Mentoring Positives is pleased to announce this year’s Muriel Pipkins awardees, Dr. Derek Johnson and Gloria Reyes. Each year at our anniversary event, we recognize individuals that promote positivity and influence others in our community. The award is given in honor of founder Will Green’s late mother, Muriel Pipkins, who was herself an inspiration to others. Mr. Johnson and Ms. Reyes are former residents of Darbo Worthington and have been instrumental in Darbo and Mentoring Positives’ 15 years of success.
Join us on Saturday, November 16 to celebrate the important work of Dr. Johnson and Ms. Reyes.
November 16, 2019
Discovery Building at UW-Madison
Dr. Derek Johnson, a native of Madison, graduated from Madison East High School. Following high school, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice. After graduating from college, he served as the Youth Career Development Coordinator and Volunteer Manager for the Urban League of Greater Madison. From there, Dr. Johnson served as the Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Edgewood College.
Following his passion for college access for underrepresented students, Dr. Johnson currently serves as the Assistant Director for Engineering Outreach for the UW-Madison College of Engineering’s Diversity Affairs Office. He holds a Master’s degree in Education and Doctorate degree in Higher Education Leadership. Dr. Johnson currently serves on the boards of the Goodman Community Center and Families and Schools Together (FAST), Inc. He also serves on the United Way of Dane County’s Academic Success Community Solutions Team and the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Personalized Pathways Student Support Subcommittee.
In 2017, Dr. Johnson founded The College Station to help all students see college as a viable option and dedicated himself to helping young people achieve their educational dreams and goals. He also founded a mentoring agency for youth and a creative arts company to help young people express themselves through the art of spoken word poetry. He is also a foster parent with the Dane County Department of Human Services. Dr. Johnson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Capitol City Lodge Prince Hall Free & Accepted Masons.
In his free time, he enjoys traveling, gardening, and waxing his cars. More importantly, he loves spending time with his wife (Loriell), nine-year-old daughter (Diara), and two-year-old son (Derion).
Gloria has committed her career to public service as a Law Enforcement Officer, Deputy Mayor and currently serving as Madison School Board President. Gloria attended Madison College before transferring to UW Madison where she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Behavioral Science and Law. Gloria received her Masters in Public Administration with a focus in Security Management. Gloria currently teaches in the Madison College Law Enforcement Academy and Criminal Justice Program.
Gloria’s passion for serving her community goes well beyond her normal work duties. She has served as President of Centro Hispano of Dane County Board of Directors where she was committed to working with the Executive Director, Board and Staff to ensure the mission and vision of Centro Hispano is aligned with the needs of the community.
Prior to her Law Enforcement career she worked as an Investigator for the Wisconsin State Public Defenders Office and also worked for the Wisconsin Department of Justice as the Director for the Statewide Prosecutor Education & Training program.
In April of 2018, Gloria pursued her political aspirations and was elected to the Madison School Board as the first Latina to serve in this role and is now currently serving as President of the Madison School Board. Gloria is co-founder and president of Adelante, a political action group aimed to prepare and support candidates of color to run for office.