Board of Directors

Meet the Team

Shelita Smith

Founder & Executive Director
Read Shelita's Story

Loreal Jones

Board President
Loreal Jones is a Payroll Analyst at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. A Graduate of Louisiana State University of Baton Rouge with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Development. Jones is the proud mother of Jeremiah who attends McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School. Giving back and serving her community has always been her passion. She is an active member of Nu Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and Junior League of Baton Rouge. In her free time, Jones enjoys spending time with family and shopping at local small businesses. She enjoys taking a moment to rejuvenate by joining her friends to a nice brunch or Saturday outing.

Deborah Paul

Board Secretary
Deborah Frank Paul is the Scholarship Grant Director for the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, a program of the Louisiana Board of Regents that administers TOPS and several other postsecondary scholarship and grant programs. Her passion is assisting students during the college exploration process by exposing them to opportunities related to finding the right school, choosing a major, and finding the resources to pay for college. She received her bachelor’s degree in print journalism and master’s degree in mass media, both from Southern University.  She also studied at Ohio State University and LSU. Through her membership with the Gamma Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, she serves on various committees that provide community service to the local Baton Rouge community.

Howard Austin

Board Treasurer
Howard Austin is a savvy and innovative CEO of HCO Behavioral Health Services. He is the Founder of HDA Insurance Firm and Elevate Management. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he is a graduate with a BA in Finance from Southeastern Louisiana University. He began his career maximizing success in the healthcare sector.  Austin is recognized in the healthcare industry for more than 15 years of change management expertise, executive leadership, and strategic planning experience. On the rare occasions when Howard’s not working or authoring, you can find him watching sports, enjoying live music, and above all, spending time with family.

Scott Courrege

Board Member
Scott Courrege is an attorney at Due' Guidry Piedrahita Andrews Courrege, LC, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  DGPAC is a boutique firm with a proud history of representing seriously injured clients dating back over 40 years.  Scott also owns and operates Courrege Consulting Group, LLC, which is a law enforcement consulting and training company.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Scott spent nearly two decades as both a federal and local law enforcement officer and now is recognized as a subject matter expert in various law enforcement matters. Scott has a passion for community improvement and brings to the table unique experience and insight into the interplay between community members and public entities such as first responders.

Alexandra Cobb Hains

Board Member
Alex Hains is an attorney at Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson in the firm’s Labor and Employment section. She received her undergraduate degree from LSU and her law degree from Loyola University of New Orleans, College of Law. Alex and her husband, Donald, have lived in Baton Rouge since 2015. They have one son, Baker, who attends St. James Episcopal School.

Clint Sanchez

Digital Marketing Expert
Clint L. Sanchez, owner of BlakSheep Creative, a digital marketing agency in Denham Springs, LA, is also a 27-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Fire Department, where he serves as the Chief of Information and Technology. With a remarkable career bridging the worlds of digital marketing and public service, Clint brings a unique blend of expertise to both realms. When he's not transforming businesses online or leading emergency response efforts, Clint indulges his love for the open road, riding his Harley Davidsons with a spirit of adventure. His dedication to his community and his passion for innovation continue to make a profound impact in Denham Springs and Baton Rouge.

Paige Eubanks-Barrow

Stewardship & Donor Relations director

Board Advisors

Sophia Riley

Board Advisor
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