Akeliah Stewart, MHC
Center 360 Inc., Founder & Board Member
The Relatives Crisis Center, Program Supervisor
For the past 16 years Akeliah has worked with youth in need. In 2007 she started her journey in Charlotte first as a volunteer and then Program Director with Time Out Youth, a local non-profit for LGBTQ youth and allies. In 2011, she began volunteering with Alexander Youth Network (AYN), and due to her hard work and commitment as a volunteer, she was then hired as a Crisis Counselor at The Relatives Crisis Center, a subsidiary of AYN. After only one year at The Relatives, Akeliah was promoted to Program Supervisor, and since then has spent the past 6 years working with youth ages 7-17 dealing with adjudication, homelessness, abuse/neglect, and human trafficking amongst other crisis situations.
While in high school, Akeliah noticed that many of her peers would turn to anger and act out when they did not know or understand something. She decided to join the Peer Mediation team in order to assist students in working through their problems in a positive way. Serving as a peer mediator allowed her to help others figure out more positive and effective ways of not only understanding others, but understanding themselves.
Following her passion for teaching young people, Akeliah pursued and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education at South Carolina State University in 2006, and later completed her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Akeliah’ s understanding of youth in crisis lead her to co-found Center 360 with Keisha Hamilton. While Center 360’s mission is to empower and inspire youth through education and career development, her experience in mental health adds a much needed component to the organization. The approach is holistic in nature, which addresses youth development by actively engaging the youth’s family, friends, school, faith places, and all interactions involved in their lives. Weekly workshops and discussion groups tackles life skill development, as well as the everyday problems that affects today’s youth, with the goal of building self- confidence, self-independence, as well as social and personal responsibility.
“Looking back, from a very early age I knew my path would lead me down a road of working with youth in some capacity. I always wanted to share what I knew with others so they could be successful in life rather than struggle if they did not have to.”
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