Terra Gay has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of young people. Most recently, she developed The Ngambika Academy. (a Kiswahili word pronounced Nam-bee-kah, meaning ‘help me carry the load’) designed to provide a ‘train the trainer’ model and curriculum for volunteers and mentors seeking to create ongoing leadership, service learning and life skills training for young people. Before graduating from Emory University, she served in local schools as a mentor and tutor, which led her to over a decade with the National Service Movement, via AmeriCorps and VISTA programs.
Working as a Language Arts teacher and Learning Community Leader (Assistant Principal) within the alternative education system, sparked her desire to become a greater advocate for young displaced people. For the past 15 years, Terra has worked directly with youth as an educator, certified leadership development trainer and both community and youth advocate. Additionally she has worked directly with community members, corporations and local businesses to raise and manage nearly 19 million dollars to support educational initiatives, engagement of AmeriCorps members, school and technology renovations and more.
Some of the corporations and programs she has worked on include, Jones of New York’s national Teacher of the Year teacher/classroom makeover, launching The Home Depot’s national, multimillion dollar schools and community renovations’ program, SAP and Xerox’s national digital upgrades and digital divide programs, 100 Black Men of America, Sprite, Delta, The Coca-Cola Company with local and national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Service initiatives, The Cartoon Network’s national PLAY campaign, the annual community ‘give back’ campaigns for United Parcel Services (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed Ex) benefiting thousands of families and children.
She has trained youth and community members in service and leadership around the country via partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, City Year, KaBoom!, The Magic Johnson Foundation, The Chaka Foundation, Target, Bank of America, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Jet Blue, Office Depot, The Learning Channel (TLC) and many, many more. She remains driven by her belief, teaching our youth how to use their personal journeys, creativity and talents to serve and lead younger youth through Community Service, Cultural Awareness and Leadership, combined with the support of mentors, families, local businesses and community organizations, will result in world change.
The Ngambika Academy
Developing the Next Generation of Servant Leaders