Melvin P. Washington II

Former debate mentee/student

When I first met Toya I was a 20 year old college junior who had one and a half feet out of the community that brought me to my university in the first place. Debate had been opening doors for me since I joined the activity at 14 but by the time I met Toya it felt like more of a burden than anything. Toya knew better. She looked at me and she did what she always does. She took a genuine interest in what motivated me and used that insight to help me reshape my goals and vision for the activity. She broadened my horizons by externalizing my inner voice. I almost felt reborn; I was excited, I was invested and the results reflected that. She was so committed to my success that my efforts became about more than just me; I also wanted to win for Toya. There is not a doubt in my mind that Toya possesses the skills necessary to help individuals not only maximize their potential, but redefine it. I was excited to hear that she's bringing these skills to bear in a new arena. I am confident that a woman of her intellectual caliber, with her determination, and her willingness to learn will be successful in the long run; and I am extremely excited to witness the great work HDLEC will do for others in the future.

Justin Green

Assoc. Professor- 2-time National Champion Debate Coach - Wake Forest University

When it comes to eloquence, strategic planning, consciousness raising, and self-empowerment, I know of no better caoch than Toya.  No matter if in the classroom at the high school or collegiate level, in one-on-one life coaching, or in small group training sessions, time and time again, I have seen those she interact with succeed.  Working alongside Toya made me a better teacher, coach and person.

Berenice Delgado

Student, Cal State Fullerton

Being coached by Toya has been one of the best and most formative of my learning experiences. Her coaching style is one that encourages students to be the best version of themselves and she truly inspires students to gain a love for knowledge and scholarship. Toya’s leadership skills are obvious and she does her best to get students to realize their potential as leaders, social justice advocates, and professionals. Her approach is simple but effective – she not only teaches the appropriate material but she emphasizes the importance of confidence and empowerment in each individual. By motivating students and empowering them, it allows people to take the skills that we learn and use them to be advocates in our own communities. Toya continues to serve as a role model and support system. She continuously pushes me to realize my own potential so that I can better pursue my educational and professional goals. Working with Toya has allowed me to see that change begins at the individual level; without personal growth we cannot adequately and effectively be agents of social change.

Kayla Gilmore

President, Black Student Union-Emporia State University

When she speaks, she gives a gift. One of the greatest parting mantras I have learned from LaToya is “higher heights and deeper depths.” This saying serves as a reminder of the growth I acquired under her mentorship, but also serves as reminder that the goal is to continuously grow. Even more, the goal is to constantly discover more about who I am and who I want to be. I believe that LaToya’s capacity to mentor others is infinite. Her ability to connect with individuals of various backgrounds and identities is a vital skill not many possess. She is an adaptive leader and an encouraging mentor. It for these reasons that I am so involved and so dedicated to being a leader on my campus and elsewhere. I want to be the spark to the next generation of leaders like how LaToya Green was the spark for me. I needed someone to push me to be better and she was more than willing to do so. We need more people like her dedicated to helping others become the best them they can be; not a carbon copy of what others say they should be.

T Albiniak

Director of Forensics, San Francisco State University & Curriculum Director of the University of Texas National Institute in Forensics

I have had the privilege of working with and learning from LaToya Green for almost a decade. She has inspired me with her critical insight, empathetic orientation, and careful concern for the everyday experiences of those around her. Her method fuses provocative conversation with useful tools to create important transformations in her students and colleagues. Based on personal observation and the internal work she has sparked in my own thinking, I can attest to the success of her thinking and approach. While Toya's gift for conscientious critique is rare, her genuine commitment to her students and those around her is even rarer. Take the opportunity to engage in dialogue for just 10 minutes ... you'll see what I mean.