Mr. Purnell became the Executive Director of the Police Athletic League of Wilmington (PALW) in November 2019 after holding the position of Developmental Director for the three years prior.
A Wilmington, Delaware native, Mr. Purnell earned his Bachelor’s in Sports Management and a Master’s in Education Administration and Leadership from Wilmington University; along with other certificates and certifications.
Having worked in the education and recreation field for 26 years in various capacities, Mr. Purnell’s past experiences include Camp Counselor, Assistant Athletic Director, Prevention Coordinator, Physical Education Teacher, Dean of Discipline, Director of Transportation and Facilities, Assistant principal of a Middle School, Director of Operations and Athletic Director of a private High School. Mr. Purnell has also coached football, basketball, baseball and softball on the middle school and high school level.
Mr. Purnell’s unique past experiences, opportunities and mentors have all helped to prepare him for his current position.
A native of Wilmington, DE, Kenneth has served in the field of mental health, substance abuse, and therapeutic counseling for children and adults for over 15 years.
Kenneth began his career in the human service field as a Youth Rehabilitation Specialist at Ferris School for Boys. There, he implemented Cognitive Behavior Therapy as a means to modify the behaviors of the youth in care.
Kenneth then transitioned into a disciplinarian position within the Christina and Brandywine School Districts. After serving in this capacity for several years, Kenneth transitioned to a very active role at one of Delaware’s largest non-profit agencies servicing adults with mental illness and other challenges. He spent time cultivating prominent relationships with the community and industry providers.
Most recently, Kenneth served as the program facilitator for a hugely influential and innovative re-entry program for adults. There he mentored and counseled ex-offenders who had been recently released from prison. Additionally, he’s created some curriculums and programs that continue to prepare participants for post-prison life and assisting with securing employment.
Kenneth is extremely passionate and dedicated to helping the community. As a product of the surrounding community, he is committed to giving back and creating unlimited possibilities for our youth and their families.
Childcare Director, Early Learning Center
Hi everyone, my name is Roxanne Coleman. I am the Early Learning Director at the Police Athletic League of Wilmington.
My background goes as follows: 18 years in the education field. In these years and counting, most of my experience comes from working in the Early Childhood field. I’ve begun my career as a before/after counselor. Not shortly after I received my certification to become an Early Learning Teacher. I’ve taught in classrooms from birth to pre-kindergarten with all qualifications and certificates to teach in any classroom environment in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Later I graduated college with honors with both my AS and BA degrees in education which I decided to teach in the state of Delaware and Pennsylvania school districts.
As a Director I take great pride in knowing that our Center is one that strives for excellence and quality in child care service. We have a wonderful complement of staff; dedicated and truly amazing at what they do. Part of my role as Director is to keep abreast of, and advocate for the Early Childhood profession.
In closing, I am the mother of two beautiful children who I’m proud of being their mother. I enjoy watching them grow and being a part of all their achievements and challenges. Not only do I enjoy my own children, but also have excitement in giving back to the youth. I coach AAU basketball and continue to talk and check on the youth at their prospective schools. Additionally, I work hand and hand with Educational professors, principals, teachers, and advocates on ways we can continuously support the youth and the up & coming students.
Quote: Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.
– Rita Pierson
Thomas Mckean graduate 2000
University of Delaware graduate 2004
PALW officer 2021-current
Board of Directors
Coby Owens is a native Wilmingtonian and is an award-winning advocate and national organizer. As a human and civil rights activist, he has led mobilizations and nonviolent direct action campaigns across the country.
Coby possesses the unique ability to bring people together for a common purpose and mobilize them to bring about change. Coby’s passion to fight for equity in our community comes from his own life’s journey and fuels his pursuit of fundamental civil rights.
Necia M. Jones
With a background in customer service, banking, team building, entrepreneurship, sales and marketing Necia Jones is your quintessential business professional.
Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware she always knew she was destined for greatness.
In 2009 Necia graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Hospitality Management from Delaware State University. She continued her education receiving her Master’s Degree in Project Management and Business Administration from Strayer University in 2014.
Always ambitious and eager to learn, Necia began her management journey at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida making her one of the first minority women to work at Crystal Palace Restaurant in Magic Kingdom. Necia has held various jobs in marketing and estate planning with a focus in IRAs and previously managed small business clients for a Fortune 500 Company. Currently Necia is a project manager for Chase the #1 bank in the U.S. making her one of the most qualified professionals in the field.
From an early age community service and volunteerism have always been important to Necia because it instills empathy, inspires a sense of citizenship and helps find pathways to meaningful education and work. She currently serves as the board secretary for the Police Athletic League Wilmington (PALW). She also holds the VP of Education position for Toastmasters JPMC Wilmington Chapter. In June of 2021 Necia founded her nonprofit organization Pay It Forward Networking Group where she holds the title of President, Founder and CEO. As a young African American woman who has navigated her way through corporate America she has her own unique experiences and wanted to create a platform to share her story while providing resources that also help women of color with mental health, financial literacy, work life balance and business development.
With her diverse experience in leadership, real estate and commerce Necia established Jones Property Company in 2017. Jones Property Company provides property management and notary services to residential and commercial clients in the tri state area. Necia has satisfactorily completed the Pre-Licensing Course as approved by the Delaware Real Estate Commission. She is currently working towards becoming a license real estate agent for the state of Delaware. Passionate about providing value, she is driven by the need to ensure the highest level of client satisfaction. Known for her perseverance, dedication and trustworthiness she is focused on helping.
RaeLynn is an information technology professional with 12 years of experience and has resided in Delaware for 8 years.
She has a strong passion for innovation and technology, always striving to keep up with the latest trends and advancements. In addition to her professional pursuits, she is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and is dedicated to community service. RaeLynn loves finding ways to simplify tasks and make life easier for those around her. Her enthusiasm for technology and commitment to service make her a valuable member to the Police Athletic League of Wilmington board and community.
Her business is built on communication, dedication, and transparency. Due to her directness, compelling listing marketing, expert negotiations, and the ability to keep people and deals on track — calmly and professionally, she’s received many 5-star client and agent reviews.
She understands that selling and/or buying a home is complex and deeply personal. That process and the responsibility felt towards her clients and peers, drives her to truly be an expert at the job.
Born and raised in Delaware, she knows the state very well. She is a wife and a mother of 1 daughter who recently got married. She enjoys reading, laughing and bringing joy to others!
Currently I work as a Navigational Coach for the EMPOWER program at Kingswood Community Center.
Our EMPOWER provides a holistic services approach to assist our clients from financial assistance, resume review, workforce development and various other services in collaboration with resource partners.
Previously I was a caseworker and field representative for Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, resolving cases with federal agencies and acting as a liaison for constituents in the congresswoman’s office while also representing and staffing the Congresswoman at various events throughout the state.
I worked in corporate America for the majority of my professional career but wanted to serve the youth and the community. I’m a 2020 Public Allies Delaware Alum and a 2021 Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League James H. Gilliam Sr. Fellow Alum.
While at West End Neighborhood House in Wilmington prior to joining Team LBR, I oversaw three COVID vaccination clinics, the groundbreaking of a new foster care facility and a program that supported local restaurants and front-line workers.
Outside of the office, I’ve served as vice president of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Young Professionals and helped plan the 2021 MLK Day of Service with Westside Grows Together, which included a march, clean-up, and a celebration. I am also a board member for Every Man Counts and a charter member of the 100 Black Men of DE.
I’m an alum and avid supporter of Delaware State University, obtained an Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Services from Delaware Tech, and am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in the college of Interdisciplinary Health and Human Services from Morgan State University.
When not helping others, I moonlight as a co-sports anchor on DETV.
Wilmington Fire Department
Ian Smith’s work since 2016 in Delaware with YAP has included:
- Executive responsibility for all aspects of the daily YAP operations and expansion of programs that have served more than 150 youth re-entering the community from detention. The services include educational support, job readiness training, employment, wraparound services, and mentorship
- Developed new afterschool programs at four key elementary schools by implementing Peaceful Alternative to Tough Situation (PATTS)
- Managed Peaceful Alternatives to Tough Situations, a curriculum that teaches students alternative methods for dealing with conflict, crisis, and trauma
- Served as Policy and Advocacy Center (PAC) Liaison for Delaware where he identified opportunities to leverage local outcomes, emerging issues, and national policies for strategic implementation into local, regional, and national programs
Smith previously held management and community-based positions with YAP programs in Sierra Leone, on the southwest coast of West Africa, where he reviewed the program for funding renewal, and in Baltimore, Maryland, where he lived for much of his life. In Baltimore, Ian served as court-appointed support for young men (ages 14-18) who had been committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice and ensured that his clients were complying with all areas of their court order, such as probation and drug treatment. Smith was also a Therapeutic Behavioral Specialist with Maxim Health Services in Baltimore where he worked in the homes and in the schools of families and children diagnosed with mental health issues. Smith engaged clients in life skills activities, including field trips to various cultural events around the city and state. Smith also worked for the Boy Scouts of America, Baltimore Area Council. Ian Smith’s community service also includes serving currently as Vice-President of the Browntown Civic Association; as a current Board Member of Delaware Greenways and Innocence Delaware, Inc.; a former member of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group; and former Board Member of the Light Up the Queen Foundation.
Darrin has over 15 years of experience as a financial services professional, IT consultant and community leader.
In his role as a registered financial services professional he educated customers on the types of banking and investment products that could meet their financial goals. Throughout his career he has worked tirelessly in his local community as a member of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, which focuses on community-based initiatives that build sustainable diverse communities and the Beta Gamma Foundation which helps minority students in pursuit of higher education. Darrin is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
Darrin Wilson, will be based out of the 9th & Market St. branch and coordinate a wide range of initiatives in the community. He will partner closely with the Delaware MLT and local Corporate Responsibility leads to develop financial health roadmaps and ensure the community knows we are there to support their financial goals.
As the Community Manager, I will develop and implement community outreach and engagement programs that are designed to deliver solutions for improving the financial knowledge and financial health of the underserved and underbanked members of our community. My role is to connect members of the community, community leaders, non-profits, and small businesses to the expertise and the full suite of resources that JPMC has to offer.
As the Community Manager, I represent the brand of JPMC and the resources available to the community. I let them know we are here for all and ready to serve. I am here to build financial acumen, financial health, and financial wealth within our communities.
As the Community Manager, my value proposition is simple: to establish & foster relationships within the community, position Chase as a credible & trustworthy resource, and to support and coordinate local initiatives with community stakeholders that ultimately lead to the elimination of economic inequity.