Together, our mission is to restore hope and opportunity into young adults by providing them with tools of leadership, self-empowerment, and conflict resolution to unlock their hidden potential through mentoring services.
P.O. Box 210061
Dallas, TX 75211
Staff & Board
Shipping & Return
Racial & Equality Statement
Copyright © 2020 Darius Pettway. All Rights Reserved. Donations are tax deductible. Tax ID 85-1888264
Darius Pettway is a 3x published author, educator, and youth advocate who believes in the power of faith, sacrifice, and the strength of family. Using his knowledge of the juvenile justice system, Darius has vowed to give his time, efforts, and hope to those youth who may otherwise be overlooked.
He has spent all his energy counseling and managing the behavior of countless young men and women in underserved communities, including behavioral health, residential and independent living centers, School Districts, and the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
In December of 2014, he became the first in his family as a student-athlete to earn not only a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice but was inducted into the National Criminal Justice Honors Society and later obtained a master’s degree in Administrative Science. With his vision and commitment to inspire change by never giving up, Darius has made it his life goal to empower youth to unlock their hidden potential and discover purpose in life.
In his spare time, Darius enjoys attending sporting events and cooking and has one daughter, Laila Pettway.
Mr. Da’Sean Walker was born and raised in East Austin. He was raised in a loving and devoted family. The members of his family who have inspired him the most are his parents and grandparents, whose dedication to their marriages gave him the foundation that has given him the inspiration to work with students and dedicate his time to today’s youth.
He played on the varsity team in all the sports in which he participated in high school, including baseball, basketball, and football. Others saw his love for football because he was offered a scholarship to various schools. He attended Widener University, located in suburban Philadelphia, where he earned his bachelor’s in business with a minor in marketing while playing college football.
Mr. Walker found his way back to Austin, where he began to work in education. He worked as a coach at Kealing Jr. High School, then moved to Barbra Jordan Elementary School. Mr. Walker enjoyed working with teenagers, so he slowly found his way to Austin Can Academy and became their Athletic Director, where he led the basketball team to an undefeated season of 36-0, which gave them the state championship title for charter schools that year. He later served as the Athletic Director and Assistant Principal of student services at East Austin College Prep.
Mr. Walker took his love of the youth down a different path as the Truancy Director of a school district in the San Antonio area. In that position, he focused on assisting students with attendance issues and providing solutions and services to students and their families. Mr. Walker returned to Austin, where he worked at the University of Texas Athletic Department. His passion was the youth, so he became a youth advisor for CARY (Council on at-risk youth), where he provides mentoring, teaching, and resources for at-risk youth at the Alternative Learning Center for AISD. In addition, to the services he offered at ALC, Mr. Walker volunteers at Fulmore Middle School, where he spends 3-4 hours with at-risk youth where he can reach youth to prevent future adverse predicaments. The journey with CARY shifted to Round Rock ISD, where Mr. Walker had the opportunity to provide social and emotional support to students at the Round Rock Opportunity Center. Mr. Walker is VERY excited to serve our students and families here at Life Skool.
Shaq Tensley is from Indianapolis, IN. A graduate of Warren Central High School on the east side of Indy, he was a member of the football and track teams, and was also part of the National Honor Society.
After graduating from Warren Central, Shaq attended the University of Dayton (Dayton, OH) to study Mechanical Engineering, and was also a 4-Year Letterman on their Division-1 football team. While at UD, Shaq was a member of numerous campus organizations including, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Athletes in Action Ministry. He earned multiple awards during his time in Dayton, with the most notable being the Lt. Andy Zulli Award for Character and Leadership, awarded to him by his football coaching staff.
Shaq graduated from University of Dayton with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 and joined Eaton Corporation, on their Leadership Development Program, working within their Engineering Services Division. He currently works as a Product Manager with Eaton, in Newport News, VA.
Shaq is an avid sports fan and enjoys just about any type of athletic competition. He also enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures and foods. One of the mindsets he lives by is “leave the world better than I found it”. This fuels his passion for working to expand opportunities for underprivileged youth, with the of goal of driving socioeconomic equity.
In Mr. Kevin own words, I am many things… a husband, a son, a father, a brother, a grandfather (aka “PawPaw”), a friend, a pro photographer, a teacher, an author, a software engineer, an electrical engineer, a person of faith, and someone who believes we all are obligated to do what we can to make this world a better place. At Kevin Gourley Photography, I am the CEO, COO, principal photographer, customer service department, editorial staff, advertising, marketing, communications, computer support, human resources, maintainer of replacing/charging the batteries for all of my electronic devices, and last but not least, the cleaning team. As you can see his bright humor and passion to empower others continues to be the secret to his success.
Kevin has a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, and worked in the Austin, Texas high tech community for many years. His education, background, and experience in both photography and computer graphics have prepared me well for this age of digital photography. As he stated, (My grandfather and great grandfather would be so amazed at what we can do today!) Mr. Gourley have loved being a part of the evolution of the computer graphics world and digital imaging of today. Back in 1981, he was involved with, and was the official photographer for, SIGGRAPH ’81. SIGGRAPH is a computer graphics conference that is instrumental in shaping our world of computer graphics and digital imaging. Mr. Kevin has volunteered unprecedented time to assure students here at DP Life Skool are given a Chance to reach their full potential through his photography work.
Donovan Carter Is a graduate of Ferris State University. While attending Ferris State University his studies included recreational leadership management while minoring in physical education. Donovan went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in integrated studies. While obtaining his degree at Ferris State University he was fortunate enough to play football at the collegiate level as a member of the Ferris State University football program. While attending college Donovan felt that life itself, the Ferris State University football program and his coaches have taught him many valuable and lifelong lessons. Coming from a low social economic background and losing close loved ones and friends to violence while attending FSU those tragedies have molded him and shown him what it takes to thrive at the collegiate level as well as make it to the professional level. Whether it is on the field or in society Donovan cites that his experiences have taught him how to be a respectable man but more importantly a father in society. His developed discipline has taught him how to live his life the right kind of way to be the right kind of guy. After graduating Donovan was blessed to have opportunities to try out for a few teams in the Canadian football league, for example, the Winnipeg Blue-Bombers and the Edmonton Eskimos. For the past 8 years, Donovan has been working with those of disabilities in the social work field from youth shelters to case management. In addition, to social work, he has been working with and athletically training youth from the ages of 5 to 18. His special interest includes helping young people achieve their dreams of playing at the professional level while obtaining a college degree and helping young adults make the best decisions by role modeling gold standard character. Donovan believes his skill sets and experience allows him to train youth and teach them the fundamentals and key components of becoming the best student-athlete and later in life the best leader possible. When Donovan is not working or training youth, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children who fuels him to keep going every day.
Petrena Wilbur is a freelance editor and writer. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with majors in English and history, she taught high school English for three years at Austin ISD and worked for sixteen years as a writer, editor, and web developer for the Texas Municipal League. Now, besides writing her own fiction, she specializes in helping new writers perfect the books that are in them.
I have seen Mr. Darius Pettway excel at engaging and motivating the younger generation while working alongside him in the past. He demonstrated a rare ability to not only connect and identify with youth, but inspire the young people to strive for excellence.
Tagreed Shamieh was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has an Associate of Arts from Cañada Community College in Political Science then graduated from San Jose State with a degree in Child & Adolescent Development. She took a year off to figure out what she wanted to do and ended up doing a two year program at Notre Dame de Namur to receive a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Masters Degree in Education. She has been in the classroom for over eight years from student teaching, substituting and eventually having her own second grade class. She enjoys teaching and is passionate about helping children. She believes every child deserves a chance and does her best to show that to her students every day. On top of teaching, Tagreed helps her family run their family business, CREAM. She wants to bring smiles to people’s faces whether it is in the classroom or handing a customer a custom ice cream sandwich from CREAM. When Tagreed is not in the classroom or empowering young adults to reach their full potential, she is working out or spending time with family.