Our vision is to create a self-sufficient organization that stimulates economic growth through programs and social enterprise intended to expose individuals to different economic and business opportunities. Our intent is to create a path to financial sustainability while stimulating social change through community involvement.
Paving Great Futures is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the community through personal economic development. We provide individuals with the necessary tools for financial freedom through entrepreneurship training, business development, and culinary job training. Our focus is on individuals from impoverished communities of San Diego.
The Problem/ The Solution
Individuals living in underserved areas of San Diego are in dire need of a chance to change their reality. Barriers to opportunity are ever-present. Dangerous activities such as gang involvement, drug dealing, drug and alcohol use, and human sex trafficking are all too common. Understanding these experiences first hand, the founders of Paving Great Futures found a solution to these challenges. Paving Great Futures was created to do just that, “pave the way” for prosperity and growth. By reaching back into their communities and bringing time, energy, and resources, Paving Great Futures provides the chance to uplift both the individual and the community, positioning both for positive outcomes.
Six Core Competencies
1. Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are the driving force of all local economies. By teaching entrepreneurial skills we ensure our participants have the ability to build businesses that empower and help their communities thrive.
2. Job-Readiness. Earning a living is an important aspect of life for all adults. We want our participants to not only obtain a job, we want them to be able to keep and grow within them. Through traditional education and on the job training in our programs we ensure that our participants are fully prepared for their future careers.
3) Financial Literacy. Many of the pitfalls that individuals find themselves in are due to financial illiteracy. Our programs are created to provide our participants with the knowledge and skills to manage their financial resources now and for a lifetime.
4) Responsible Life Skills. The ability to navigate through life is a necessary tool. Growing as an individual involves many levels. We focus on the entire being, by ensuring our participants sharpen their life skills to reinforce lifelong growth.
5) Community Service. Taking the time to give back is an important part of what Paving Great Futures stands for so it is important that our participants are able to give back time, talent, and resources to individuals in need.
6) Civic Engagement. Political ramifications are felt daily throughout our communities. The only way to ensure that our interests are being addressed is to have a seat at the table. Our programs guide our participants through ways and channels to be engaged in the political processes in their communities.
Who We Are
President / CEO Barry Harris Jr.
Barry Harris Jr. is a native of San Diego, CA and co-founder of Paving Great Futures. He grew up in the Valencia Park neighborhood and graduated from Samuel F.B. Morse High School. He completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA and a Master of Business Administration from Howard University in Washington D.C. His passion lies in entrepreneurship, business development and contributing to revenue generating activities. Barry has developed substantial experience throughout his career based in Health Care serving both the Medicare and Medicaid population as an advisor. In addition, Barry has served as a Chief Operations Officer for behavioral and mental health agencies in order to monitor revenue, quality of services, and continuity of care amongst the organizations. Currently Barry serves as the President of Paving Great Futures where he provides leadership and strategic direction for the growing nonprofit organization. In his spare time, Barry enjoys traveling in order to cultivate relationships with clients, colleagues, friends and family throughout the country.
CFO Jay Bowser
Jay Bowser, 33, is a San Diego native and co-founder of the suitably named non-profit organization ‘Paving Great Futures’. Guided by his passion to mentor individuals who encountered the same obstacles he persevered during his youth, Bowser is a credible messenger and community leader whose focus is on social equity issues. He has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by former gang members and other system affected individuals. Jay’s expertise in these fields have awarded him seats on prestigious committees such as the Prop 47 Local Advisory Committee and the Citizens Advisory Board. Jay has turned his obstacles into opportunities and will continue to use his gifts to lead and guide individuals on a path to a greater future.
COO Armand King
Armand King, 35, is the co-founder of the aptly named nonprofit 'Paving Great Futures'. Fueled by his experience in the streets King serves as a shepherd to guide others out of the prison pipeline he knows all too well. He feels his mission in life is a path set out for him by God with his only goal being saving lives from the many pitfalls that he has witnessed himself growing up in underserved communities in San Diego. For many years, he was misguided by the streets and helped to misguide others, not realizing the detriment of his actions. Life for him is now filled with rewriting his past but helping others pave a greater future.
The Board of Directors
Marlon Griffin, Board Member
Marlon Griffin, a Board Member of Paving Great Futures, is a native of San Diego, CA. He was raised in Paradise Hills and received his diploma from University City High School. Marlon then continued his education at Howard University and received his Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting. He has been a professional in the accounting career for over 10 years, as well as became an established serial entrepreneur. Not only has Marlon had an impact on corporate America, he has held a role has a youth leader for his church. While serving at his church, he was able to mentor to some of the young men in his community. Marlon has developed a passion for sharing financial literacy and assisting others with developing life skills. Marlon is a champion for Paving Great Futures’ Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy Core Competencies
James Caldwell, Board Member
James Caldwell is a 38-year-old San Diego native and Founder/President of the youth non-profit Ball Up Foundation. He graduated from Samuel F.B. Morse High School then went onto receive an A.S. in Business Management from Palo Verde C.C. Since a child, youth sports has been a vital part of his life by giving him a sense of purpose as well as an outlet from inner city life. Noticing the lack of guidance and direction of some of the youth in the neighborhood, he decided to become a mentor in order to keep kids on the right path and away from trouble. Combining his passion for education and athletics, James decided sports could keep the kids active while also instilling self-confidence, self-awareness, and achievement as components to success. Working with the youth has lead him to actively engage in community activities and has granted him access to people and resources who contribute to the youth of San Diego. He volunteers at local recreation centers and hosts workshops for students, athletes, and parents on college eligibility and also the pitfalls affecting underserved youth. James is "honored" to serve as a Paving Great Futures board member and will continue to push the youth in the community to strive for excellence. James is a champion for Paving Great Future’s Life Skills and Civic Engagement core competencies.
Porchia Greeno, Board Member
Porchia Greeno, 37, is one of the Board Members for Paving Great Futures. She is a San Diego native born to naval parents. Because of her parent’s career, Greene has resided in Chesapeake and Portsmouth, Virginia for the duration of her grade school years, San Dimas and Los Angeles, California for her middle and mid-high school years, concluding back to San Diego for the remaining of high school and some college. This fact has allowed her eclectic personality to develop and flourish. Being exposed to a variety of ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds has cultivated the knowledge she acquired, from being an avid reader, into useful life skills that she is able to share and use to combat universal everyday struggles while exhibiting professionalism, expertise, and diplomacy. Porchia is a champion for Paving Great Futures’ Life Skills and Community Service core competencies.
Nadia Susana Contreras, Board Member
Nadia Susana Contreras is a board member of Paving Great Futures who was born in Tijuana, Mexico and was raised in the city of Lemon Grove in San Diego County. Nadia started her career in the nonprofit and humanitarian sector in 2009 when she founded Team Green Warming Machinez, a group located in San Diego, CA that caters to the homeless population. In late 2011, Nadia co-founded IM MY OWN BLESSING where she is currently the President of the nonprofit organization. IM MY OWN BLESSING focuses on empowering empathy everywhere through school curriculums, bi-monthly humanitarian family and youth outings in addition to much more. Nadia has served as an independent community outreach specialist within the communities of Lemon Grove, South Eastern San Diego, and Barrio Logan. From 2012-2014 Nadia worked for La Maestra Community Health Centers where she worked in the Legal Advocacy department representing victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. In 2016 Nadia Co-founded People Over Profits- SD where they focus on bringing authentic reentry programs into the community. In the same year, she became a legal minister and graduated from the Pomegranate facilitator Trainings where she is able to share her acquired skills with other team members. Nadia continues to work on local policy for SDPD as well as social justice awareness education. She is a firm believer that all human pain, happiness and trauma is intersectional and it should all be addressed with humanistic based goals. With all the work that she is involved in locally, Humanizing is her main focus to all her works outcome. Nadia is a champion for the Community Service and Civic Engagement core competencies of Paving Great Futures’.
Portia Fatherree, Board Member
Portia Fatherree, is a native of Los Angeles, CA, she moved to San Diego in 2007. She has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience from working for Starbucks as a store manager. She enjoys spending her free time giving back to the San Diego community and spending time with her partner Tiffany. She is passionate about expanding community connections and helping individuals reach their goals. Portia enjoys working with paving great futures and continues to contribute to and uplift the lives of the youth in our community. Portia is a champion for Paving Great Futures’ job readiness and life skills core competencies.