founding executive director

Stanford J. Wilkinson’s unrelenting drive, would be commendable at any age. Having amassed an extensive list of accomplishments at only thirty, makes his journey even more impressive. He’s the founder and executive director of DEFY (Determined Exceptional Fearless Youth). It’s a non-profit organization that provides access, exposure and mentorship opportunities to youth. He’s also the Vice President at uniteSTEM Inc, which is driven by the belief that everyone deserves access to excellent STEM education.

The pandemic didn’t decrease Mr. Wilkinson’s resolve to make an impact. In fact, quite the opposite. Both organizations have merged and acquired a new facility, with multiple classrooms. One that houses full computer labs, 3D printing machines, a music & podcast recording studio along with a design lab; devoted to entrepreneurship endeavors.

A few examples of Mr. Wilkinson’s accomplishments, include providing over 1,500 meals to local families, supplying more than 800 backpacks containing school supplies for students and executing the “313 Day” in partnership with SNIPES, Adidas & The Detroit Pistons; where food and gear are supplied to thousands of families- at no cost.

His strides in leadership are numerous, as well. A few amid a long list: In a short period of time, he’s raised over $175,000.00 in support of Detroit non-profits, served on the Detroit City Council Taskforce in the area of Black Male Engagement; recognized by them as Man of the Month. He consistently makes his presence known.

Stanford acknowledges the influence of strong family ties. His parents were always active in his life, but he was raised by his grandparents. The best of both worlds. He founded Jarrett Global, llc in memory of his grandfather; Jarrett Carter. Through this real estate and development venture, he’s expanding his horizons, while simultaneously honoring the memory of his well-respected patriarch.

HIs personal excellence, passion for service, and continued engagement in community outreach was the founding premise for being asked to serve as Board Chair for uniteSTEM, Inc, as well as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for the Y|Unity Foundation. Most recently, Mr. Wilkinson was recognized by, and presented an award at the 2021 Detroit Choice Awards and named “Millennial of the Year” by 3RY Magazine.

Stanford’s efforts in mentoring extend beyond part-time engagement and convenience. He is a consummate professional who develops deep relationships based on trust, empathy, and compassion, while maintaining a quiet conscientiousness that instills confidence, care, and companionship in those with whom he serves. His mentorship activities are extensive and include the creation of a one-to-one mentoring relationships program, group mentoring options, guest speaker sessions, curriculum development in entrepreneurship and financial literacy, and personal speaking engagements with youth and the community. Additionally, Mr. Wilkinson is a resource for other entrepreneurs who have questions and need guidance.

Mr. Wilkinson is by all accounts, the definition of a mentor. A caring, compassionate, and dedicated man of excellence who strives to create opportunity for youth and the community.

In a day and age where many stories can be particularly discouraging for our youth, Stanford J. Wilkinson offers a new hope!

“Have a vision. Be demanding” -Colin Powell