Elevate Jacksonville Staff
Jon Heymann M.Ed., Executive Director
Jon Heymann has a professional background spanning 30 years that ranges from private ministry to his current position as the Executive Director of Elevate Jacksonville. He was former CEO of the Jacksonville Children’s Commission, providing $38 million dollars to support numerous child-serving non-profits.
He holds a Masters Degree in Education (University of Florida), and has completed Graduate work in Psychology, and Doctoral work at the University of North Florida.
Clemson University awarded Heymann their top national award (Crystal Award) for his work in drop-out prevention, and Stanford University named Heymann a “Transformational Leader”.
Mr. Heymann serves as a Board member of numerous national organizations as well as state and local agencies:
He has been a keynote speaker at national conventions, government and civic groups and a host of regional and local businesses:
"You can’t burn out until you’ve caught on fire”
He believes that our grandest hour has yet to be lived, and our greatest accomplishments have yet to be achieved by those who dare to be great.
Carla Austin, Program Director
Carla Austin has an extensive background working in the non-profit sector spanning 18 years. Formerly the Interim CEO and Vice President of Youth and Family Services for Community Connections of Jacksonville, Carla’s major role was to oversee the daily operations of planning and implementing youth servicing programs.
Carla grew up in Alabama and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and reading. She serves on the advisory board of Lutheran Services of Florida Head Start Program. She is a wife, mother of a daughter and son and a very happy grandmother to her grandson.
“If not You, Who? If not Now, When?”
After a few years working in non-profit, Carla decided her true calling was working with and serving people, particularly youth. Over the years, she has seen hundreds of students graduate, athletes become pro players, families purchase their first home, homelessness decrease and many more wonderful stories to tell. Carla says it is her profoundest joy to support and inspire young people to do their best, be their best!
Bob Baldwin, Director of Development and Operations
Bob brings over 25 years of experience in nonprofit, corporate, and small business to his current position as Director of Operations and Development. Besides his many years at the Jax Chamber, he was most recently the Executive Director of PARC Foundation, a private foundation associated with PARC Entertainment.
Bob holds a Bachelors Degree from Stetson University, and is certified in Myers Briggs and DISC personality profiles as well as a Covey "Seven Habits" facilitator. Bob presently serves as the Vice Chair for the Public Service Grant Committee for the city of Jacksonville, and past President of the Board for Hubbard House, as well a Board member of "Lifework Leadership" and "Her Song".
When Bob is not at work he enjoys running and photography. Most of all he enjoys spending time with his wife of 47 years, two daughters and two grandchildren.
Leslie C. Joseph, Teacher-Mentor (Raines High School)
Leslie C. Joseph is an experienced youth leader with over 23 years of serving youth in every area from nursery, elementary, middle and high school.
A proud mother of two children Duane Joseph, 24 and Maranatha Joseph, 21 (also a godson, Donald Floyd’s Jr., who is 4 years old) has been the greatest experience when it comes to youth. As their lives transitioned so did she. Going through the different stages with her children helped her to relate better to youth.
Originally from Louisiana, being raised by both parents was beneficial but it did not take away the challenges of life. Because of the strong, firm upbringing of her parents, education was a critical priority.
Leslie loves basketball and remembers the crucial time that her basketball coach spent with her voluntarily sowing into her life and other youth. As a result, Leslie later became an assistant middle school basketball coach as well.
In addition to her bookkeeping job, Leslie has also volunteered in non-profit work serving youth for over 8 years. Her keen ability to relate to young people is what motivates her drive and passion to make a difference.
Bryant Wilcox, Teacher-Mentor (Raines High School)
Bryant Marshall Wilcox is a graduate of Bethune Cookman University. During his time at Bethune Cookman, Bryant was an intern at the Howard Thurman home in Daytona Beach as an archivist, community organizer, and docent. This home commemorates the life of Howard Washington Thurman, a prolific author and educator. At this museum, Bryant organized summer enrichment programs for the youth in the community and was awarded the MLK scholarship, given to him because of his commitment to community service and scholastic achievement.
He is a native of Jacksonville where he graduated from Paxon School for Advanced Studies. While in Jacksonville, Bryant was the president of the Links Leadership Academy under the supervision of now retired president of Florida State College, Kent Campus Dr. Barbara Darby.
Being raised by both of his parents, who are retired educators and church leader. Bryant is very passionate about serving his community, including being very active in his home church as the youth minister.
Most recently, Bryant was a 6th grade Math Teacher at the KIPP school in Jacksonville. His ability to relate to young people is what motivates Bryant to make a difference.
Jerome Robinson, Teacher Mentor (Raines High School)
Jerome Robison has over 11 years of teaching experience working with Middle ad High school students. He has taught Health, History and various subjects.
Jerome was raised in Jacksonville, FL, where he attended and graduated from William M. Raines High School. Upon graduation, he attended Florida Memorial University where he earned a Bachelor degree in Business Administration.
While he enjoys mentoring youth in his community, as a certified Life Coach, Jerome is also skilled in assisting others reach their goals for success. He believes that you have the power to change your life through perseverance and determination.
Jerome enjoys reading and watching college football as well as spending quality time with his family. Parenting has been the greatest experience of all. He is a loving husband, proud father of five children and four grandchildren.
Jazmine McCoy, Teacher-Mentor (Ribault High School)
Jazmine McCoy knew at an early age that she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. She believes that if we each take the time to help just one person, there is a greater chance that everyone would be successful. Jazmine has been working with youth since high school as a Girl Scout Leader In Training.
Jazmine was raised in Jacksonville, FL, where she attended and graduated First Coast High School in 2007. Upon graduating, she attended Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach and earned a degree in Communications.
Although Jazmine studied Communications, her passion was to make a difference in the lives of children. She began her career in education as an after-school Program Director with Community Connections of Jacksonville, and then with Communities In Schools of Jacksonville. She planned and implemented program offerings in association with these highly successful after-school program.
Alexis Cheatham, Teacher-Mentor (Ribault High School)
Alexis Cheatham has been actively involved in the life of youth for about 10 years. Alexis has served youth in every area and activity from teaching dance in local studios, to holding community events for teenage girls, to being a Youth Specialist with Boys and Girls Club, to leading FYRE Student Ministry at St. Paul Church of Jacksonville.
Alexis was born in Virginia but grew up in Florida. She graduated from First Coast High School, then went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Mass Communication from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL.
Out of all the things Alexis has accomplished, her greatest accomplishment is her family. She is happily married to the love of her life and they are the proud parents of two sons.
William Robinson III, Teacher-Mentor (Ribault High School)
Early on, William Robinson III recognized his passion as an educator and his calling to meet the holistic needs of both students and families.
Born and raised in Jacksonville Florida, William matriculated through the Duval County Public School system, and upon graduating Samuel W. Wolfson high school he was accepted into Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach where he obtained his B.A. degree.
William has served his community through numerous civic and faith-based organizations throughout the state of Florida. Notably, he helped to create and administer the Tiphne Darshay Hollis Foundation. The organization was founded in honor of an innocent victim of a drive-by shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, with the core aim of helping youth commit to ending violence in their lives, homes, and communities.