Taj Lands (Assistant Director/Life Skills Coach)
Taj Lands Bio
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles was certainly a journey. Taj Lands was exposed to a life of violence, hardships and loss of friends and family due to gang violence at very young age. At the tender age of 9 Taj began his fixation with smoking marijuana, shortly after that at the age of 11 he was introduced to his first drink of alcohol. At the age of 12 Taj took on the alias of “Baby Ace” and started running with the first crew he came across. During this time Taj became familiar with the Neighborhood Crips and felt the enjoyment of being adopted in the family. He didn’t take long to stand out of the crowd with his leadership and charisma. Becoming a front man for his crew Taj began to develop a reputation for being hostile and extremely violent. By the time he entered High School Taj had made his presence to a large extent known around the town. Learning a great deal of the lifestyle from his uncles who were are members of the Piru blood gang Taj set out to own up to the same terrifying stories. By the age of 18 he had his mind fixed on being known for his violent actions and gang affiliation.
After talking with his Father he was convinced that the life he was partaking in Los Angeles would have a quick and fatal ending and decided to move with his Uncle in Atlanta, Ga in March of 2005. Upon his arrival it dawned on him that his Uncle was a Pastor and that his way of present living was getting ready to change. Taj began discovering new life while observing an after school program that took place within the ministry and the new peers that he had quickly became surrounded with. In 2007 Taj set out on a new course and enrolled in Atlanta Metro State College where he completed his Associates of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Afterwards he was accepted into the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University where he completed his Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology. Taj Lands is a licensed and ordained Minister and serves as the Campus Minister at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Taj works closely with his mentor Arthur Powell and serves as the Assistant Director to EGRESS Consultants and Services, LLC and Art Powell Life Coach, LLC. Taj has a passion to lay a better foundation for today’s youth and is willing to go any distant to see a change take place in their lives.
For more information on Taj Lands call: (4040 574-3252 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Derrick "Big Dee" Sanders (Life Skills Coach)
Derrick was born in Atlanta, GA and is the youngest of three children of his parents, who were active in the church. Derrick’s father was a preacher and so there were expectations placed on him and his siblings. At the age of sixteen, Derrick rebelled against his parents and moved out the house and he also stop going to church. Derrick was infatuated with street life and went against the wishes of his parents.
Derrick transformed into a hardcore criminal, by committing robberies on drug dealers. He imposed fear on all who knew him, but eventually his spree would come to an end. In 1989, Derrick was incarcerated for Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault and convicted of those charges in 1990. Derrick was incarcerated for 24 years and knew he wanted to do something different, once he released back into society. Derrick started rehabilitating himself, by getting his G.E.D. and taking self-help classes on life skills; he also mentored the younger inmates.
Since Derrick’s release in 2013, he has been working as a Life Skills Coach for Art Powell Life Coach, LLC and EGRESS Consultants and Services, LLC for 2 years. During that time, Derrick has worked with Roanoke City Schools in Roanoke, AL and Clayton County Public Schools in Clayton County, GA. He has also worked with the Youth against Violence program in Douglasville, GA. He is getting ready to work with Art Powell, Anti-Violence Specialist/Life Skills Coach in Dekalb County Juvenile Court in the Era of New Leaders program, through Program Administrator Michael Carter.
Derrick is being featured in the upcoming documentary, “Prison Ink” with the Discovery Channel. He is currently in the process of publishing his first of a series of books called, “Equation.” He is also co-owner of EGRESS Staffing Services, LLC; a temp service company that gives convicted felons an opportunity to establish a full time job. He hopes in sharing his life story with youth, he will convince them to make better decisions and choices and also look at the possibilities of becoming an entrepreneur.For information please contact Derrick “Big Dee” Sanders at (404) 603-6653 or email email@example.com