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Sharee Wilson, Chief Operating Officer

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Rhonda Alexander, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Rhonda Alexander founded New Opportunities for Women, Inc. (NOW) in Baltimore, Maryland on February 26, 2016. Her aunt, lived to be 102 years old, not only raised her, but was her inspiration for establishing our organization. Back in the 1930s, Rhonda's aunt, Lucille Brooks was told by her husband that she was not going to college. Ms. Brooks defied all odds by walking the distance from her home business on Central Avenue to pursue her studies at Morgan State College (University).  After graduating she became a teacher at Dunbar High School and sent her daughter to Howard University.  While her daughter was away at school, she purchased her own vehicle, and secretly furnished her own home.  The day following her daughter's graduation, she moved and sought a divorce. Rhonda’s aunt was a very inspiring woman, including, who overcame many obstacles during hard times for African Americans, before later becoming an administrator in Baltimore City Schools.  She never forgot the struggle of African Americans or women.  At her 100th birthday celebration, over 400 people attended.  Prior to the  celebration, of her 100th birthday, a reporter from the Baltimore Sun wanted to know if  she still played the piano.  She responded, "Who? Me?", and rose out of her chair and began playing the "Negro National Anthem."   Her decision to play the "Negro National Anthem" for the reporter is further testament to her determination, and commitment to the empowerment of women and African Americans. 

We are proud that our comprehensive wellness programs are led by women. As an inspiring woman herself, Rhonda brings years of experience from life, relationships, as an educator, youth advocate, and young adult social preparedness and career readiness trainer.  Prior to founding our organization, Rhonda was the program director of the Youth Opportunity Academy in Baltimore City. She led the design and development of the school program in 2006 as envisioned through the partnership of Baltimore City Schools and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. During her 9-year tenure, Rhonda collaborated with partners to expand services by opening a culinary arts program and developing partnerships with local community colleges for career readiness as well as academic and social change.

Rhonda also encouraged continuous professional growth to maintain highly-qualified staff. She strongly believes success can only be achieved in a collaborative environment.  Hearing the news of her retirement, a staff member said, “The only reason I came here was because Ms. Alexander gave me a voice.”  Because of the successes she achieved with young adults ages 16 to 21, she was invited to participate in conversations held at the White House, hosted by Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan and Valerie Jarrett, Advisor to President Obama to discuss best practices for helping youth and young adults across the country. 

Before leading the Youth Opportunity Academy, she served the Baltimore City Schools as an assistant principal at Edmondson-Westside High School and Northwestern High School. Rhonda also worked at some of the city's most challenging schools including; Calverton Middle, William H. Lemmel Middle, Diggs-Johnson Middle, and Harbor City High Schools. 

She attended Frostburg State University, Coppin State University and holds a Master of Administrative Science degree from The Johns Hopkins University, with emphasis in the Quantitative Option and Management Information Systems. Rhonda also completed training from The Steve Harvey Radical Success Institute.  Her education and experiences with engaging internal and external stakeholders in innovative approaches are the driving force behind the founding of our organization, and our responsibility to address health disparities and social needs in Baltimore City and throughout the State of Maryland.

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Doris Minor-Terrell, Board​ President

Doris Minor-Terrell is a Baltimore resident who has years of experience as a social change agent and human rights activist. Currently, she uses her expertise as a curriculum developer for adults and children with disabilities to lead a high school special needs program in Baltimore City Schools.

Doris has experience working in centers that address domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault of adults and children. She holds an M.A. and M.Ed. Doris is also a Ph.D. candidate, concentrating in Educational Law. In addition to these degrees, she is a paralegal and has received certification in conflict resolution.

Robin A. Perry, Secretary

Ms. Robin A. Perry joined the Baltimore City Public Schools System in October, 2012 and currently instructs the Cisco Academy Program at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School. Prior to joining BCPSS, Ms. Perry served as Administrator for the Municipal Telephone Exchange, Baltimore City Government. Ms. Perry has experience with mentoring young adults and is committed to engaging internal and external stakeholders in innovative approaches to address the health disparity needs throughout the state of Maryland. Ms. Perry received her Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems and Masters of Communications Technology from Strayer University as well as her Masters in Education with a concentration on Career and Technology Education from University of Maryland - Eastern Shore.

Jasmine Young, Treasurer


​Coming Soon...


Crystal Weaver, V. President/Asst. Secretary

Crystal Weaver continues her work around the State of Maryland as she joins the Board of Directors for New Opportunities for Women, Inc. (NOW).  She brings to NOW a vast amount of experience as she has worked to provide services to Maryland's vulnerable population for over 20 years. Her experience includes: management of a clinical trials research unit focusing on the protocols for care and treatment of HIV patients, working to assist children in need of assistance (CINA) and adult public guardianship within programs in the Department of Human Resources, assisting Constituents across Maryland with issues related to difficulties with state programs, and work in the Governor's office for teen-age youth geared towards self-appreciation and self-worth.  Ms. Weaver is also the Founder and CEO of Sharing Hands, Sharing Hearts, an organization providing companion in their own homes.  This program has expanded to include mentoring and community activities for school-aged individuals. Her many experiences have led her to become an active board member of NOW.   She plans to help create opportunities for growth, and solutions to enhance the visions and goals of all participants in our programs.

Stephanie V. Lee, 2nd Vice President/Treasurer

A leader in several community and church organizations in the Baltimore area and State, Stephanie V. Lee a retired Supervisor of the U.S. Probation Office brings her knowledge of criminal justice, rehabilitation, and strategies for reducing recidivism to New Opportunities for Women, Inc. Stephanie holds an M.S. in Criminal Justice, Univ. of Baltimore, and a B.S. in Social Science, Frostburg State Univ. She looks forward to helping the community prosper and live their best life.

Dr. Angel Purdy, Director

Dr. Purdy brings her knowledge of medical care, treatment and surgery to New Opportunities for Women, Inc. She is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Liposuction and Botox Injections. Her medical knowledge is an invaluable resource to our program as we serve all ages, genders and the LGBTQ community.

Linda Scruggs, MHS, Director

Linda H. Scruggs is an AIDS educator, activist, master trainer, and a renowned leader in the HIV community. Linda has worked in the HIV/AIDS community for more than 23 years. During this time she has served numerous committees and boards in the national and international HI​V communities. Media outlets such as ESSENCE, POZ, HIV Plus, and CNN have published about her, her family, and the work she has done to denounce stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV/AIDS.

She has achieved numerous accomplishments as she stands to be a positive voice in the HIV community. In 2010, she received an Honorable Mention by President Barack Obama. Also, in 2012, she was invited to be a plenary speaker at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC. She is also a co-founder of the Positive Women’s Network USA and The National Black Woman HIV Network.

In August 2012, Linda founded JD Ribbon Consulting Group (Ribbon) together with her colleague Vanessa Johnson. Before starting Ribbon, Linda served as the Director of Programs for the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families in Washington, DC. She started the National Consumer Corps Leadership Training Program, which has been acknowledged as the national model for consumer empowerment, education, and training.

Simply stated, Linda has committed her life and work to ensuring the health and rights of women, youth, and families are high priorities to policy makers and system changes through collaborative partnerships and community engagement. 

Rev. Dr. Elmore E. Warren, Director

This man of God was born and raised in the city of Richmond. He is married to the former Myrtice Ball and the father of three children. At an early age, he heard the call of the ministry on his life. While answering the call, Dr. Warren realized that he must be a prepared preacher. He attended Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia and has obtained numerous degrees including but not limited to Bachelor of Theology, Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries, and Master of Divinity.

Dr. Warren has pastored many churches. In February of 1985, he answered the call to the pastorate of the Whitestone Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. God has blessed Dr. Warren and his congregation to be able to have the Spirit to not just to serve the church but those who stand in need outside the church doors. He currently serves on numerous auxiliaries and committees in the State of Maryland. He is currently affiliated with the United Baptist Missionary Convention of Maryland and serves as the chairman of the trustee board of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home and the American Baptist Churches of The South, where in 2000 he traveled to Zambia as part of a preaching ministry. He serves on the Board of General Ministries of ABC, USA. He is an Instructor in the School of Ministry for the Full Gospel Fellowship and he has served as a substitute teacher in Baltimore City for the State of Maryland. Although God has blessed him to move God’s church from membership to discipleship, he states: “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain. To God be the glory for the great things He has done!”

Dr. Miriam M. Khambaty, Doctor of Record

We are proud to have Dr. Khambaty who specializes in Infectious Disease Medicine as our Doctor of Record for New Opportunities for Women, Inc. Dr. Khambaty is affiliated with University Of Maryland Medical Center, Institute of Human Virology. Dr. Khambaty is a graduate of the Cebu Institute of Med, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines.

Tonya Green-Pyles, Program Consultant

Tonya Green-Pyles was raised in Queen Anne's County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She is a widowed mother of four children, two boys ages 22, and 12, and two girls ages 21 and 18. Tonya has three grandchildren; two girls and one boy. She is recovering from substance abuse and has been abstinent for 13 years.

Tonya has been in the field of HIV and substance abuse for over 14 years. She has worked diligently in the Baltimore City LGBTQ community, traveling on a mobile van to deliver services during non-traditional hours. Tonya lives one day at a time knowing that she is very blessed to be here.

As the Program Consultant of New Opportunities for Women, Inc., she will continue spreading her message about substance abuse, incarceration, HIV, and the importance of medical adherence throughout communities in Maryland.

Charlene Harrod-Owuamana, LPN, H.B.O.T., W.C.

Health Services Coordinator


Coming soon...

Her love or health and community is unsurpassed. Bj Shaneman is a positive and strong community nurse advocate. The first Native American Indian /Black student to attend the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Nursing program, she graduated with honors. She continued her education in nursing, Sociology and Psychology with several degrees obtained in Maryland. As a military “brat” and a nurse at the Navy and Marine Base in Quantico, Virginia, many of her experiences opened pathways for the work she now does in many statewide communities as well as in other states.

A retiree from clinical and hypertension research with Dr. Elijah Saunders, a community health educator, and cardiovascular health disparities specialist, she shares her skills to save lives and provide healthy living for many. Co-founder and developer of several community healthcare programs and centers, she provides healthcare services to all who seeks services. Known as “Ms. Health Fair” she brings health knowledge awareness to many and saves lives as she journeys through the area of healthcare. She forges community partnerships with many healthcare and services organizations, by bringing them to the front doors of the communities she serves. Ms. Bj has been a fortress during the development of New Opportunities for Women (NOW). Through our consultations doors have opened to many healthcare disciplines and communities.   As Health Services Coordinator for New Opportunities for Women, she will continue to make healthy living the cornerstone of her message to the community as she promotes longevity for all through the numerous programs she has developed.

Brenda Ransom, Social Worker

Brenda Ransom, L.C.S.W  is proud to be a part of our team.  She has a love for her church and community.  She can often be heard saying, "Just call me".  She believes in helping people and has over 30 years experience with providing services to the poor and underserved members of our community.  Brenda received her B.S. degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and her M.S.W. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work.  She was awarded the Rainer Makofsky Memorial Award from the University of Maryland School of Social Work - for Public and Social Justice, .and was honored for her work with victims of Hurricane Katrina.   She has worked with child  Child Welfare providing interventions behalf of children, young adults and their families, locally, nationally, and internationally.  She looks forward to serving clients of New Opportunities for Women  Inc., part-time and helping them receive needed individualized social services.  Her experience with  interventions on behalf of children, young adults and their families locally, nationally and internationally will prove to great asset to our organization and clients.  She will probably be heard saying, "I just want to help you in any way I can". 

 

Sherri Adair, Education Services Coordinator

Sherri Adair has a love for learning and people. She holds a B.S. in Public Administration from Virginia State University and an M.Ed. from Coppin State University. Sherri provided intensive individualized instruction as a special educator in city schools.

Additionally, Sherri was the Disabilities Services Coordinator at Head Start. During here employment, Sherri supervised employment skills trainers, provided classroom teachers with effective strategies for children with disabilities, and reviewed the efficiency and compliance of individual goals identified for clients. She is now an independent contractor providing direct services in our agency.

Sherri looks forward to using her expertise in learning strategies and developing curriculum for GED tests preparation and career growth. She plans to work closely with area partners to provide the best inclusive program.

Janice Thaxton-Brown, Director and

Volunteer Subatance Abuse Peer Counselor

Janice Thaxton-Brown Substance Abuse Counselor, is first a member of the New P​salmist Baptist Church, and a proud product of the Baltimo​re City Schools and a proud graduate of Eastern High School. A retired cosmetologist, Brown is now in recovery over 30 years. She takes pride in knowing Baltimo​re City and locations of available treatment centers. Ms. Brown gives her heart and time when she comes in contact with someone in need in our communities. She can always be found, assisting those in need of treatment by naming and referring them to treatment centers. Committed to helping others, her related prior employment includes Changing Point, and Stepping

Stone under the umbrella of Mountain Manner.​

June Holmes, Real Estate & Home Ownership Consultant

Coming soon...

Rev. Antoinette Gatewood Sykes, Inspirational and Social Media Contributor

Reverend Antoinette Gatewood-Sykes is an Associate Minister at Greater Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church (GGMBC) in Baltimore, Maryland, and serves under the leadership of her Pastor, Dr. Reginald Thomas, Sr. previously as the Minister of Administration and currently as the Minister of Ministry Support. She is the first woman in the history of Greater Gethsemane Ministries to be ordained into the Gospel Ministry by the fellowship and the first female minister ordained under Dr. Thomas’ tenure as pastor. She also serves as the advisor to the Women’s Ministry Chair and as a member of In His Presence Liturgical Dance Ministry.

She is the only child of Otho and B. Christine Coleman; co-laborer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ with her husband and best friend, Min. Steven B. Sykes; mother to their beloved daughter, Christine F. Sykes.

She is a member of the executive council for Sisters in Ministry (under the leadership of Dr. Leah E. White) and was included in the first group of inductees into the Female Clergy Support Group (under the leadership of Apostle Karen Bethea).

Her formal education has culminated in the following: a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from Hampton University; dual Masters Degrees in Theology and Church Ministries from the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, MD. While attending St. Mary’s, she was awarded the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Study and Practice of Ministry and the Olin P. Moyd Scholarship for African American Students. Currently, she is enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry Program, concentrating on Transformational Leadership, at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, OH.

Her life Scripture is Luke 1:49, “He who is Mighty has done unto me great things and Holy is His Name”.


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