MEET THE TEAM
VICTOR DURRAH, JR.
President & Executive Director
A native of Cowpens, Victor Durrah, Jr. is a non-profit leader and has been recognized on numerous occasions for his community work.
Victor earned an Associates Degree from Spartanburg Methodist College and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Non-Profit Administration and Management from the University of South Carolina Upstate. Victor has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 15 years focusing on youth development.
Victor started his career with the Palmetto Council Boy Scouts of America in September 2010 serving as the Director of Multi-Cultural Markets. During his 10-year tenure in the Youth Development profession, Victor has been recognized as a graduate of the Grassroots Leadership Program, Black History Maker of the Upstate (2012), BSA PDL1, PDL2, PDL3 certified employee, and received the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change.
Victor served as Community Services Chairman for the Gaffney Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. In his spare time Victor serves as the A.I.M (Athletes In Ministry) youth advisor for Born Anew Church located in Spartanburg. Victor co-founded Brothers Restoring Urban Hope, Inc. -- a non-profit organization that focuses on group mentoring for young men.Victor received the Talented Tenth Award from the Urban League for his work in the African American Communities.
Victor is currently attending Clemson University and plans to receive his Masters in Public Administration. Victor currently serves as Executive Director of Brothers Restoring Urban Hope, Inc.
Victor currently serves on the board for Habitat for Humanity. Victor has been recognized two years consecutively as a top young professional in the non- profit field by the Chamber of Commerce.
Victor has completed the 30-hr Fundamentals for Youth-Serving Providers Certification.
Victor is engaged to the beautiful Jeanice Casey and they plan to get married in September 2020.
Director of Programs
Justin Kelly is a native of Cowpens, SC. A former student-athlete at Broome HS and Tusculum College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education.
Justin has a back ground in education, hospitality, sales and non profit. He returned to Spartanburg, SC in 2018 and became actively involved in the community. After his return, Justin joined with fellow community leaders to found The Community Group and OneMentor. OneMentor was founded for the purpose of collaboration with the primary focus being youth and community.
Justin has always been a hard worker with great determination. He was a state champion for high school track and part of Tusculum‘s South Atlantic Conference championship team.
While in hospitality Justin was recognized as IHG Guest Services manager of the year for North and South America.
Justin has completed the 30-hr Fundamentals for Youth-Serving Providers Certification.
Justin is looking forward to joining boards to impact the community by engaging with community leaders and organizations. He is currently the Program Director of Brothers Restoring Urban Hope and is looking forward to seeing it's continued growth.
Brandon J. Watkins
Brandon J. Watkins is an English Teacher in Cherokee County School District in Gaffney, SC. In his role, Brandon has the daily opportunity to positively influence the lives of middle school students. Since childhood, teaching has always been a passion. As a teacher, Brandon believes heavily in culturally relevant teaching pedagogy, social justice teaching, and a student-centered learning environment.
Brandon has a heart for students and wants to see all students succeed. With this in mind, Brandon implemented a school-wide Tie Tuesday initiative at B.D. Lee Elementary School in 2015. The purpose of Tie Tuesday was twofold: (1) to promote college and career readiness that transcends beyond academics and (2) to help build student self-esteem as it plays a critical role in their socio-emotional and academic development. The program became a district-wide success after being launched in other elementary, middle, and high schools.
Throughout his career, Brandon has been recognized for his service and commitment to his community and education. In May 2019, Brandon was named to South Carolina’s Black Pages 2019 Top 20 Under 40 class. In November 2019, Brandon was named Literacy Teacher of the Year for Ewing Middle School.
Brandon is currently enrolled in the Education Administration master’s degree program at the University of South Carolina Columbia. Brandon has presented research on topics regarding Critical Race Theory in literature and popular culture, ways to create safe spaces for students identifying as LGBTQ through the use of literature and incorporating culturally relevant teaching strategies in classroom instruction.
Brandon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of South Carolina of Upstate.
Brandon has completed the 30-hr Fundamentals for Youth-Serving Providers Certification.
Community Engagement Director
Born and raised in sunny Florida, Daniel Cooper is a public health
practitioner, researcher, and grant writer.
Daniel earned an Associates Degree from College of Central Florida, a
Bachelors of Arts in Health Services Administration from Florida Atlantic University, and a Master of Public Health with concentration in research from Nova Southeastern University. Daniel is both a Florida Bright Futures Scholar and TRIO Program scholar.
Daniel began his career at College of Central Florida where he assisted
over 28,000 primarily low income and first time college students from
2008-2010 with registration and retention strategies as a student advisor.
In 2011 Daniel transitioned to Boca Raton, Florida where he focused on
developing community programs while working at Broward County Health Department and Habitat for Humanity as a research analyst. During this time Daniel identified systematic methods to link social determinants of health to infrastructures of opportunity in marginalized communities.
In 2015 Daniel assisted the development of a Federally Qualified Health
Center (FQHC) in is home town of Ocala, Florida through a $750,000
Health Resources and Services Administration grant. In 2018, Daniel
relocated to Greenville, South Carolina to serve as Director of Strategic
Initiatives for the Department of Housing and Urban Development Upstate Continuum of Care program. In this role he oversaw the housing, grants, and homeless assistance of a 6,200 sq/mi area of Upstate, South Carolina.
In 2019, Daniel served as South Carolina state captain at the National
Alliance to End Homeless Conference in Washington D.C. where he
lobbied for U.S. Senate bill: S. 2613 and U.S. House bill: H.R. 1856.
Daniel currently provides research and grant writing services to non-