Larry Irvin Founder

Kristyna Jones   Founder

Charlene Hughes   Administrative Assistant

Kelly Harris-DeBerry   Site Director - New Orleans

Ashton Clark   Site Director - Baton Rouge

Bianca Brignac   Site Director - Baton Rouge

 

 

Kristyna grew up in family full of urban educators and was fortunate to be raised in a home where education was seen as an adventure, a source of self-discovery, and means to success. One of the greatest influences on her passion for the mission of BE2T was Kris’s grandfather. A life-long learner, 30-year educator, and counsel and sage to generations of young people, he inspired them to see the possibilities beyond there own environment or circumstances.

Kris has a 15-year career in housing and community development with  a focus on lending and management strategy. As the COO, she uses these skills to manage the operational and financial needs of the organization.

Born in Cleveland, she’s an IBM kid (I’ve been moved) and lived in a number of cities. Most of her childhood was spent in suburban New York.  Kris  is an avid reader and writer. She is equally passionate about the Cleveland Browns and the New York Knickerbockers. She also participates in various grassroots political causes.

Click here to read more about Kristyna's thoughts on developing BE2T's initiative, the growth of the organization, and the importance of a woman's perspective in guiding more men of color into classrooms as teachers.  

Educational attainment was always a point of emphasis for Larry growing up. Raised by an early childhood educator, Larry’s mother spent 23 years as teacher for the Jefferson Parish Head Start program. Aside from his mothers’ ability to nurture and provide the essential educational building blocks for low-income children, Larry was most inspired by his mothers’ perpetual benevolence, which extended from the classroom deep into the community.  As a former teacher and high-school football coach, Larry has adopted those same values of education and community to create positive change through social entrepreneurship.

A New Orleans native, Larry earned his Associates of Arts in Journalism/ Media Arts from Delgado Community College followed by earning his Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with a concentration in rhetorical theory and public address from Louisiana State University. As an avid football aficionado and rabid Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan, for leisure, Larry frequently browses sports blogs such as Bleacher Report and NFL.com to remain abreast of all things Steelers related and religiously tunes in to ESPN’s First Take sports broadcast to feed his chronic craving for colorful sports debate by Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless.

Read more about Larry & why he thinks we need more teachers of color, especially men, here.  

OUR VALUES


With no foundation there is no progress. Our values keep us grounded in why we do what we do.


REMAIN RELEVANT    It is paramount that our fellows understand the language, likes, dislikes, and social issues affecting the students in their classrooms. It is equally paramount that we have this understanding of the issues and trends affecting our fellows. From our vantage point, being able to create pathways to open dialogue, is the key to building cultural competency in a holistic way.

BE COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE (ADAPTABILITY)                Growth requires stretching outside of one’s comfort zone. We challenge ourselves through out the entire program to constantly look for ways to improve how we do our work. In rising to that challenge, we sometimes reach places that require us to learn from the struggle and embrace it.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED FOR GAMEDAY      Ninety percent of success is preparation. We want to be ready to seize opportunities when they avail themselves and create opportunities for others. Preparation plus the ability to relate, communicate, and present our best selves widens our access and ability to grow.                                          

 

HUSTLE WITH GRIT     There is no failure. Only lessons. Developing BE2T has not come without its share of losses. These losses have helped us gain clarity on what we want to accomplish. We are accessible examples of how to continue to climb even in challenging times for those who participate in our program.  

TAKE CARE (SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL SELF-CARE)    BE2T wants to support the development of each of our participants in a holistic way. The foundation to this development is taking care of one’s self emotionally. By promoting social and emotional awareness, our participants will have the foundation to better manage the stressors of life personally and career wise outside of school.

DEFY CONVENTION    Popular opinion says men of color don’t teach and the statistics don’t defy it. Only 2% of all teachers nationally are men of color. We want our fellows to turn the profession on its head by entering the classroom and using their ability to communicate and relate to the students they teach everyday. We meet teachers everyday who demonstrate that men of color can and do teach. We have to show more men, regardless, of what the masses say they have an ability to reach at-risk students that defies the current demographic in front the classroom and the vision of what success looks like to students.

 

OUR STAFF

KRISTYNA JONES    Founder

LARRY IRVIN  Founder