About Us

Photo of Schinnell Leake - Founder of EoB

Schinnell Leake
Our Founder and Executive Director

Schinnell Leake has always enjoyed creating events that are special and unique - parties that both children and adults remember.

As the former owner of Extra-Ordinary Moments, a for-profit entity that provided imaginative and unique children's birthday parties, she set out to provide the same types of birthday parties for children who were experiencing homelessness in the Washington metropolitan area.

As a mother, Schinnell knows how important it is for her children to feel confident and have self-worth. After learning that more than 2,000 children live in homeless shelters throughout the Washington D.C. area, Schinnell started the nonprofit, Extra-Ordinary Birthdays, the only organization of its kind in the capital area that throws personalized birthday parties for homeless children to make them feel recognized and valued. Using her party-planning background, Schinnell has thrown more than 800 birthday parties and currently partners with homeless shelters and organizations that serve the homeless in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Board of Directors

Yvonne Abbott-Lewis

Yvonne is a Patent Attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office where she has worked for over 26 years. She is also the owner of Juniper Sweet Treats, a custom cake design studio.

Yvonne is a Patent Attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office where she has worked for over 26 years. She is also the owner of Juniper Sweet Treats, a custom cake design studio. She earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Howard University and her J.D. from George Washington University Law School. In addition to her scientific and creative skills, she is committed to serving her community. Yvonne is a member of the Washington DC Chapter of Jack & Jill, Inc., Board Member of Imagination Stage DC, and lives in Washington DC with her husband and two children.

Abiola Akala

Abiola Akala is an innovative and goal oriented professional with over 10 years of experience in the financial services, Federal Government, technology services, business analysis and consulting industries.

Abiola Akala is an innovative and goal oriented professional with over 10 years of experience in the financial services, Federal Government, technology services, business analysis and consulting industries. Currently in the role as Senior Financial Management and Risk and Control analyst, he participated supporting the Sarbanes Oxley compliance processes; provide financial oversight of IT initiative and Business valuation. Previously held IT Finance and Budget management position with the Government Accountability Office. These experience provide the opportunity to be adept in strategy development, financial oversight and gave me the opportunity to lead and excel in analyzing and improving financial technologies, recognize opportunities to increase organization growth by outlining and executing on defined strategic goals and objectives.

Melissa Amos

A New Orleans native and graduate of Howard University, Melissa joined Extra-Ordinary Birthdays in 2012 as the volunteer Social Media Coordinator. She fell in love with the organization and its mission and has volunteered with EOB in various capacities since then.

A New Orleans native and graduate of Howard University, Melissa joined Extra-Ordinary Birthdays in 2012 as the volunteer Social Media Coordinator. She fell in love with the organization and its mission and has volunteered with EOB in various capacities since then. From assisting at parties to creating and running the Extra-Ordinary Readers Program, Melissa is excited to join the EOB Board. She is an Education Research Analyst at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Her background in data management and process improvement sparked her interest in managing Extra-Ordinary Birthday’s donor and volunteer database; she currently serves as the volunteer CRM Administrator. Melissa is also a proud and active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Phillip Cherfrere

Phillip Cherfrere is an entrepreneur and business owner with over 18 years of online marketing and consulting experience. He has dedicated much of his time working in the public and non-profit sector.

Phillip Cherfrere is an entrepreneur and business owner with over 18 years of online marketing and consulting experience. After earning his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his MBA from the University of Florida, he has dedicated much of his time working in the public and non-profit sector including the Broward Sheriff's Office in Florida. As well as, spending some time as the Public Relations Specialist for Sunrise Community, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to providing residential and habilitation services for people with a wide range of intellectual and physical disabilities. In addition to his consulting business, he currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for The Cherfrere Law Group in Miami. He is a welcome addition to the EOB board and his varied skill set is a valuable asset in helping EOB continue to grow and flourish as it accomplishes its mission to inspire moments of delight in the lives of homeless children.

Doris Dupuy

In 2010, Extra-Ordinary Birthdays approached Doris Dupuy in her role with Bright Beginnings as the first organization to partner with Extra-Ordinary Birthdays. Since that time, she has been a fan, admirer, and supporter of the work of EOB.

In 2010, Extra-Ordinary Birthdays approached Doris Dupuy in her role with Bright Beginnings as the first organization to partner with Extra-Ordinary Birthdays. Since that time, she has been a fan, admirer, and supporter of the work of EOB. As an advocate for children and families experiencing homeliness, Doris worked firsthand with the community and believes in the mission of EOB, and feels the work speaks for itself. Doris’ employment background in education, housing, and management coupled with her strong interests in governance have guided her educational and career paths. She earned a Master of Public Administration, a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education. Doris believes that everyone, regardless of anything else, deserves the right to thrive. And the only way for this to happen is if we govern together. Whether working in the realms of housing, homelessness, education, or activism, Doris is certain that, together, we decide the well-being of our society. She looks forward to being able to utilize her skills and experience as conduits for change with Extra-Ordinary Birthdays.

Babu Jackson

Babu was familiar with EOB’s work and mission through Jolene McNeil. He was moved by the reactions of the kids at the parties and recognized EOB’s work to address their mental and emotional well-being.

Babu was familiar with EOB’s work and mission through Jolene McNeil. He was moved by the reactions of the kids at the parties and recognized EOB’s work to address their mental and emotional well-being. By making the kids feel special and seen and letting them know that they matter. It’s a thoughtful way of addressing the unmet needs of these children. As Chief Technology Officer with Bipartisan Policy Center, Babu looks forward to bringing his expertise in information technology as well as his enthusiasm and dedicating his time to advance the mission of EOB. His prime goal as a board member is to get as many friends, family, and contacts as possible to commit to being recurring donors.

Emmanuelle Klossou

Emmanuelle Klossou is Senior Principal at Colm Research Group, and currently works on several social justice issues, including homelessness, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Emmanuelle Klossou is Senior Principal at Colm Research Group, and currently works on several social justice issues, including homelessness, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Emmanuelle is a native New Yorker, having emigrated to Brooklyn with her parents from Brussels, Belgium. Emmanuelle returned to New York City upon graduation from Hartwick College, and joined the research team at Vera Institute of Justice in New York City. She worked as research analyst, leading the fieldwork for two Vera Institute demonstration projects. Emmanuelle began working on issues of homelessness in Washington, DC, when she was contracted to lead enrollment efforts at Bright Beginnings, Inc. Emmanuelle became Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Stevenson University in Baltimore, where she taught for nearly ten years, before launching Colm Research Group in 2018. Emmanuelle earned her doctorate in Criminology & Justice Policy at Northeastern University in Boston, and now lives in the District of Columbia with her partner and two dogs.

London McCloud

London McCloud is an international trade professional with experience in the private and public sectors. London is committed to raising awareness for diversity and women’s issues through education initiatives.

London McCloud is an international trade professional with experience in the private and public sectors. London is committed to raising awareness for diversity and women’s issues through education initiatives. During her tenure as an American University Alumni Board Member and Affinity Committee Chair, London contributed to strategic initiatives guided by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Board of Trustees. She is currently leading AU’s Women’s Leadership Circle and Network. Also, she led the Archbishop Carroll High School Women’s Mentoring program in Washington, DC. She has been honored with several community service awards, including nomination for an NAACP Mentor of the Year from American University, Distinguish Service from the National Black MBA Association and Volunteer of the Year from Catholic Business Network. London is a graduate of American University and obtained her MBA from the University of Maryland.

Crystal Newby

Dr. Crystal E. Newby is Senior Director of Strategic Admission, Access, and Diversity Initiatives at the College Board. Previously, Dr. Newby served as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) where she served for eight years.

Dr. Crystal E. Newby is Senior Director of Strategic Admission, Access, and Diversity Initiatives at the College Board. Previously, Dr. Newby served as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) where she served for eight years. She worked in college admission offices at the University of Scranton, Montclair State University, and Bloomsburg University. Her educational credentials include a BA and MS from The University of Scranton and an EdD from Johns Hopkins University.

In addition, Dr. Newby served as a selection committee member from 2015-2020 for the American School Counselor Association's School Counselor of the Year award as well as a facilitator and consultant for the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at her alma mater, The University of Scranton, and she is a member of the Advisory Council for the Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable, a college access and completion network. In 2020, she interviewed Professor Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of How to be an Antiracist and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You co-authored by Jason Reynolds. In June 2021, Dr. Newby had an essay published in Chicken Soup for the Soul- I'm Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope

Keith Olfus, Sr.

Keith Olfus, Sr. was born and raised in Washington, DC. He is in his 17th year of service as AVP/Assistant Comptroller with Industrial Bank. He is involved with preparing financial statements, dealing with internal and external auditors, and federal regulators.

Keith Olfus, Sr. was born and raised in Washington, DC. He is in his 17th year of service as AVP/Assistant Comptroller with Industrial Bank. He is involved with preparing financial statements, dealing with internal and external auditors, and federal regulators. He works closely with the Chief Financial Officer on writing policy and procedures for the organization, as well as serving as a member of the FINANCO Committee for Industrial Bank.

Working for a community bank, he has had the opportunity to teach financial literacy at several of the local high schools and women’s shelters. He also served on the Board of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Prince George’s County, an agency that provides a voice to children in the foster care system, for six years. For the past ten years, he has also worked as a youth mentor and basketball coach for the First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBGC), where he has helped mold young boys and girls spiritually and physically. After working with CASA and FBGC, he feels that working with Extra-Ordinary Birthdays gives him the chance to continue enriching the lives of children.

Kathryn Procope

Mrs. Kathryn Procope is the executive director of the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science in Washington D.C., where she guides the organization in supporting students in the 6th through 8th grades to academic excellence in STEM.

Mrs. Kathryn Procope is the executive director of the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science in Washington D.C., where she guides the organization in supporting students in the 6th through 8th grades to academic excellence in STEM. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Mrs. Procope earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a master’s degree in middle-grade mathematics from George Washington University and an executive master’s degree in educational leadership from the Georgetown McDonough School of Business. She is currently a doctoral student at American University. Education is a second career for Mrs. Procope, having spent over 30 years in information technology. As the Executive Director at the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science and the 2020 recipient of the NASSP Digital Principal of the Year award, Mrs. Procope facilitates the partnerships with the schools on the Howard University campus, providing her students And staff with opportunities to expand their learning in college classrooms. Mrs. Procope actively supports the school’s staff because she believes that they are on the front line of education and she truly believes we are all responsible for the success of the children in our community. Mrs. Procope is active in her church, All Nations Worship Assembly Washington DC where she leads the Generations ministry, is serves on the church’s board of directors. Mrs. Procope is an alumnae member of the Federal City Chapter ofDelta Sigma Theta where she supports the community work as a Delta Dear.

Andrea Shearin

A Compliance Policy Specialist with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Andrea is responsible for establishing supervisory policy regarding community reinvestment and fair lending laws and regulations.

A Compliance Policy Specialist with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Andrea is responsible for establishing supervisory policy regarding community reinvestment and fair lending laws and regulations. She is also responsible for developing bank examination procedures, examiner tools, and training, and providing guidance and clarification in these areas to examiners and the banking industry. A graduate of James Madison University, Andrea boasts more than two decades in the financial services industry and is designated by the Institute of Certified Bankers as a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager. She has served on various boards and committees of organizations focused on community service and believes that EOB is building a positive future for homeless children.

LaToya Wesley

LaToya Wesley, PhD has over 15 years of experience examining a variety of programs and initiatives as well as identifying creative strategies to help organizations thrive in a way that is most effective and meaningful for the people they serve.

LaToya Wesley, PhD has over 15 years of experience examining a variety of programs and initiatives as well as identifying creative strategies to help organizations thrive in a way that is most effective and meaningful for the people they serve. She has conducted program evaluations of local and national community-focused agencies and organizations as well as providing data-driven recommendations for strategic planning. In her current role within the Government of the District of Columbia, LaToya develops project proposals in response to funding opportunities, and manages the acceptance and administration of the externally funded projects. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona Global Campus, teaching graduate-level quantitative research methods and design. In her spare time, LaToya channels her creative energy into creating pottery and candles.

Danielle Zonis

South Philadelphia born and raised, Danielle Carrozza Zonis currently serves as the leader of the Information Technology Project Management Office at the global law firm, Morgan Lewis. Danielle brings to EOB almost 25 years of Organizational and Business Process Management along with a Technology background.

South Philadelphia born and raised, Danielle Carrozza Zonis currently serves as the leader of the Information Technology Project Management Office at the global law firm, Morgan Lewis. Danielle brings to EOB almost 25 years of Organizational and Business Process Management along with a Technology background. Danielle holds her PMP certification from the Project Management Institute and is an active member of many organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Institute of Technology, Women in Technology, Women Who Code (Phila) and the Girl Scouts of America. Danielle has a unique blend of knowledge and sweat equity in several areas such as Compliance, Human Resources, Strategy, Project Management, and Business Relationship Management that will be valuable to the future of EOB. Danielle has said, “My mother impressed upon us that we were gifts from God, and if God decided the Earth needed one of “Us” then we were sure as heck going to celebrate that. My parents sacrificed so much and worked so hard to let us know that we were absolutely something worth celebrating. We were enough.” Danielle, her husband Ed and their daughter Jasmine Faith, reside just outside Philadelphia and work together as a family to serve not only their local community but children and families around the world who might not have “enough”. Danielle believes every single child should feel the warmth of being celebrated and shesays she is honored to be a part of EOB where t hat is happening every day.

Honorary Board Members

Holly Morris

Holly is an award-winning journalist for Fox 5 in Washington DC. She currently anchors their early morning weekday newscast as well as co-hosts a daily talk show called Good Day DC. She has worked in news ever since graduating from Duke with a Civil and Environmental Engineering degree. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Holly’s news journey has included stints in Steubenville, Ohio and Lexington, Kentucky before landing in the nation’s capital where she has been for the last 20 plus years. Her work has earned her numerous Emmy Awards and a pair of Edward R. Murrow Awards. When not working, Holly loves nothing more than being with her husband, Thomas Espy, and their son Hayden. 

Shawn Yancy

Shawn Yancy is an Emmy & Edward R. Murrow award winning broadcast journalist and evening news anchor at NBC4 in Washington, DC. Prior to joining NBC4, Shawn spent nearly 2 decades as a primary news anchor at WTTG-TV. Her career journey also includes stops at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh and WKJG-TV in Ft. Wayne, IN.

Shawn is the founder and CEO of Girls’ Night Out by Shawn Yancy Inc., a 501(c)(3) dedicated to empowering and improving the lives of economically vulnerable women & children.

Shawn previously served on the board of directors for A Wider Circle, Dress For Success DC and The St. Ann’s Center for Children Youth & Families. Along with her fellow DC newswomen, Shawn helps spearhead an annual breast cancer fundraiser for local cancer charities serving the underserved.

Shawn is also a professional artist and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

She and her husband have 3 wonderful sons, a daughter in law, 2 dogs and live in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Her favorite saying is: “If the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count”. It’s a phrase her mother has been instilling in her for as long as she can remember. It’s a reminder that all things are possible with God’s help.

Team Members

Tiffany Graber

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

Arrien Davison

Extra-Ordinary Readers Program Coordinator

Tanesha Graham

Extra-Ordinary Moms Parent Representative

Talisa White

Marketing and Social Media Coordinator