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Vince D. Pearson, Co-founder/CEO of ACE

A Chicago native, Vince attended Iowa State University, where he studied Architecture along with Occupational Health and Safety. While attending the university he became a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After graduating from ISU he soon relocated to Sacramento, California where he currently resides.

Almost immediately upon arriving in Sacramento Vince knew he wanted to work with youth in some capacity and particularly African-American male youth. After attending an informational meeting conducted by staff of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Chapter of Greater Sacramento and hearing about the great need for African-American male mentors for the boys in the program, he knew this is where he wanted to devote his time. He eventually was matched to two young boys (littles) over a 20 year period. Also, during this period, Vince was recommended and appointed to the board of directors of BBBS and maintained that position for five years.

Vince has also been involved with other mentorship programs and workshops over the past 20 years. He has worked with youth in several nonprofits including Dayspring Outreach, TARGET: Excellence and the OKAY Program based in Rancho Cordova, California. He also served on a Prison Ministry Team for several years where he would spend group time as well as, one-on-one time encouraging the youth in the facility.

Vince currently is employed with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency as the Agency Risk Manager where he oversees the insurance, contract review and claims programs.

Growing up in a two parent household and with a strong father to guide him, Vince feels it is his calling to work with and help guide many of the young African-American males that have no father or father figure to help provide proper upbringing. He co-founded ACE Enterprises Inc, for the primary purpose of being able to provide opportunity, exposure and hope too many of the young males who ordinarily may not have the chances that many of us have and take for granted.

A quote by Martin Luther King Jr. has helped guide Vince through many facets of his life “A Man Can’t Ride Your Back Unless It Is Bent”. He believes many of our young African-American males need to stand tall, be proud of who they are and grab hold to a positive and meaningful future.

Derrick Wells, Executive Director Program Development

Derrick Wells is a native Californian who was raised in Mountain View, where at an early age he knew that he wanted to do. He learned from entrepreneurial family members, that he would have to take risks in order to pursue dreams he was passionate about. As a result of their influence, he became a business owner, starting a janitorial and home inspection business. While maintaining his home inspection business, he felt compelled to get into Law Enforcement after his nephew was incarcerated from being associated with a well-known street Gang.

Derrick has a long standing passion for youth. He has worked with youth through his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, and was encouraged by his Pastor, Dr Ephraim Williams, to invest into the lives of the youth at their church over 12 years ago. Since then, he has been part of different mentoring programs at Elementary Schools, Middle Schools and High Schools.

Over the years he has seen a deterioration of accountability between the parents, teachers and counselors with urban youth which in turn, leaves the African American males in our urban communities misguided and left behind. He is dedicated to making change in the community by sharing his life experiences with elementary and high school students with the goal to inspire them and challenge youth to be willing to take a chance on themselves and become more responsible for their choices.

He clearly recognizes the African American males are struggling with a sense of identity and believes that he has much to offer them, because he grew up in a single family home like many of the youth he comes in contact with. He can identify with many of the challenges they face. His desires for ACE are to help reestablish the progressiveness of urban youth toward positive outcomes. Through the efforts of ACE, youth will begin to transform the way they think, helping them to discover their potential and ways that can enhance their lives and their community.