MEET OUR TEAM
The team behind Empowered U Youth Organization takes great pride in motivating the youth to become leaders and agents of change. The staff is developed by professional training and backed by an Advisory Board that represents years of experience in the nonprofit and youth mentoring sector and that works with us to keep Empowered U focused and on target.
Qianah has been in Columbia, SC since 2004. While attending graduate school, she became a volunteer tutor and mentor at Eau Claire High School. Shortly after, she began working with preschoolers and youth professionally and through church. Through those experiences she has built constructive and lasting relationships with those families.
Currently, Qianah is employed at Blue Cross Blue Shield. In addition to being a god-mother, she finds meaning in spending time with family and friends. They keep her grounded and encourage her commitment of advocacy for children and families.
Her philosophy is summed from a quote by
It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken adult.
Her Life Saying:
Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes of playing a poor hand well.
- Robert Louis Stevenson
Crystal Mitchell graduated from Benedict College in 2014 with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. As an Empowered U mentor, she believes that in order to have a successful future, we must sow into our youth the tools needed to be successful and confident in who they are. Her main goal in working with the youth is to inspire them to believe in their worth as an individual. Crystal’s time with Empowered has taught her that when young people are provided a healthy environment to voice their goals and have individuals dedicated to the guidance of these goals, we can watch them transpire and give growth to the next generation.
Crystal married Anthony Mitchell in 2014 and they have 2 daughters, Kimmora and Lilly. They enjoy cooking together, traveling the country, and random acts of encouragement to one another.
Hatcher Studios, LLC
As long as I can remember, I have been called an outcast because I am not afraid to venture into unknown territory, challenge the popular voice, and my passion to learn as much as possible. Independently learning branding and media production allowed me to pursue an early freelance graphic design career. With over 7 years of producing media for clients as the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Public School District, Spectrum, Macy’s I knew there was more I could do. While freelancing I earned my degree in Industrial Design and Technology then soon discovered my passion to teach. Teaching 10thgraders the skills I taught myself near their age was the best experience of my life thus far. Since experiencing all walks of life between Cincinnati, OH and Columbia, SC, I've dedicated myself to serve young students as many tools as possible so they too can experience their passion despite their circumstances.
Cari Rice was born and raised in Michigan, Cari received her Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University. Cari is now studying to obtain her Masters in Social Work while specializing in mental health and trauma.
Cari is an advocate for helping others realize and discover their full potentials. Cari’s background includes volunteering for police departments, working at schools, and interning at courthouses.
Cari enjoys hiking, fishing, camping, and most other outdoor activities. She also loves to watch football. Go Saints!