Nonprofit leader Frank Kelly reflects on the end of Black History Month


At the end of Black History Month, Frank Kelly of Victorville is grateful to State Senator Scott Wilk, who recognized him and several other community leaders for making a difference in the lives of families. and students living in his district.

“Black History Month is about history as well as the future,” Wilk said. “I feature four extraordinary individuals in the 21st Senate District whose dedication to their work will create a brighter future for their congregations, youth, the people they assist and mentor every day.”

Kelly is the Founder/CEO of No Drugs America Association, Inc., founded in 2000. He has worked in substance use prevention, educating children, youth and adults about the dangers of alcohol and drugs illegal.

Its “No Drugs America Day” is celebrated annually, where visitors can learn about drug prevention and enjoy special events, personalities, games and activities.

Each event includes a speech from Kelly as he says his favorite line, “Say it loud, I don’t need drugs!”

“Once again, I am so grateful for this honor and recognition to be raised in a class with so many great Black Americans and others who are trying to be effective in the lives of young people and others, little regardless of race, creed or color,” Kelly said.

“May we all continue to work together, nurture and support each other and help develop our unique region in the high desert region as a dynamic and creative place to live, work and play.”

Kelly added that if we want to be more effective, we need to build a bigger tent and embrace the principle that “every person deserves our compassion and help.”

Born in Mississippi in 1951, Kelly said he’s seen racial disparity and injustice firsthand, but continues to be optimistic about realizing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of unity.

“We are in this life to help each other where we can,” Kelly said. “We are in this life to love each other as much as we can.”

Kelly participated in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Peace March in Victorville and previously helped lead the charge with the High Desert Black Heritage Committee to celebrate “Juneteenth.”

Kelly likes to quote the late Bishop Nathaniel Ruffin, founder of BHC, who said, “There is no community until we find unity.”

He is also the founder of Positive Alternative Choices, which invites community leaders and businesses to greet, inspire and encourage students as they enter school.

Kelly has been married to his wife for over 40 years. They have three daughters, a grandson and a granddaughter.

Bishop Charles Heller and Pastor Pamela Edwards-Heller

Bishop Heller is Senior Pastor of Kingdom Life Fellowship Church in Lancaster. He became a born-again believer in 1982 and began pastoring in 2013. One of his favorite quotes is “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called!” »

Heller’s ministry is to restore men to their rightful place in the eyes of God and the church. He is committed to winning souls for Christ so that men and women will have strong marriages and families.

Bishop Heller and his wife, Rev. Pamela Edwards-Heller, merged their churches to form Kingdom Life Fellowship Church of Lancaster.

With more than 45 years of experience in ministry, Edwards-Heller has held several positions within the church.

At the Gospel of Christ Apostolic Church in Los Angeles, where Dr. Clifton Edwards was shepherd, she served as associate pastor, executive administrator, youth dance director, and finance officer.

As a counselor, she has written several youth programs, including a 12-step teen outpatient program as well as the combined adult/youth counseling portion of the LA Sheriff VIDA program.

Wilk also paid tribute to one of the Hellers’ children, the late Armond V. Brown, who served as the church’s music director until his death at age 33 in 2019. He is the inspiration behind the Armond V. Brown Enhancement Foundation.

Donations to the foundation help young people between the ages of 3 and 17 who are looking to enroll in extracurricular activities such as dance, musical instrument lessons, singing, producing or acting.

Niamani Knight

Knight is a 20-year-old award-winning philanthropist, education advocate, founder of STREAM Kids Expo and co-founder of STREAM Global Innovations alongside her mother, Nikia Richards.

Founded in 2015, the STREAM Kids Expo focuses on science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and crafts. The event also includes an entrepreneurship component, as she believes owning her passion and purpose inspires results.

Since the exhibition launched, she has worked with over 30,000 of her peers and reached over 100 million people through electronic and print publications.

Through its non-profit organization STREAM Global Innovations, Knight’s vision is to create a memorable experience for children, schools and communities.

She also hopes to create a center where children will have daily access to STREAM-based learning. She continues to develop relationships with companies such as Amazon, Lockheed Martin, PPG and many more.

For more information or to view the full biographies of the winners, visit

Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz can be reached at 760-951-6227 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz


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