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Members of the Board of Directors


Rolanda DeShield, CEO

Rolanda holds a M.A. in Educational Leadership and is an Equity Specialist with Osseo Area Schools in Minnesota, where she has been an educator for more than 15 years. Her passion is to actively address illiteracy in her native Liberia, where the majority of children do not have the opportunity to attend school.  Rolanda founded TTL to promote educational opportunities and academic success.  She remains actively involved in her communities through various projects, notably “Books For Liberia, MN”, a Pre-K through 6th grade drive that has donated 4,000+ books and supplies since 2017. Rolanda established an after-school program in Brooklyn Center which provides free tutoring for at-risk students. 

She resides in Minneapolis, MN with her family and enjoys working with her students and their families.  And yes, she also loves playing in the snow!


Mnunah Wotorson-Smith, Board Member

Mnunah brings over 30 years of accounting experience in a variety of industries to Transformation Through Literacy.  Working mostly behind the scenes, she has impacted change for under-represented youth and communities by bridging networks and creating opportunities for strategic partnerships to support these initiatives.  Her passion and appreciation for life is evident to all she encounters, and she brings this passion to all levels of her service.

Mnunah currently resides in Eagan, Minnesota where in her spare time enjoys Happy Pants Zumba and spending time with her family and friends. A self-proclaimed foodie, she gives great recommendations, as well as photos of places to eat in the Twin Cities.

Sharon Peters-Harden, Board Member

Sharon Peters-Harden, Board Member


Sharon is a native of Detroit, Michigan and has been an educator for over 20 years. She is committed to supporting and implementing programs that achieve equitable educational and social outcomes for diverse learners and diverse communities.

She is a former task force and founding member of an urban K-6 all male academy in the inner-city of Detroit with academic achievement scores that exceeded state averages. She is a fierce advocated for under-resourced children and youth and has worked as an educational administrator, coach, lecturer, and instructor throughout the states of Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio.

Sharon shares her deep commitment to her faith as an active blogger and dedicated mentor to women of all stages of life to foster a sense of thriving and well-being with her blog A Well-Loved Life.  She is currently employed in program administration at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio.


Hilford Ponnie, Board Member (Unpictured)

Hilford is a Liberian-American and has been living and working in the Twin Cities area for about 20 years. He loves being on the leading edge of technology.  Away from work, he spends time with his wife and daughter. He has many hobbies, including DIY projects on his home and cars, and is an accomplished "grill-master".  He is very passionate about helping people and believes in the vision of TTL. 

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