About the Owner:Growing up in Edo State, Nigeria, Maria started working on hair from an early age, practicing different techniques on her younger and older sisters. Aspiring to own her own salon someday, she officially started to learn the trade at the age of 16 and was one of the first apprentices/employees at her family friend’s beauty salon. Receiving an education was incredibly important to the Patrick Ojemolon family, and Maria was determined to work even harder to obtain a diploma in Estate Management at Federal Polytechnic Bauchi in 2007. This experience drastically changed Maria’s life and after she got married in 2010, Maria’s goal was to get a job and contribute to her own growing family so they would never be financially dependent on just one provider. With that said, Maria made it a priority to save money and learn more about different hair cutting styles and treatments so she could start her own salon.
Maria has become a leader and role model within her community. In addition to promoting women’s rights and education, she has inspired women to provide for their families and control the direction of their lives.
Ashley Long, Project Lead/Communications Chair:
My name is Ashley Long and I am a rising Senior. I am challenging myself academically by always putting 100% into all of my work and am always actively trying to learn and grow as an individual.
I grew up in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands and was heavily involved in volunteering, from watching kids, to car washes and feeding the homeless.
I’m always looking for opportunities to help those less fortunate and to make a difference in those people’s lives. I think that working with this program will not only help me learning skills I will need later in life, but I think that we will actually make a difference in the lives of the small business owners we are helping.
Lily Simpson, College Assistance Chair:
My name is Lily Simpson and I’m a rising freshman. A few of my interests are, reading, foreign languages, computer programming, cooking, 3D and 2D digital art, and cooking. I challenge myself academically by taking three language courses including, French, ASL, and Latin. My favorite courses I‘m taking right now are French and Biology. I’m hoping to graduate high school a year early but i’m not sure what college I want to attend after graduation. I’m very excited to be a member of the I.B.A and I’m glad the we have a branch at our school.
Peyton Gretkierewicz, Special Projects Chair:
My name is Peyton Gretkierewicz and I am a junior. I challenge myself by taking AP and honors classes so that I may build a strong and successful future for myself. I am an active member in my community, and I participate in many volunteer programs that vary from helping senior citizens to feeding the homeless. In the past, I have been involved in student council and I’ve always taken the initiative to develop ideas and solutions to many of the problems I have been confronted with. I am looking forward to yet another year working with all the wonder people I have already met, and have yet to meet.
Ladaia Lumpkin, Fundraising Chair:
My name is Ladaia L. and I’m a rising Senior. I challenge myself academically by taking all honors classes and AP classes, while participating in dual enrollment in OCC of Auburn Hills.
I am involved in multiple extracurricular activities such as National Honors Society and varsity sports.
I have participated in fundraisers including Mom-to-Mom sales, bake sales, etc.
I am very honored to have been recommended to participate in the International Business Alliance Program. I will help grow our assigned business to the best of my ability.
DeAshja Cunningham, Media Chair:
My name is DeAshja S.C. and I’m a rising Sophomore. I challenge myself by taking all honors classes.
I was previously involved in national junior honors society and I was president of a leadership group.
1. Leadership Initiatives operates with extremely low overhead: almost every penny you donate goes directly to programming.
2. Every dollar we raise serves two purposes:
In the short term, community leaders create solutions to local problems that maximize existing community resources. In the long term, Leadership Initiatives builds honest, self-reliant generations of leaders who are equipped to empower entire nations.
3. The community development initiatives our students produce results which are completely self-sustaining and which continue compounding and growing with no outside funding.