Board Members

Our Board acts as trustee of the organization and ensures that “The Zone ” is well managed and remains fiscally sound. The Board  exercises proper oversight of the organizations operations and maintains the legal and ethical accountability of the staff and volunteers serving “The Zone”. Each Board member is a dedicated community leader who aims to raise the level of expectation for each young person serviced at “The Zone”. Board members and Advisory Board members serve a period of two years.

President: Debra Taylor-Johns, BA Biology


Why is educating our youth important to you?

“Because our future lies with our youth. They will carry us into the next phase of life, and we need to equip them with specific gifts to enhance their life skills and prepare them for college.”

Community and Communication Liaison: Shepard Pittman, MA Teaching


Why is educating our youth important to you?

“Education is the door to opportunity. The more you have a chance to learn the more opportunities you have available to you.

Hear my voice-hear what people are saying to you; see my face- I’m making a connection with you because I want you to understand me; and take care of you-if you take care of yourself you can then help others.”

Secretary and Treasurer: Paris Neverls-Doss, MA Teaching


Why is educating our youth important to you?

“Because American children are falling far behind the rest of the world academically, especially in the areas of math and science, so we have a responsibility to provide better opportunities for our young people. This will enable them to compete in the world around them each day.”


Advisory Board-Legal Counsel and Community Support: James Duncan, BA Business Administration


Why is educating our youth important to you?

“In order for young people to move into the future the generation of today need the skills, education and the vision to guide our leaders of tomorrow.”

Advisory Board-Parent Liaison and Community Support: Winona Byrd


Why is educating our youth important to you? 

“It is important to educate our youth so they can become functional citizens with the ability to take care of themselves in today’s growing world. “

Our Board members have the following responsibilities:

A. “Duty of Care” in which they are expected to actively participate in the organizational planning and decision making while making sound and informed decisions to enhance the activities and programs offered at “The Zone”..

B. “Duty of Loyalty” in which they act on behalf of the betterment of the organization. Each Board member has at all times the interests of the organization before personal and professional concerns which eliminates potential conflict of interests.

C. “Duty of Obedience” in which they maintain their commitment to ensuring that the organization adheres to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The Board members remain committed to “The Zone’s” mission at all times during their tenure.


The Advisory Board members have an important responsibility to:

A. Function as a committee of the formal board, and their primary responsibilities are to  give advice to the  board members of “The Zone”. Advisory Board members cannot compel the board to act on it’s recommendations, but serves as additional members to give suggestions, advice and feedback.

B. Support the “Board” with it’s duties. So, the “Advisory Board” can be assigned various subcommittee responsibilities by the Board to assist with furthering the mission of “The Zone”.

C. Communicate effectively with all stakeholders. So, the “Advisory Board” does bare the responsibility of promoting the programs and services of “The Zone” to the community.

Whether serving as a Board member or an Advisory Board member each individual will serve on a voluntary basis. This is exemplary for the community of St. Louis to have such committed and dedicated individuals who are willing to serve to enhance the overall functioning  and programming of “The Zone” and its young people.