ABOUT THE FOUNDERS | ABOUT BLACK ROSE FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN
Sheila Flemming-Hunter, Ph.D.
Sheila Flemming-Hunter is a child of God, wife, mother, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She loves the Lord, her family, work and community. A children’s advocate for more than twenty years, she works tirelessly in her community to help children experience a better life. She is also Founder and President of The Black Rose Foundation for Children, Inc. (BRFC). Founded in Daytona Beach in 2004 by Sheila and her daughters (Alero and Ayo Afejuku) the mission of BRFC is to be a bridge for abandon children, especially children of incarcerated parents and foster children. The goal of BRFC is to provide financial assistance for model youth programs that will be replicated in such states as Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina as well as Tennessee. BRFC is a not for profit 501(c) 3 charitable organization.
In Memphis, Tennessee, where she resides, Sheila’s philanthropic work centers on capacity building for local organizations dedicated to empowerment for children. Through her foundation work she has participated as a member of the Board of Directors of Families of Incarcerated Individuals, Inc. and the Memphis Business Academy. BRFC currently coordinates the Memphis Cares Mentoring Movement, an affiliate of the National Cares Movement led by the visionary Susan Taylor, formerly of Essence Magazine.
Sheila is also an entrepreneur. In 2006, she and her husband, Robert, established Immeasurable Favor, LLC “IF”. A limited liability company, “IF” is a corporation founded on Christian principles and until November 2010 did business as “Right at Home in Home Care and Assistance” (RAH). Their company was among the top twenty of 150 RAH franchises in America that provides homemaker, companion and personal support services for mostly elderly people in their homes. Building on Robert’s social work career, Sheila’s education experiences, and both administrative backgrounds, RAH served as a compassionate venture helping those in need, providing employment and contributing to economy of the Memphis area.
Sheila is a Ph.D. in African and African American History and has served in the professoriate at several universities including Bethune-Cookman University, University of Texas and University of Maryland. She spent most of years in the academy as a Dean and Vice President at several institutions. She has also served on national boards in the United Methodist Church and currently serves as Chair of the Development Committee of the Executive Council of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (the Founders of Black History Month).
Sheila is a global citizen having traveled to every continent but Australia. She believes God has so much for her to do; she remains open to his direction as she follows his light.
Ayo Afejuku, M.D.
Ayo Afejuku is a physician, daughter, sister, and friend to many. She is a psychiatrist currently completing her fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry to specialize in the treatment of young people with severe mental illness. She is dedicated to serving her community and overcoming the stigma that occurs with mental illness in our society. Her passion is to advocate for children that have been underserved and committed to institutions, juvenile justice, or children and family services within the mental health system.
Ayo earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her Medical Doctorate from the Morehouse School of Medicine, both in Atlanta, GA. During her undergraduate and medical school education, she participated in numerous volunteer and service projects such as Habitat for Humanity, organization of blood drives, and tutoring. She also co-founded a health peer education organization, chaired a number of committees, and participated in student government. The highlight of Ayo’s medical education was when she participated in a mission trip to Belize to provide medical treatment to children and adults who had no access to modern medications, equipment, and procedures. It is there that her mission to serve the underserved was fostered, and she continued to participate in organizations with a focus on serving the less fortunate such as the National Council of Negro Women and the Atlanta CARES Mentoring Movement where she currently serves as the volunteer coordinator.
Ayo completed her general psychiatry residency at Emory University from 2006-2009 where she received many accolades and awards, was a class representative, and aided in residency recruitment. She chose to further specialize in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in a fellowshipfrom 2009 to present to follow her dream to work with children with severe mental illnesses. She currently serves as the chief resident of her program where she is allowed to teach fellow residents and fellows, participate in administrative processes, and gain more experience in mental health systems. During fellowship she began her involvement in national advocacy for children with mental illness, by participating in advocacy training for psychiatrists and traveling to Washington D.C. for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) Advocacy Days at the capitol. She has also been the recipient of the AACAP educational outreach award (2008 & 2010) received a travel grant from GPPA for advocacy, and presented a clinical case conference at the AACAP 57th Annual Meeting in New York City.
While continuing endeavors in her medical career, she strives to be a pioneer for positive change within the healthcare system, the legislature, and her community.
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice, Argosy University Online Programs
Alero Afejuku is a licensed attorney who has lived in Georgia for the past two years. She completed her undergraduate degree in English and Spanish (1995-1998) at the Florida State University. She also completed her masters in International Affairs (1998-1999) at the Florida State University. After completion of her masters she taught English and Social Studies to middle school and high school students in Quincy, Florida and Winter Park, Florida.
After that experience, she decided to attend law school (2001-2004) at the University of Florida where she became a summer associate with a corporate law firm; completed an externship at the United States District Court, Northern District of Florida; and participated in the Virgil Hawkins Legal Clinic. Upon completion of her law degree, she worked as a Staff Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit Court. This experience inspired her to work closely with accused criminal defendants as an Assistant Public Defender in the Public Defender’s Office in the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Daytona Beach, Florida. She later worked as a Senior Program Attorney with the Guardian Ad Litem Program to advocate for abused, neglected and abandoned children in the dependency system. In 2008, she moved to an urban school district in the Atlanta metro area where she worked as an Employee Relations Officer in the Office of Internal Resolution/Employee Relations.
She has taught for Argosy University for one year as a full time faculty member online and is currently serving as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice.
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