We are here to ensure that our young readers are prepared, informed and enriched!
Akiba Thompson, Founder, Director
Akiba Thompson (nee' Dumas) was born in St. Louis MO. where she was raised in the St. Louis City Greater Ville area. She currently resides with husband Jason Thompson and their children in Florissant a second ring suburb in north St. Louis County.
Akiba graduated from Sumner High School in 1994 where her major was Studio Arts. She attended Florissant Valley Community College and also Harris-Stowe State University.
She gained her interest in drawing when she was in the 6th grade. Her many talents as an artist, designer and painter has led her to do several skilled jobs for people.
She's been working in the Dept of Mental Health field for almost 21 years. She is very passionate about working with individuals with developmental disabilities. She worked for Special School District as a Para-Professional for 5 years in an Autistic classroom. There she worked as an ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapist) working with children with developmental issues with grades ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade. She is now working with as a Crisis Prevention Specialist with a company here in St. Louis.
Akiba has always had a passion and desire to work with people, especially children. She may have followed in the footsteps from both of her parents (mother) Shariba Dumas, who has been working with children in Early Childhood since 1978 to the present and (father) Shahab Dumas, who was a great pillar in the community. As I watched him grow, he became a great role model for the children in our neighborhood.
Working with children comes easy for Akiba, having 8 of her own raising 4 boys and 4 girls. Family time is always first in her life because she cherishes family values.
Akiba saw the strong vision that Kennedy had about having her own book club and wanted to share it with others so it would soar to something phenomenal. As mother and daughter they sat down and made a plan, put their ideas together, designed and drawn the logo together and made up the name for the book club. The results of it, is where we are today - the birth of a great organization called the NerdyGirlz Book Club.
Adrianne is a mother of 3 from St. Louis, MO, currently residing in Florissant, MO. She graduated from Riverview Gardens High School in 2000 and attended St. Louis Community College, both the Florissant Valley & Forest Park districts with dreams of becoming a Surgical Technician.
However, as she began her studies, she realized she had a passion for administrative duties. She also had a desire to help people of all ages and began working with 2 year olds, the elderly, and adolescent.
In 2008 as a youth advisor is where she was able to apply her joy of working with people along with applying her administrative duties. After working as a youth advisor for a year, she was offered the position of Office Manager for the Older Youth Services Department.
She has been working for Epworth Children & Family Services for 12 years. She has developed everlasting relationships with youth ranging from 11-25! Realizing that being a consistent person that the youth see, it brings joy to them and definitely to her! For this reason, this motivates her to continue to do the work she does!
Adrianne enjoys traveling, reading, and taking care of her children.
Although she has a list of books she loves, Sweet St. Louis by Omar Tyree is one of her favorites. Her love for reading started at very young age. By encouraging her children at young ages to read, she has seen the power of reading and what it can do for the mind.
She strongly believes that the youth of today are our future. As adults we must commit ourselves to making sure the youth become phenomenal, responsible, conscientious and aware citizens. Reading is one of the most important tools to have in order to become that type of individual. When Akiba told Adrianne about Kennedy’s vision and how she was determined to make it happen Adrianne was overwhelmed with excitement because this ideology is needed for our community! Young people everywhere need to know that reading can be fun and engaging! Furthermore, reading can take you to heights that you never knew existed!
Contributing her abilities and watching this organization continue to reach young girls is a reward in itself for Adrianne. As the journey of the NerdyGirlz Book Club continues, she cannot wait to see the long lasting affects it will have on our youth now and the youth that are to come. The positive environment that promotes reading and positive social interaction among the NerdyGirlz is so amazing! Some of these young ladies have found friends for life thru the joys of reading!
We must always remember that we as females have the ability to become whatever we want to become as long as we are true to ourselves and passionate about what we want to do.
The sky is the limit!