How Did Telic Begin
Telic services families with youth and young adults with disabilities, ages 3-30. All disabilities are welcome, and no family is ever turned away.
Telic Empowerment was founded in 2018 by four African American mothers of children with disabilities, who were determined to provide support, education, and better access to disability resources for the under-resourced counties where they live.
Telic launched with a monthly parent support group to empower and teach under-served families and an inclusive art education event, Strokes for a Cause. The organization grew to provide free customized disability resource referral services, inclusive community programs, parent education, and emergency financial assistance grants to special needs families in crisis in all metro Atlanta and surrounding counties.
special needs families helped with personalized disability resources
parents provided education & support at our monthly programs
dollars awarded to families in crisis through Telic Cares Emergency Relief Fund
Timeline of Events
- Telic Empowerment was founded and launched on March 24th, 2018 by four African American mothers, Tyisha Davis, Lisa Lake, Chrissy Edgerton, and Bettina Newton.
- Monthly Parent Empowerment Groups began in May
- 1st Strokes for A Cause /Art of Ability Art Auction showcasing disabled artists was held in Rockdale County.
- Telic conducted its first tv interview on the program, “Issue @ Hand”
- Telic Empowerment became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in October
- Telic hosts its first inclusive community birthday party event, All Abilities Birthday Bash in Dekalb County
- Featured interviews with CBS Channel 46, Fox 5 Atlanta, V103 radio station
- 1st Award: Harris Gude Family Foundation recognizes Telic Empowerment’s commitment to the disabled population and is awarded with an Honor of Distinction in Community Service
- 1st Virtual Parent Empowerment Groups were launched expanding our reach across the state of Georgia
- 1st Telic Board of Directors was formed inviting five diverse individuals, with and without disabilities, to help us create more ways to impact families, and grow and strengthen our programs and services.
- Art In A Box virtual art program was created during the pandemic to provide inclusive art education, create unique masterpieces and have fun in a nonjudgmental atmosphere
- Telic Cares Emergency Relief Fund was created with a $2500 anonymous donation to assist special needs families in crisis
- Telic Empowerment’s online Merchandise Store was launched
- Secured 1st school partnership with Newton County School System: Telic Empowerment became Partners in Education with Livingston Elementary School.
- Telic was the feature of the tv segment, “Voices of Equality”
- Telic was chosen as a recipient to receive funding from SPARK Atlanta as part of its diversity, equity and inclusion grant.
- 1st Telic Zoo Atlanta Day will be held on Sept. 25th in partnership with SPARK Atlanta.
Telic Empowerment’s mission is to Teach, Empower, Listen, Include and Care for families with children and young adults with disabilities.
We provide a safe, inclusive, supportive, and informative community that will help families living with children and adults with disabilities develop their own pathway to future success. We envision a world where people with disabilities will be heard and understood, fully included and treated with dignity and respect.
Our Core Values
We empower families by teaching them how to locate necessary resources and use them with fidelity. We empower families to advocate for themselves by educating them about the school system, health care, and mental health. We empower families by assisting them with how to apply information knowledgeably and meaningfully to real-life situations.
We profoundly value and listen to the voice of our consumers. We deem it of high importance to foster a supportive community for this underserved population to draw additional encouragement, information, and a sense of family. We are committed to cultivating an atmosphere of inclusion and connectedness.
We actively and openly collaborate and form partnerships switch organizations that benefit the families we serve. We understand that the betterment of our community is increased with the help of interested parties being given the opportunity to lend a hand.
We take full responsibility for our activities and our work. We honor our commitments and take pride in our work. We are not afraid to try new things. We understand that our actions affect our team, and strive to help our team flourish.
Dignity for All
We approach our work with deep care, respect, humility, and professionalism. We address our clients with compassion, dignity, and the highest regard for their opinions no matter their background, circumstance, experience, or perspective. We intend to find common ground and foster a culture that is conducive to consideration, respect, and productivity.
We measure our success by our commitment and our ability to be good stewards of the resources allocated to us.
We personalize our services to the needs of our families and stand behind our vision. We anticipate the needs of our consumers and offer services that are unique to their circumstances. However, despite our best efforts, we are subject to human error. We strive to remedy lapses in our services quickly and respectfully.
Meet Our Team & Founders
Tyisha (Ty) is a native of Georgia and has lived in Dekalb County for the past 30+ years. She has a heart for service, and volunteers weekly throughout the community to help the needy, and participates in helping to restore hope to others at her local church. She has provided financial education, to families, through her work with World Financial Group, and currently serves, with various organizations, to help the elderly and underserved populations in her community.
She is also a proud alumni of Moving in the Spirit, a nonprofit organization, dedicated to enriching the lives of underprivileged youth, through teaching the art of dance. She has gained great knowledge and insight on how to relate to others, network, and find solutions to challenges, from her many years working in the customer service field. Ty spent her time and energy, working with Lisa Lake, as co-PTA presidents, to advocate for disenfranchised families, and restore the underserved, South DeKalb community, surrounding her children’s school, Midway Elementary. She and her husband, of 21 years, with her 4 children, with family experience with ADHD and Autism, in the past 9 years in Conyers, Georgia. Helping and assisting families is her passion.
Her involvement with Telic gives her a chance to work with old friends and form new partnerships. Her experience with her own family, in advocating, educating, and working, to understand ADHD, anxiety and autism has given her a unique level of compassion and understanding for other special needs families. Ty looks forward to helping build the bridge to help empower families and to teach them how to advocate for themselves.
Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts degree, in Psychology, from Spelman College, and an M.Ed in Applied Behavior Analysis, from Arizona State University. Married, with 4 children, Lisa is a former special education teacher, a behavior therapist, and a parenting consultant.
Lisa is also the Founder and CEO of Parenting Potential, a parent consulting business, which teaches parents how parenting styles affect a child’s behavior, and provides practical and effective parenting strategies, and behavior modifications, to promote healthy family relationships.
Lisa enjoys working with Inspire Pediatric Neurology clinic, as their Family Resource Advocate, helping parents and families that have children with autism and developmental disabilities, find necessary disability resources and supports and providing disability information and education. Lisa’s love and passion for special needs families, stems from her personal experiences, growing up with a sister with Autism, and from her own parenting journey, navigating learning disabilities, anxiety, and genetic disorders, with 3 of her 4 children. She also serves on the State Advisory Panel for Special Education for the state of Georgia and the Early Intervention community board for Marcus Autism Center.
Chrissy has always enjoyed helping people. As a child, she used to say that she would grow up to help those that couldn’t help themselves. Her love for Telic comes in helping people to help themselves and their families. Chrissy has a background in Mathematics and Technology from the University of Florida.
Chrissy is a wife and mother of three daughters who all have medical issues. While trying to navigate the worlds of allergies and epilepsy she came to realize how important it is to have a guide to resources. She worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the revenue cycle where she worked closely with insurance companies. She has enjoyed working closely with churches in their youth departments and working for and volunteering with camps. She has organized events in her community for families so they may bond while participating in healthy activities. She has been active in the PTA of her children’s schools, heading the BoxTops 4 Education program for multiple years. Chrissy really enjoys parenting and advocating for children.
Bettina received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Diego State University, California and her Masters in Psychology from Northcentral University, where she is a member of the Delta Kappa National Honor Society- Iota Chapter. She is a California native but has lived in Georgia for over 15 years with her husband and three children. Bettina is a former special education teacher at the elementary school level. It was through this experience that she first witnessed the power of working collaboratively with families to encourage the success of an individual. It was through her work as lead facilitator of the women’s group at her home church, Discover Point, that she developed a deep passion for women’s issues. The group dynamic is a powerful form of support, encouragement, learning, and accountability that she has come to enjoy! Her passion lies in working with women, children, and families. She is excited to utilize all her experience to serve the special needs population with diligence and love.
Board of Directors
Become a Board Member!
Do you have an interest in issues affecting people with disabilities?
Have you attended a Telic Empowerment event or volunteered with one or more of our programs and want to become more involved?
Has a current board member recommended you apply to be a board member?
The role of the board is to:
→ Enforce and maintain the bylaws.
→ Uphold and accurately communicate Telic Empowerment’s mission, vision and purpose.
→ Raise funds to keep Telic’s operational costs balanced.
→ Maintain and oversee fiscal and financial responsibility.
→ Meet a minimum of 3 times a year.
→ Discuss and vote on the policies and affairs that govern Telic Empowerment according to our bylaws.
→ Approve budgets and programming.
→ Ensure quality control.
→ Review and approve plans of reorganization and growth.
Board members are required to:
✓ Participate in Telic Empowerment’s Board training opportunities and yearly Strategic Planning Meeting.
✓ Support Telic Empowerment events, programs, and fundraisers.
✓ Complete a written application and be voted in by the current board.
✓ Pay an annual membership fee of at least $50.
✓ Fundraise $250 annually.
✓ Serve a minimum of 2 years.
Andrea Kubilus graduated from Antioch College in 2005 with a degree in Cultural Interdisciplinary Studies and Communications. She worked as a video editor and producer for a community PBS station prior to becoming a mother of two Neurodiverse children. Advocating for her children inspired her to become a volunteer coordinator at a non-profit organization that serves families of children with disabilities. This work led her to become involved with Telic Empowerment where she has volunteered video services, and is excited to be the President of the Telic’s Board of Directors.
Erickia Thompson is an IT professional and employed by Georgia Systems Operation Corporation as a Business Systems Analyst. She became affiliated with Telic Empowerment when she attended a Parent Empowerment Group. Her 19-year-old son is autistic and she thought his story could help parents with young children that have a disability. She is honored to be on the Board of Directors and looks forward to helping families.
Amanda Cooper is a News Reporter for Entercom Atlanta stations V-103, News and Talk 1380WAOK, 92.9 The Game, and Star 94.1. Amanda is also a certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Coach and Catalyst Leader. Her passion for people has fueled her desire to help those in need. In her spare time, Amanda is a sought after motivational speaker, and she also hosts free workshops focused on teaching people how to rebuild their lives from the bottom up.
Cerette M. Thompson is a native of Bronx, New York and earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University. Before relocating to Georgia, she taught General Equivalency Diploma (GED) preparation and vocational training to at-risk youth. After a personal life-changing moment with a family member, she became passionate about serving Individuals with Disabilities. This passion encouraged her to obtain a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of West Georgia and a Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University. Over 18 years later, Cerette continues to service and educate individuals with disabilities in the Elementary School System. It is her drive to continue to provide support to individuals with disabilities, youth, and the homeless population.
Julia Pill has a passion for disability advocacy and inclusion for all. She currently works as a Special Education Teacher for the Gwinnett County public school system. Julie graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and is now pursuing a graduate degree in Special Education. Her diverse professional background includes Environmental Consulting, Event Planning & Hospitality and Real Estate. Julie’s desire to create measurable change for the disabled in her community and surrounding area brought her to the fantastic team at Telic Empowerment.
Judith LaRoue is a retired Montessori educator and retired pastor, recognized in the Georgia Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Degrees in BA Speech/Hearing Therapy/Primary Education Northwestern State University of Louisiana; MS Early Childhood Education NSU of Louisiana; MDiv Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University. She is passionate about helping families, teaching and inspiring others to live and love and promotes respect and acceptance of all.
Jessica is a mother of a child with a disability and currently works as a trainer at Crunch Fitness. The population being served is very near and dear to her heart. She desires to be able to help people better their lives which gives her a great sense of pride and joy.