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Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal

As a figure of business, technology enthusiast, and investor, Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal is a firm proponent of clean energy, healthy living, the humane treatment of animals, and a motivated voice for Middle East entrepreneurs.

A member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, Khaled was born in California and spent his youth in Riyadh under the mentorship of his father, philanthropist HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Chairman and CEO of Kingdom Holding Company.

Khaledbin Alwaleed has been an active borad member of children connecting the world since the beginning.


Dr. Clarke


Dr. Clarke is passionate about global learning and is thrilled to be a part of "Children Connecting the World"!! She is currently in her 13th year as the principal at Kensington Elementary in Waxhaw, North Carolina.

Kensington has been recognized as a "UCPS International School" for 7 years. In addition, Dr. Clarke was named at the "Global Administrator of the Year" by VIF/Participate in 2011.

Dr. Clarke’s first teaching position was in Jerusalem, teaching music in a preschool. That experience sparked a passion and a goal to have all children learn about the world! This was followed up by participation as one of two North Carolina delegates in the "Chinese--American Education Bridge" program in Beijing. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Clarke was named a "World Affairs Council Scholar" by the World Affairs Council of Charlotte. In 2014, Dr. Clarke was selected as one of eight educators nationwide to participate in the Brazil/USA Educator Exchange Program, sponsored by the US Department of State. During her participation in this program, she presented workshops to educators in Rondonia, Alagoas, and at the International "Gestao Escolar" conference in Brasilia. However, the best global education opportunity came at home ain Waxhaw in 2013, when she had the opportunity to open up a Mandarin Immersion program opened at Kensington Elementary!!

Dr. Clarke serves as the North Carolina State Representative for NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals) and is a member of the state NCPAPA Board.  She is also a member of ASCD, Delta Kappa Gamma, and Phi Delta Kappa. Dr. Clarke is a principal advisor for Best NC, a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of business leaders committed to improving North Carolina’s public education system through policy and advocacy. She serves on the Dual Language/Immersion Advisory group for NCDPI.

Ryan Schalles

Ryan is a Customer Experience Manager for The Wendy's Company, covering seven state territory. Ryan's responsibilities include internal evaluations, training, and supporting Wendy's Franchise Groups. The Wendy's company is based out of Dublin, OH and Ryan currently works out of his home office.

Prior to joining "Children Connecting the World", Ryan held several local celebrity fundraisers benefiting the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The founder of Wendy's, Dave Thomas, was adopted at a young age. In 2016, Ryan won a Wendy's Community Ambassador Award for his community involvement. Ryan is passionate about Giving Back and helping the local Youth. Ryan is a native of the Hampton Roads Area and grew up in Virginia Beach. After earning his Business Management Degree from Bluefield College in Virginia, Ryan moved to Charlotte to further his career in the Restaurant Industry. Ryan played soccer all four years in College for the Rams. Ryan is an avid NFL fan, enjoys playing soccer, and spending quality time with his beautiful family. Ryan is a devoted Christian and active member at the main campus of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte. I look forward to changing children’s lives all over the World. 

Ashley Turner


Ashley was born and raised on the cusp of the Cherokee Native American Indian reservation in Cherokee N.C. Ashley studied Psychology and Sociology at Appalachian State University, and went on to practice Marriage and Family Counseling for 7 years, focusing on abused and neglected children. Ashley perused her passion for eight years before deciding to join Corporate America, and now works in Operational Risk and Compliance for Wells Fargo.

In college Ashley served as a volunteer ‘Prevention Specialist’ and Partnered with Western Youth Network in Watauga County to build a program that supported ‘at risk ‘youth. This Non-profit program “Watauga Safe Homes” was developed and implemented to provide healthier lives and safer communities for those in need. The program provided easily obtainable resources to families in crisis. This included meals, clothes, groceries, shelter, and other support as available and needed.  


Later, as a counselor Ashley served as an advocate for children across N.C., spanning her commitments to the home, community, and local services such as schools, hospitals, group homes, foster homes, detention centers, and the courts. Her enrichment in the community helped build lasting programs and developed resources for children and families for years to come.


Currently Ashley has taken on a new career path but continues to serve her community. She is a member of the “Diversity and Inclusion” platform for Wells Fargo, and continues to be actively involved in the community through volunteer events provided by Wells Fargo. Her first year in her new career she was nominated to serve as a member of the Team Member Engagement Committee providing new team members the knowledge and introduction to the many opportunities available to  be involved in and support Wells Fargo’s vision and values for Diversity and Inclusion.

Her specific heritage as a Native American of the Cherokee Indian tribe has allowed for expansion in awareness of an almost forgotten culture. Ashley takes pride in her upbringing and background and uses her diversity to relate, enrich, and learn from each opportunity she is presented.  

Brenda K. Jacobs


Brenda is a Native American of the Lumbee Tribe of NC.  She was born and raised in Robeson County and still resides there today.  Brenda studied Business Management at The University of North at Pembroke (UNCP) where she received her BS in December 2005. 


As an employee of  UNCP, Brenda has worked in different areas and has extensive interaction with working with middle, high school and college aged students from various diverse backgrounds.  Malcolm Forbes said, “The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open mind”.  If we want our future leaders of the world to succeed, we must instill this in their minds while they are young and believe anything is possible.  With this mentality throughout their childhood, no matter where they live or who they are, they can make their future dreams come true.   


Brenda is a Sunday school teacher at her church.  She also serves on Robeson Community College Executive Board, Robeson County Counseling Center and Robeson County Christina Women Job Core.


The Lumbee Tribe is the largest Native American Tribe east of the Mississippi with over 55,000 members.  In 1885, the tribe was recognized as Indian by the State of North Carolina and have sought federal recognition since 1988 from the US Government.  In 1956, Congress passed the Lumbee Act which recognized the tribe as Indian but the Act withheld the full benefits of federal recognition from the tribe.  After several attempts to obtain Federal recognition, on December 22, 2016, the US Department of Interior reversed its long-held position that the 1956 Lumbee Act both terminated our existing rights, benefits, and privileges and prohibited the application of future legislation to us as an Indian tribe.  Brenda believes this is a perfect tool for teaching others about the Lumbees (and other nationalities) as well as sharing new experiences with children; espically those who have limited resources to see how other children live, play and study accross the world.  Children are all the same; they just have differrent cultures and traditions they practice.    


Children’s cultural identity is learned through language, storytelling, relationships, and traditions.  You can tell a child and teach a child.  Until the child becomes involved, he or she will never learn.