Board of Directors

Chairwoman of the Board/President

Cherese Akers is the founder of We Heard You Non-Profit Organization. She serves as Chairwoman on the board of directors and is Interim Executive Director. Helping people has always been Cherese’s passion, even when she didn’t realize it was her purpose. Working full-time and a full-time mother Cherese received her Associate’s degree from Community College of Philadelphia in Behavioral Health and Human Services as well as becoming certified in Social & Human Services. Working in academics and furthering her education, Cherese took a clinical skills position with Drexel University College of Medicine’s Standardized Patient Program and is currently enrolled in Drexel University’s Behavioral Health Counseling Program. Serving hundreds of community service volunteer hours in her community and completing two internships with two prevalent non-profits in our community was when she realized she wanted to be a chief part of the change she hoped for. Cherese assisted in facilitating mentoring groups, outreach in the community, advocating for violence, HIV, sexual assault, and STD prevention, identifying resources for various client populations, and so much more. Cherese is also a member of The Prestige Society, a membership organization where women have the opportunity to network and build business acumen while striving for success together.


Liz Frisby is a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She’s currently employed as a Financial Analyst for an Engineering Firm and is a Fox School of Business student at Temple University. Liz has a strong passion for encouraging and inspiring youth to pursue their best life possible. Based on her own childhood experiences of growing up in foster care, Liz feels compelled to be a positive influence in the lives of others. Liz volunteers as a team lead serving on the hospitality team at EPIC Church and offers professional leadership support as the Vice-Chair of the Board for We Heard You.


Constance Dogan has been mentoring since 1999. She is a Temple graduate and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Leadership. She is on the Senior Management team at a 5-star non-profit organization and teaches a monthly seminar on how to prevent violence in the workplace. She is also an author and has released 2 books and is currently working on her 3rd book. Constance awards students that excel in the arts with a yearly financial stipend that comes directly from her book royalties. She proudly serves as a mentor and the Secretary for the board of We Heard You.


Shanell Vicks understands the importance of being self-sufficient. As a small business owner, she recognizes that to be successful, you must be focused, resilient and have a true passion for your work. In addition to her own entrepreneurship, Shanell is currently employed with the City of Wilmington government office as an Earned Income Tax Agent where she is recognized for her ability to analyze and dissect figures as it relates to being in compliance.  Shanell holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare administration. If assenting to being the Board Treasurer of We Heard You wasn’t plentiful, Shanell has also committed her time to being a mentor of We Heard You.

Board Members

Kiara Benschop
is a Learning and Development Professional and a Travel Entrepreneur who truly has a passion for helping people live the abundant life they deserve. Kiara currently serves as the VP of the Prestige Society a membership organization where women have the opportunity to network and build business acumen while striving for success together. As a child, Kiara always dreamed of ways she could change or make a difference in her community. And vowed to live a life that could be a beacon of light to those from non-ideal backgrounds and a great testimony to those around her. Today she is purposefully living out her dream as an Executive Board Member for We Heard You where she works diligently with the We Heard You Team to volunteer and mentor the young leaders of tomorrow. Together the team works hard instill core values and skills necessary for our young men to thrive as they grow and develop into the men of purpose they were destined to be.