About

AOK Scholars provides
coaching and
financial support
for those pursuing post-secondary education

“We are keen on success and believe that education is an important part of becoming successful. AOK was established to help those youth attending college who are most likely to succeed, if helped. We are proud of these Scholars and the success they are achieving as part of our program.”

Dr. Lawrence E. White,
Namesake & Founder
The Lawrence E. White Family Foundation

About
AOK SCHOLARS

Who are most likely to succeed if helped? This is the question that the nonprofit organization Lawrence E. White Family Foundation hoped to answer when it was founded in 2002. At the core of our work is a belief that individuals who have persevered through extraordinary life challenges, can become the leaders of tomorrow with the right support and guidance.

Partnering with many community-minded organizations to fulfill our mission, LEWFF’s ultimate goal is to empower individuals, foster success, and change lives. The Foundation aims to support college students, amateur wrestlers, and veterans through a variety of outreach programs.

In 2013 LEWFF created the AOK Scholars Program to specifically support students who have aged out of foster care, and later expanded to include those students experiencing homelessness.

Program Overview

Our AOK Specialists

AOK Scholars has a team of dedicated staff who provide coaching and financial support to help remove barriers to graduation.

Photo of Ashlee Kelly.

Ashlee Kelly

Ashlee was born in Orlando, FL, but was raised in Baltimore, Maryland from the age of 6 months. She attended University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling. She is married and has a young son which keeps her on her toes and constantly moving! When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and taking her son to the playground or on walks.

Christina Roach

Christina is a third generation Floridian who grew up in South Florida. She attended University of Florida where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, English Literature and Anthropology. She has spent most of her professional life in various parts of the country and world as an outdoor educator and program coordinator, facilitating experiences that encourage social-emotional learning, leadership development, and youth empowerment. Christina strives to work towards a more equitable, just, and transformative world. She enjoys outdoors activities, playing with her nephews and niece, gardening, movement practices and reading.
Photo of Ilisa Patterson.

Ilisa Patterson

Ilisa was born in Vicenza, Italy, but was raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She graduated from Alabama A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and from the University of Phoenix with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). She has worked in various educational capacities at institutions ranging from intermediate to post-secondary level. Ilisa hopes to use her knowledge of the Florida campuses to help her Scholars succeed. She loves spending time with her husband and son. In her free time, she enjoys bargain hunting/shopping, reading, and binge-watching movies and shows on Netflix.

Kelsey Bartley

Kelsey was raised in a military family and grew up traveling and moving with her father’s various assignments. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and from the University of Central Florida with a Master’s Degree in Management with a focus on nonprofits and fundraising. As a former consultant on organizational management and strategic planning, she enjoys working with people and organizations to maximize their potential through a holistic approach. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, being outside, and trying new restaurants. Kelsey currently serves as the Program Supervisor of the AOK Scholars Program.

Te-Sharie Spaulding

Te-sharie was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and her Master’s Degree in Social Work Administration. As a first-generation graduate, her mission is to reciprocate the support given to her during her matriculation as a college student. In her spare time, she serves as a Guardian Ad Litem: mentoring and connecting with youth in foster care. Her motto is to “Live life one step at a time; yet plan for tomorrow and DO NOT BE AFRAID TO DREAM.”

Success stories.
Read about our scholars

See Their Stories