Our History

In June 2020, Founder and Co-Founder Dr. Shawna Whitehead Starks, and daughter, Sondaya Weddle, launched the It Takes A Village Foundation Re-Entry Program to make an impact across the community.

As of today, over 3,500 people have graduated from Program. Most attendees have gainfully received employment through their Destined To Succeed Employment Assistance Agency. We are proud that their hard work has paid off and that we will be launching the Program in the uncharted waters of Racine, WI on October 19th 2020!

Our Vision

Every human has an innate right to live and engage in a world where their past experiences do not negatively define their future potential.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower individuals re-entering into society by giving them the knowledge, tools and resources needed to reduce mass incarceration and the likelihood of recidivism.

Dr. Shawna Whitehead

About Dr. Shawna Whitehead-Starks

Dr. Shawna Whitehead-Starks is the Founder and CEO of the program, an author, as well as motivational speaker. She established the Destined to Succeed Institute in June of 2017. The Institute has partnered with several organizations, colleges, childcare centers, and educational facilities across Wisconsin.  

Dr. Whitehead-Starks obtained her bachelor’s degree in Theology with a minor in Human Resource Management. Seeking more knowledge, she obtained her Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Administration in Human Resource Management, from Concordia University, in December of 2016. Thereafter, Dr. Whitehead Starks obtained her Ph.D. in June 2020 in Islamic Studies, from the University of Chicago School of Divinity.

She has delivered training courses for the past ten years in cultural diversity awareness and has worked in child education for the past 25 years. She’s trained over 3,500 individuals in diversity and employee relations, and consulted with 125 business owners. She has assisted over 1,500 felons though her It Takes A Village Foundation Re-Entry Program.  In March of 2021 Dr. Shawna Whitehead Starks become the NAACP Economic Committee Share for The State of Wisconsin.

About Sondaya Weddle

In 2017, Ms. Sondaya Weddle helped create an awesome Pipeline Re-entry Curriculum that she has taught for the last three years, for the DWD pipeline re-entry program, along with Dr. Whitehead Starks.

She has a passion to see those who are “counted out” receive the second chance they deserve. “It takes a village to see and be the change we want for our community.”