Young Detroit Builders Staff & AmeriCorps Members
As Executive Director Mrs. Angela Wilson oversees all of Young Detroit Builders programs and financial efforts. Born and raised in Detroit, Mrs. Wilson brings more than 30 years of leadership experience to Young Detroit Builders. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work degree from Wayne State University. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Wilson was on YDB’s Board of Directors for 10 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors of several human service organizations. Having worked for former Detroit City Council President, Maryann Mahaffey as a Legislative Aide, as an Executive Assistant to former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, Wilson gained extensive knowledge of the legislative and administrative branches of government and spearheaded many governmental projects. As the founding Director of Youth on the Edge of Greatness and the Director of Economic Development for the Warren/Conner Development Coalition, Wilson has successfully led countless community organizing and program development efforts and continues to have a positive impact on the communities in which she serves.
Jeffrey Portis is YDB’s Job Developer/Project Coordinator. As job developer, his main responsibility is helping students, “find, get and keep a job.” As Project Coordinator and Job Developer, Mr. Portis manages all special projects related to the YouthBuild Detroit program including the Detroit-Based Contractor Incubator Assistance Project. The project provides business support services to low-income contractors.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Portis has had a diverse and interesting career. He practiced law for 12 years, managed a Borders Book store and owned his own landscaping business. His dedication to helping young adults obtain and maintain employment stems from his belief that meaningful employment is “a basic human right.”
Dennis Booker III
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, with more than 30 years of teaching and training experience, Mr. Booker has spent seven of those with Young Detroit Builders. He teaches reading, science and social studies, along with preparing students for the GED exam. Besides being an academic instructor, Mr. Booker is also a mentor and motivator. Mr. Booker emphasizes cultural and social awareness to the students.
In discussing his love for teaching, he goes by the saying, “If you want to become a rich person, find a need and fulfill it. If you want to be a happy person, find a person to teach it.”
Derrick Tagger has been a part of YDB for more than 15 years – the longest of any of the staff members. Tagger was in the first cycle in 1996 and discovered he had a love for construction and working with his hands. After working in the construction industry, Tagger came back to YDB in 2003 as a trainer and has been here ever since. He provides on-the-job construction and vocational instruction for our students, helps them earn their National Certification for Construction, Education and Research (NCCER) and First-Aid Certification.