2020 MLK, Jr. Leadership Award Winners
Leadership Award - Alumni
Denise Cotman Albritton
Denise Cotman Albritton was born and raised in West Palm Beach. She graduated from North Shore High School and obtained an Associate in Arts degree in Marketing from Palm Beach State College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Hodges College in Naples, Florida.
Albritton is the president and CFO of Bus One LLC, a charter bus company established in 2010 in Palm Beach County with the mission of being the premier transportation company providing excellence in customer service, a professional staff, safe and efficient equipment and luxury accommodations. It is the largest African American and woman-owned charter bus company in South Florida and the second largest overall in the county.
As the owner of a company in the community in which she was raised, Albritton understands the importance of giving back through leadership, sponsorship and service. She also is the CEO of LaDanez One LLC, an organization whose mission is to assist women in discovering and revamping their personal and professional style through closet cleansing/auditing, personal fashion and image consulting and providing personal shopping services.
Albritton is the immediate past president and a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. West Palm Beach Chapter. She served four years as president of this organization of progressive women of color that advocates on behalf of women and girls of color in the areas of health, education, leadership and economic empowerment.
Albritton is also a past chair and current member of the Board of Directors for the Women’s Chamber Foundation and past president of the Board of Directors for the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County, Inc.
She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Palm Beach County as secretary and chair of the Advocacy Committee and has served as a mentor for five years with the Women of Tomorrow Program. Additionally, Albritton serves on the Advisory Committee for the Office of Equal Business Opportunity for Palm Beach County.
Leadership Award - Student
Rocio Montero-Mask is the definition of a servant leader. She is a mobilizer, motivator, energizer and an inspiration to her peer. Montero-Mask is the past president of the Student Government Association on the Lake Worth campus, where she advocated for change on campus and in Tallahassee at the state Capitol.
She completed her Associate in Arts degree from PBSC in fall 2019 with a 4.0 GPA. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Miami in hopes of one day running for public office. While many students her age are still searching for their passion and career goals, she is laser focused and driven.
She has volunteered her time in the past to assist with an arts and crafts class for special needs adults held by the Arc of Palm Beach County. She is also the content creator of Princesses Against Cancer, a small organization that was nominated for nonprofit of the year and received funding from Palm Beach County Philanthropy Tank. She has organized donations, distributes groceries and cooks and serves meals at a local soup kitchen.
Montero-Mask has a keen eye for seeing gaps within her community and using her resources to find solutions to fill those gaps. She organized the College’s first Trunk or Treat because she recalled her mother driving her and her siblings “miles away to neighborhoods that were safe” so they could enjoy a ‘normal’ Halloween experience. The event saw over 200 neighborhood children from the surrounding communities, not counting students and the children of faculty and staff.
She served as an intern in the office of State Sen. Lori Berman.
Leadership Award - Faculty/Staff
Dr. Chandra (Sankaranarayana Chandramohan)
Dr. Chandra (Sankaranarayana Chandramohan), professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Palm Beach State College, is a scholar, educator and community leader. His leadership approach is based on motivation, inspiration, collegiality, inclusivity, spirituality and happiness. Since 2008, he has taught 7,000-plus students, and has led and significantly impacted the quality of instruction, STEM outreach (STEM Saturdays, STEAM Fests) and volunteering in the Division of Math and Science, College and the community as validated by the many awards (NISOD Teaching Excellence, BRAVO, STEM Champion, Volunteering Excellence) bestowed on him by PBSC and the community.
Dr. Chandra’s mom, brothers, teachers and friends instilled in him the values of self-care, confidence, hard work, compassion, and service to others. He attributes his overall success and development to his family members, students and many peers at the College, including Professor Bijayita Thapa, Associate Dean Carlos Ramos and Dr. Charudattan, his mentor. He earned a Ph.D. from University of Florida and master’s degrees from Belgium and India. Multicultural, multilingual and widely traveled, Dr. Chandra has authored a U.S. patent and 13 publications and has given many presentations at state, national and international conferences. These influences and experiences have positively impacted his outlook on teaching and professional development with a focus on engagement, inclusivity and work/life balance.
Dr. Chandra is a leading proponent of textbook and college affordability. He has personally counseled and helped students in financial/emotional distress by donating a personal vehicle, time, resources and job leads. He also spearheads many professional development activities (Development Day sessions and CTLE Talks, taking students and faculty to conferences, adjunct development, alumni engagement), creates comfortable active learning spaces (weekend study sessions, weekday homework labs, collaborating with SLC, study hall volunteer program), and mentors peer faculty (both adjunct and full-time) and staff. As a result, he has inspired and built his team of dedicated faculty, staff and students with the sole purpose of increasing college affordability, engagement and overall student success.
Leadership Award - Individual
From Detroit to Palm Beach County, Frank Hayden has spent his entire professional career creating opportunities for people who sought an equal opportunity to compete.
As director of the new Office of Equal Opportunity, Hayden continues to create programs designed to ensure equality and fair business practices within the city of West Palm Beach. His department is responsible for coordinating programs that foster workforce development, business development and professional education and training.
Prior to this position, Hayden was the procurement director for the city of West Palm Beach. He was responsible for the team that managed purchasing for goods and services, commodities, construction and professional services. He led the growth of the city’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program. Under his guidance, the city adopted the recommendations of a Disparity Study, which included the creation of a Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program that launched in April 2019.
Hayden began his career with the city of Detroit, where he worked for 35 years. Twenty of those years were spent with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department as the head of Contracts and Grants. In this position, he created and oversaw the Minority- & Woman-Owned Business program.
After his retirement from Detroit, he worked with the South Florida Water Management District as director of procurement, where he helped develop a Small Business Program, increasing SBE participation on District contracts by 15% in three years.
Hayden volunteers as the board chairman of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, on the Palm Beach County School Board’s Area Boundaries Committee, as basileus (president) of the Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, and as the president of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County.
He is married to Marcia Hayden, and they have one daughter, three sons and five grandchildren.
Leadership Award - Organization
Youth Speak Out International (YSO INT)
Youth Speak Out International (YSO INT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving children and youth a voice through collaborative media production. As a result of its innovative, hands-on curricula, children develop media literacy, learn to manage their screen time, strengthen their communication skills, and discover their life’s purpose.
Founded in 2008 by CEO/Executive Director William King, YSO INT was created to address the need for media education for youth and families impacted by media messages. YSO INT operates at the community level, working with afterschool programs, schools, families and youth to foster lasting change. Our trained facilitators have educated more than 9,000 multicultural students in South Florida, Belize, Jamaica and Costa Rica, giving priority to afterschool programs serving low-income families and underserved youth.
By helping youth think critically about media content, YSO INT promotes tolerance, safety and respect for others. This forms the groundwork for youth to create new media content aimed at producing positive change in their local and global communities. Youth learn script writing, storyboarding and filming techniques to create videos that educate the public.
Our programs promote self-exploration, public speaking and other life skills essential for job readiness. YSO INT’s most recent initiative, Unplug to Connect™, helps children develop skills to manage their use of screen devices, knowing when and how to put them down and communicate face-to-face. By teaching youth creative uses of screen technologies and, at the same time, encouraging parents to become media mentors, Unplug to Connect improves how screen technologies impact children and families.
YSO INT’s unique approach combining media literacy with media production empowers youth to share their voices and form stronger, face-to-face connections with others. In addition to inspiring positive change in their communities, these opportunities to discover and share their voice have changed the lives of thousands of youth.