Young Detroit Builders Staff and Americorps Members
As Executive Director since November 2011, Wilson oversees all program and financial efforts. Born and raised in Detroit, Wilson has more than 30 years of leadership experience. Wilson graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work degree. 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 organizatons. 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 goverment and spearheaded many govermental 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.
Cheryl Haskett is our Financial Director at Young Detroit Builders. With more than 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Haskett has been a part of the YDB team since February 2003. Prior to coming here, she worked as a financial consultant. As part of YDB’s administrative arm, she handles all of the organization’s financial matters, including bills, invoices and paychecks. In addition to working at YDB, Haskett is on several boards of various organizations including the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (Michigan Chapter) and the NAACP.
Job Developer | Project Coordinator
Jeffrey Portis is YDB’s Job Developer/Project Coordinator. As job developer, his main responsibility is to help students, as he plainly puts it, “find, get and keep a job.” As Project Coordinator and Job Developer, Portis manages all special projects related to the YouthBuild Detroit program, including the Detroit-Based Contractor Incubator Assistance Project, which provides business support services to low-income contractors. Prior to his current position, Portis wore several career hats, including one as an Attorney for 12 years, a Manager at Borders Book Store and owner of his own landscaping business. His dedication to helping young adults find and maintain work stems from his belief that meaningful employment is “a basic human right.”
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, with more than 30 years of teaching and training experience, 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, Booker is also a mentor and motivator. 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.”
Tagger has been apart of YDB for over 15 years, the longest of any of the staff members, and not just as a construction trainer. In fact, he was just like our students; dropped out of high school and was ready to take charge of his life. Tagger was in the first cycle in 1996 and discovered he had a love for construction and working with his hands. After working a few years 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.
Hobson came on board as YDB’s Math Teacher in September 2008. Hobson holds a Bachelor of Science helps prepare students for the math portion of the GED and ACT exams. She is a graduate of Wayne State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting. While at Wayne State, Hobson worked as a research assistant and peer mentor. She used her work experience, math knowledge and her own obstacles as a youth to instruct and inspire her students at YDB. Hobson is currently pursuing an MBA from Wayne State University. She hopes to be apart of YDB for years to come.
Andrew Grant, BGS
Scott Kennedy, BA - Sociology
Ericka Warren, BSW, MSW - Macro
Community Partnership Specialist