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Meet our Mentors

Save the youth


Marcus Wilson


Marcus Wilson is proud to support Save The Youth as a mentor. His teaching career began at Lafayette Academy Charter School, teaching 5th Grade Social Studies after graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's in Middle School Education. While at Lafayette Academy, he founded and directed, The Gentlemen's Club, a student-centered organization aimed to cultivate a borderless community for young men of New Orleans by engaging them in community, leadership, academics, service, and sophistication.

After six years of teaching, he has transitioned from the classroom to leading a program providing young adults with personal and professional soft skills development and career exploration through group and one-on-one coaching. Marcus' commitment to increasing outcomes for our students is evident through his work in the community. 

James Jackson


James Jackson is an Anti-Money Laundering Vice President and ACAMS member with over 10 years of AML and compliance experience.  One of the greatest cases he has worked in the US is a human trafficking case where it took the analysis of over 500 financial transactions, spanning across several cities and states with over 40 different suspects.  They were found to have trafficked over 50 individuals ranging in ages from 12 to 42.

James was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where he called the crime and drug infested neighborhood of the Calliope Projects his home.  He was born to one of the largest drug families in New Orleans Metro area.  After witnessing two of his uncles cut down in hail of bullets, he immediately realized this wasn’t the life for him. His father couldn’t be there because he was on drugs and in jail for various crimes.  His stepfather couldn’t be there because he too was on drugs.  His mother’s support was limited to her working two jobs for wages that were not good enough to maintain a home in one the most poverty-stricken areas of New Orleans. With so much stacked against him, he ended up homeless at the age of 16 years old in high school, sleeping near a church on Carrolton and with friends who would allow him to stay but keep his secret of not having a place to live.

Through the many years of suffering and adversities, James Jackson attended Southern University of New Orleans, Southeastern University of Louisiana and Xavier University of New Orleans where he majored in Psychology and pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.  He served 8 years in the United States Army and is currently enrolled at LSU where he is enhancing his value within the financial crimes industry by adding a Financial Analysis Degree to his background.  One of the quotes that inspires him every day is “They’ll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous, failure is always in option. Failure is always the most readily available option.  But it’s a choice. You can choose to fail, or you can choose to succeed." He chose to succeed!

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Avery M. Riley, Jr. is the Public Defender of Plaquemines Parish Court House in Louisiana. He grew up in Port Sulphur and attended Port Sulphur High School up until Hurricane Katrina, and then graduated from Belle Chasse High in 2008. He attended Louisiana State University where he was initiated into the Theta Kappa Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Avery graduated with a degree in sociology, then attended Southern University Law Center as a part-time evening student while working full time for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for East Baton Rouge City-Parish.

Justin Smallwood


Justin Smallwood is a father of two and a former educator from the New Orleans area who sees our community in need of fresh, relevant leadership.

He is passionate about counseling the youth emotionally and mentally, and helping them seize the opportunities that lie before them. Therefore, he runs a math tutoring service, as this subject has tremendous impact on a person’s professional trajectory and overall confidence as a member of society. 


Cantrelle Monk


Mr. Cantrelle Monk, a New Orleans native, has served scholars in New Orleans charter schools for the past 11 years. He has worked with students as a Special Education Math and ELA Push-In Inclusion educator while supporting students that needed extra support.

During his employment as a teacher at open-enrollment charter schools,  he strived to create equity in his lesson plans by incorporating differentiating lessons for learning styles, IEPs, 504s, gifted abilities, as well as cultural and

socio-economic needs enriched every student’s experience. He has implemented a variety of assessments to ensure evidence of successful learning throughout each unit.

Mr. Monk joined Save the Youth in 2019 shortly before the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Monk enjoys spending time outdoors playing sports and being active. Each child’s success is very important to him. You can count on him to provide the students with a safe, enriching, and /talented fun learning experience at SAVE the YOUth.



Flem is a registered nurse currently working at a local Rehabilitation Hospital, but even he will tell you that much of his time has been devoted to educational pursuits. He’s obtained bachelor’s degrees in both Biological Sciences and Nursing.  He is in his final year of study for his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. As a nurse, Flem shares an innate passion for providing care to others. “I find this career choice to be extremely fulfilling. It is an immense honor to be there for others in their time of need. “Upon graduation, Flem will being working as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. He intends to work in an underserved community-based outpatient clinic, where he will assess, diagnose, and treat individuals suffering from mental disorders. Flem remains a prominent advocate for mental wellness, driven by a patient centered approach to care. 

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