Cedric Turner is a proud Boston English High alumnus, who went on to earn a degree in economics from Miami University (Ohio). After working a number of years in the financial industry, Cedric successfully launched his own business, Universal Benefits Services (UBS) in 1993.
Mr. Turner is a certified entrepreneurship instructor who has received numerous awards for his commitment to teaching financial literacy. A registered financial advisor for the National Football League (NFLPA), Cedric is co-founder of the C-Town Spirit and Entrepreneur Foundation, and former board member of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
Deb Bloomberg has worked in the field of economic education and financial literacy for 30+ years, much of that time as an outreach educator for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Deb conducts workshops and classes with youth and adult groups, and trains other educators, with the goal of building core financial literacy skills as well as an understanding of the economic concepts that underpin them.
Deb grew up in Boston, and earned her B.A. at Emmanuel College, her M.A. at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and her Ed. M. at Harvard University. Deb serves as a pro-bono consultant to the Empower Yourself Program.
Derek Mendes was born and raised in Brockton, MA. He is a fourth year student at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Derek is pursuing a Bachelor of science in Civil Engineering Degree. Derek has worked in fields pertaining to civil engineering, management, financing, and retail. As an assistant engineer, Derek has been involved in pre-construction coordination, material testing according to AASHTO/ ASTM standards, management, and financial aspects of specific construction projects. Prior to entering college, Derek worked as a peer tutor to help students in need of academic assistance.
In the past Derek has conducted research on STEM fields to create digital archives signifying changes and achievements over time. He presented his findings to IBM executives including Bob Piciano, Senior Vice President of Information and Analytics Group. Derek has also worked at financial institutes, Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency/ Harbor One Bank where he gained experience related to housing financing processes, retail and customer service.
During the spring of 2014, Derek taught an Empower Yourself ltd financial literacy class at North Middle School in Brockton, Massachusetts. His students competed in an annual financial literacy competition at the federal bank in Boston, MA. His students won first place. Derek has worked with Cedric Turner, CEO of Empower Yourself ltd to create a STEM division of Empower Yourself. Derek is serving as Director and curriculum developer. Empower Yourself plans to launch the STEM program linked to the financial literacy program during the 2014-2015 school year.
Leon Nathaniel Rock is a native of Boston, Massachusetts who has become a highly regarded, respected and experienced grant writer, community development and community revitalization subject matter expert. Rock has been consulting in the areas of grant writing, contract bid responses, community development and organizational development for over two decades. His clients have included public housing agencies, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's), faith-based organizations, local and county municipal governments, state and federal government agencies, social and human service agencies, hospitals, service associations, and Fortune 500 corporations.
Rock has assisted clients throughout the United States in receiving awards of more than $500 million for community and supportive services components of Federal housing revitalization projects.
He has served as expediter/consultant for HUD and other Federal, state and local community development and revitalization projects. With over 30 years of community development experience he has been engaged in multifaceted housing and community development programs that facilitate creating and sustaining a full spectrum of housing opportunities—including market rate, affordable and workforce housing in urban communities across the United States. His technical assistance and consulting services has assisted developers, government agencies, CDC's and CBE's develop coherent mixedincome, mixed-use community development plans.
He has developed and implemented strategies for effective community and stakeholder outreach and involvement in the development process. He has provided expert subject matter technical assistance to over fifty mixed income, mixed finance, mixed use housing revitalization projects throughout the United States with an average public/private plan investment of $200 million dollars per project. He has managed a number of multi-million dollar long term community building and capacity building projects for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, including HOPE VI, Drug Elimination, Moving-To-Work and Neighborhood Networks Technical Assistance contracts. Rock has also
managed multi-million dollar tasks orders and provided training and technical assistance to leading public housing agencies throughout the United States.
These housing agencies have included Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Daytona Beach, Kansas City, Orlando, New Orleans, Seattle, Tampa, Winnebago and Winston-Salem.
He holds both a Bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts, College of Public and Community Service and a Masters Degree from Cambridge College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.