Caught Up Youth Retreat!

This Year's Youth Retreat was powerful and relevant for young men who live in challenging times in today's society. We discussed several topics. Such as: 


Making Good Decisions with My Cash! 

Leaving Behind the Hood Mentality

Emotional and Trauma Healing






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Learn More About Our Speakers 

Rashad Burden

Keynote Speaker

Rashad Burden was born June 20th 1988 to Donald Burden & Shirley Word. The second of three boys he attended both Pine Forge Academy & Oakwood University. Out of College his first pastorate was in the Dayton Ohio district of Dayton New Life & Dale Wright Memorial in Germantown Ohio. He is the current Pastor of both the Dothan Mount Olive & Ozark Shiloh SDA churches. He Preaches Jesus & Jesus alone. His favorite text is 2 Cor 5:14 which says "for the love of Christ constrains me, for if one died all died".

Michael Randall

Breakout Session-Healthy

Michael Randall is a tireless advocate for individuals.  He started helping people back in 2006 as a Patient Attendant, as he was working his way through college.  He continued working with individuals as he transitioned to an internship at the Ypsilanti Housing Commission-Chesapeake Community Partners. 

In the midst of all this work, Michael married the love of his life, the lovely Alaina, in June 2015. Michael and Alaina are vegans who love to cook and eat together.  In his spare time, Michael is also the President of Bridge Young Adult Ministries.  Michael found a new appreciation for all that libraries and librarians do when he became a Trustee of the Ypsilanti District Library in 2015.

Michael Randall being sworn in as a Trustee of the Ypsilanti District Library.
Michael Randall being sworn in as a Trustee of the Ypsilanti District Library.

If Michael had a personal slogan, it would certainly include the word Community.  It is part of all that he does every day.  WHP is lucky to have his smile, enthusiasm and tireless advocacy. He really does embody our unofficial tag line, We Help People.  

Eric Adams

Break Out Session-Interacting with Police

Eric Samuel Adams, Jr., Esq. is a criminal defense attorney born and raised in the city of Los Angeles, CA. After completing his schooling in Pennsylvania and Alabama, along with working for a short period of time in Massachusetts, Eric moved back to Los Angeles, CA where he currently lives. Eric is passionate about the work he does. Through his work as an attorney, he believes in giving a voice to voiceless individuals by holding the government to its burdens as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. Eric also believes people are more than the worst thing they've done and envisions a criminal justice system that recognizes this. Outside of work, Eric enjoys various activities such as mentoring, attending church, playing basketball, playing and listening to music, and reading a good book. 

Brenton Harrison

Breakout Session-Financial Literacy

Brenton D. Harrison is a Financial Advisor with Henderson Financial Group, Inc., focusing on healthcare practitioners, business executives, and religious leaders. He entered the financial services industry with Innovative Financial Group, and brings the latest financial solutions to the clients he serves with HFG. Through excellent communication and service skills, he earned the coveted New Associate of the Year Award for Innovative Financial Group in 2010, and in 2015, was named as one of Top 30 Advisors under 30 by LifeHealthPro magazine. Brenton is also a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, one of the premiere organizations for financial professionals around the world.

Brenton is a graduate of Young Leaders Council of Nashville, Nashville Emerging Leaders, and was named one of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30 young professionals by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Middle Tennessee. In addition to his professional activities, Brenton is an active member of his church, Riverside Chapel, and serves as a board and committee member for a number of volunteer organizations, including the Vanderbilt University Institutional Review Board, the Oakwood University business advisory board, and The Pine Forge Academy Foundation Board.

Brenton and his wife, Lynae, enjoy spending time with family, traveling, reading and playing basketball and golf.

Russell Harris

Breakout Speaker

Russell Harris is the Chief Dream Director for the Future Project and was previously the principal at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy on the Northwest side of Detroit. Under Harris’ leadership, 99% of the academy’s class of 2016 graduated and 100% of the class have also gained acceptance to post-secondary opportunities. Russell believes that all kids can learn and is on a mission to provide a quality education to urban youth regardless of their household income and zip code.

“I chose to pursue my passion in Detroit because Detroit was at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality education. Detroit had recently filed for bankruptcy and I wanted to be apart of the movement which provides opportunities to all, no matter your socioeconomic status.”

Overcoming many obstacles from being homeless, to growing up in a single parent household of eight children, Russell was the first male in his family to graduate with a high school diploma, undergraduate degree, and master’s degree.

In 2016, Harris served as a fellow for the Detroit Chapter of the New Leaders Council.

He recently completed studies at the Harvard Principals’ Center and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Summer Institute for General Management (SIGM).

Samuel Cannonier

Breakout Session-Financial Literacy

As a financial services and banking operations expert, I have built a reputation for consistently exceeding high-reaching performance expectations. As a Vice President at PNC Bank, I’ve successfully managed over 80 million in deposits, three branch locations, and 40 employees, and received Market All-Star and Circle of Excellence award for 2017.
My hands-on leadership style founded on my background as an investment and business consultant, and considerable knowledge of product offerings, service benefits, and financial trends. I excel at training and coaching others, and have leveraged my financial expertise success.
As an experienced banking professional, dynamic leader of financial service teams, and consistent top performer, I know what it takes to achieve extraordinary results.

Najee WIlson

Breakout Speaker-Barber

Najee Wilson is a Brooklyn, New York native, who currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama. He attended high school in Stone Mountain, Georgia where he a local barber saw his work and decided to train and mold him further. Under Sheldon’s strict tutelage, Najee learned patience and consistency. He was filled life lessons that he still carries with him to this day. Najee attributes his willingness to work with the youth to his many mentors growing up. Najee has had plenty of positive male influences in his life and he has learned from their setbacks. He attended Oakwood University is currently and barber at Fade Factory Barbershop. He is also the founder of “LightHouse Mentoring “which was started to bring awareness to community issues and to give local barbers in his surrounding area an opportunity to give back to the very communities that support them. Operating under the idea that black barbers/stylists head the apex of black entrepreneurship, his goal is to expose the youth to a new way of viewing their world and using his talents to “leading the lost to the shores of safety”.

Pastor TJ Tyus

Breakout Speaker

T.J. Tyus is a passionate motivator, educator, personal trainer and author. He delivers high energy messages that encourage people to tap into the power within them to fulfill their purpose in life. T.J. Tyus is a former High School, Collegiate and Professional Athlete who has learned what it feels like to fall from glory after having been charged with a felony crime his Junior year of college and accused of murder his Senior Year at Central Michigan University. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s in Health Fitness and minor in Athletic Coaching.

Pastor Eric Bell

Friday Night Speaker

Pastor Eric J. R. Bell is a product and employee of the Lake Region Conference. He is currently the Associate Pastor of the Highland Avenue SDA Church in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Pastor Bell graduated in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Social Work degree and a minor in Theology from Oakwood University. He is currently attending the Seventh-Day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University where he is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree. 

Tyler Buford

Breakout Session Speaker

Tyler Buford is a missionary. He began this special work for the Lord on July 22nd, 2006 when he was baptized at the age of eighteen. Since that time he has traveled to Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Guyana, Haiti, and Suriname teaching the distinct messages of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In addition to overseas travel, Tyler has conducted evangelistic meetings in Tampa, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Fort Worth, Texas; Radcliff, Kentucky; Houston, Texas; and Yazoo City, Mississippi. 
While attending Oakwood, Tyler made outstanding progress in his studies and was rewarded the Blue & Gold Ribbon Medallion for students with a GPA above 3.5 and a minimum of 93 semester hours. In addition to his exceptional academic performance, Tyler has been recognized among his peers as a servant leader. While taking a full 17 credit hours and working at the Ellen G. White Estate office on Oakwood’s campus, Tyler was able to serve as the School of Religion and Theology class Senator, Forum chaplain and treasurer, NAPS volunteer, and Project Re-Connect President. 

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