To change the direction of youth who are at a social disadvantage.
To improve education through our SAT/ACT preparatory program, reduce juvenile crime, drug/alcohol awareness, promote health/fitness to reduce childhood obesity, address issues related to bullying/teen suicide by offering offer counseling, mentoring and entrepreneurial internship opportunities to help create a solid foundation for our youth.
To provide our youth with the necessary life skills that will enable them to make sound choices and achieve success.
• Dorothy Anderson-Chair
• Willie Anderson Co-Chair
- Terrance Savage -Board Member
- Renita Atterberry – Bord Member
DANNY THOMAS (Founder)
Danny Thomas grew up in western PA, less than an hour drive from Pittsburgh, in Aliquippa… a city best known for having produced NFL Hall of Fame and legendary Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett, along with a host of other football talent who went on to play at a division One and division two college levels. Aliquippa is also known for being one of the poorest communities in that part of the state.
Growing up in the same housing project as Tony Dosett, Thomas knew well the long-shot odds of making it into professional football. But he had also learned that football, if played well, in the long run could pay off with a college scholarship. Thomas was right and the long odds broke in his favor. He made the roster of the Cleveland Browns.
After injury sidelined his single-season football career, Thomas returned to college, completing his studies and earning his bachelors degree from the University of Louisville, in Criminal Justices.
Initially, he worked as a counselor dealing with at-risk youth. This lead to a wide range of professional experiences from working with Volunteers of America helping to serve the less fortunate in the community. He realized that most of the less fortunate in the community were in this condition because they either suffered from mental illness or lack of education which cause them to resort to criminal actives that landed some in prison, later homeless or on drugs.
Thomas decided he wanted to help youth through education, this lead to his teaching career with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. After leaving CMSD, His passion for helping at-risk youth landed his feet at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center. Thomas later transitioned to working with adults, at the State of Ohio Adult Parole Authority.
Mr. Thomas noticed some of the youth that were in the detention center had later became repeat offenders, transitioning to the adult facilities, the pattern in their behavior had not changed for the better, but for the worse.
After almost 25 years of working with at-risk youth, felons and other vulnerable population, Thomas envisioned a way to use football training to help at-risk youth by giving them the same strict discipline, structure and excellent coaching he had received, but this time in the form of a mentoring program.
He is a 2009 graduate of the Baldwin Wallace Emerging Entrepreneur class. Founded by the Presidents Council.
Kim Thomas (Executive Director)
Mrs. Thomas is the owner of Christopher Amira Salon & Spa and the Executive Director of Change of Direction. She attended Cleveland South High School for Cosmetology . After graduating and passing the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology she received her Cosmetology license. Mrs.Thomas attended Cuyahoga Community College for computer programmer.
Mrs. Thomas has worked in the beauty industry for over 30 years. During that time, she has distinguished herself in business, being selected as “Business Women of the Year” by Loti Phi Lambda in 2012, voted as one of the “Top 200 Fastest Growing Salons” by Salon Today Magazine for two consecutive years, was selected as one of the 20 IP’s (Interesting Personalities) by Who’s Who publishing in Cleveland.
She is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace 2009 Emerging Entrepreneurs class, founded by the Presidents Council.
In 2008, Ms. Thomas was appointed to the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology and was later elected as Chairman of the board, she served on the 9-member board for four years. In this capacity, she helped to regulate licensed salons and cosmetology schools operating in the State of Ohio, helping to promulgate rules governing the industry. She was part of the Board that identified “Human Trafficking” as a problem in cosmetology, and voted to take measures to combat human trafficking during her Board tenure.
She currently serves on the Cosmetology Advisory Board at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center.
Ms. Thomas has worked in many areas of the beauty industry. She traveled nationally as a National Trainer/ Platform Artist for John Paul Mitchell Systems, sharing a wealth of business building knowledge with students, beauty professionals and business owners. She was promoted to PAC trainer and facilitator for “Train The Trainers” of John Paul Mitchell Systems on launching new techniques and products for In-salon classes/ workshops. Her passion shows in everything she does from teaching to helping others on becoming successful beauty leaders thus raising the standard to not only meet but also exceed the expectations of the industry.
For Mrs. Thomas, it’s important to give back. Each year, she engages in community service helping the less fortunate. She partnered with many organizations such as, The “Cut It Out” program, for Salons Against Domestic Abuse. This initiative helps stylists recognize the signs of abuse. “Look Good… Feel Better, a program to train and certify cosmetologists to directly help cancer survivors cope with appearance-related side effects; the NCA Disaster Relief Fund, a program established to directly support salon professionals impacted by natural disasters and Go Red For Women, the American Heart Association’s, helping to increase awareness of heart disease which is the leading cause of death for women — and to inspire women to take charge of their heart health.
Amira Thomas (Youth Coordinator)
Graduate from Cleveland Central Catholic High School in 2010. Amira implements the youth programs for Change of Direction. She is currently continuing her education in Psychology, Amira will graduate in 2015 with a Bachelor in Psychology from Cleveland State University.