2020 Recipient of 

The Community Partnership Award

It is with much excitement that I share you have been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Community Partnership award. I want to thank and congratulate you for all of your work in the community; providing educational support for our K-12 population. This was our first year offering this award category, and your work with Elimu has set a high standard for future applicants.

Best regards,

Bryle Henderson Hatch, Ph.D.

Executive Director for Community Engagement

Office of Community Engagement

North Carolina A&T State University

Meet the Founder/CEO

 Esther Idassi is the founder of Elimu Empowerment Services (EES). EES addresses the quality of life challenges faced by refugee individuals who are new to the country. As the Director of the Elimu Learning Center, an after school program serving K-12 refugees and immigrants students in the Guilford County.

As a first generation immigrant herself, Esther holds dear issues that affect immigrant community. Esther serves as a committee member of the Welcoming Greensboro Initiative that worked with Greensboro City Council to unanimously pass a resolution declaring Greensboro to be a "Welcoming City", part of a national movement to create more welcoming and supportive communities for immigrants and refugees.

In 2017 to 2019, Esther held two positions as a member of Human Relations Commission where she served as a Vice Chair and a Chair of International Advisory Committee for the City of High Point.

 Esther has received numerous other certificates of recognition and attendance including but not limited to Change Agent from Impact Greensboro Leadership Program; Leadership from Education Alliance of Guilford County; United Way Board Development Project and a Certificate of Accomplishment in Women in Office Program from Institute Of Political Leadership. Currently she is a Fellow at Institute Of Political Leadership.

Esther has three children Ombeni, Jacob and Lydia and one grandson Kittia.

Dr. Jerono Rotich


Jerono Phylis Rotich is a tenured full professor of in the department of Human Performance and Leisure Studies, in the College of Health and Human Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University. She has been a faculty member at NCAT since 2005 and is one of the Research Fellows at Center for New North Carolinians at UNCG. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Kenyatta University in 1993, Master of Science in Physical Education from the State University of New York at Brockport (1999), and her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Exercise and Sports Science in 2004 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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Ms. Sabrina Peacock

Education Committee 

My name is Sabrina Peacock and I currently teach third grade at Oak Hill Elementary in High Point, North Carolina. I have been inspiring and educating young children for the past 26 years. I have been a member of NCAE since my first year teaching. I love teaching and really enjoy increasing my knowledge and abilities. I have a Master’s degree in Reading with a Specialization in Curriculum and Instruction. I am also a National Board Certified Teacher and a mentor for National Board candidates. I take pride in being able to help others obtain one of the most honorable achievements as a teacher. I also mentor new teachers and others who need assistance. I was a finalist for Guilford County Schools Teacher of the Year in the 2012-2013 school year and a finalist for Guilford County Schools Mentor of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year. I am currently the coordinator of the Guilford County Early Career Educators and North Carolina Association of Educators Beginning Teacher Organizing Program. I am also the Elementary Director on the Guilford County Association of Educators’ Executive Board.

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Mrs. Marikay Abuzueiter


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Mr. James Shields


Director, Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning at Guilford College, musician and actor

"One of the most enriching experiences of my life is working with my colleagues at Guilford to provide a positive environment where our young people prepare to find their place in the world. As a performer, I have found music and theater to be the most impactful way to bring awareness to social justice issues. "

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Mr. Kevin Williams

Vice Chair 

Detailed Problem-Solver/Critical Thinker with Leadership Experience

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Dr. Denitra White

Fundraising/Grants Committee

My name is Catherine Dinitra White and I am an Associate Professor of Biology at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T). I graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC in 1996 with a BS in Biology. I then obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI in 2002. I returned to North Carolina to complete postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Seeding Postdoctoral Innovators in Research and Education Program in 2006. 

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