Denisha affectionately known as “Nikki” is a North Carolina native, although has been a resident of Chesterfield Matoaca district for 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Winston-Salem State University and Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Strayer University. Her career has been dedicated to ensuring that persons receive quality healthcare while managing Developmental Disability programs in North Carolina and Virginia. Denisha possess government experience formerly serving as a supervisor at Piedmont Geriatric Hospital and Project Analyst at the Department of Medical Assistance Services. She is presently employed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services as a Policy Review Specialist.
This is now her 3rd term serving on the Chesterfield County Equity Committee. Denisha was the former Vice President and Education Chair of the Chesterfield NAACP Branch. Serving in these capacities have allowed Denisha to become aware of the educational disparities affecting minority and special education students, families, teachers, and support staff. Denisha continues building relationships amongst community leaders as a means to enhance process improvements. October 2016, she was awarded the AES Justice Warrior Award. Her recognized efforts have certainly made a difference in our community past, present, and future.
Following the completion of her undergraduate studies, Denisha served 5 years in the educational field providing academic, behavioral support, and social skills instruction for students K-12. Denisha’s extensive outreach regarding youth and their families includes serving as a mentor with Charlotte Mecklenburg Big Brothers Big Sisters (Nov. 2002- Dec. 2008) where she served as a role model, providing our youth with direction and inspiration.
In 2017, Denisha with the assistance of the education committee adopted Falling Creek Middle School. In doing so, she organized a Back to School Drive, sponsored 3 families for Thanksgiving, and assisted Falling Creek Middle School with their 8th grade spring dance. Denisha recognizes the importance of partnerships and as a result has collaborated with the Chesterfield Alumnae Delta Sigma Theta to address student’s needs. She has united and supported students across the country by participating in marches such as the March 24th, 2018 “Students Against Gun Violence March on Washington” organized by the Parkland High School, “March For More” on December 8, 2018 (RIC), and “Jena 6” on September 20, 2007 (LA). Denisha firmly believes our physical presence is just as significant as words when it comes to supporting students.
Denisha’s extensive experience as a community leader on behalf of our youth and families includes, yet not limited to:
1) Serving as a liaison between elected officials, civil rights organizations, and families.
2) Serving on the community roundtable; providing insight and recommendations regarding educational policy to former Secretary of Education Anne Holton.
3) Organizing and facilitating parent empowerment sessions that equip families to be fully engaged as educational stakeholders.
4) Collaborating with law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and education system to dismantle the impact of the Pre-School-To-Prison Pipeline throughout the Commonwealth.
5) Promoting and educating educational stakeholders regarding socio-emotional well-being among students, parents, and educators.
6) Advocating for equity and access to employment opportunities for educators/administrators of color.
7) Building coalitions at the district, state, and federal levels in order to initiate educational reforms allowing the improvement of quality and access.