New Advisory Board Members Include Nakia Douglas of UNT Dallas, Scott Fawcett of Empowered Consulting, Byron D. Johnson, a foundation scholar and Enterprise executive, and Drexell Owusu from the Dallas Regional Chamber
DHA (formerly, the Dallas Housing Authority) is honored to announce the new advisory board for the Opportunity Rising Foundation (formerly, the Phoenix Foundation), focused on providing educational opportunities for DHA clients and residents. The board consists of diverse North Texas leaders with expertise in academics, business, community relations, sports and charitable giving. Their mission is to help the foundation reach more students than ever before, while expanding youth’s exposure to educational opportunities that can help to propel them towards their personal and professional goals – and ultimately to self-sufficiency.
“Our Opportunity Rising advisory board is rich in diverse perspectives, as well as passions for helping those in need. The DHA leadership has selected outstanding North Texas leaders to help us propel the Opportunity Rising Foundation to new heights in accessibility, exposure and fundraising,” said Troy Broussard, DHA president and CEO. “Education is the number one way out of poverty. Through the Opportunity Rising Foundation, we are strengthening our focus on higher education for the benefit of DHA residents, families and our broader North Texas community. Our advisory board will be instrumental in helping us provide more opportunities for more people.”
The advisory board consists of the following members:
- Nakia Douglas, the executive director of TRIO and Pre-collegiate Programs at UNT Dallas. The Dallas native has been named 2015 DISD Magnet Principal of the Year and awarded the 2015 Simmons Young Leaders in Education Award. He has also been honored as KERA American Graduate Champion and a DISD Exemplary Principal and was the founding principal of the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy (BOMLA). Nakia has a master’s degree in education from Houston Baptist University and an undergraduate degree in elementary education and teaching from Livingstone College.
- Scott Fawcett is founder and CEO of Empowered Consulting an electricity services brokerage company and Energy Agent. He is also a member of GivingX100, a group that raises money to support local charities in need of support. The goal of the organization is to bring together at least 100 men from the local community to each give $100 to the non-profit, hence the name GivingX100. The result is not $100 for the winning organization, but $10,000. Scott combined his background in statistics and economics to develop a popular course-management system for serious golfers. A personal loss of family in 2016 compelled him to want to do more to give back.
- Byron D. Johnson is a Texas Tech University graduate, earning degrees in Business Management and Business Marketing. As a sales executive for Enterprise Holdings, he is responsible for negotiating contracts and developing marketing plans for his region. As a child growing up in the DHA community, Byron and his family lived in public housing and later received a housing choice voucher that helped them eventually purchase their home. Byron’s childhood experiences with the foundation shaped who he has become today, planting the seed that a college education can, in fact, lead to economic independence.
- Drexell Owusu is the senior vice president of Education and Workforce for the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC), a position wherein he leads the Chamber’s efforts to grow and develop our regional talent and workforce. Prior to joining the DRC, Drexell was the founder and chief executive officer of Brave Capital Partners, an investment company focused on catalyzing minority communities in Dallas. Prior to founding Brave, he served as managing director and chief of staff for Civitas Capital Group, an investment company with over $1.3 billion in assets. Drexell earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Rice University, where he was a two-time Track and Field All-American in the triple jump. He is a passionate advocate for education, serving on three non-profit boards in Dallas.
Opportunity Rising was founded on the belief that education is a key to ending poverty and that everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue a higher education and lifelong learning. The foundation invests in education and learning opportunities so that everyone has access to the necessary resources for academic and professional success.
In fact, the foundation has granted more than 1,100 scholarships to high school graduates and returning college students, amounting to nearly $1.5 million since 1997. This year, Opportunity Rising assisted nearly 2,000 students – all of whom are Dallas Housing Authority residents – with scholarships, internships, mentorships, and other learning opportunities.