Three Asbury Park community leaders are among those being honored next month at Brookdale Community College’s 32nd Annual Wilbur Ray Awards Dinner.
Asbury Park School District Superintendent Lamont Repollet, Konscious Youth Development Service [KYDS] founder Mychal Mills, and Sportz Farm founder Diteko Hammary are among the nine Monmouth County community leaders and volunteers being recognized.
The award is named for the late Wilbur Ray, a former Brookdale Community College police sergeant and active Long Branch community volunteer, according to a written statement on the College’s website. It is given to those who make significant contributions that, while substantial, do not always result in public recognition.
“They will be honored for their volunteerism, community outreach work, and professional impact in communities across Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties,” college spokesman Keith Heumiller said in a written statement.
The remaining honorees include Wanda Brauner of Howell; Ronald Dukes of Red Bank; Gerald Eugene Glisson of Paterson; Jordan and Joelle Hernandez of Hazlet; and Yesenia Madas of Brick.
The annual dinner supports the Wilbur Ray Scholarship program, given to students of color who attend Brookdale. This year, the event will be March 11 at the Sheraton Hotel in Eatontown. For tickets, call Michelle Stathum at 732-224-2705 or e-mail [email protected].
Below, find the trio’s written bios from the college’s website:
Diteko Hammary is a native of Asbury Park and a 2005 graduate of Brookdale Community College. He has spent more than 20 years serving his community in countless ways. As a player and coach, Diteko – also known as Coach Teko – is a four-time state football champion and two-time national football champion. He strives to help the youth in his ailing community and its surrounding areas.
In 2012 Dietko founded the Sportz Farm Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on tutoring, mentoring, standardized test preparation, college tours and college and career readiness programs for inner city youth. The organization’s mantra is “to produce professionals on and off the field,” and since its founding Sportz Farm has been responsible for exposing hundreds of youth across the state and across the country to colleges and careers beyond high school. Dietko currently serves as executive director of Sportz Farm.
He also serves as second vice president for the Asbury Park AYF and Cheer program, volunteers as a coach for the Matawan AYF football program, serves as president of the Asbury Park/Neptune and Long Branch local chapters of the National Action Network, and is co founder of Charity Kings and Sportz Farm Cares, which promotes city events such as Get Out To Vote programs, Family Day, Wish Upon a Prom, the Back to School Supply Giveaway, Santa’s Closet and Feed The Unfortunate Thanksgiving Food Drive. Since the inception of Sportz Farm in 2012, the company has overseen more than $3.7 million in scholarships.
Dietko is married to Alisha, his beautiful wife of nine years, and is the proud father of five children. Alisha is also Brookdale alumna.
Mychal Mills was born and raised in Neptune Township. He is one of two sons born to Deneise and George Mills. He graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School and matriculated to Monmouth University, where he earned both a Bachelor of Science in business management and Master of Business Administration. Mychal currently serves as food sourcing supervisor at the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. He has prior experience in technology sales, healthcare, and youth development. Mychal spends most of his extracurricular time as a mentor, basketball coach and volunteer for various nonprofits in Monmouth County.
Mychal has been very involved in specialized initiatives throughout his academic and professional career. His passion for community enriched his collegiate experience at Monmouth University, and he has initiated many community programs such as sustainable business projects, life skills programs at the Boys & Girls Club, and a community radio station focused on fostering solutions. As president of Monmouth University’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) in 2011, he led a mission trip to Uganda, Africa in partnership with Monmouth University and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. The mission focused on healthcare, economic development, nutrition and living with HIV/AIDS. This humbling experience helped Mychal develop a perspective of gratitude for vulnerable communities, both locally and globally.
In his position at the FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties, Mychal has increased the efficiency of the store donation program, growing it from 400,000 pounds to 2.7 million pounds of food in three years. He is responsible for all incoming food logistics for the FoodBank. Mychal serves as a Junior Entrepreneurship Training mentor and co-director. The program teaches entrepreneurship to middle school-aged youth in Asbury Park by helping them develop and launch micro-businesses while learning lifelong skills such as team building and improved communication skills.
In 2014 Mychal co-founded Konscious Youth Development & Service (KYDS), which focuses on holistic intervention of the body, mind and soul. The organization is a direct reflection of his personal journey of creating inner peace and balance. Mychal believes youth development is more sustainable through internal development, building tools of love and compassion from within that are transferable to any life situation.
Mychal serves as a board of trustee for local community organizations such as the VNACJ Community Health Center, Meal at Noon Soup Kitchen, Long Branch Concordance, and Neptune Township’s Planning Board. He also chaired the Neptune Township Black History Committee for two consecutive years.
Mychal’s heart and passion align with his ability to achieve success.
Dr. Lamont Repollet
Dr. Lamont Repollet is superintendent of the Asbury Park School District in Asbury Park, where he has developed partnerships with parents, businesses and local leaders designed to bring about organizational and instructional leadership within the district. Throughout his 20-year career in education, Dr. Repollet has served as a member of the New Jersey Association of State College and Universities, New Jersey Association of School Administrators, and New Jersey Council of Education. He currently serves on the Kean University Board of Trustees, The Far Hills Country Day School Board of Trustees and Newark Educators Community Charter School Boards of Trustees.
He led the instructional and organizational reformation in Carteret High School for the 21st Century, which resulted in high student achievement in English Language Arts, English Language Learners and Special Education. As a turnaround principal, his schools have garnered national recognition for decreasing the achievement gap in education among economically disadvantaged and non-economically disadvantaged students. In 2016 Dr. Repollet was asked to join the New Jersey Department of Education’s delegation for the State Development Network, which engages state delegations in information sharing, consultation and other efforts to improve outcomes in turnaround schools.
As superintendent of Asbury Park School District, Dr. Repollet is implementing a systems-thinking approach to transform the district both instructionally and organizationally into a model urban school district. He introduced a Pre-K-to-12 Literacy Intervention and Leadership Development initiative to create a culture of high expectations. His work has resulted in a 20 percent increase in graduation rates, a 50 percent reduction in dropout rates and significant increases in literacy grade level gains throughout all grades.
Under Dr. Repollet’s leadership the district has secured several grants, including a $2.5 million 21stCentury Grant for after-school programming for students in grades 4-8, and a $500,000 Vocation Partnership Grant to create an Engineering Academy using the nationally recognized Project Lead the Way Curriculum. Most recently the district has been recognized by the International Center for Leadership in Education as a 2016 Innovative District for creating innovative programs such as a Comprehensive District Interactive Literacy Intervention, the Power of 10, which is a dropout prevention program; the College and Career Readiness Institute, which has resulted in over 45 job and paid-internship placements; high school Career Academies in engineering, allied health, and law and public safety; and STEAM opportunities such as “makerspaces” and after-school academies.
Dr. Repollet received his Bachelor of Arts in communication from The College of New Jersey, a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration from Kean University, and Doctorate in Education from Nova South Eastern University. He currently resides in Somerset with his wife Darlene and their two daughters Lauryn and Taylor.
For more information on all nine honorees, click here.
[In Feature photo, courtesy of Brookdale College, Repollet is shown with Brookdale President Maureen Murphy during the August announcement of the joint early college high school program.]
The Asbury Park Sun is affiliated with the triCityNews newspaper.