Corey Craig, President
If it were not for a select few positive advocates in my life, I would not be the person I am today, and I certainly would not be able to be living out my dream today. I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a great team and carry out a mission to inspire and encourage youth. Troublemaker Foundation is for anyone longing to strip away labels, and to be fully confident in themselves.
I have had the incredible opportunity to speak to numerous classrooms and see the effect of positivity, which is a central theme with Troublemaker Foundation.
I hope to have the opportunity to pass on encouragement to others, and most importantly, instill a belief that anything in life is possible.
Accept • Empower • Achieve
Jackie Sollitto Barrett, Secretary
I am extremely honored to be a part of the Troublemaker Foundation. I believe that a fulfilling and happy life should be the right of every individual. Working to support our youth is the best way to help create a positive future for everyone!
I'm blessed to come from a family of amazing educators - who not only provided a loving and encouraging home to grow, but a positive place to explore the possibilities of my own future. My love of art and stories lead me to the entertainment industry where I am lucky enough to help make those captivating tales come to life on the big and small screen. My mission is to do my best to infuse the industry with the respect and collaboration that has been an integral part of my personal journey.
I am proud to be able to be a part of a foundation whose mission is to help provide a positive and safe space for youth to express themselves and grow as individuals and ultimately as future citizens of the world!
Dessa Craig, Treasurer
I am honored to be on the Troublemaker Foundation board, as I am a parent who believes in encouragement for children, regardless of the situation.
My son was diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, and Tourette’s at a young age. Refusing to buy into labels, I challenged doctors and teachers, and stood firmly against bullying. My voice was frequently heard at school meetings, and I participated in many advocacy groups for the at-risk. I look at life positively, and believe that all children are intelligent and gifted, and
should be treated as such.
ith an acquired knowledge and better understanding of how to help youth throughout the years, I would like to pass on hope and positivity for other parents. Most importantly, I long to see more children and young adults achieve their goals, and believe in themselves, just as they are.
Dominique Aimee Jean, Fashion Director
I am thrilled to be a board member of the Troublemaker Foundation. I am also passionate about the positive impact that we as a foundation can make on our community. As a child, I was very fortunate in many respects, but I did feel the impact of being labeled. As an adult, I have continued to learn the importance of being fully self expressed. I am the possibility that I want to see in the world and I am honored to share that possibility with this foundation. The toughest years in life can be the formative ones, but they don't have to be. I look forward to connecting with kids and sharing my life experiences; so that perhaps the formative years do not have to be so tough. When you know better, you do better.
As a young child you often hear your teachers and parents say, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From an early age of 4, I always answered, “A teacher.” As a young kid, I knew my calling was to help children reach their potential, help them see the world from another perspective, guide children through the rocky roads of life. My dreams did eventually come true and I have been blessed with being an educator for fourteen years.
Recently, my life path has changed and I now have the privilege of being a school counselor. The mental health profession is in fact where my dreams do belong. In today’s society, the social and emotional growth/learning of our children is vital to their development. There are more social pressures that our children face nowadays and I want to help them navigate these social waters. Anxiety and Depression is on the rise with our young children and it is my life goal to provide safety and guidance for our young children.
I am pleased and blessed to be a part of the Troublemaker Foundation. Being a part of a foundation whose mission is to provide a safe and positive space for all children on a national level is a remarkable feat. I look forward to working with the Troublemaker Foundation and being a sounding board for future children that need social and emotional support.
Hi! I'm Eldrick Garcia and I grew up as a "Troublemaker" in between Moreno Valley & Riverside. My humor and opinions would get out of hand and get me sent to detention or the principals office. Those experiences really have me align with the mission and vision of this foundation as troubled youth get backs turned on them with redundant punishments. Most times they really just need time, attention, understanding, role models, & guidance. All of which I yearned for growing up... As a member of this board and personal friend of founder Corey Craig, I am greatly honored to develop this program locally and nationally. With my passion of marketing and promotions, natural ability to engage with others, and genuine drive to help people. I look forward to turning todays trouble makers into the successful future of America.
Shaye Thiel, Art Director
Growing up I quickly became a target for bullying as everything I did was constantly critiqued, without an outlet to express these emotions and hardships until I found my solace in art making. I found my passion connecting my feeling with visual arts which in turn enabled me to connect myself with others. Art gave me the power to reclaim the negative labels and judgements that I was given by transforming them into intricate works of art, inspiring other to engage in my liquified experiences on canvas.
I'm honored and excited to be apart of a foundation that inspires youth to create their own future despite the labels they are given. Creativity can solve almost any problematic situation as the creative act allows you to be true to yourself, therefore you'll ring true to the world. You don't know which box of crayons you'll receive in life but what's most important is what you create with those colors. Troublemaker Foundation encourages youth to live life passionately and I look forward to empowering students to uncover their passion through the arts.
Fun fact: I'm obsessed with quotes! They are quick, digestible, and can be easily referenced when you either need help putting your thoughts into words or need a quick pick-me-up. One of my favorites, from former President Theodore Roosevelt, reads as follows, "comparison is the thief of joy." This quote has gotten me through many tough moments in my life. Moments where I initially saw someone else's success as my failure, or a quality they possessed as more desirable than my own version of that same quality. Over the years, this quote has helped me realize that we each have our own unique path, and that no one path is better than the other. What works for one person may not work for someone else, vice-versa, and that is OK. In fact, our "superpower" is often that thing that makes us the most unique, and when we can tap into it, embrace it and share it with the world, we not only fill our own lives with joy, but the lives of everyone around us.
Often times, we do not discover and embrace that thing that makes us unique until we are much older. Instead, we spend our formative years seeking similarities in our peers, being told by adults that we have to conform to a certain standard, being compared and feeling, among many emotions, confused when we do not "measure up" in certain areas. Troublemaker Foundation revels in the fact that we are all unique, and seeks to help children harness their differences into their own "superpower" much earlier than they may have on their own. That is a mission that I firmly stand behind, and I am ecstatic to be a part of such a wonderful organization. After all, how boring would the world be if we were all the same?!
Irina Melkumyan, Finance Development Director
It is an absolute honor and a privilege to be on a board for a foundation whose sole purpose is to impact and inspire. I believe our future is in the hands of the generation that follow us and it is my passion and purpose to help as many lives as I can. Growing up, I constantly experienced my family be the first in line to help friends and family whenever they were in need. I learned and appreciated from their examples to always be a helping hand.
Out of all the wonderful values I learned from my family, one that has impacted me the most, was when I learned from my family how to approach money. The first time I learned about saving was at the age of 6. My father gave me eleven fresh and crisp one-dollar bills and asked me to hold on to them until it grew in value. I was under no circumstance, to use spend that money until that moment. I carefully saved what he had given me for 4 years and only used it once I was reconnected with my father. That little moment taught me the great importance of saving money and cemented my view on how to appreciate it wisely. Throughout the years, I had the privilege to help my family, friends, and clients with their savings and financial goals. With the growth and knowledge gained through my career in the financial industry; my dream is to help, and share my expertise with our future generations, starting at the elementary school level. I strongly believe that our financial success lies in the people we surround ourselves with and the goals and dreams we set to accomplish.