Featured Speakers for 2017 Texas Male Student Leadership Summit
Ernesto Mejia, is the proud son of Mexican immigrants, is a true example of the American dream. Diagnosed with the rare disease of Guillain-Barré Syndrome at the age of 16 that left him temporarily paralyzed, he was not supposed to be a successful student, much less a College Dean of Students. Through his hardships, Mr. Mejia learned to never give up on life. A founding member of the Student Leadership Inspired by Consuelo Kickbusch (SLiCK) program, Mr. Mejia now speaks to students, parents and teachers about overcoming obstacles and never giving up on the American dream: education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University.
Corey Tabor, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with B.S. in Communications Studies with an emphasis in Human Relations and a minor in business. While at the university he was selected as a Dean’s Dozen recipient designated as one of the top 12 leaders on campus. He served as an orientation advisor, resident assistant, student government representative, President of Innervisions Gospel Choir and as a member of Gamma Phi Delta Christian Fraternity, Inc. Corey currently serves as the Founder and Lead Pastor of Full Life Community Church in Pflugerville, Texas as well as the Director of Austin LifeGuard, the sexual risk avoidance sex and character education program of Austin LifeCare Pregnancy Center. Corey is certified as a Professional Life Coach, Human Behavior Specialist and Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist. He recently earned his Master of Ministry Leadership degree from Rockbridge Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. He serves on various boards and advisory councils in the community and speaks to organizations throughout the nation. He is the author of the book, Being: A 30-Day Guide to Being Who God Created You to Be. Corey has been married to his wife April for 14 years and they have one daughter, Anaia.
Octavious Bishop, is a native of Houston and graduate of Westfield High School, Bishop has long been an advocate of the mental health and educational needs of at-risk students. From 2008-09 he was the Communities in Schools of Central Texas XY-Zone Coordinator, working with at-risk populations at five Austin area high schools as Male Involvement Program Coordinator. Bishop spent time in NFL camps on free agent contracts with the Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. After retiring from football, he returned to UT and completed his bachelor’s degree in social work in 2001. He went on to earn a master’s degree in social work from Texas in 2008. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at Walden University-Minnesota.
Master of Ceremonies
Dr. Patrick Valdez, Chief Executive Officer, University of New Mexico, Taos. Dr. Valdez, as held several executive level positions at public and private universities as well as national higher education associations in Washington D.C. Dr. Valdez has committed his life to helping students overcome the barriers and obstacles to obtaining a college degree and currently serves as dean of the Undergraduate College at College Mount Saint Vincent. He received a bachelor of arts in International Studies from St.Edward’s University, a master of arts degree in Student Personnel Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University in the City of New York, and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas Austin.
William Buster, provides oversight for the Foundation’s grantmaking programs, and is responsible for leading the design, development, delivery and evaluation of the Foundation’s grantmaking strategies and policies. William also oversees the Healthy Futures program, developing strategies for programs and grant making to address healthcare workforce needs.
Prior to joining the Foundation, William was the Owner and Lead Consultant for Common-Unity Philanthropic and Nonprofit Advisors. He worked in a variety of positions, including Director of Mississippi and New Orleans Programs and Advisor to the President on Men and Boys of Color during his 8 years with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to joining the Kellogg Foundation, William was a Program Officer for the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation for 7 years, and earlier in his career, was the Program Director for Community Development for the Greensboro Education and Development Council.