Meet Our President

Mr. Aaron Johnson

As the President of DeKalb Kids Project, Aaron Johnson is responsible for streamlining communication within the business and fostering philanthropic relationships within the community. Aaron is also currently serving the Career and Employment Specialist for the Urban League of Greater Atlanta- DeKalb Youth Empowerment Program.

Aaron is a proud DeKalb County native who developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector as a beneficiary of formal and informal youth development programs throughout DeKalb County School District. These experiences have pushed Aaron to dedicate his life to the service of others.  

Prior to accepting the President role, Aaron was a pivotal advocate and PR specialist for DeKalb Kids Project. In addition to PR for the project, he assisted DKP members and staff with management of any practice needs.  

Previously, Aaron served in DeKalb County School District as a middle and high school English teacher and president of a male mentoring initiative, Men of Distinction, at DeKalb Alternative High School. During his time with DeKalb County School District Aaron was also an instrumental figure on the inception of My Brother’s Keeper DeKalb, serving on the founding task force for the initiative. 

Aaron has also used his talents and love for underserved youth by speaking at numerous events, including My Brother’s Keeper Clayton. Aaron’s motto for advocacy was taken from Morgan Carroll, “Obviously these are some exceptional young people, but what they have in common is that they were ordinary people who cared. They wanted to act, to do something, to make life better for other people—and they have."

Intern Coordinator

MS. Kaneica Mcneil

Seeking to find any volunteer opportunity which allowed me to work with children, I reached out to DeKalb Kids Project Inc. I was working multiple jobs and felt the need for a more fulfilling and rewarding way to spend my time besides sleeping in on the weekends. My first event was MBK where I served as a volunteer for the teens during the event. It was a great opportunity, I met some wonderful people, took some pictures, and witnessed a life-changing event take place among the young men that were present. It was amazing as I watched the outwardly young men transform into sensitive young boys as they revealed their hearts and connected with the speakers. Moments like this add value to life and is what connected me with DeKalb Kids Project Inc.

Serving is a part of who I am and knowing that everything I do comes from the heart is the most rewarding part. I believe that everyone has something unique to offer. The very thing that you have to offer cannot be imitated, duplicated, or given on your behalf. You must arrive, be prepared, and present. Work hard and make it look easy! I’m a GSU alumna, BS in Managerial Science focusing on HR pursuing a career in Human Resources. I love God and serve in nearly every area of dance, Helps, intercession, and Fundraising. I spend my time volunteering with DKP as the organizations President, visiting friends and family, and trying to find the nearest park to relax! 

I would like to thank the founders of DeKalb Kids Project, Inc. for allowing me to hold a position with DKP as it sits so close to their hearts. From the beginning, I would like to show my gratitude by thanking you all. From the time I have taken the position as President, I have seen nothing but growth personally and professionally. DKP has not only impacted the youth but has also made multiple strides to better the community. 

I have seen many lives blessed by our efforts, mindsets shifted, and a sense of joy shared through the eyes of the youth. In moving forward it is a goal to see more people giving their time serving the youth, inspired by their own passion, and allowing others to see their transformation. Titles mean nothing without passion, zeal, and drive. 

Our mission is to build leaders of DeKalb and that’s our main objective. We go the extra mile by giving our time and making sacrifices to hear how we helped to change a life.


Thank you,

Kaneica McNeil

Linkedin

Executive Team

Kaneica McNeil

Aaron Johnson

Julian K. Smith Jr.

 Music Coordinator 

jsmith@dekalbkidsproject.org

Candice Singleton

Volunteer Coordinator

Csingleton@dekelbkidsproject.org 


Jlynn Whitehead

Intern (Executive Assistant)

Dominique Mcpherson

Content Write/ Jornalist 

our advisors

Finance

Andrew Paterson

Community Outreach

Saquoia Gillus

Communications

Walter Swanson III

Our Founders!

Tiijon DaCosta

This organization has been uniquely designed based on the principles of God’s unconditional love, compassion and concern for the youth and the desire to reconstitute the communities throughout DeKalb County. Founded by brothers Tiijon DaCosta Sr. and Diijon DaCosta and their cousin Dawit Willis, DKP was developed based off of the founders’ childhoods and mentoring they received by members of the community upon first moving to DeKalb County in 1989. 


tdacosta@dekalbkidsproject.org

Diijon Dacosta

DKP thoroughly stresses the importance of education to each student and reaching their fullest potential. DKP utilizes the expertise of tutoring, extracurricular activities and mentoring to positively influence each child on an individual level. The organization firmly believes in providing each child with the necessary tools and skills to fulfill their passion, make their visions a reality and obtain physical, emotional and mental wellness with the assistance of parents, educators and community leaders.


ddacosta@dekalbkidsproject.org


Dawit Willis

The founders stand firmly on the belief that strong connections, communication and involvement in academics between teachers, community leaders and parents benefits all parties in successfully raising each child to cultivate phenomenal character traits that they will possess for a lifetime. DeKalb Kids Project, Inc. consistently engages in developing self-confidence and self-discipline within their community.   


dwillis@dekalbkidsproject.org

LEADERSHIP CORE EXPECTATIONS

ALL MEMBERS LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE! VIEW THE PICTURE BEFORE WE START ANY PROJECT.

  • Find where you fit in! 
  • Initiative 
  • All leaders should rise to the occasion 
  • Lift each other up 
  • Communication 
  • Use each other as a resource
  • Selfless  
  • Continuous support     

2014 LAUNCH VIDEO