advisor, Sunday school teacher, and last but not least “the pastor’s wife.”  She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.

Martha has the unique ability to inspire and provide insight to others, while maintaining a high level of integrity and promoting congruency among all. Her life experiences have given her deep appreciation in the value of family and blessing others but the opportunity of being used by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is her greatest accomplishment.


Aurelia Spaulding
Coordinator; Leadership Instructor

Aurelia Spaulding earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a Master of Public Administration degree from Western Kentucky University. She coordinates marketing efforts in her full-time position at Western Kentucky University, and serves part-time as an instructor in Leadership, Social Justice, and University Experience. Aurelia is the chairman of the board for Light of Chance, Inc., a youth and arts and wellness program. She serves on other boards such as W.R.O.T.E. and Curbside Ministries. She holds membership in several organizations including 11 years working with young leaders across the country in Gamma Sigma Sigma, a national service sorority. She earned a Volunteer Management Certificate from the Center for Nonprofit Management and a WKU Graduate Studies Leadership Certificate.