Marcus D. Carson
Founder, Executive Director
Marcus D. Carson, MBA is a native of Birmingham, AL, and grew up in the Titusville neighborhood. Marcus graduated from Huffman High School in 2003 with honors.
He then went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL with a Bachelors degree in Business Management in 2006 and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance in 2008. After two years of living in Charlotte, NC and working as a financial analyst, Marcus soon realized that his passion lie in helping young men who have similar backgrounds of his own, but lack the direction and/or support that were provided to him by his family and through his faith. The lessons learned growing up in an economically disadvantaged environment, coupled with the life skills and exposure opportunities presented to Marcus during his collegiate and professional career, provided the framework for a vision that led to the founding of Growing Kings.
Marcus is currently on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Association of Non-profits and the Rotaract Club of Birmingham. He’s also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals, Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the FAMU National Alumni Association.
Terrance L. McKnight, MA
Terrance L. McKnight
Terrance L, McKnight, MA graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida A&M University (FAMU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management in 2004 and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting degree in 2006. After two years of working in Corporate Accounting, Terrance returned to school, graduating from Teachers College – Columbia University with a Master of Arts in Social-Organizational Psychology degree in 2011. Since then, he has worked in various roles within the Education industry, primarily in mentoring and consulting capacities; the desire to continue this work, and directly impact young men who mirror him, is what led him to Growing Kings.
Terrance is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Inc.; and the FAMU National Alumni Association.
Marcus Nix graduated from the University of Alabama in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a focus on Human Performance and Exercise Science. As a student, Marcus worked as a trainer for a range of clients, including teens and adolescents with disabilities to Division 1 athletes. As a native of Birmingham, and a Ramsay High School graduate, Marcus moved back to the city with a desire to get involved with the community and its youth.
Marcus Nix is also a member of the UAB MHRC Young Professionals board.
Amy Roberts is a recent graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where she majored in English with a concentration in Professional Writing and Public Discourse. While at UAB, Amy co-found and served as the first President of the Professional Writing Club at UAB. Her participation with the service-learning project, Young Writers in Birmingham, is what motivated her to continue service work in Birmingham City Schools.
Amy also serves on the Association of Fundraising Professionals Alabama Chapter board as the External Affairs chair, and is a member of the UAB MHRC Young Professionals Board, the American Diabetes Association YPLC. In 2015, Amy was named the AFP Alabama Chapter’s Chamberlain Scholar.
Ballard Jones is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Having graduated from Mountain Brook High School in 2007, he went on to receive his B.A. in history from Auburn University. Ballard returned to Birmingham in 2012 and found work in the non-profit sector where he provided college access information to students in Birmingham City Schools. He is also a founding board member, and current vice president, of the Birmingham Chapter of the American Outlaws soccer supporters group, and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Alabama Chapter. In his spare time Ballard enjoys reading, playing soccer, fishing, and working on his terrible golf game.
Tianna Humes, MPH
Tianna Humes, MPH graduated from Alabama A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2014, and Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2015. Tianna is a member of the Crystal Imperial Club, Inc. and a youth leader with the Divine Excellence Dance Ministry.
De’Eria Wimbley is a recent graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies with a concentration in Public Relations. During her undergraduate studies, she served as vice president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) UAB Chapter, and Marketing Chair for the UAB PeerWell Student Organization. In her space time, De’Eria enjoys reading and playing lacrosse.
Jesstin Wood is a proud resident of Birmingham city. He is the son of broadcast radio legend Roy Wood, Sr. After graduating from Pleasant Grove High School, Jesstin attended Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University where he majored in Telecommunications with a minor in English. Before becoming involved with Growing Kings as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Jesstin served as a volunteer mentor in the Fall 2010.
Courtney Howard graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic and Legal Communications Management in May 2015. Courtney serves as a volunteer for Railroad Park and sits on the Hand in Paw Junior Board and The Walk of Life. Courtney is very passionate about serving youth through mentoring and exposing them to service-learning opportunities. Courtney enjoys traveling and sharing her educational experiences with Birmingham youth.