Defining herself as an activating “Catalyst” for positive change, empowerment, and inspiration, Jakita earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University and attained her master’s degree in Communication from Queens University of Charlotte in May 2013 . She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), an active participant in Queens University of Charlotte’s Agent for Campus Engagement (ACE) and a 2011 Athena International Charlotte Young Professional Leadership Award nominee.
An accomplished professional, Jakita has years of experience in advertising sales, higher education recruitment, and the television broadcasting industry. She has implemented several sales, marketing, and branding proposals to assist professionals in meeting their business goals and accomplish their desired brand image. In addition, Jakita has co-hosted a local television show called MIX 11 in partnership with Cox Communications in Chesapeake, Virginia, while becoming a driving force to bridge the gap among multicultural communities in the Hampton Roads area.
With a passion for cultivating a spirit of leadership, mentorship and service in her community, Jakita has committed herself to the development and enrichment of young adults by starting a non-profit organization, called Generation of Distinction in July 2014. She desires to educate, enlighten, and equip young adults holistically.
The organization awards scholarships to some of the brightest and promising high school and college students who exemplify academic promise, leadership, moral character, and commitment to spirituality. Through empowerment seminars and mentorship, scholarship recipients are given the opportunity to gain the knowledge and tools needed to become the best version of themselves, both professionally and personally in the following areas: financial literacy, holistic & spiritual development, character building, professional development, leadership training, health & wellness, and entrepreneurship.
Cofer believes her destiny is to assist individuals in defining their identity, discovering purpose, and determining the path that leads to personal authenticity, total fulfillment, success, and legacy. Her passion is to invest and empower young adults to maximize their potential.
Travis D. Smith earned his master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Keller Graduate School of Management and Bachelor of Science in Technical Management from DeVry University. He has served four years in the United States Air Force as an aircraft electrician, spending the majority term serving at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2001 until 2005. After an honorable discharge from the Air Force, he enjoyed a successful career in cyber security supporting the Army, Navy and Marines, and also, serving as a Network Engineer and Systems Administrator for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Pentagon. He was awarded the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal in 2014, the third highest honor the Navy can bestow to a federal civilian employee. Born in 1984 from Newport News, Virginia, Travis D. Smith enjoys his days with his daughter Amiyah, coaching basketball, and teaching college courses aside from his full-time job with the Federal Government. Travis is also a devoted Christian and enjoys donating time and resources to various churches in his local community. His passion to serve and mentor the youth continues to be his motivation for himself as he strives for excellence both personally and professionally.
Rolanda Staples Brandon is a certified Financial Counselor and has worked in the credit union industry for more than nine years. She was born in Danville, Virginia in 1983 and was raised by two loving parents, Roland and Darnese Staples. Later Rolanda received her Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia in 2005. Rolanda loves to spend most of her time with her two beautiful children, Faizon and Faith and her loving husband, Lenard. Rolanda attributes her professional and personal success to her Christian faith, which has empowered her to reach goals that would have otherwise been unattainable.