Board of Directors
Antwan McHenry is the founder of U Can Turn It Around Inc. The vision to start the company came to him after an afternoon of violence that caused the street he lived on to be shut down by police for 3 nights. He decided that he could not just sit by and not raise his voice to the constant barrage of violence that plagued his community. His rallying cry has been “unless the youth are active participants in combatting the issues plaguing their generation there can be no change!” He has worked for Chicago Public Schools for the last 14 years in the capacity of educational support. He is the author of 2 poetry books “Moods & Moments” & “Memoirs From the Heart” In 2012 he received his life coaching certificate in from Fowler Wainwright International. Antwan is also the Co-founder of Called2Serve NFP (501C3), a freelance photographer and a community activist.
Marcus Jones, celebrated author, Chicago cable talk-show host, and motivational speaker, is dedicated to inspiring young people through his motivational message on non-violence and empowerment through education. He is the author of Everyone Has a Story, This is Mine. Born and raised in one of Chicago’s most dangerous south-side neighborhoods, Marcus, like many inner-city youth, grew up without a father. Although strongly encouraged by his single- mother and grandparents to attend college, their influence did not dissuade him, as a seventeen- year-old, from choosing the street life—a life-altering path that led to being shot multiple times, becoming wheelchair bound, and imprisoned.
While sharing stories about expensive lessons and hard-earned successes, Marcus builds a compelling case for the life consequences we engender based on our understanding and actions. He communicates in ways that help young people internalize positive, life-altering images while spurring them to ponder the inextricable link between self-esteem and choices in the context of such life-affirming priorities as family, education, and integrity.
Marcus’ life-long quest is to reach deep into the troubled lives of young people. He meets them exactly where they are and they feel it. He models his simple code, which is to live life with love, peace, and acceptance, and to learn, grow, achieve, and contribute to others.
Robin Ewing is a wife, mother, Sunday school teacher and a business professional who loves encouraging and working with youth. She started her journey with helping kids at an early age when she became a youth counselor at church. It was during this experience she realized that kids just want to be heard, understood and guided. This is one reason why she continues to stay active with the youth at church and gets involved in programs with her daughter’s school. She desires to maintain a pulse on what our youth are faced with and how they navigate through life.
Growing up in a single parent home and watching her mother work long hours to provide for her family was the visual foundation for her “Can Do” personality. She lives by a statement her mother used to say growing up, “if you can’t be a blessing to someone, then what are you good for”. It was those words which lead her down the path of opening her door for runaway or homeless teens in the past. As a result of her “big heart”, her long time friend and business partner Antwan McHenry decided to use her talents of encouragement and edification with the U Can Turn it Around movement which has birthed “Drama Girlz”. This opportunity gives Robin the chance to use her motherly and professional skills mixed with her spiritual guidance to help young girls take any drama in their life and turn it into productivity.
Shameeka Shavers Coordinator of “At Ease Sundays” productions, where she orchestrates and manage artist and events under the umbrella of the company. With a bachelor degree in psychology Shameeka works as a counselor in the mental health field. Keeping in touch with the human services she now graces the stage with her team members revealing her own story to help her and others heal through spoken word.
Dimar Vasquez grew up on the borderline of the Logan Square & Humboldt Park area.. He grew up in a single parent home, where the odds of life played against him. He attended Carl Schurz High School and upon graduation was informed by his mother and grandmother that there was not enough money to send him to college. Upon hearing this news he silently enlisted In the US. Army infantry (Illinois guard) which ended in May 2015 with 13 years of service and combat operation service in Iraq under Operation Iraqi freedom 2006-2007. He also served in Operation Cajun Fury in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2004 to 2005. He was part of one of the first units to cross train with the Polish army in October 2003 under Delta Company 1st of the 178th infantry. In between that time he obtained an Associate Degree in Applied Science from Harold Washington College. In 2012 he met Antwan Mchenry and slowly became involved with ” U Can Turn It Around ” and the positive impact that it has had on the youth. He feels that mentorship is needed nowadays and that strength, determination, and perseverance are keys to ones success.
Warren Woods is an all around artist. He has performed locally as well as internationally on the hip hop scene as Lord ILLS. In addition he is a photographer and graphic artist. He is passionate about creating content for visual & auditory consumption.