Eight Monmouth County community leaders and volunteers will be honored on March 11 during the 31st annual Wilbur Ray Scholarship Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in Eatontown.
The event, hosted by Brookdale Community College, recognizes significant contributions by county residents and organizations that, while substantial, do not always result in public recognition.
Proceeds from the dinner benefit the Wilbur Ray Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships to students of color. The awards are named for the late Wilbur Ray, former Brookdale police sergeant and an active volunteer in the Long Branch community.
This year’s honorees include volunteers, activists, professionals and community outreach workers in communities such as Neptune Township, Freehold and Red Bank.
Rhonda M. Anderson
Ms. Rhonda Anderson currently serves as president and CEO of the Community YMCA in Red Bank, NJ. Prior to her tenure at the Y, Ms. Anderson served as chief operating officer at Cathedral International in Perth Amboy, NJ, and held several management positions in Fortune 500 companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Simon & Schuster. She is a former board secretary of the Cathedral Community Development Corporation and also served as its chief operating officer.
Ms. Anderson has a passion for teaching personal finance and has coordinated several sessions of the highly acclaimed “Financial Peace University.” She also developed a financial literacy course for teens called “Making it Count!” and previously coordinated a summer youth basketball clinic. She has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, served on the Cornell University President’s Council of Cornell Women, served as Cornell alumni ambassador and briefly served as a board member for the Raritan Valley Girls Scouts. Early in her career she also served as volunteer coordinator for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, CO.
Ms. Anderson currently serves as vice chair of the NJ State Alliance of YMCA’s, board member of the YMCA US Missions Network, and as a member of the Red Bank Rotary and Monmouth County Homeless System Collaborative. She also serves as a member of the Monmouth County Human Services Advisory Council and the newly formed Lunch Break Women’s Mentoring Program. During the summer of 2014, Ms. Anderson served as basketball volunteers manager for the United States Special Olympic Games.
Ms. Anderson has received the NJ Black Achiever’s Award in Business and the Professional Achievement Award from the Central Jersey Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club. She received a master’s degree in business administration from Penn State University and a bachelor’s of science degree from Cornell University. An inductee to the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame for basketball, Ms. Anderson was also selected to the Ivy League Silver Anniversary Team and was the first woman in Cornell history to be named as Athlete of the Year by The Cornell Sun.
Ms. Anderson endeavors to live her life by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.” Currently residing in Shrewsbury, NJ, Ms. Anderson thanks God for the values and spiritual foundation instilled in her by her mother and maternal grandmother.
Yvette Anderson is currently employed by Social Security Administration as a social insurance specialist in Monmouth County. She has dedicated over 20 years to helping the less fortunate in various communities in and around Monmouth County.
As a high school student, Yvette was featured in the Asbury Park Press for exposing the students of Manalapan High School to the importance of Black History Month, a concept that later spread across schools in Monmouth County.
Yvette’s first job was with a Fortune 500 company and in 1997 she was officially recognized by Lucent Technologies for being an invaluable, committed and accountable NJ Site Ambassador as part of the Alliance of Black Lucent Employees, through which she mentored over 20 Elizabeth High School students. She was also instrumental in encouraging Lucent Technologies to donate computers to several inner city schools in Newark, NJ.
Yvette later became director of the Roselle, NJ Pop Warner cheerleaders and coached a team that won the Award of Excellence at the Garden State Cheer Competition in 2002. She also started a free cheer clinic for over 70 girls who could not afford to enroll in gymnastics or cheer camps. Today the camp is run by one of Yvette’s former students. Yvette also served as a volunteer coach at St. Joseph’s and St. John’s Catholic schools in the early 2000’s.
Yvette then moved back to Monmouth County and served as director of the Monmouth County chapter of Little Sistah’s in the Know (LSK), a non-profit organization that strives to build high self-esteem and foster positive self-images in African American girls. In addition to reading activities, trips, and community service programs, Yvette and the members of LSK provide Thanksgiving baskets, turkeys, and Christmas toys each holiday season, feeding over 150 families and providing gifts for 200 families last year alone.
Yvette has taken on various projects in the community, working to provide food, supplies, and other forms of support for local women and families in need. She also helped coordinate donations of computers and laptops to her church in Monmouth County to aid the younger and elderly members of the congregation in becoming computer savvy.
Yvette’s latest project is “Friends Feed Homeless.” She is currently collecting food items, blankets, socks, sweatshirts, hygiene items and Bibles to be distributed to the homeless and local shelters in Monmouth County. Yvette’s motto is “God loves a cheerful giver.” She is always encouraging those around her to do the same, because “you never know when you may need help.” Yvette is married to Reggie Anderson and they have two daughters: Paige and Jasmine.
Rev. Dr. Andre McGuire
Rev. Dr. Andre McGuire is the senior pastor of the New Beginnings Agape Christian Center in Freehold, New Jersey. He has served as an inspirational preacher, teacher and visionary for over 22 years. Pastor McGuire is also a strong community advocate, having served on the zoning board, human relations committee, and Hispanic affairs committee in Freehold.
Pastor McGuire is most proud of the commitment to training and preparing future leaders for ministry and life. He has mentored students from the community, from church, and from several area colleges, including Princeton University.
Pastor McGuire believes in “the burning and learning presence of God,” and continuously devotes much of his time to his devotions, meditation, and prayer life with God. He earned a master’s of divinity degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1998 and a doctorate of ministry from Drew University in 2002. He is a past recipient of the NAACP’s Clergy Award.
Pastor McGuire has served as chaplain of New Jersey State Prison for more than six years, where he preaches, teaches and counsels the word of God and works to transform the lives of those who are incarcerated as well as their associates outside of prison.
Pastor McGuire is the founder of the I Beseech Thee Community Development Corporation, which currently services the Paul M. McGuire Health Clinic in Freehold Borough, and envisions bringing a day care facility, Christian academy, senior citizens’ facility, and a homeless shelter to the community. Most recently Pastor McGuire wrote his first stage play, “Why Black Men Hate God!,” as he works hard to maintain his skills as an avid drummer. Pastor McGuire is happily married to his wife, Sherry, of sixteen years.
Rev. Tommy D. Miles
The Rev. Tommy D. Miles was born in Daytona Beach, Florida and raised in Neptune, New Jersey. He is the oldest of three children born to Rev. and Mrs. Tom Miles. Rev. Miles received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior at the age of ten under the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Henry P. Davis Jr. Under Pastor Davis’ leadership – and later his father’s pastoral leadership – Rev. Miles was spiritually nurtured and equipped for ministry at an early age.
In June 1996, Reverend Miles preached his initial sermon and was licensed into the gospel ministry at the Clear View Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. After being licensed, he continued his studies at the New York Theological Seminary in New York City and Eastern Theological Seminary School of Christian Ministry in Philadelphia, PA. He is a graduate of Kean University.
As an associate minister, Rev. Miles served the Lord faithfully in many capacities, including as Clear View’s first youth pastor. In June of 1998, Rev. Miles accepted the call to pastor Macedonia Baptist Church in Neptune, NJ, where was ordained into the gospel ministry in November 1998. Under his leadership the church has enjoyed tremendous spiritual and numerical growth.
Rev. Miles is also involved within the community, having served as the chaplain at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and as an annual invited speaker in Neptune public schools during Black History Month. He is a member of the board of directors for the Monmouth Housing Alliance and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. In 2012, Rev. Miles was honored by NAACP for his outstanding dedication and service to the community.
Rev. Miles is faithfully supported by his wife, Linda, of 23 years. They have two beautiful daughters, Chelsea and Leah.
Bishop Fred Rubin
Bishop Fred Rubin has served as pastor of Community Refuge Church in Manalapan, New Jersey since 1974. He is a graduate of Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey. Bishop Rubin earned a bachelor’s degree in sales management at Bowling Green State University, a master of arts degree in teaching from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey), and studied at the University of Hawaii.
Bishop Rubin served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era, during which he worked as an occupational therapy assistant at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Prior to enlisting, Bishop Rubin served one year as a VISTA (Volunteer In Service to America) volunteer, focusing on community organization and the development of educational programs.
Bishop Rubin worked in the Freehold Regional High School District for 18 years as a teacher and guidance counselor at Freehold Borough and Manalapan high schools. He is certified in New Jersey as an administrator, principal, counselor, and teacher of the handicapped. He formed and was an advisor to the Black Awareness Club at Manalapan High School, and he has also served as the community housing representative for Manalapan Township.
Bishop Rubin has also served as professor and registrar at W. L. Bonner College in Columbia, South Carolina, and as assistant pastor at Solomon’s Temple Church in Detroit, Michigan. He currently oversees 40 churches as director of education and the regional apostle in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., where he also serves on the Board of Apostles. He serves on the board of the nonprofit organizations A Greater Purpose Organization and A Guiding Light Organization, and participates in a weekly community bible study in Freehold.
Bishop Rubin has been married for 47 years to Theresa Rubin. He has three sons, three daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren. He continues to be an avid runner and enjoys spending time with the Lord and his family.
Reverend Frederick Q. Smith
Rev. Frederick Q. Smith was born in Elizabeth City, N.C., to the late Booker T. and Earnestine Smith. He is the fourth child of five siblings. At an early age he was baptized and joined the Samuel Chapel Baptist Church where he sang in the junior choir and male chorus. Upon completing his education he moved to New Jersey. In 1968, Rev. Smith and his high school sweetheart, Marcia M. Smith, were joined together in matrimony.
Rev. Smith traveled extensively throughout the north and south as a quartet singer for over 35 years, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. His most memorable moment as a singer was at the famous Apollo Theatre in New York City. In 1999 he decided to take a rest from his singing ministry and joined the Good Neighbor Baptist Church under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. George A. Blackwell, III. He was elevated to a higher calling and a greater worship for the Lord and was ordained to the ministry of deacon in 2003. He was licensed to preach on Aug. 28, 2005 by Dr. George Blackwell and was ordained in June 2008. He served as an associate minister in charge of the worship ministry, vice chairman of the men’s ministry, and a vacation bible school teacher.
In 2011 Rev. Smith was called to pastor Old Ship Of Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Monroe Township, NJ. Under his pastoral leadership, Old Ship has grown and continues to grow every week. Upon his appointment the church had two children and 35 adults. Today, the membership has grown to 23 children and over 150 adult members. As pastor, Rev. Smith has established a youth choir, praise team ministry, nurses’ ministry, and renovated the kitchen and sanctuary.
Rev. Smith attended the Northern Baptist School of Religion in Newark, NJ, and has served as a volunteer chaplain at the University of Medicine and Dentistry Hospital. He has taken the Clinical Pastoral Care course under Dr. Blackwell at the University Hospital and he is a graduate of the New York Theological Seminary of Religious Studies and Christian Ministry.
Rev. Smith is the proud father of three daughters: Nina Y. Williams, Tricia Y. Turner and Minister Stephanie F. Smith. He is the grandfather of Justin Q. Turner and Janae M. Turner, the father-in-law to Dana Turner and Herbert Williams, surrogate father to Carol A. Sutton and the godfather to Rev. Douglas L. Williams, III and Jordan Dent. As he continues his walk with God, Rev. Smith says he solicits the prayers of all and is forever grateful to God for what he has done and will continue to do in his life.
Dr. Jerard L. Terrell
Dr. Jerard L. Terrell is the principal of the Summerfield Elementary School for the Neptune Township Public School District in Neptune, New Jersey. In 1997, Dr. Terrell received his B.S. degree in elementary education from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. He later obtained a master’s degree in administration from Monmouth University in West Long Branch and earned a New Jersey certificate as a school administrator and supervisor. In 2015 he obtained his Ed.D in educational leadership from Saint Peters University in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Dr. Terrell has over 18 years of teaching experience and began his educational career with the New Brunswick Public School System. While in New Brunswick, he functioned as a Title 1 basic skills instructor, a middle school science and social studies instructor for grades 6-8, affirmative action officer, operational school leadership chairman, and after-school program coordinator.
In 2000, Dr. Terrell was selected as the governor’s Teacher of the Year and served as an ambassador for the city of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Public School System as international exchange teacher with New Brunswick’s sister city of Tsuruoka, Japan.
Upon his return in 2003, Dr. Terrell continued to serve the New Brunswick Public School System and was appointed as vice principal for the Lord Stirling Community School in New Brunswick.
In 2004 he fulfilled his longtime dream to return to his hometown of Neptune Township when he became principal of Midtown Elementary School. Since 2010 Dr. Terrell has led the Summerfield Elementary School, a United States Green Ribbon School. Dr. Terrell and his family reside in Neptune, and he continues to service the students of the greater Neptune community.
Dr. Terrell is a past president and member of the Education Foundation of Neptune Township; member of the midtown Urban Renaissance Corporation; New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association; the Association for Supervisors and Curriculum Development; the National Education Association; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated: Zeta Epsilon Lambda Chapter; Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society; the Morgan State University Alumni Association; the Monmouth University Alumni Association; the Saint Peters University Alumni Association; and Kyokushin International Karate Association.
Sergeant Risheem Whitten (pictured)
Sgt. Risheem Whitten has been a Brookdale Community College police officer for ten years. He was assigned to serve as an investigator in 2012 and later promoted to sergeant in Oct. 2014.
In 2013 Sgt. Whitten was selected to serve as a member of the President’s Jubilee Commission, a committee of Brookdale officials assembled to help shape the future of the college. In 2012 he received a Gold Star Award from the Brookdale student body for his outstanding dedication to student life and campus programs, including his presentations at new student orientations, his support of student events, and his service as police liaison for the student conduct system. Students have always appreciated Sgt. Whitten’s approachable manner and are thankful for the many times he has gone above and beyond in support of their activities.
Sgt. Whitten was part of the “Reach for Your Dreams” program hosted by the Monmouth County Sheriff Department, which gave him the opportunity speak with less fortunate students across the county and encourage them to reach for their goals in life in spite of personal struggle. In 2008 he received an award from the Brookdale Board of Trustees and the college president for heroically saving the life of a student on campus.
Sgt. Whitten is a licensed minister serving the New Destiny Family Worship Center in North Brunswick, New Jersey, and is heavily involved in community service by helping families through diverse struggles. He has worked with his bishop, Calvin Enlow, and North Brunswick High School Principal Pete Clark to create a fund to help North Brunswick seniors with their college education. Sgt. Whitten and his wife also serve as chairs to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship program.
Sgt. Whitten currently serves as chaplain and treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Police and is certified in Wicklander Interview and Interrogation, Bias and Gang Crime Investigations, Suicide Prevention Intervention Aftermath, and many other interventional and response procedures.
Sgt. Whitten has been happily married to Julienne Whitten for 17 years, and together they have three beautiful children.