Our Mission

Learning Everyday Accomplishing Dreams (LEAD) is dedicated to providing the tools and resources that low-income/at-risk preteen girls must have to become productive citizens and active leaders in their communities. Using an evidence-based curriculum, LEAD encourages and mentors girls to aspire and achieve greatness academically, emotionally and creatively.

Our Board of Directors


Joy Nelson Thomas, Founder/Executive Director

Joy Nelson Thomas is a Salem College alumna. Joy is a certified Life Coach, Safe Talk ,ASIST certified through American Foundation for suicide prevention, SoulShop certified & CPR certified. She is the President of ABWA (American Business Women Association), a member of Winston Salem Urban League for Young Professionals & NOW (National Organization for Women). She serves as a volunteer for Junior Achievement. Joy is a member of Greater Cleveland Avenue Church. Joy’s passion is to inspire young girls to achieve greatness, through life’s obstacles.

KND 2018 Terrence Graham Productions

Dr. Kimya N. Dennis

Kimya N. Dennis, Ph.D. is a criminologist and sociologist with interdisciplinary research and community outreach dealing with suicide and self-harm, mental health, and reproductive rights and the childfree.  Her research and community outreach address a range of communities with particular emphasis on underserviced communities.  Kimya participates in presentations and panels on community violence, mental health, suicide and self-harm, expanding definitions of gender and gender equality, and racial and ethnic dynamics. She is on the Board of Directors for LEAD Girls of NC; Board of Directors for North Carolina chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; and Board of Directors for The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County.  As Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Criminal Studies in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Studies at Salem College, Kimya is the faculty adviser and co-planner for the Salem College Out of the Darkness Campus Walk sponsored by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Originally from Richmond, VA she collaborates with community activists and researchers in New York, Virginia, and North Carolina.


Maurice Griffin

Reginald Griffin is a Community Resource Coordinator for Goodwill Industries of Central North Carolina, where he specializes in helping members of the community of all backgrounds find employment and/or enhance their careers through training and resources. He worked previously as a High School English Teacher in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System where he taught 9th-11th grade High School, ESL, Standard and Honors English classes. Reginald is an alum of East Carolina University, with a degree in Communications, focused in Broadcast Journalism. Reginald believes strongly in community empowerment and educating our young people through promoting literacy and teaching history in order to prepare them for their future. His passions include running his personal blog, working with youth, serving the underprivileged, being politically and socially aware, and uplifting our communities of color.


Dr.Naomi M. Hall-Byers

Naomi M. Hall-Byers  is a social psychologist, with an advanced degree in public health, whose teaching and research has always focused on social and cultural factors associated with risky behaviors in African American communities. Specifically, her work has focused on sexual health, and HIV prevention and intervention among African American men and women. She received her MA and PhD in Applied Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University, and her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from San Diego State University. Currently, Dr. Hall-Byers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Studies at Winston-Salem State University, and a visiting professor at the University of California, San Francisco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. Dr. Hall-Byers is an elected council member of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (APA Division 9) and on the steering committee for the APA Cyber Mentors program. Additionally, she mentors students through university programs such as Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC U*Star), Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) RISE, Chancellor’s Scholars, and the Bridges to Doctoral Program.

Michelle Melton

Michelle E. Melton

Michelle E. Melton is Assistant Director of Development & Public Relations at Family Services. Previously, she worked 20+ years in higher education communications and institutional advancement as Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Salem Academy & College in Winston-Salem from 2012-15 and as Director of Communications at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky from 1995-2012. Michelle attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has a BS in Music Education from Frostburg State University in Maryland. She served seven years with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and more than ten years as a Minister of Music and as a Minister of Youth in congregations in Maryland, Indiana, and Kentucky. She and her spouse, Dale Melton, live in Clemmons, NC, and they have two adult children.


Dr. Angela Monell

Dr. Angela Monell is a native of Prince George’s County Maryland and has resided in the Winston Salem area for about three and a half-years. As an educator, her passion for students is evident in her daily work as an Assistant Principal. Dr. Monell received her undergraduate degree at Towson University in Mass Communication. As she began to explore her career interests, she obtained her Master’s in Special Education at Bowie State University. In 2014, she received her doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction and her Administrative Certification at North Carolina A&T in 2016. She has a passion for working in the community as well as with students working to find their way. She has a particular interest in working with Middle School students as she recognizes that being in the “middle” is challenging in more ways than one. She believes that middle school is a critical time to engage students and provide structure and resources that will not only take them through their formative years, but will also be valuable throughout their lives.


tiffany parms

Tiffany Parms

Tiffany Parms graduated from North Carolina Central University with a B.S. in Biology in 2009 prior to obtaining a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Arizona. Her epidemiology degree opened doors of opportunity in West Virginia and Ohio prior to her return to North Carolina. Tiffany enjoys travel, baking, and reading, and has a passion for giving back to her community. Joining the Executive Board of LEAD Girls of NC assists her with the realization of that passion. Tiffany currently works as a Senior Scientist in Scientific and Regulatory Affairs with Reynolds American Incorporated Services Company, Inc. and could not be more thrilled to be home.


Dr. Megan Regan

Dr. Megan Regan Assistant Professor of Economics at Salem College is from Hilton Head, SC. She chose to teach at Salem because of the many amazing and inspiring students, the quality and diversity of faculty, and the mission of the College. She believes that a women’s college allows for an empowering and transformational educational experience. It opens up numerous leadership opportunities and it has created an exceptional legacy of producing female leaders across many disciplines.

Before going to Salem she had ten years of experience working with small businesses and social entrepreneurship. She ran a small local business consultancy and served as the director for a business alliance. Internationally, she has worked directly with small and large businesses and she has also worked to secure grant funding, coordinate micro-financing, and teach business skills to entrepreneurs in rural settings such as Gujarat, India, and Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.

When she is not teaching, Dr. Regan enjoys spending time with her family and two dogs, Eddie and Patsy.  She also enjoys doing things outdoors including hiking, yoga, cycling, swimming, gardening, meditation, and cooking.


Tiffany Seawright

Tiffany Seawright is the Assistant Director for Leadership Development in the office of University Student Activities and Engagement at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). Tiffany has worked at the University for over 13 years, and has served on various boards and committees.  Her involvement includes but is not limited to the Staff Senate Executive Board, Health and Wellness Committee, Campus Culture, Professional Development Committee, and Workplace Improvement.  She has been a Residence Hall Director, the Assistant Director for University Recreation as well as a University Official for Judicial Affairs.  In fall 2017, Tiffany will begin teaching a First Year Experience course with a Social Justice tenet at WSSU.  Seawright grew up in Easley, South Carolina.  She obtained her B.S. in Biology at Salem College; and her M.S. in Adult Education/ Higher Education at North Carolina A&T State University.  Tiffany’s desire is to nourish the development of young girls into young ladies, by providing the resources necessary for them to realize their full potential and preserve their sense of self-worth.