Support our NEW Spark Innovation S.T.E.A.M. Lab. Donate Today!


Derschaun Brown

Executive Director

Longtime education and community driven professional, Derschaun Monique Brown is a transformational leader who has worked to empower inner-city youth with the critical tools needed to boost their self-esteem and confidence, while preparing them for college, careers and beyond. Her vision, rooted in responsibility, integrity, and respect, was cultivated through her childhood experiences. Growing up in inner city Detroit, Derschaun faced a life filled with challenges that often create devastating pitfalls for most, yet her mother refused to allow those obstacles to stifle her creativity. Recognizing her proclivity for the arts, at eight years old, her mother enrolled her in charm school which not only taught her about manners and etiquette, but also, more importantly, helped build her confidence to pursue other creative endeavors in music, modeling and acting.

After graduating from high school, Derschaun set her sights on higher education and completed a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Davenport University. In 2013, her extensive work in urban education and community development, earned her an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Most recently, now with more than 20 years of experience in the education and non-profit space, this life-long learner, in her dedication to honing her skills in mentorship and advocacy, has gained her credentials as a Certified Coach.

In 2019, Derschaun wrote her first children’s book entitled “I am the Gift” aimed at helping K-5 girls boost their confidence and self-esteem. From that book blossomed a long-term partnership with Michigan State University to host an annual one-week summer residency camp for girls. This unique experience offers young ladies poignant training sessions that inspire and instill principles of how to unlock their potential with the realization that “everything you need to be successful is inside of you!”

Among her many awards and recognitions, Ms. Brown is most proud of her honors as a Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence and a Special Tribute from the State of Michigan.

Derschaun currently resides in the Metro Detroit area with her husband and teenage son and serves on the AKATeens Mentoring Committee of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®.

View all Staff