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MEET OUR STAFF

Cleary, Darnell

DARNELL CLEARY

Co-founder, Executive Director, Vice President, and Wellness Director

Darnell Cleary was first introduced to the benefit of academic enrichment and support beyond the classroom through his experience with Horizons Upward Bound, a program he attended during high school. This program allowed him to step outside an environment lacking resources and into one of abundance. Recognizing the impact of this program on the trajectory of his own life and the need that still exists, Darnell is impassioned to invest his time, effort, and experience into under-served and under-resourced Houston communities. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of The Summer Institute, Darnell also serves as the Vice-President, Treasurer, and Wellness Director. A strong believer in the importance of comprehensive wellness, Darnell developed a wraparound program emphasizing physical, social, emotional, and spiritual wellness as necessary components to the success and development of each student. As a natural coach, he brings this mindset into the classroom to create an environment that balances grace and truth to inspire his department and his students to reach their full potential. He utilizes his experience as an entrepreneur, his economics degree, and studies of finance and accounting at the University of Michigan to add value to the financial position of The Summer Institute. Darnell also serves as a Physical Education teacher, Middle School coach, and member of the Wellness Department at Presbyterian School. He is active in his church community, serving as an elder and youth committee leader at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

Walker, Brandon

BRANDON WALKER

Co-founder and President

Brandon Walker is an educator who specializes in math remediation and making STEM education accessible to all learners. A product of both public and highly competitive private schools, he is intimately attuned to how access to resources can impact a student’s trajectory. After being identified as a talented student with significant gaps in his learning during middle school, he participated in and was forever changed by a program like The Summer Institute during high school. By securing an academic scholarship to one of the most prestigious academic secondary schools in the nation, he was able to see the disparity that existed between high and low-performing schools. Following boarding school, he went on to receive his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Statistics, and African American Studies at Purdue University as well as a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Detroit-Mercy. After experiencing firsthand the benefits of academic enrichment programming in under-resourced communities, his life work has been centered on the life-changing power of putting education in the hands of students who are hungry to make their dreams a reality. Brandon served as the Executive Director of The Summer Institute from its founding until 2023 and continues to serve a pivotal role as President and consultant to the program. In addition to this work, he is also the Associate Head of Middle School at Presbyterian School of Houston and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in School Leadership. 

Coffield, Kelley

KELLEY COFFIELD

Coding Instructor

  

Ukandu, Leslie

LESLIE UKANDU

Life Skills Instructor

Nichols, Mike

MIKE NICHOLS

Spirituality Instructor

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ASHLY GEORGE

Writing Instructor

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Corner, Golden

GOLDEN CORNER

Physical Wellness Instructor

 

Kindall-Ritchy, Cortney

CORTNEY KINDALL-RITCHEY

Counselor

 

Heno, Colby

COLBY HENO

Tutoring Lab Instructor

 

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MACY LAND

Program Coordinator

 

SUMMER PROGRAM

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