La Toya Sykes
President and CEO
La Toya Sykes brings more than 10 years of nonprofit leadership to her role as President and CEO of Our Next Generation. Having previously served as Associate Director of the College Goal Sunday at the YMCA of the USA in Chicago, IL, she facilitated fund development projects across 40 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, Sykes worked as the Director of Outreach and Access Awareness for Great Lakes Higher Education and in 2012 founded Dampeer & Canady LLC, a consulting firm that helps organizations improve performance through strategic planning, project management, community engagement and development services.
La Toya is an engaged member of the greater Milwaukee community. Currently, she serves as President of the Board for Lead2Change, a youth service organization whose mission is to empower and inspire youth to be catalysts for change in their communities. She is also active on the board of the African World Festival, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Board of Trustees, the President’s Advisory Board at Carroll University and the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee.
La Toya served in the United States Army, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Communication from Concordia University Wisconsin, and her Master of Science in Human Services with a Concentration in Community Counseling Psychology from Springfield College.
Associate Director of Programs
Rukiya Alexander is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At an early age, Rukiya knew she wanted to work with youth to help them reach their full potential. She received a proper education from Rufus King High School for the College Bound and Alverno College. After college, she took a teaching position in a 5th grade classroom for 2 years. After realizing she wanted to work with youth in various capacities, she came to Our Next Generation as the Education Coordinator. She developed and coordinated academic and personal achievement programs for students 1st – 12th. Rukiya has the ability to reach the youth at several critical levels- academically and emotionally. While holding this position for over 6 years, Rukiya was promoted as the Associate Director-Programs. She focuses on program and staff oversight as well as curriculum alignment.
Homework Club Coordinator
Sharon Cross has spent 3 years working to close the achievement gap on the north side of Milwaukee. After graduating from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in History, Sharon returned to Milwaukee to serve as a City Year AmeriCorps member working with urban 8th graders at Rufus King Middle School. Her AmeriCorps year inspired her to become an educator at Milwaukee College Prep. There, she taught engaging whole and small group Math and Literacy curriculum to 2nd graders.
Additionally, Sharon brings over 8 years of camp experience to the Homework Club Coordinator role. As the Leadership and Trips Director at YMCA Camp Minikani, Sharon developed youth leadership and service curriculum. At Our Next Generation, Sharon is excited to create a safe environment for students to feel loved, motivated and inspired to achieve academic success.
High School Connections Coordinator
Kinnethia Tolson is passionate about serving young people in her community. She brings over five years of experience in youth development to Our Next Generation. Within her experience, she has proudly served with Girl Scouts of Central Illinois and City Year Milwaukee, where she worked with students at Bay View High School and James Madison Academic Campus.
Kinnethia’s passion to serve is credited to the programs that she was involved in while growing up. Her dedication to giving that same experience to young people she serves, has led her to return to school, to study Community Engagement and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Kinnethia is a native of Detroit, MI, and grew up in several different states throughout the Midwest, New England as well as some time overseas. Although, still not used to a Wisconsin winter, Kinnethia is glad to call Milwaukee her new home.
Community Partner Coordinator
Sèssie Agbley, joins ONG as the Community Partner Coordinator/ Events Planner. He graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with a degree in Communications. During his time there Sessie had the opportunity to work with the Green Tree Teutonia Learning Center as a Learning Coach and Summer Counselor, where he worked with urban and at-risk youth to overcome both academic and social barriers through interactive educational programs and facilitating discussions on various social issues.
Growing up in multiple countries and cultures Sessie enjoys working with individuals and students from all walks of life and backgrounds. Inspired by the organizations mission, Sessie seeks to promote academic growth and positive social interaction among the students.
“I want to students and families here at ONG challenge themselves to make a difference in their lives and that of others around them”
In addition to the full-time staff listed above, Our Next Generation relies on a dedicated team of part-time staff and volunteers who support our programs, maintain our facility, and serve our families.