Saving One Life at a Time

Staff

Founder & CEO

Judge Ruby Thomas, Founder & CEO

Judge Ruby Thomas

Judge Ruby J. Thomas, a native Atlantan, holds a B.A. Degree in Psychology from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and a J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law. She practiced law as a sole practitioner for twenty years. For five years, she served as a Judge Pro Hac in Dekalb County Recorder’s Court, and since 2004, she has served as a Judge Pro Tem in Dekalb County Juvenile Court. During her law practice, she represented individuals in criminal, juvenile and domestic cases, as well as in civil litigation and probate matters. These cases have ranged from loitering to murder, and some have even attained national and international notoriety. In her capacity as Judge Pro Hac, she presided over motor vehicle cases (traffic), country ordinances and some misdemeanor cases. As a juvenile court judge, she presides over traffic cases, juvenile delinquency (criminal offenses) and deprivation matters (neglect, abuse and abandonment) where she earned an excellent reputation as a strong advocate for juveniles and their families.

To combat the rising tide of increased and deadly violence committed by and among elementary, middle and high school students, Judge Thomas founded and organized Save Our Students Academy, Inc., a youth violence prevention and enrichment program.

Further, she holds membership in a number of legal organizations (State Bar of Georgia, Juvenile Judges Council, Dekalb Lawyers Association) and other organizations (Friendship Baptist Church (Trustee, Deaconess, newsletter contributor, Church School member, the theater guild, and she was awarded The Trail Blazer Awardee for her creativity and innovation). She is also a member of The Links, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and The Decatur Dekalb Drifters where she was awarded The Now Black Woman Award. Among her many other awards, she was named an Outstanding Alumna of Wellesley College with such national luminaries namely then First Lady Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright and other alumnae. In addition, she was the recipient of several national and international awards for her work with youth and their families –The 2008 Justice Award of Soka Gakkai International of Toyko, Japan and The SOAR Award (Serving Others, Achieving Results) from GSU Law School. Judge Thomas has been the keynote speakers at numerable elementary and high schools, churches, other spiritual centers, civic organizations and at men’s and women’s state prisons in Georgia. She has published several magazine articles on youth, a joint book of poetry dedicated to Haiti, and she is the author of the recently published juvenile workbook, Jeremy Williams Takes A Time-Out, endorsed by such stellar public servants as the Honorable Ambassador and former Mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young and Ms. Mira Lowe, Editor In-Chief of Jet Magazine. Judge Thomas is married to Dr. Roosevelt Thomas, and they have three adult children and one grandson.

Administrative Staff

Officer Allen "A.J." Johnson, Program Director

Officer Allen “A.J.” Johnson, Program Director

Allen (A.J.) is a native of Atlanta and he attended the Atlanta Public School Systems. It is Allen’s vision and first-hand experiences that are the cornerstones for the programs, network and support that Save Our Students Academy provides to adolescent and young adults who are struggling with their decision-making skills. Allen found his interest and expertise with the youth population during his twenty seven-year career in law enforcement. He has extensive experience in team building, leadership training, organizational development, innovation and emotional intelligence.

As Assistant Camp Director with the Boys & Girls Club of America, Allen developed and implemented a protocol for physical intervention with campers in crisis, an accessible high ropes program for teen campers and a program that brought computers to camp. He brought together fifth graders from inner city and suburban areas for a three-day residential experiential education program with the goal of understanding integration.

As an independent consultant, he has worked with Trust Company, Nations Bank, National Data, The Landman Group and the City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation Department. While working at Spelman College, Allen was also instrumental in assisting the female students to join the Posse program for which he was the advisor. Under the Leadership of Mr. Lavon Mercer (Assistant Athletic Director), Allen was also the assistant Basketball coach from 1993-2010, the tennis team assistant 2002-2004 and the softball team assistant 2006-2007.

Allen also founded his own youth intervention organization called “First Step Back” which is based on his pilot programs and was officially un-incorporated in 2004. In the short years since its founding, Allen has overseen the growth of First Step Back and its reach in more than five communities throughout the City of Atlanta and served approximately 100 young adults.

As of 2010 Allen united with his family (Judge Ruby Thomas) and they have comprised and developed a plan and a team of individuals that will not only conquer the intelligentsia of our youth but will instill in them a since of pride and dignity.

Allen has three adult children and two grand kids. In his spare time he enjoys riding his 1989 Honda Goldwing Motorcycle, roller skating, horseback riding, fishing and training others on motorcycle riding. He is also an instructor for the teen PRIDE Driving Education Course under GTIPI and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Ms. Zandria "Jaz" Bonner, Activity Coordinator

Ms. Zandria “Jaz” Bonner, Activity Coordinator

Ms. Zandria “Jaz” Bonner was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica and was raised in Hanau, Germany. She graduated from Hanau High school in 1987. After her graduation she and her mother moved to the States and made Atlanta Georgia their new home.

Ms. Bonner attended Clark Atlanta University and completed her degree in Hospitality. She furthered her career and enrolled into the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Science in 1994.

Ms. Bonner has worked in the medical field for 15 years. During the late 1990’s, Ms. Bonner had a vision of owning her own business and in 1991 she founded and opened her own paint company called “A Woman’s Touch”. In 1999, she sold her paint company and became a stay at home mother in order to raise and support her children’s future. While doing so she also became an active member of the Stephenson High School PTA board and volunteer parent during the regular school hours. While on the Dekalb County School System PTA board, she helped to develop the awareness of those who are disabled due to vision impairment. She is still an active activist for the vision impaired committee in Georgia.

To broaden her horizons, Ms. Bonner joined the Save Our Students Academy in 2010 as the Activity/Donation Coordinator. She is an active participant in the efforts of the organization and its achievements to support the youth in and around the Fulton County and Dekalb County areas.

Ms. Bonner is working on a new business venture called TRUCARE, which will assist and help the elderly in the medical arena. Ms. Bonner is the proud mother of three adult children and one youth in high school. She also has two grandsons. She is a Public Notary in Georgia. In her spare time she enjoys roller skating, fishing, hiking and riding her Honda PC800 motorcycle.

Rev. Alfred J. Johnson, Guidance Advisor

Rev. Alfred J. Johnson, Guidance Advisor

Mrs. Thelma Haney, Wellness Advisor

Mrs. Thelma Haney, Wellness Advisor

Mr. Jabari Bonner, Volunteer Coordinator

Mr. Jabari Bonner, Volunteer Coordinator

Jabari graduated from Stephenson High School in 2009 with 13 scholarships totaling $53,000. He is currently in his junior year at Johnson and Wales University in Florida. He is pursing a major in criminal justice and a minor in business law. He is legally blind and is an active member of the National Federation of the Blind. He was born and raised in Georgia and is the youngest of three siblings. Jabari joined the Save Our Students Academy in late 2011 as the volunteer coordinator and media specialist.

Ms. Jermina R. Johnson, Food Service Coordinator

Ms. Jermina R. Johnson, Food Service Coordinator

Mr. Tony Davidson, Network Technician

Mr. Tony Davidson, Network Technician

Tony holds certifications in electronics and computers. He is a church elder and sound engineer for his local church. Tony is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

Ms. Dorothy Johnson, Financial Advisor

Ms. Dorothy Johnson, Financial Advisor

Mr. Dewitt Haney, Compliance Officer

Mr. Dewitt Haney, Compliance Officer

Volunteers

Mrs. LaToya Davidson-Perez, Web Administrator

Mrs. LaToya Davidson-Perez, Web Administrator

LaToya M. Davidson-Perez is woman of blended descent as her ethnic background include Irish, Indian, and Jamaican. Having grown up in Jamaica and the US she prides herself in being a ‘Jamerican’ and is proud of her culture and heritage.

A class of 1999 Rockdale County High School (RCHS) graduate, she was also named the 1998-99 Miss Tempus Fugit. This RCHS tradition honors students who are academically sound and involved in various activities in and out of school. The winner, one male and one female, is selected by interview with a panel of community leaders. LaToya was also a HOPE Scholar and received other prestigious awards including the SAPA Student of the Year Award. The Student Assistance Professional Association award is awarded to only one student in the state each year. She was active in Beta Club, Mass Media Production, Drama, MCJROTC, The Blaze (newspaper), Debate Team, 4-H, Anchor Club, Co-Ed Y, FCA, Peer Leadership, Cheerleading, and others. LaToya served as the school’s Company Commanding Officer (MCJROTC) and was a nominee for the Governor’s Honors Program. She also represented the county and her school on several occasions in oratory competitions and was selected as a cub reporter for Media One. She lettered in Drama and JROTC and was honored for her exceptional work in Mass Media. To say the least, her time in high school, not entirely chronicled here, was filled with many activities, many friends, and many memories.

In 1999 she briefly attended Georgia State University. Upon getting married in 2000 she transferred to Georgia Military College (GMC) with a full academic scholarship. She was also one of the first cadets in the college’s history to, with her spouse, participate in the cadet corps and to also live off-campus. As a member of the 122nd and 123rd Corps of Cadets she had the distinct pleasure of serving, in her second year, as the Regimental Accountability Officer (S1). During her time at GMC she served as the Editor of GMC Today (school paper), Vice President of the Student Government Association, President of the Unified Voices of GMC (cadet choir), and was President of the Drama Club. She was honored for her academic excellence in Literature and Political Science. LaToya earned double Associates degrees in Business Administration (ABA) and General Studies (Information Systems) (AGS) in 2002 and at graduation was honored with the Harold L. Goodrich award as Best All-Around Student for that year.

Upon graduating from GMC she attended Georgia College & State University (GCSU) majoring in Office Communication Systems. She graduated with her BBA in 2003. During her time at GCSU she served on the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee for the J.W. Bunting School of Business.

After a difficult period that included the dissolution of her first marriage she took some much-needed time off from continuing her educational pursuits. She returned to academia in 2005 when she applied and was accepted for graduate admission at Florida State University. LaToya enrolled in the school’s Master’s in Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program and within months was also accepted in the Master’s in Adult Education (MEd) program. She earned both Masters degrees in 2008. She is also certified as an ALA-accredited Librarian through the State of Georgia and was admitted into the premier international honors society for Information Studies, Beta Phi Mu.

In November 2006 and at the age of 25, LaToya was named the Assistant Director of the Twin Lakes Library System. At that time she was the youngest named to an Assistant Director position for a public library system in the state of Georgia.

From 2006 to 2014 LaToya was the Assistant Director for the Twin Lakes Library System. She is active in a number of professional and civic organizations and is the owner of Davidson Administrative Services. Since July 2011 LaToya has also been a featured editorial columnist for the oldest continuously published newspaper in the state of Georgia, The Union-Recorder. She is married and has two stepdaughters.

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