The Team

The Board:

  • Amanda A. Ebokosia

CEO, Founder of The Gem Project, Inc.

  • Jaaysyn Hicks 

Board Officer

  • Sonya Spann, CSPO

Board Officer

  • Leah Curry

Board Member

  • Brittany S. Hale, Esq.

Board Member

General Inbox: project@thegemproject.org

Jaaysyn Hicks

Jaaysyn Hicks is a New Jersey native who is passionate about community development and making a difference in the lives of others. His interests and areas of expertise include finance, technology, entrepreneurship, agriculture, environmental conservation, economic development, job creation, education reform, youth programming and community engagement. He has over 7 years of classroom experience ranging from elementary to the collegiate level, 6+ years of corporate experience, and more than 15 years of community involvement.

Sonya Spann, CSPO

Sonya Spann has worn many hats in her lifetime. Currently, Sonya oversees and manages the product development lifecycle of a number of purpose driven brands at an advertising agency based in New York. Sonya’s professional portfolio also covers international event management, fundraising, and education. Passionate about educational equity and social enterprise, Spann has served within the public sector for many years working with marginalized populations and providing unique experiences to support college readiness, STEM education and clean water initiatives in developing countries.

Sonya is passionate about the intersection of technology, education, the arts and community. Sonya is a member of the National Urban League Young Professionals, Essex County chapter alongside other civic leaders empowering the community through volunteering, sponsoring educational initiatives (ie. youth mentoring and tutoring programs), coordinating fundraisers for scholarships, and delivering personal and professional development. Sonya is a graduate of The College of New Jersey and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Leah Curry

Leah Curry is owner of a mobile massage therapy business, Sculptured Essence, and a sales analyst of a beauty company. She is a New Jersey state licensed massage therapist, servicing the northern New Jersey & New York areas since 2016. With over 20 years of experience in the retail industry, Leah made a decision to pursue her passion and position herself in a field devoted to improving health and wellness of the community. As owner of Sculptured Essence, Leah uses her passion and gift of touch to alleviate stress, pain of injuries, and muscular discomfort for her clients. Through high quality service and education, she instills the importance of investing in personal health through massage.

Leah Curry resides in New Jersey and is passionate in providing opportunities for young people, through volunteerism.

Brittany S. Hale, Esq.

Brittany S. Hale, Esq. is a Civil Trial Attorney. She grew up in New Jersey and went to Rutgers University-Newark Honors College. There she met Amanda and became a founding member of The Gem Project, Inc. Brittany attended Boston University School of Law and served as President of the Black Law Student Association. Brittany got lost in Union County and found her home in Rahway–where she was appointed to the Rahway Redevelopment Agency, a board that approves new development and business projects within the community. In 2016, Brittany was elected to the Rahway Board of Education and became the youngest black woman to hold elected office both on the board and in the city as a whole.

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Lead. Be Brazen–

  • “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

Lead. Be Resilent–

  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

Lead. Be Strong–

  • “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” – Betty Bender