21st Century Leaders Recognizes Outstanding Alumni in “30 for 30” Award Program

Awards Recognize Long-Term Impact of Organization’s Transformative Programs

ATLANTA--()--21st Century Leaders (21CL) announced today the recipients of the “30 for 30 Alumni Award” in celebration of the organization’s 30th anniversary. This diverse group of exceptional program alumni are being recognized for leading the way in business, leadership, community, educational, and philanthropic endeavors. 21CL is a non-profit organization that connects, transforms, and inspires high school students across Georgia to leverage-diversity, explore career opportunities, and become leaders in their schools, communities, and ultimately the workforce.

The honorees who all originate from Georgia and now represent organizations ranging from LinkedIn to NASA will be recognized at an awards reception on January 16, 2020 at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta. A complete digital publication is available for download highlighting the work of each of the 30 selected honorees.

“There are 30 unique stories to tell within this group of award winners. However, we were excited to see several themes resonate among these alumni including a focus on servant leadership and a desire to give back to their communities,” said Matt Johnson, board chairman for 21st Century Leaders and Principal with KPMG.

He continued: “This is a distinguished group of individuals who began their journey as Georgia high school students and 21CL program participants. Today they epitomize 21CL’s 30 years of unyielding commitment to the power of diversity, corporate collaboration and the importance of inspiring the next generation of business leaders. We were particularly impressed to see examples of alumni who now work for the same companies that initially invested in them during their time as students. It is incredibly rewarding to see the full-circle impact of our programs.”

About the 30 for 30 Recipients
The 30 award winners represent a diverse group of individuals at different stages in their careers and a wide variety of organizations. To learn more about the recipients, 21CL created a digital publication including images and their personal stories can be found here.

Julia Abelsky, San Francisco, LinkedIn
Charles Orgbon, Oakland, Deloitte
Nathan Puckett, San Francisco, Tesla
Brandon Williams, Glendale, NBC Universal

Khari Arnold, Atlanta, NBA.com
Taylor Benford, Atlanta, Accenture-GA
Maria Blackburn, Woodstock, Southern Company
Greg Clay, Atlanta, Lineur Consulting Group
Jacque-Corey Cormier, Atlanta, Georgia State University
Clayton Dawkins, Kennesaw, City of Cartersville
Brandi Harrison, Atlanta, Turner Studios (WarnerMedia)
Victoria Lamar, Atlanta, Securing Degrees Debt Free, LLC
Quentin Marlin, Savannah, Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams LLP
James Nixon, Vidalia, Meadows Regional Medical Center
Christiana Oshotse, Atlanta, Journal for Young Investigators
Timothy Parham, Marietta, The MAP Foundation
Teryn Shipman, Atlanta, VIPKID
Randell Trammell, Cartersville, State YMCA of Georgia/Georgia Center for Civic Engagement
Natalie Walker, Atlanta, Cox Enterprises
Jewel Wicker, Atlanta, Freelance Entertainment and Culture Reporter

Tia Bolden, New Orleans, NASA, The Boeing Company

New York
Michael Asmelash, New York, Live Nation Entertainment
Arjun Sahgal, New York, Eazel

New Jersey
Lauren Flanigan, East Hanover, Mondelez International

Machmud Makhmudov, Philadelphia, Joe Biden for President

Moyo Jennifer Sonola, Nashville, Operations & Strategy Consultant

Brent Gills, Austin, Deep Seas Investment Group, LLC

Katherine Bryant, Alexandria, St. Stephens & St. Agnes School

United Kingdom
Sara Dada, London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Nominations for this award program were the responsibility of a nine-member selection committee which was compromised of the organization’s advisory council and board of directors. The nomination committee was comprised of the following individuals: Jon Neff, COO of Hire Dynamics, Michael White, director of HR at Cox Enterprises, Steven Staes COO & general counsel at K&G Superstore, Dennis Adamovich, CEO of the College Football Hall of Fame, Kathy Solley, partner at Nelson Mullins, Ellen Lindemann, assistant director at Lekotek GA, Rosalynne Price, former senior manager of diversity at Cox Enterprises, Art Evans, senior director of talent management for the Atlanta Braves and Mike Szalkowski, CPA, family office manager at Schejola Partners.

About 21st Century Leaders
Since inception in 1989, 21st Century Leaders has served more than 14,000 diverse high school students from over 250 Georgia high schools. 21st Century Leaders is a non-profit organization that connects, transforms, and inspires high school students across Georgia to leverage diversity, explore career opportunities, and become leaders in their school, community, and ultimately the workforce. For more information about 21st Century Leaders, visit www.21stcenturyleaders.org.


Lauren Shankman
404-214-0722 x 121

Release Summary

The non-profit youth leadership development program is announcing 30 alumni as recipients of its award program in recognition of its 30th anniversary


Lauren Shankman
404-214-0722 x 121