As Georgia's youngest hydroponic farmer, Mr. Malon E.D. James believes hydroponics is a viable solution to the world's problems of food insecurity and climate change. The onset of Covid-19 was the impetus for Malon's current research initiatives.
Malon began his career of community service at the tender age of 7 years old when he worked with environmental lobbyists to move a house bill in the state of Georgia into law. Meeting Governor Nathan Deal was just one of the many privileges in what has become a history of serving others.
Two years later, when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world, Malon sprang into action. At age 10, he became enthralled with face masks in the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, watching children’s specials from his Gwinnett County home that featured Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
An immediate Fauci supporter, Malon made sure all his friends wore masks when they came out to play, but their flimsy disposable ones disheartened him. Malon told his mother that he wanted to get children the safest masks possible. A year later, he stood in a Norcross mobile home park, giving out hundreds of high-quality, reusable cloth masks to small children and their families. He wore dress clothes and a face covering that proclaimed, “Everyone Deserves A Mask.”
At 11 years old, six months later, Malon expanded the 'Everyone Deserves A Mask' campaign to the African country of Liberia to benefit families in Nimba and Montserrado counties. Malon, through his partners, donated hundreds of reusable masks and directed students and parents to Covid-19 test and vaccine locations.
Malon has developed a mHealth (mobile Health) app to get much need supplies to far away, underserved countries with little or no cost. His supplies “Hitch-A-Ride” with humanitarians traveling abroad to Low-to-Middle Income Countries (LMIC). His app also tests safety protocols in a pandemic among children.
Out of the need to transport the mask overseas quickly and with minimal expense, came Malon’s system to work with humanitarians like Honorary Consul General, Cynthia L. Blandford, for the Republic of Liberia to the state of Georgia, to allow his supplies to ‘Hitch-A-Ride’ to the foreign country of Liberia. As a result, hundreds of high-quality, reusable masks were gifted to children, their caregivers, and medical professionals in Nimba and Montserrado, Monrovia. Malon’s efforts to provide masks to those in need have now gone overseas. It’s also caught the attention of Dr. Fauci’s team.
In late 2021, Malon received the prestigious Regis F. Groff youth award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators for his global humanitarian work. He became the youngest Primary Investigator (P.I.) at 11 years old when his research study was approved by the University of Liberia IRB in January 2022.
In his research, he identified a crucial gap in keeping children well during a pandemic, war, or natural disaster-and that is food insecurity. He found an answer: Hydroponics. After trial and error over the last two years, he has a hydroponic research farm testing the viability of organically produced nutrients and compares the many facets of hydroponically grown food to traditional farming as it relates to Climate Smart Solutions.
When Malon introduced his theories to the University of Georgia Extension, he was told of hydroponic systems that were purchased by the county years ago but had been placed in the closet of local libraries, senior systems and schools. Six months later, the doormat hydroponic systems in the county have been taken out of storage and placed on display for the public and students.
It is Malon’s innovative strategies that have brought this project to fruition. He has secured corporate, university, farm growers, NRCS, FSA, food insecurity pantries, and other national support. He has a team of subject matter experts to help him get this research project to the finish line.
Malon E.D. James was born on February 15, 2010, in Cincinnati Ohio. He moved with his mother and grandmother to the Greater Atlanta area when he was 5 years old. He is now an advanced student taking senior-level classes at 12 years of age. The philosophy he holds dear is that we never accomplish anything great on our own. Malon attributes the success of fulfilling his dreams of serving others in a grand way to GOD and his mentors.
Deborah Brock-Blanks is a registered nurse, black belt in Karate and our lead empowerment facilitator. Her holistic, earthy approach to life makes her the best motivator for those who have experienced trauma.
Don't Count Me Out offers a personal development
Empowerment/Survival retreat called Kaleidoscope to help anyone make a positive lifestyle change. The project is modeled after a Proctor & Gamble executive training series and began in 1996. Groups of 10 at a time receive the personal development services which include a 3-day, 2-night retreat followed-up by emotional, physical, social, mental, and spiritual well-being empowerment training over a 6-month period.
Kaleidoscope is a 3-day, 2-night Empowerment/Survival retreat helps the participants take a hard look at self. It stretches them mentally and physically. The purpose is to break the cycle of incarceration, help them heal from the experience and be better and stronger for their children.
It is increasingly clear that attempts to empower and mentor children without the cooperation of their parents is nearly impossible.
Under the guidance of empowerment specialists Deborah Brock-Blanks, the parents and children we serve will attend our Empowerment/Survival retreats. Ms. Brock-
Blanks is a subject matter expert who currently addresses issues of the a feelings of isolation, self-esteem, and trauma.
Teresa Watson is an owner of TRJ's Transport Lines, Inc. (TRJ), an Atlanta, Georgia based trucking company whose mission is to become one of the largest trucking companies servicing the United States.
Teresa's vision to start her own trucking company began after the untimely death of her father, TRJ Watson. Mr. Watson had been a truck driver for over 30 years, and always wanted to own his own trucking company. The problem was he didn't ever have the resources. Since his death, God has placed the same spirit into Teresa and the new vision of TRJ’s Transport Lines, Inc.
Teresa's success as a business owner and giving spirit has led her to give back to the community. She demonstrates her commitment by volunteering as a Community Coordinator for Don't Count Me Out. She heard about Don't Count Me Out from founder, Monique James, who also works as a contractor for FedEx Custom Critical. The volunteers from the family of Custom Critical is growing.
Ms. Watson was very instrumental in the Atlanta Father's Day Bailout created by Monique James and Judge Terrinee L. Gundy. She helped garner the support of the court system and public defenders office. She interviewed the fathers who participated and connected with their families. Later, at the Empowerment/Survival retreat, Teresa made sure the father's had work and housing upon returning to the city of Atlanta. The release of these father's was due in a large part to Teresa's efforts. Her 12 years of working with the Atlanta municipal court system before she started her trucking business, was an invaluable asset to the bailout project.
As a follow-up, Ms. Watson is a member of the Don't Count Me Out design team to provide a systematic housing and work system for the participants of the Kaleidoscope Empowerment/Survival retreat.
Survivors exiting High Control groups often need support in ways like counseling, housing and transportation. Being abruptly separated from ones support system due to activities like shunning puts the person in emergent need. Leaving a High Control group could mean losing your family, job, friends and other resources. It's like leaving or being put out of a cult. Our coalition is comprised of former High Control group members who have dedicated their lives to assist other survivors. DCMO has organized a collaborative of non-profit organizations to build a model so all in need can be helped.
We have exciting ways to build resources to support our model of care such as a bike ride, 5k walk and other fundraisers. If you are a former member of a High Control group and would like to help others in need, please sign up below to offer your special gifts and talents.
Ms. James and the "Don't Count Me Out Team" organized the "Atlanta Father's Day Bailout." She developed a system with the cooperation of the Atlanta Corrections Department, senior member of Atlanta Municipal Court Judge Terrinee L. Gundy, their staff and the Atlanta Public Defenders office, that streamlined the process to bailout fathers jailed on "Quality of Life" charges. Judge Gundy decided to release the men on signature bond, eliminating the need for bail money.
Judge Gundy's decision made provisions so that all fathers could participate in the personal development services. This served as a precursor to new Atlanta legislation and municipal court procedures eliminating bail money. Fourteen men were released at the same time, taken to eat by Pastor Christopher Waller of Butler Street CME Church, and reunited with their families for Father's Day. The qualified participants attended the Don't Count Me Out 3-day and 2-night Survival & Empowerment Retreat. Upon return to Atlanta, the men were provided with employment, transportation and communication services.
Monique James, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and currently co-owner of a transportation logistics company, is our Executive Director. As the founder of Don't Count Me Out, Inc. Monique is extending her many years of volunteerism and community service to ensure that the most vulnerable children in our state and their parents get a "seat at the table."
Ms. James began her career in Public Relations & Community Affairs with the American Greetings Corporation in Osceola, AR as a Community Affairs Officer with a staff of two specialists. Four years later, Ms. James was invited back to Cincinnati in 1991 to begin a Public Relations & Community Affairs company that would target urban community participation and support corporate minority interest. Along with two partners, Ms. James directed projects sponsored by public and private companies through Gibraltar Public Relations & Community Affairs located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.
Over the years, Monique has become well known for creating favorable attitudes among various organizations, special interest groups, and the public through effective communication. She has managed more than 16 staff specialists on a given project.
Since 2010, Ms. James has consulted with Time Wise Management Systems (TWMS) located in Celebration, Florida as a Legislative Agent for the executive and legislative branch of government in the State of Kentucky. Monique was also assigned to build public private partnerships along with serving as the communications and public relations state director for TWMS.
Secularly, Ms. James is a supply chain logistics and transportation management Co-Owner Operator supporting U.S. Veterans under FedEx Custom Critical. As Executive Director of the non-profit Don’t Count Me Out, she gets to fulfill her life long goal of serving children and families.