Connie Harris-Williams, Founder and Chair
In January 2012, God gave Connie a vision to help teenage mothers. She reflects back on the days where she once stood in their shoes and she wants to be someone who offers and helps others make a positive choice for them and their babies. Connie is building and developing this foundation under the philosophy that this is a faith-based foundation where we bring restoration in the lives of young mothers to uplift, inspire and encourage. She carries out this mission by providing them with all the necessary tools to develop into productive adults.
Connie’s long term goal for the foundation is to provide a safe haven for teenage mothers that face homelessness if they chose to keep their child. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord: They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Her life is living proof of God’s faithfulness. God has never given up on her and she knows he will never give up on others. This is what inspired her to establish A Caring Hand Foundation for Pregnant Teens, Inc.
Connie wants to be able to provide and share life skills and biblical principles with each teenage mother she comes into contact with. She doesn’t take this opportunity lightly or for granted. She thanks God for His perfect plan for her life and for His perfect plan for the young mothers. She will continue to strive to make a difference in the lives of the teenage mothers and their children, “One life at a time.”
She is a Wife, Mother, Sister, lover of God and His people. For over 10 years, Connie has been happily married to her soulmate and hubby Clarence Williams. She is the mother of four children (Deyone, Ikeya, Shacongo, and Gladys) and grandmother of three amazing grandchildren (Ilicia, Robert and Nasir).
Connie serves faithfully at Trees of Righteousness International Ministries located in East Hazel Crest, Illinois under the leadership of Apostle Eric Blakely. She serves at her local church home and internationally. She has traveled with Missions teams lead by her Pastor to serve God’s people in South Africa and Honduras.
For over 20 years, Connie has worked in the health care field. She prides herself on providing exceptional patient center care to all she serves. She also serves on several committees such as the Safe Patient Handling Committee and the Communal Dining Committee and Staffing Methodology Expert Panel.
Deyone Harris, President
Helping individuals with special needs is the main reason Deyone chose the social services field. He enjoys assisting in the development and personal growth of those with special needs and watching them succeed in life. In just 4 years, Deyone has made a significant impact at Charleston Transitional Facility. He was named Employee of the Month in November 2011 and was featured in the spring 2012 issue of their company magazine as an outstanding facility Supervisor. In his work at CTF, Deyone continually supports self-advocacy and self-determination of the residents by providing quality services designed to enhance each individual’s skill development. Deyone graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree from St. Xavier’s University in Chicago, Illinois.
Sheila Sterling, Chief Advisor
A woman on a mission for change for the youth of today, Sheila is a mentor for youth with a special concentration in girls. While sitting talking to a few of her First Lady friends about the young ladies today, Sheila decided to step out and reach as many as she can by starting a mentoring program taking girls back to the basis that would enrich and empower the girls for tomorrow and the future. Sheila is a product of Chicago Public School graduating from Virgil I Grissom Elementary and George Henry Corliss High School. Finishing with an Associate of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with the University of Phoenix. While returning to give back to Chicago Public Schools and holding various positions during her sixteen years career, Sheila says her most rewarding position with CPS is Dean of Students. In this position, she has the opportunity to do Restorative Conversations with teenagers before issuing their consequences for their actions.
Sheila started doing outreach by using music which landed the opportunity to Minister in Cook County Jail, Nursing Homes and travels from State to State as well as casting parts for stage plays and two movie productions. This would lead to a Radio Interview that ended with her becoming an On-Air Radio Personality with WGVE 88.7 FM in Gary, Indiana with Kenny G and Jimmy B. and then hosting an 8-Hour Telethon for Children With Cancer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is also a former member of the famous children’s choir Soul Children of Chicago under the direction of Dr. Walt Whitman.
Sheila currently has two non-profit organizations that focus on providing free mentoring services for youth in the area of Performing Arts and Educational Enhancements as well as mentorship to girls in the area of Girl Empowerment. A third organization is being formed to enhance and equip Women of Domestic Violence with survivor skills.
Sheila is a mother of three and a member of the Chicago Central Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Order of Eastern Star, Soul Children of Chicago Alumni, President of her Block Club Association, On-Air Radio Personality, and a Gospel Recording Artist.
Theresa York, Treasurer
Theresa York is honored and grateful to be a part of a dynamic team that is enriching the lives of young mothers. Theresa is a graduate of Chicago State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management with a Minor in Finance. She also received her Associate Degree from the Midwest College School of Theology.
Theresa previously worked in the social services field for 9 years as a Rehabilitation Case Coordinator with the Division of Rehabilitation Services. There, she provided services for the disabled population. Theresa has also worked for other State agencies in the Public Services field.
Theresa’s goal with A Caring Hand Foundation is to become an exceptional role model for young mothers and assist in exceeding the organization’s financial goals. Theresa enjoys spending time with her children and donating her time to the community which brings joy to her heart.
Lakecha Whitted, Fundraiser and Events Coordinator
Born into open-armed family ties, Ms. Whitted was raised with strong beliefs, faith, prayer, and favor. As a testimony of how God can guide you when all else fails, she utilizes her life experiences to nurture youth to give them balance and strength. She acknowledges her children Micheal and Jazmyn for her strength. Ms. Whitted is Vice President of KomfieKare, Inc. and KomfieBaby, Inc. She has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Computerized Business Systems. With over 20 years’ experience in customer service with great rapport and working as a book editor, ghostwriter, event planner, and marketing, Ms. Whitted will surely be an asset to A Caring Hand Foundation.
Kushawn Leggette, Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Kushawn Austin Leggette was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is the #encouragementqueen. She is dedicated to the education and mentorship of young women. The wife of Mr. James Gregory Leggette and mother of James Jr. and Corey who were both born premature, her mission is to help all of God’s children realize that they are the makers of their own destiny. She encourages everyone she meets to put God first in their lives, to know and walk in their purpose, and to get better every day.
Mr. and Mrs. Leggette lost their first child (a daughter), who was delivered stillborn at 24 weeks gestation. 2 years later, James was born a preemie at 36 weeks weighing 4lbs and 8oz. A year and a half later, Corey (the miracle baby ) was born at 24 weeks and weighed 1lb and 9oz. After the births of the boys, she had 2 miscarriages. Now, she knows her purpose is to empower and mentor others and let them know that they are worthy, more than capable, and are on this earth for a purpose.
Mrs. Leggette has published poetry and is currently working on her first book. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship at DeVry University. She holds a Level 1 Credential in the state of Illinois for Early Care and Education. Also, she holds a certificate for completing and later becoming a coach for the Dale Carnegie Training on effective communication and human relations. She feels both blessed and honored to serve on the board of directors of ACH Foundation and to be able to share in the vision of Mrs. Connie Harris-Williams.