Meet The Team

Samierra Jones, Founder

At the age of 22, Samierra Andrea Jones has

already proven herself to be a leader amongst her peers. During her tenure an Honor Student at Renaissance Academy High School in Baltimore, Maryland, Samierra created Student 2 Student, a student organization that worked with faculty to address the needs of non-achieving scholars, providing mentoring and tutoring that resulted in an increase of academic success. Her leadership earned her the position of 2011-2012 Junior Representative for the Associated Student Congress of Baltimore City (ASCBC) where she to conducted student government activities for Baltimore City Schools. Samierra received over $200, 000 in college scholarship offers, was the Comcast Scholarship recipient of 2012-2013, Renaissance Academy Student of the Year Award, and was the winner of the William Stern College Scholarship Fund earning fours years of economic assistance. Samierra graduated from high school number as the 2013 Renaissance Academy High School Valedictorian. Samierra continued her education at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland and is currently a senior with plans to graduate in May, 2018 earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Samierra has held the leadership position of Vice President for the Inter-Residential Hall Council and was a member of Black Voices, a student-run advocacy group promoting unity and scholarship for the student body. Samierra’ s list of awards include: State of MD Merit Scholastic Award, three certificates of recognition from Baltimore City, Prince George County, and Montgomery County, Official Citation from Senator Delores Kelley, a Certificate of Appreciation for furthering the vision of Coppin State University’s Academic Affairs Department, and Dean’s List. Samierra graduated in 2015 from the Baltimore College Town LeaderShape program where the tenets of passion for leadership and learning were reinforced. Recently she won Baltimore City Mayor’s “Teen Biz Challenge” where she assisted teens in creating business plans that were pitched to corporate executives. 

Leaders are made through challenges, and professionally Samierra has been tested in various scenarios that required leadership and collaboration. She has always had a desire to start a service organization to be a source of motivation and strength, helping others to maximize potential and reach their dreams. Operation Heat is another manifestation of her consistent and clear vision.

Valerie Arum, Co-Founder

Valerie Arum, 23 years old, was born in Eldoret, Kenya and moved to Baltimore, MD at the age of eight years old. She is currently a student at Morgan State University majoring in Strategic Communication at the School of Global Journalism and Communication.

Growing up on both sides of the world has allowed Valerie to have a first hand perspective on issues affecting colored people across the globe. She has an interest for youth empowerment, women’s issues, community activism, education in communities of color, and international relations.

Valerie serves as the assistant director for the Tom Munyama Foundation, is a member of the National Council of Negro Women, an intern for DTLR Radio, and contributing writer for One of her greatest accomplishments thus far, was helping to lead and organize a successful lawsuit that got additional funding for Maryland’s HBCUs. 

Valerie’s mission is to bridge the gap between all people in the African diaspora as well as create opportunities for colored youth across the globe.

Aaron Maybin, Co-Founder

Aaron Maybin is a 30 year old Art-Activist and former professional football player from Baltimore City, Maryland. Maybin was selected as the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills as a former All-American defensive end at Penn State University. Aaron went on to play in the NFL for the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals in his 5-year career. Aaron also played professionally for the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL before making the decision to walk away from the game of football to pursue his career as a professional artist, activist, educator and community organizer.

His transition from full-time NFL superstar to full-time artist and philanthropist has been extensively covered by ESPN, CBS, Fox 45, and even garnered an HBO documentary warmly received by critics. His art, photography, and writing deal with many socially relevant themes and issues, drawn from his own personal experiences as a former pro athlete and growing up as a young Black man in America.

Aaron uses his platform and gifts to advocate for racial and economic equality, arts education, and programing in underprivileged communities across the country. In 2009, Aaron established Project Mayhem to provide aid, both personal and economic, to help underprivileged and at risk youth excel beyond their current conditions. Through his work with Project Mayhem, Aaron has implemented art workshops and curriculums into several Schools in the Baltimore City area that have had budget cuts due to a lack of State Funding.

Aaron is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity incorporated, The Mayors “One Baltimore” initiative, and a Fox 45 Champion of Courage Award recipient for 2016, He continues to advocate for public policy to see Art programs restored in the schools and more economic opportunities to be provided for the underprivileged people of Baltimore.