Student Athletes for Educational Opportunities (SAFEO), Inc. is a Washington, D.C.-based, registered non-profit organization that supports student athletes at all levels. Our staff works to prepare student athletes for the rigors of college-level work and the challenges of the college experience. We also work to enhance their athletic skills; introduce them to the many available career opportunities in sports; and inform and train them in healthy living. We work to build character and a consciousness for community responsibility.
|J. Laffeyette Carter
President and Founder of SAFEO
Brooklyn, NY-born, Washington, D.C.-raised, J. Laffeyette Carter is a former University of the District of Columbia (UDC) per-season All American linebacker. Carter is also a former DC Public Schools (1st Team All-Inter-High Inductee and “Player of the Game” recipient for the 1992 UDC v. Bowie State University Coca Cola Classic. He’s a retired AAU basketball coach for the Silver Spring, MD-based league “Force One,” where he led his 12 and under boys’ team to a championship in 2012.
Carter founded SAFEO after learning about how in 1989 former Georgetown University head basketball coach John Thompson Jr. boycotted two games in protest of Proposition 42, the controversial freshman eligibility rules modification that was passed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Both Propositions 42 and 48, mandated strict minimum requirements for academic grade point averages and Scholastics Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, and mandated a one-year suspension for athletes not meeting the requirements.
Carter felt that Coach Thompson’s walkout was a monumental gesture, using his popularity as a championship winning coach as a platform to bring light to the issue, but firmly believed that there should have been more of an outcry from the student athlete community; hence SAFEO was born. As he is affectionately called by his players, coaches, and parents “Coach Carter” has served as president and Chief Executive Officer of SAFEO, Inc. for the past 25 years, and is the principal in charge of overall operations and management of the organization. His vision is to instill a culture within the student athlete community, a life-long mindset of preparedness, once the ball stops bouncing.
Through SAFEO, he has conceptualized and put together many public relations and community outreach events with partnership and sponsorship support from organizations such as: Under Armour, Nike, Children’s National Medical Center, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Greater Washington Urban League, D.C. Public Schools, Modell’s Sporting Goods, D.C. Summer Youth Employment Program, the Washington Football Team (formerly the Redskins), Pepsi, the Montgomery County Volunteer Center, the Washington Post, the Washington Wizards, the Washington Mystics, Allied Global Marketing, the University of Maryland Master Gardening Program, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Youth Summer Employment Program, Giant Food, Boston Market, the Washington Nationals, the Washington Kastles, D.C. Lottery, and a host of others.
|Jason “JP” Carter
VP & Director of Sports and Fitness Education
Jason “JP” Carter is the fitness buff of the organization. The guy literally lives, eats and breathes fitness. If you check out his IG page brotherjpfitness7 all you’ll see is him promoting one of his workout sessions with a client or advertising some new nutrition product urging his followers to try it. The former Northwestern High School basketball player has served as SAFEO’s VP of Operations for over 10 years. Not only is he balancing two high level positions within the organization, he also is the featured talent of one of our Youtube channel shows called “Coach JP – the Corporate Fitness Fixer.” Each episode highlights his visits to local businesses educating and demonstrating to staff members how they can use their office space and furniture to sneak in a short “fat burning” workout in just a few minutes.
|Johnathan “DJ Jonny Blaze”
Media Services, Entertainment, Promotions and Special Events
Johnathan Norris- AKA “DJ Jonny Blaze” serves as SAFEO’s Director of Media Services, Entertainment and Promotions. He’s a dedicated and devoted staff member who has been with the organization since the early 2000s. The Howard University (HU) grad is a former HU Bison wrestler where he once placed 4th at the east coast D1 regional tournament. He rocks many hats for us and has coordinated promo events in venues such as clubs, recreation centers, fundraisers and the ever so popular Howard University Homecoming “Yardfest.” Some of the high-profile artists and athletes he helped coordinated promos with are SWV, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Winky Wright, Mos Def, Sharmba Mitchell, Vernon Davis, Tyrese, Changing Faces, the Washington Nationals Shalik and a host of others.
|Latoya “Black” Jackson
Chief Editor of SAFEO “Sideline Magazine”
With a famous name like “Latoya Jackson,” Latoya lives up to her namesake and is one of the most engaging staffers ever. The Chi-Town native, Howard University grad has been with the organization since the early 2000s and has worked on a wide range of promotional projects involving high profile athletes and entertainers. As the Editor -N- Chief, of SAFEO’s “Sideline Magazine,” the former Evanston Township High School three sport star participated in basketball, track, and volleyball. Her role is to work directly with “Sideline” publisher, coach Carter, on the publication’s content, creative vision and final layout.
Head of IT Services
Louisa is responsible for ensuring that every piece of hardware that the organization uses, purchases, or receives by donation is fully functioning on all cylinders. She also heads up the assessment division of our “Electronics for Education” program where local businesses donate their old and used hardware to support our many programs. The former University of Primary School track star hails from the beautiful west African country City of Cape Coast, Ghana. Louisa has been with SAFEO since 2015 and plays a major role in the organization’s overall day-to-day technical capabilities.
|Joan T. Peterson
Joan is the glue and the heart and soul of the organization. No correspondence, contract, or email goes out until it’s reviewed and vetted by Ms. Peterson. She’s been with SAFEO since its inception in 1989. The University of District of Columbia (UDC) graduate has a degree in Social Welfare and uses those skills in caring for others as her approach to get the job done. The former Roosevelt high school softball shortstop is the MVP of the organization.
|Jasmine S. Carter
Director of Nutrition and Wellness
Jasmine works in a variety of organizational platforms that focus on keeping individuals and the community healthy and fit for life. The former Richard Montgomery High School track star mainly works with our “Youth Healthy Lifestyles” program and our “Coach JP The Corporate Fitness Fixer” programs. She works directly with participants, assessing their health and dietary needs, counseling them on nutrition issues and healthy eating habits, developing meal plans, while taking both cost and client preferences into account. She evaluates the effects of their meal plans and changes the plans as needed. Jasmine also provides wellness consultation for our participants. She Implements programs to encourage healthy behaviors, monitors their overall health, and provides them with sustainable goals for improvement.
|Michelle G. Carter
Director of Youth Educational Services
Michelle has dedicated her adult life to the educational aspirations of our young people.What she brings to the SAFEO team is her storied history and passion she harnessed as a teacher in the DC Public School system. Her responsibilities include evaluating our educational programs prepared by our aids, suggesting any changes in these programs, preparing educational policies and procedures, instructing the aids on carrying out various tasks, evaluating the performance of the aids and other volunteer members. Ms. Carter spends a large part of her time creating, arranging and implementing various activities and events for the youth and families we serve. From educational programs to sporting events, Michelle is in the thick of things finding ways to bring our youth together in safe and fun environments.
|Luna “Asia” Bayaraa
Director of Marketing and Membership Services
Luna is new to the SAFEO team. She started out as an intern with our street promotions team, passing out flyers, putting up signage, conducting in-store and college campus events and taking photos. “Asia” as she called around the office is a master of understanding the enormous benefits of a brand establishing, impactful footprints in all of SAFEO’s campaigns. Her responsibilities include evaluating and developing our strategic marketing plans; planning, directing, and coordinating our marketing efforts; communicating our marketing plans to our target audiences; and doing the necessary research to determine the demand for our programs, products and services. In addition to her role as director of marketing, Asia manages our overall recruitment and retention strategies to meet our annual goals and targets to increase membership, outreach, and recruitment, as defined by our three-year strategic plan.
|Jahlil L. Carter
Director of Social Media Platforms
Jahlil is the youngest member of the SAFEO team. The former John F. Kennedy High School basketball star manages our social media marketing campaigns and day-to-day activities including: developing relevant content topics to reach our target customers. He also creates and manages all of our published content (images, Youtube videos, written and audio/podcast). More importantly, he’s responsible for monitoring, listening and responding to users in a “social” way while cultivating leads and sales.
Modeling & Fashion Consultant
Brooke is a fashion model turned Author/Modelpreneur. She’s been featured in some of the hottest magazine and advertising print media in the world such as, Ebony, Essence, Victoria’s Secret, McCall’s, Simplicity, Vouge, USA Today, Target, Flywire – even on the sides of New York City buses. She’s also graced runways of some of the most exclusive fashion shows for well-established brands such as Neiman Marcus, Steve Madden, and Tommy Hilfiger; and has appeared in numerous commercials for Macy’s, Levi’s, and Target; videos for performers Maxwell, Nas, and Lenny Kravitz), and television shows such as The View, Good Morning America, The Today Show). She was also featured in the movie Sex and the City.
Some of her books to date include her erotic novel “Secret Chronicles of a Fashion Model: The Fugitive’s Girlfriend,” and her two fashion booklets called, “Fashion Model Survival Guide,” and “How to Become a Model in 28 Days.” The two booklets are a part of her WBM Image (Wealthy Beautiful Models) workshop program. She also wrote, produced, and directed a play called, “The Chocolate Saccumb Show – Do Video Girls Have All the Fun?”
Brooke has worked with SAFEO on several important projects involving our youth, with a particular focus on young girls. She’s used her star power to host our Women and Sports- Related Concussion Conference held at D.C.’s Verizon Center during the Washington Wizards vs Chicago Bulls game. We look forward to Brooke continuing her role with us as our modeling/ fashion consultant on many projects to come.
|SAGA inc Studios
Graphics and Web Development
SSAGA inc Studios is a long-time SAFEO partner. Headed by Phil Workman, the full-time graphics and marketing firm provides nonprofit organizations like SAFEO with advertising, marketing and social media campaigns. Their top-notch designers, web specialists and individuals with cutting-edge “know-how” have assisted SAFEO on many initiatives over the years.
SAGA inc’s marketing professionals have over 16-years of experience in the field of advertising and campaign marketing. Its senior-level team has worked with many non-profits, government agencies, schools and private sector companies on a variety of projects. Their team specializes in developing strategic marketing plans and advertising campaigns that bring their clients the added exposure they need to differentiate themselves from the competition. They are industry experts in public relations, social media, internet and traditional offline marketing.