As a combat veteran, military spouse, father, educator, service-disabled small business owner and community activist, Stephen has always been committed to service to his nation, community and family.
Joining the military in 2001 and being in basic training during 9/11, Stephen developed a passion for volunteering in the community throughout his military service. This allowed him to remain connected to the people who he swore to give his life, if necessary. In 2011 before his deployment to Afghanistan he was the defensive coach for the Hopewell youth auxiliary football team, Hopewell Blue Devils. That year the team won the championship as Stephen found unique ways to mentor the boys. This passion for mentoring the next generation has been a key driver in his roles leading soldiers, his son’s youth mentoring club and his scholars at Virginia State University.
Upon his return from Afghanistan, he continued his commitment to community service and was awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong commitment to building a stronger nation through volunteer service by President Barack Obama. Unfortunately, the traumas of war led to Stephen being forced to medically retire from the Army in 2015. He faced difficult times during his transition, which led to his advocacy for resources and better services for veterans.
Stephen is a fighter for ALL people and believes his pillars of access, resources and equity can be used to address every social issue we face and the key to protecting the rights of LGBT+ members of our collective community.