Meet Our Team

Jowharah Sanders

Executive Director

Children’s Advocate, Bullying Prevention Expert, and Founder of nationally recognized bullying and suicide prevention organization, Jowharah Sanders has dedicated the past decade of her life to mentoring children and families impacted by bullying and suicide.

As a bullying survivor herself, Ms. Sander’s vision and drive launched the first of its kind community organization aimed at preventing bullying, suicide, and school violence through direct service mentoring and prevention education; National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment (NVEEE). The organization, now in its 12th year of operation, has supported over 35,000 youth, educators and families throughout the United States, has been recognized by Congress (repeatedly), and has been featured on segments through national media outlets including “Secret Millionaire” and “NBC’s Education Nation.”



Chason Lang

Leadership & Management Program Director

Chason is an enthusiastic and empathetic mentor, upstander, and leadership coach. In the last 5 years he has emphatically boosted the success of NVEEE’s Peace Ambassador Leadership Program and the Peace Ambassador Leadership Summit, and the Leadership and Management Development Program, respectively. As a mentor and director, he has helped youth build resilience by teaching them how to overcome intrapersonal battles, as they pertain to suicide ideations and bullying experiences. As a member of the NAACP, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement, the National Council for Black American Affairs, National Society of Leadership and Success, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Mr. Lang has been a proponent for the ubiquitous education of social injustices, inequality, and suppression, as they apply disproportionately to African American communities. 

Vivianna Tijerino

Director of Mentoring Services

Vivi has been involved with NVEEE since 2016, when she first joined as a Delegate at PALS. Since then, she has increased her involvement and dedication to NVEEE, even throughout her time in college. She graduated from Florida State University in December 2020, and is currently enrolled in law school at Florida International University. She continues to serve as the Director of Mentoring Services, while in law school and manages a wonderful team that works diligently toward improving and growing the Mentoring Department. Most importantly, she is a Dog Mom to Nico, the NVEEE Mascot.


Grisel d'Elena

Adjunct Professor for Religious Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Academic Advisor II for Pre Law and The Honors College at Florida International University

Professor d’Elena has performed fieldwork abroad with U.N. officials, refugee coalition members, and ethnic minorities, specifically in Southeast Asia, where she began to investigate the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar. Locally, Grisel is the Vice President of Events and leads the Young Professionals Committee on the board of directors for UN Women | USA | Miami.

Kevin Smith

PALS at UCF Advisor and Sponsor

Kevin Smith from Miami, Florida, where he attended Undergraduate and Graduate school. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami (UM), with a double major in Communication (Electronic Media) and Political Science. Smith later returned to UM’s School of Communication and earned a M.F.A. in Film Production. Upon graduating, Smith quickly began to teach as an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where he taught full time for 10 years, until 2012. Smith continued to freelance and teach as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami and Broward College until being hired at the Nicholson School of Communication at University of Central Florida in August of 2015.

Bryan Cowins

Executive Assistant to the Executive Director


Naisa Cajuste

Executive Assistant to the Executive Director


Alexis Dixon

Creative Services Supervisor