Caleb Rutledge is a graduate of the University of Detroit High School and Wayne State University, with bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He also studied marketing and gained expertise in Internet advertising and media while previously employed with J. Walter Thompson as an analyst on its Ford Motor Company account and at GM Planworks on its Chevrolet account. Caleb is currently an account director with the AvantGo Corporation. He also owns his own lawn care and landscaping company and is involved in the acquisition of new real estate development. He is on the advisory board of directors for Crockett High School Compact and is a member of the Adcraft Advertising Club and 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, Inc. Caleb has been honored with the Martell “Rise Above” Award for his community activism.
“Growing up I always had a relative, family friend, teacher or neighborhood adult giving me advice or direction. Therefore, I was eager to create an organization that could be a resource to youth. I am proud to say that we gave our first scholarships when we were still in college.”
James W. Heath
James W. Heath is a graduate of University of Detroit High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law. While maintaining an active law career, he has also delved into politics, running for the Michigan State House of Representative in 2004. He was also a 2005 Michigan Political Leadership Fellow. James is vice president of the Blackstone Park Neighborhood Association and on the board of directors of Mariner’s Inn, a residential substance abuse treatment center that also provides transitional housing to homeless men. He is also a member of the State Bar Association of Michigan, American Bar Association, Wolverine Bar Association and was recently appointed General Counsel for the Midwest Region of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. James and his wife Malika have two children, JR and Karon.
“I joined the LAF 10 years ago primarily because of the close friendships I enjoyed with the founding members. I believed in them and wanted to explore ways in which we could transform our personal friendships into a vehicle to serve the metro Detroit community. I want to continue to enhance the level of service we can provide to young people in this community.”
Raphael Johnson attended University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Cass Technical High School. He earned certification as a paralegal and legal assistant from Blackstone School of Law and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree from University of Detroit Mercy (UDM). He was awarded a full scholarship to attend the University of Detroit Mercy and was honored with the UDM Dean’s Award (2004-2007) and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Legal Administration program. He was awarded a full scholarship in the Master's of Arts for Liberal Studies program for the 2007-2008 school year at UDM as well. He is an author, motivational speaker and certified fitness trainer under the auspices of his company Total Package Lifestyle, LLC. and has written an autobiography, “To Pose a Threat: My Rite of Passage.” Raphael’s work has garnered him several honors, including the Special Celebration Award from Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick and the Detroit City Council has presented him with the Spirit of Detroit Award and its Testimonial Resolution Award for his published work. He is involved in the metro Detroit community as a youth mentor and volunteer for the Flip the Script Program, Gesu Church Homeless pantry and shelter, and facilitator/Instructor for Conflict Resolution classes. He has also implemented the Total Package Lifestyle Clothing Drive and works with the Isuthu Institute and Young Men In Transition (Mumford High School). He is member of the Detroit Parent Network, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Nation of Islam, Michigan Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (MI-CURE) and Peace Keeper (E.N.O.T.A., Educating Neighborhoods to Obey Those in Authority, Project). Raphael can also be found by visiting his personal website as well.
“I want the LAF to have continued success in challenging the thinking process of our young people. I want us to provide them with the necessary resources and information that will make this change concrete.”
Michael Thomas, Jr.
Michael Thomas, Jr. is a graduate of University of Detroit High School and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (Florida A&M). He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In addition to his work in pharmaceutical sales, he invests in real estate and other business areas. He plans to begin motivational speaking.
“I watched the LAF throughout my high school years serve as a great example of what it means to reach back while moving forward. I want to help provide opportunities for youth in Detroit. The LAF is a great platform to do so.”
Jason Malone attended University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy and recently graduated from Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. He co-founded the Midnight Golf program for youth in the city of Detroit. He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and was president of the Black Student Union at Loyola.
“The Legacy Associates Foundation has nurtured me throughout my high school and college experience and I truly believe that the mission of the organization parallels my mission in life.”
Julius J. Readus
Julius J. Readus graduated from Northwestern High
“The LAF members share the same vision - mentoring, educating and preparing our youth with key life skills to be productive members of their communities. Wealth and personal accolades are not what is important, but the Legacy that we leave behind.”
Calvin R. Toone
Calvin R. Toone is a graduate of Lake Shore High School and Wayne State University. His bachelor’s degree is in Corporate Finance. As a vice president at J.P. Morgan Chase, he is responsible for managing more than 15 million dollars in assets and has developed activities that increased branch business lending by 200 percent.
He is a Quality Customer Service Award winner. Calvin volunteers with United Way on its annual fund-raising project and as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit. He also worked as campaign treasurer during Triette Reeves' 2006 run for the Michigan State Senate. In addition, he is chairman of the board of trustees for Northend Church of God in Christ Youth Representative and Youth Representative for the NAACP’s Macomb County chapter. He is also a member of the National Association of Accountants, UAW Local 2280 and Omega Psi Phi, Inc.
Curtis Blackwell II graduated from Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School, Hampton University and Baylor University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and a master’s degree in Sports Administration. He was the first recipient of the American Football Coaches Association/Baylor University joint Sports Administration Graduate Scholarship and selected to participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (N.C.A.A.) Internship Program. In addition to his work with P.A.L. he is Chief Executive Officer of B.H.N. L.L.C. Management that operates an Alabama Style Chicken & Fish Restaurant. Curtis is also the youth services coordinator for the Family Empowerment Institute and assistant head football coach/defensive coordinator at Mackenzie High School. He is co-founder and vice president of The Lifting As We Climb Foundation Inc., advisory council member with the Michigan DECA High School Association and panelist for the Detroit Y.A.R.D. (Young Adults Reclaiming Detroit) Task Force.
“I want the LAF to impact the lives of youth financially and educationally through the ‘Let’s Start A Business’ Youth Entrepreneurship Program.”
Nicholas Brown graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Michigan State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Education and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership with bilingual endorsement. For the last eight years, Nicholas has mentored new teachers at Wayne State and Michigan State Universities, as well as provided after-school and other types of tutoring. Resident disc jockey (DJ) at the Grand Central Lounge, he also freelances his turntable skills. He is also a member of the Third Eye Open Poetry Collective.
“It is my duty as someone who has benefited from mentorship and the service of caring individuals to continue the trend and keep such action alive and effective in the city.”
Phillip Caldwell IIII
Michael Dixon is a graduate of University of Detroit Jesuit High School. A recipient of the Higher Education Incentive Scholarship, he attended Western Michigan University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science with a minor in Chemistry.
Cecil I. Forbes Jr., D. C.
Dr. Cecil I. Forbes, Jr. graduated from Martin Luther
King Jr. Senior High School, Jackson State University and Palmer College of Chiropractic. His bachelor’s degree is in Biology and Physical Therapy. While a student, he treated thousands of patients in India during his Clinic Aboard Program to Hydrabad. He is currently affiliated with HealthQuest, the official chiropractors of the Detroit Lions football team. During the 2006 season, he was the team doctor on a road game victory against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium. Cecil is a volunteer football coach at his high school alma mater and co-founded the Greater Antioch Baptist Church Neighborhood Basketball Program. He also been a Detroit Merit Academy commencement speaker and given presentations on health awareness. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association, American Black Chiropractic Association, Michigan Association of Chiropractors, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Lifting As We Climb Foundation and Livonia Chamber Of Commerce.
Joshua J. Griggs
Joshua J. Griggs attended University of Detroit Jesuit and Shrine High Schools. He graduated from Howard University with a bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management. As an entrepreneur, he owns Jmart Services, a food service company, and is a real estate appraiser licensed in six states. He co-founded the LAF’s “Let’s Start a Business” program.
“I would like to see the LAF prosper to a national presence. I think this organization has the ability to achieve great success and continue to grow exponentially throughout urban communities.”
Marc Johnson is a graduate of University of Detroit Jesuit High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Florida A&M University. An entrepreneur, he previously owned and operated Dreams of Cream Café in Southfield, Michigan for two years, as well as Johnson Enterprise Holdings, LLC a Detroit-based real estate development company, for six years. He is currently managing the renovations of Detroit’s Hotel St. Regis. He spends much of his time working with youth. As director of real estate for Strather & Associates, he taught nearly 300 students the fundamentals of real estate investment at Marygrove College and Wayne County Community College. He has been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit for eight years. Marc is also a member of the Michigan Board of Realtors.
“At the age of 21, my peers and I decided to start Legacy Associates Foundation because of the negative stereotypes portrayed by the media of African-American males. We set out on a quest to enable our young males to be productive individuals and equip them to become responsible young adults.”
Arnette Jordan II
Arnette Jordan II is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and Jackson State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a minor in Social Studies. A basketball coach, he has given numerous free basketball camps and clinics in Detroit and Southfield, Michigan. He has spoken at numerous public schools in the metro Detroit area on how to be a great student athlete. Arnette is a member with the National Black Coaches Association and the Ohio Basketball Coaches Association, as well as participates with Kent State Tutorial Services.
“I want to help increase the number of scholarships we give and how much we give to the deserving students. I want to make sure that the LAF becomes a household name in the U.S. as such organizations as the NAACP and 100 Black Men.”
Darnell Kaigler, Jr., D.D.S.
Dr. Darnell Kaigler, Jr. graduated from the
“I would like the organization to be a powerful network and resource base for the growth and development of the lives of those who will come after us.”
Andwele Lewis graduated as valedictorian from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and was awarded a four-year, full scholarship from Lucent Technologies to attend Harvard University. At Harvard, he earned bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, as well as a master’s in Business Administration. Andwele previously worked as a Management Consultant for McKinsey & Company, as well as with the nonprofit Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). The latter was through the Harvard Business School’s Service Leadership Fellows Program. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP.
“The LAF was an excellent opportunity to join friends from high school to use our talents to serve others and provide mentorship for younger people.”
Jamiel Martin is a graduate of Cody High
“My goal is to help the LAF move its mission forward so that 100 years from now, there are Men of Legacy and people who have benefited from the LAF all over the world doing great things.”
Ameer S. McCall
Ameer S. McCall is a graduate of Renaissance High
“I joined the LAF because it has a track record of providing scholarships and mentoring to Detroit youth. I was also drawn to the brotherhood of likeminded and career-oriented young brothers like myself. I want to help expand the LAF’s programs nationally and into total community revitalization.”
Christopher Mormon graduated from Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Senior High School and earned football scholarships to Central Michigan University and Florida A&M University. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida A&M. In addition to his work as mortgage broker, he is owner of DECKcellent power washing and sealing company here in Southeast Michigan. He is a football coach at MLK and Oak Park High Schools and participates in the “Lifting As We Climb: Sound Mind Sound Body” football camp.
“Through the LAF, I aim to be a pillar of strength, optimism and opportunity to those less fortunate and in need of role models.”
Kaine C. Onwuzulike, M.D.
Dr. Kaine C. Onwuzulike is a graduate of Mumford High School and also attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science from Grand Valley State University (GVSU), and became the 1st African American male to matriculate from GVSU to an accredited medical school. He holds a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, and holds a Ph.D. in Genetic Epidemiology & Biostatistics. His medical training focused on cardiovascular disease and neurological sciences and he has previously lectured on related topics. He is a neurological surgery intern at the Neurological Institute, University Hospitals of Cleveland CASE Medical Center. With his unending love and devotion to children, he hopes to eventually practice pediatric neurological surgery, with a specialization in childhood tumors and congenital malformations. Kaine is currently a hypertension expert for Net Wellness, a website that provides an internet-based health information service for consumers, where he writes original content and answers high blood pressure-related medical questions from consumers on an ongoing basis. He is on the board of directors of G.I.R.L.T.A.L.K, Inc. (Girls in Real Life Tackling a Livid Killer), a nonprofit that provides HIV/AIDS education, as well as trains young women to become leaders in the fight against the disease. He is also a member of various academic and world organizations including the American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, and Smithsonian.
John Peoples graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Florida A&M University. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and teacher certification in Business Education. John is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
“I have grown a lot, as well as seen Legacy help young people to grow and be successful. I can not think of a better opportunity to serve my fellow man and community with my closest friends.”
Chris S. Polk
Chris graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Western Michigan University. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Economics and master’s degree in Organizational Management. He is currently working toward his CFRE (Credential for Fundraising Executives) certification in philanthropy. Chris leads his own marketing and fund-raising firm, but also serves as a consultant for The Remington Group of Beverly Hills, Michigan, with clients including Focus: HOPE, the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, NCAA Final 4 and the Detroit Science Center. He is the former development officer for his alma mater University of Detroit Jesuit High School & Academy and assisted with its $25 million Reclaiming our Future (1999) and $22 million For The Greater Good capital campaigns (2006). He is a member of Detroit Economic Club, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Detroit Institute of Arts - Founders Junior Council and Detroit Athletic Club.
Chad Rhodes attended University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Morehouse College and North Carolina A&T State University. He earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering and Natural Science.
“I want Legacy to be recognized as an organization of few that made a difference to many.”
Paul Riser served the LAF nine years as president. He is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and Florida A&M University, with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and minor in Mathematics. He has also earned a MBA with a Technology Management focus from the University of Phoenix. Formerly a Technology Engineer with Sun Microsystems, he is now providing technology services independently. He leads the strategic development of the LAF’s “Let’s Start A Business” youth entrepreneurship program and is second vice chair of the community organization ARISE Detroit!. In addition, he is on the board of directors of numerous other Detroit organizations, including the New Detroit Coalition, Detroit Workforce Development Department, City Year Detroit, InsideOut Detroit, Mayor’s Time Detroit, Detroit BAEO (Black Alliance of Educational Options), and the International Detroit Black Expo. He was also chairman of the Sponsorship Committee for former Mayor Dennis Archer’s 2001 Education Conference. Paul is a member of the external advisory board of Merrill Lynch, as well as a member of the Detroit Institute of Arts Community Relations Committee, Wayne County Commissioner Bernard Parker’s 2007 “Crisis of the African-American Male” Task Force, ENAHPA Dinner Fundraising Committee and the New Detroit Coalition’s “Emerging Leaders” Council. He was honored as a 2002 Recipient of Florida A&M University ”Living Legends” Award and 2002 Blue Cross Blue Shield ”Caring for Children, Angel Award” Recipient.
“I want to see our programs and services empower tens of thousands of youth with the tools, education, resources and the will to excel in the 21st century global and digital economy. I hope that our efforts, support and dedication will provide generational change for children and families that will reduce economic and social disparities for minorities.”
Kevin Watts is a graduate of M.L. King, Jr. Senior High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and master’s degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from University of Illinois. He is currently pursuing a MBA at the University of Michigan. His achievements in his field were recently recognized in Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology magazine. Kevin is active with the March of Dimes, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit and Young Brothers United. He previously served as president of the National Society of Black Engineers and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
“I was a LAF scholarship recipient and, now that I am in a position to give back the way the LAF gave to me, I am honored to be apart of the organization. I would like to assist high school seniors with not only getting accepted into college but with also completing college."