Mentor Biography

Banita Onyirimba is a proud alum of Franklinton High School (1998) and the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. After graduating from UNC-CH with a degree in Psychology, she continued her education at East Carolina University, where she received a Masters in Public Administration. Having worked in local and state government for over 10 years, Banita enjoys being able to serve the public and make a difference. Over the last few years, she has been involved in tutoring elementary school students, has volunteered for various nonprofits such as the Food Bank of North Carolina, and is very active in her church as well. In her spare time, she loves to cook, enjoy the outdoors, and travel. Banita currently lives in the Franklinton area and is excited to be able to give back to the community where she grew up.

Larson Richardson: A long-standing champion of a people-centered approach to leadership, with an affinity for creating pathways for first time leaders, Larson is currently the Area President for Republic Services, an industry leader in recycling and non-hazardous solid waste management in the US.

After graduating from Franklinton High, c/o 1998, Larson earned his Bachelors of the Arts from North Carolina Central University, and his Master’s in Business Administration from Wesleyan College. Larson also holds several certifications from the University of Georgia.
Larson brings a wealth of knowledge to his role with significant experience in operations, sales, and market planning. In his current role, Larson is responsible for more than $1B in revenue with oversight of more than three thousand employees across the Heartland Region.

Larson, his wife Tonya, and their daughter Alexis reside in the Kansas City area. During their spare time they enjoy investing in real estate, buying and reselling cars, and traveling the world. A strong family man, he also enjoys supporting his daughter Alexis, as a gymnast.

Brandon Hall, spent all of his school years (K-12) at Franklinton Elementary, Middle, and High School. He graduated from FHS in 1999. While in school he enjoyed playing sports and spending time with his friends. His favorite video game was 007 Gold Eye on the N64. Much of his time outside of school was spent working on his family’s farm. He was also involved with showing cattle through 4-H while growing up.

After high school, Brandon attended N.C. State University. While at NCSU, Brandon got involved with the outdoor recreation department and fell in love with outdoor sports like rock climbing, kayaking, and backpacking. During his time at NCSU, Brandon also worked as a summer camp counselor at Betsy Jeff Penn 4-H Center. At summer camp, he developed a love for teaching and working with youth. Brandon graduated from NCSU with a B.S. in Parks, Recreation, & Tourism Management and a minor in Outdoor Leadership.

After university, Brandon traveled the country working at summer camps and environmental education centers. After a few years, he went back to school to pursue a masters from East Carolina University. In 2009, he graduated with a M.S. in Recreation & Leisure Facilities Management.

Brandon and his wife moved to South Korea in 2012 to become English teachers. While in Korea, they adopted their cat Falcor and developed a love for eating Kimchi. After three years they left South Korea and founded an education non-profit to help young people learn about new cultures by taking them around the world on virtual field trips. Learn Around The World’s mission is to help young people become more globally minded citizens and to spark their curiosity about cultures from around the world.

Brandon, Kelsey, and Falcor currently live in Portland, ME. From Portland, Brandon runs Learn Around The World and travels to countries around the globe to create new virtual field trip experiences for students.

Ericka Charleston is the mother of 2 daughters Jamiese and Nia. She attended Franklinton High School through the 11th grade where she participated in Band, Beta Club, Dance team, Cheerleading, Basketball, Softball, Volleyball, and Track & Field. She attended Fayetteville State University (FSU) on a full academic Chancellor’s Scholarship, joined the volleyball team out of her passion for the game as a walk-on and was the 1991, FSU Rookie of the Year, while leading her team in digs and aces and was ranked as a Top 10 CIAA Division II Defensive Leader for three seasons. She also was a Cheerleader and Softball player while at FSU. She graduated from FSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry. She later earned a Master’s in Business Administration.

She started her career as an Analytical Microbiologist in the Pharmaceutical industry. She later coached Volleyball, Basketball and Track & Field within Franklin County Schools before beginning a Sales career in the Biotechnology industry. Ericka has recently returned to the area to care for her parents (both former educators in Franklin County) and continue her career in the Pharma/Biotech industry as an Executive Recruiter.

She is proud to have been a part of thousands of student-athletes’ careers and looks forward to contributing as a mentor. It is her sincere desire to help students to not only realize their academic and athletic potential. Her motto is to Work Smart, Work Hard and Win BIG!

Antonio Perry is an FHS graduate from the class of 1998. He attended North Carolina A&T State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology and served in the Army National Guard. While obtaining his undergraduate degree, he participated in a cooperative education program in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as an electrical engineer in aviation. That opportunity propelled his electrical engineering career into automotive and aviation before he moved on to software development. Antonio is currently an Information Technology (IT) consultant where he deploys and configures software applications for various consumers.

Antonio has become a mentor to provide guidance and advice to the next generation(s) of FHS graduates. He believes that mentoring provides an opportunity to help mentees see their true potential and positively impacts their personal and professional growth.

In his free time, Antonio enjoys traveling, sports, outdoor activities, and spending time with friends and family. In addition to staying active and social, he also enjoys learning new things and problem solving. Fun Fact: If Antonio had a superpower, it would be the ability to read people’s minds.

Tyaisha Williams Troy: When you think of an innovator, Tyaisha Williams Troy name comes to mind. It is not enough for her to excel in her core role; she is committed to the idea that improvement is dynamic and ever-changing. Her innovative mindset has led to her showcasing a world-class ability to see solutions and implement plans.

Tyaisha is a seasoned Executive Administrator with over 17 years in the field. She has extensive experience with organizing complex projects and determining project priorities. Having held positions in the non-profits, healthcare, and higher education, Tyaisha can tailor her skills to meet the needs of various clients. She has increased efficiency in several of her assigned roles and is very effective at interpreting and analyzing data to drive successful business solutions.

Highlights of Tyaisha’s career include receiving publication credit on several critical publications through AARP’s Public Policy Institute, and in 2016 achieving the “COO Innovation Award” from the Chief Operations Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, for developing an onboarding platform for new employees titled “BCBSNC Newbies: A Jump-Start Onboarding Community”.

In her current role as Data & Administrative Coordinator for the African American Male
Initiative at North Carolina Central University, Tyaisha fosters an environment of teamwork and ensures the quality and accuracy of the data of the program. In addition to her duties at North Carolina Central University, Tyaisha is an entrepreneur. She is the CEO & Founder of “Virtual Diamond,” virtual assistance company that provides outsourcing administrative services to small businesses.