Empowering Young Men to Excel Conference

Hosted by Commissioner Natalie Hall, District 4 and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners

Commissioner Natalie Hall, District 4, and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners presents The 3rd Annual Empowering Young Men to Excel Conference on Friday, March 24, 2023, at the Loudermilk Center.

The Empowering Young Men to Excel Youth Conference is a 1-day experience for young men graduating high school that will include life-changing presentations and workshops: promoting enrichment in healthy lifestyles, marketable skills, well-balanced relationships, and successful careers beyond their graduation. The experience includes:

  • Keynote Speaker - Atlanta City Councilmember, Antonio Lewis, District 12
  • Greetings - Mayor Andre Dickens, City of Atlanta
  • Interactive Workshops
  • Panel Discussions
  • Industry Exhibitors


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empowering young men to excel conference


Teens in the Law: Social Media & You

This workshop will discuss the intersection of social media and the potential effects on careers, entrepreneurship, and opportunity. The conversation with allow representatives from their respective law enforcement agencies to briefly discuss the concept of a digital footprint through the lens of their respective agency.

Atlanta Public Schools Police Department, Chief Ronald Applin
Fulton County Juvenile Court, Court Program Administrator, Lydia Toomer Popoola
Fulton County Marshall’s Office, Lieutenant Mekeal Hadley
Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney, Jawara Mars & Director of Juvenile Services, Akeem Woodard
Fulton County Solicitor General’s Office, Chief Assistant Solicitor General, Andrea Alabi
Fulton County Police Department, Maureen Smith
Law Offices of Keith Lamar, Jr., Keith A. Lamar, Jr.


Alternative and Emerging Career Opportunities

This workshop is designed to provide students with alternative paths in industries such as construction, barber, artificial intelligence, utilities, and gaming to consider as they embark upon the next phase of life. The goal is to spark interests in emerging industries that may ignite an untapped path to career success.

Derrick Henderson, Build the Foundation
Gregory Rutledge Jr., Barber Institute
Ryan Johnson, Cxmmunity Gaming Industry
Reggie Roby, Georgia Power
Diann Varner
Jerrund Wilkerson II and Coty Elder, Play the Crowd

Developing the Leader Within

Students that attend this workshop will have increased knowledge on why it's important for them to understand themselves and so they can successfully lead others. They will go through exercises to help them understand as a young man why having great character is important as well as understand Growth vs Fixed Mindset thoughts and language.

Benjamin Puckett, WIN Strategy Motivational Speaker and Author


My Finances are My Future

"Know the Game" - A youth presentation on credit, banking, and a money mindset!  
This presentation is an interactive time where youth explore their knowledge while understanding the concept of a Money Mindset.



Olivia D.A. Maxwell, Executive Director for On the Rise Community Development Center

empowering young men to excel conference

conference speakers

Lieutenant Mekeal Hadley

Lieutenant, Fulton County Marshal's Office
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Mekeal Hadley proudly serves under the leadership of Marshal M. McKee as a Lieutenant in the Eviction Services Division with the Fulton County Marshals Department. She also works with the Chief Magistrate Court Judge Cassandra Kirk and State Court Judge Patsy Porter in the Magistrate Mental Health Court.
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Lydia Toomer Popoola

Court Program Administrator, Fulton County Juvenile Court
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Lydia Toomer Popoola is a native Atlantan serving the Fulton County Juvenile Court as a Court Program Administrator in the Programming and Grants Division.
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Ronald Applin, presenter

Chief of Police, Atlanta Public Schools Police Department
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Ronald Applin has over 32 years of law enforcement experience and is the current Chief of Police of the Atlanta Public Schools Police Department. As a graduate of Atlanta Public Schools, he went on to serve 6 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. 
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Keith A. Lamar Jr.

Founder, The Law Offices of Keith Lamar Jr.
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Attorney Keith Lamar Jr. is the founder and managing attorney of The Law Offices of Keith Lamar Jr. Keith was born in Macon, Georgia and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
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Lieutenant Maureen Smith

Lieutenant, Fulton County Police Department
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Lieutenant Smith is from Chicago Illinois with 28 years of Law Enforcement experience. She began her law enforcement career in Chicago in 1995 as a Deputy Sheriff in the Cook County Correctional Facility in which she spent 10 years.
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Andrea Alabi

Chief Assistant Solicitor General, Fulton County Solicitor General's Office
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Andrea Alabi began her legal career at the Georgia Department of Labor handling employment disputes as an administrative hearing officer. Realizing her passion for litigation, she then worked as a criminal defense attorney representing clients south of the perimeter. As lead Attorney, she handled dozens of jury trials, bench trials and countless motions and hearings.
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Olivia D. A. Maxwell

Executive Director, On The Rise Community Development Center
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Olivia D.A. Maxwell is the Executive Director for On the Rise Community Development Center, a financial capability center, providing critical financial education to Atlanta's under-served and under-resourced communities.
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Gregory Rutledge Jr

Founder, Atlanta Barber Institute Inc.
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Mr. Gregory Rutledge, Jr. is the Founder of Atlanta Barber Institute, Inc. and Atlanta Barber Institute Foundation, Inc. Obsessed with forging his tonsorial skills, he shares a traditional vision along with an innovative approach while applying effective mentorship. 
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Derrick Henderson

Engagement Manager, Building Talent Foundation
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Derrick Henderson currently works as the Engagement Manager for Building Talent Foundation. His wealth of knowledge and experience in workforce development has led to success in this role.
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Jerrund Wilkerson

Founder and CEO of Wilkerson Management Group
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As a graduate of Florida A&M University, Jerrund Wilkerson II is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for empowering others through creativity. He is currently a partner in Play The Crowd, a Web 3 studio that builds immersive experiences via their Metaverse as a Service offering.
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