We help minority students achieve their potential by cultivating their interest and access to the technology, design, UX/UI, and consumer experience spaces through paid high-school internships

Programs
Our programs give Black and Brown youth
unparalleled real-world experience
Internship
Opportunities
Internships give high-school aged students the opportunity to work with leaders in the technology, UX/UI space. Each cohort will be partnered with team members from the sponsoring company who will walk students through their department’s function, role, and what their daily activities are like. Students will rotate departments to gain equal access to various opportunities within the organization.
Network Development &
Mentorship
Internships give high-school aged students the opportunity to work with leaders in the technology, UX/UI space. Each cohort will be partnered with team members from the sponsoring company who will walk students through their department’s function, role, and what their daily activities are like. Students will rotate departments to gain equal access to various opportunities within the organization.
Leaders
The BYB team has a vision. One of inclusiveness and
opportunity to do more and be better stewards of the future
through the lens of technology, design and customer
experience.

Todd Harris

Founder

Sharon Blecker

Executive Director

Jon Rowley

Board Member

Todd is a problem solver, tech and cultural strategist, and connector of people.

Todd uses design thinking and customer experience practices to work closely with strategic technology and Fortune 500 brand partners to solve their most complex and pressing business and brand challenges while driving revenue growth for companies and partners.

Over the past 18 years, Todd’s held several instrumental growth and leadership positions across industry leaders and innovators in broadcast, digital, SaaS and digital agencies.

Todd’s vision for Beyond Your Block is to build a bridge between Black and Brown youth, the communities in which they call home, and the technology, design, and customer experience sector. The long term goal is to provide opportunity, improve the talent pipeline, and diversify the technology industry.

Sharon Blecker is Beyond Your Block’s Executive Director, responsible for our strategic direction, vision, growth and performance.

For over a  decade, Sharon has helped Fortune 500 companies navigate the adoption of new technology and realize their strategic objectives.

Sharon aims to use her experience to foster an outcome focused, data driven, transparent, collaborative and agile culture at Beyond Your Block. 

Jon is an entrepreneur, community leader, and a proud father. 

Jon is the founder of 2020FIT, a community-based fitness business dedicated to improving the lives of its clients, outside the gym. Jon’s involvement with BYB stems from his desire to connect kids who are motivated and hardworking with a network of business leaders that can open their world the possibilities they didn’t know existed through mentorship and employment opportunities. 

Jon’s intention for BYB is to take advantage of the network he’s established building 2020FIT and utilize those connections to help teenagers that are “Beyond the Block” of the Prairie Village bubble where 2020FIT operates. You can find more information about Jon at www.2020.Fit or following him @jon2020fit

Drew Komenda

Board Member

Nia Jones

Board Member

Phil Nwafor

Board Member

Drew is a dynamic and strategic leader with a proven ability to inspire organizations to reach new heights. His endless optimism, focus, and entrepreneurial spirit have played a pivotal role in the success of Rx Savings Solutions since 2012. Drew leads the commercial side of the business including sales, marketing, strategic partnerships and client success. Drew has a passion for helping others and eliminating the unnecessary complexity surrounding healthcare. Previously, he spent 11 years at Johnson & Johnson in various roles focused on leading the business in several strategic areas.

Drew has extensive experience leading commercial organization’s scalable growth while maintaining a mission driven culture.  Drew’s experience has given him an in-depth knowledge of the health care value chain, where inefficiencies exist and how to leverage technology to create value for all constituents. 

Nia Jones is thrilled to be a part of the Beyond Your Block board. After spending nine years in the construction industry as one of few minority-woman owned companies; she quickly realized the many ways minorities are consistently left out of potential life altering conversations.

Nia’s goal for Beyond Your Block is to meet the community where they are, and that our efforts will always align with the ultimate goal of furthering the progression of our black and brown communities.

Nia has found that her joy comes from helping others discover their true passions in life. Having discovered a love for cooking later in life, Nia truly understands what it feels like to start over doing something that speaks more to your heart. No matter where you are in your life’s cycle, it’s never too late to begin again.

Phil Nwafor has nearly 20 years of experience as a healthcare growth strategy leader.  Phil has overseen the acquisition and development of healthcare innovations in the provider, payer, product and bio-pharmaceutical markets, particularly serving communities facing the challenge of having very limited access to care.

Mr. Nwafor lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife and children, and is passionate about creating art inspired by his city, and giving back to his community. He is an avid photographer, loves to read, and volunteers in his city as a founder of a community group that seeks to serve and mentor at-risk youth.

Partners
Our partners flat out care! They’ve been part of the BYB
journey and are helping pave the way for our kids!
Let’s talk
The biggest dreams start
with a conversation

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