Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Emile Hawkins, Sr., DSL, MBA, MA

Second Advisor

Dr. Shanna Johnston


Against All Odds Ministry, Inc. (AAOM) is a non-profit organization created by CEO and Founder Carolynne Mather. Carolynne's passion for serving the at-risk population dates to her years as a Preschool Owner providing moral and spiritual counseling to the young mothers of the children her facility provided care. Carolynne desired to mentor these women in a monthly meeting and guide them to see if they could move beyond their circumstances against the odds that faced them. The desire was to use the group meetings to write a book on women's success from this mentoring group. The group produced two parents who went back to school and received their degrees and became a teacher. The other victory was a parent who decided to leave an abusive relationship and seek professional counseling and help to move her and her children on to the next level of their life. After the closure of the Preschool, Carolynne decided to continue the book, which she titled Against All Odds. The manuscript of the book is still in progress. Carolynne formed a not-for-profit organization in 2014 to continue her work with at-risk women. She provided a three-week course to the women at Lighthouse Ministry.

A dream was born after having the opportunity to teach a class for my daughter on a commitment she had made. Against All Odds Ministry Inc. transitioned from a not-for-profit-to a non-profit 501c (3) organization to obtain a Vendor status with Vocational Rehabilitation to service youths ages 14-21 years of age, preparing them for the workforce, postsecondary educational opportunities, and transitioning to becoming productive citizens of their communities.

As CEO of the company, this project allows me to provide a 60-hour training (three weeks) curriculum to ensure students with disabilities have essential workforce preparation and post-school transition opportunities. The curriculum will consist of Job Exploration Counseling, Peer Mentoring, Postsecondary Educational Counseling, Self-Advocacy Training, and Work-Readiness Training. VR provides vendors with training topics and forms to monitor the student's success.

Research shows students with disabilities (SWDs) are finding jobs, becoming independent, and attending colleges in increasing numbers (Orr & Hammig, 2009). According to the National Center for Education Statics (2002), 9% of U.S. undergraduates reported in 1999-2000 had a disability. The reasons for the increase in enrollment are numerous. They include better academic preparation, improved transitioning planning, and opportunities for non-profit organizations to become vendors via VR and provide services to their clients.