After holding several leadership and teaching positions in California and Illinois, Dr. Laurie Kimbrel took on current her role as the head of Brookhaven Innovation Academy in Georgia in 2016. Laurie Kimbrel holds a master of science degree in special education from Dominican University as well as a doctorate focusing on curriculum and instruction from Loyola University. She also volunteers as a mentor with Destiny’s Daughters of Promise (DDP).
DDP is a Georgia-based non-profit organization that aims to help teen girls develop self-confidence, leadership skills, work potential, and community relationships. The organization focuses on middle and high school girls, a vulnerable demographic that can face many challenges in today’s world. Through one-on-one mentorship, workshops, and community service, DDP aims to support these young women and help to prevent situations, such as teen pregnancy, that can contribute to a cycle of poverty.
The organization has seen its work make a measurable impact. In 2012-2013, 50 percent of sixth- and seventh-grade students in its programs achieved an A average, up from 30 percent. Of the teachers surveyed, 60 percent reported improved self-confidence and 80 percent saw improved behavior for the girls in the program. This observation was supported by the girls themselves, 80 percent of whom reported their own behavior had improved. A full 100 percent of the girls reported they felt more confident after going through the program.