Kai W. Gary

Executive Director

Kai W. Gary is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, raised in Alabama. Knowledge Works Learning Academy, Inc. (KWLA) was birth in the mind of Kai when she became a single mother at the age of 19. The joyful moments of motherhood, juggling fulltime work, class assignments with deadlines was challenging. Without the help of her mother and older sister assisting Kai, completing her Bachelor and Masters in Collaborative Teacher at Alabama State University was unreachable. Kai continued pursuing her Specialist in Educational Leadership at Columbus State University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership. The struggle was real yet productive, many life lessons learned.

As her son Aiyinde became older, local communities lacked holistic after-school and summer programs creating barriers and hindered Kai fulfilling work obligations.

KWLA, Inc., founded November 2016 became the solution answering the need of the community, providing a stable safe environment for working families and single-parent homes who desire more than the status quo. Kai used her life pain, turned into purpose by paying it forward, being that beacon of light of hope to others. Kai connects with students and families in unique ways whose struggles mirror some of the same infirmities she has experienced. Kai’s favorite quote from Education, page 52 says, “He who seeks to transform humanity must himself understand humanity.

Kai enjoys giving back to the youth in the Chattahoochee Valley area. KWLA’s
before/ after and summer programs are just Phase One of a larger vision. Kai’s 13-year journey as a K-12th special education teacher and district instructional coach, prepared her to assist local school systems close academic achievement gaps through innovative research-based practices. Kai’s life experiences allow her to connect with students and parents in a unique way. Kai enjoys cooking, singing, physical fitness and spending quality time with family.

Aiyinde Lawrence

Vice President

Aiyinde Lawrence is the Vice President for KWLA, Inc. He has been serving others in the community since the age of two. He is a firm believer that knowledge truly works when it is personally applied and shared with the next generation. He is a recent graduate of Oakwood University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health. He is currently pursuing a master’s in public health at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. He has a passion for health and wellness and seeks to help the children of KWLA, Inc., achieve optimal health through physical activity and health eating. He believes that these elements are vital for the mental and physical development of children. Aiyinde enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, exercising, serving others, and reading. His favorite saying is “who you become in the process is just as important as achieving the product or desired results”.

Melvin Gary, Jr.

Treasurer

I enjoy working and serving with KWLA, Inc. I see the difference a quality afterschool and summer program can have on a child’s life. When the children initially are enrolled into KWLA program, their needs are assessed, and a plan is set for the child on his/her individual academic level. KWLA, Inc is a holistic program that my wife, Kai W. Gary, pours her whole heart into. I see the results of our hard work. She goes all in for the children and parents expecting nothing less, only the best for the children. My career work in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technician and Electrician allows me to work with the children in the S.T.R.E.A.M components, I’m able to provide hands-on fundamentals, demonstrating electronics and mechanical principles in action! As a business owner and Marines Veteran, it’s great to co-mingle life skills in business, finance and operating procedures to the children at KWLA, Inc. KWLA, Inc vision is our vision, so the success of the organization and all its programs are always my dream.

Amber Patton

Secretary

Amber is a deeply passionate jack of many trades. Her hobbies and work  experiences range from training in different genres of dance, figure skating, working as a travel nanny, and many more. Above it all, her main priority is to always be a student first. She is currently in her last semester at Oakwood University studying Allied Health Pre-Occupational Therapy. In August 2021 she will move on to start her master’s program at CUNY studying Medical Policy and Management. She would like to use her talents and abilities with the youth of KWLA, Inc., by teaching dance classes to boost self-confidence and self-awareness. Amber enjoys working with KWLA because of its mission to help students progress beyond the classroom setting. She loves that the program gives students new opportunities, and it is set up for them to succeed. “Now more than ever it is so important to have programs like KWLA, Inc. because children are having a hard time adjusting to the new virtual schooling setup”. She believes that students do well with focused one-on-one learning. They will be given the extra resources to grow not only academically but socially, personally, and emotionally.

Dr. Patricia McEachane-Gross

Health Emphasis Director/Media Relations

Dr. F Patricia McEachrane-Gross, Board Certified in Family Medicine, trained in Preventive Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Lifestyle Medicine. They all encompass what I believe about health and how I practice Medicine at the Lower Elwha Health Clinic in Port Angeles, WA. Our family genetics and the environment in which we are raised, affect our health. The preventive measures we take to reduce our risk of acquiring the physical, mental and spiritual diseases for which we are at risk, involve seeking the underlying causes of disease and making smart lifestyle choices based on what we discover.

KWLA, Inc., is serving families whose youth have high risk of shortened life spans because of their genetics and environment. I want to help KWLA turn this around and help youth become what they were created to be – physically healthy, mentally agile, and spiritually sound individuals who will be productive citizens in this world and the next.

Anton Dormer

Community Youth Liaison

Anton Cordell Dormer is a high energy and engaging transformational speaker who has dedicated his life to helping young people, grow into their purpose. Anton recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakwood University with his bachelors in Pre-Law: Political Science. During his undergraduate education, Anton was a member of the school’s Mock Trial Team, competing in Washington, D.C. and presenting at two Mock Trial Expos. Additionally, he was the captain of his Public Policy’s class Administrative Team and helped organize an organization called United Collegiate Black Scholars, which was designed to be a think tank that addressed issues in the African American community. Currently, Anton is a law student at George Washington Law School fall of 2019. Anton serves the youth of KWLA, Inc by being their voice, taking our youth needs to community leaders locally, state, and federal officials who serve us on the national level. Anton is advocating for KWLA, Inc holistic programs for the disadvantage, socio-economically youth in Russell County/Phenix City, Alabama.

James Jones, Jr.

Recreational Sports Coordinator

Being a coach, teacher, and trainer in the world of recreational sports has always been my life’s calling. It is my mission to motivate youth through organize sportsflag football, football, softball, baseball, and boxing always instilling practical life skills, work ethic, faith, and mental stability. Our mission at KWLA, Inc. is to prepare youth to make good choices when life challenges arise. I am driven and passionate for the youth and sports. It is my perfect combination. I love the relationship factory when I met new kids at KWLA, Inc., getting to know them, their life’s dreams, and aspirations. It is my duty to invest my time and gifts, abilities and effort ensuring that I change a life for better.