Seeing such a need to address the educational and social needs of underrepresented populations, Atrayus founded Movement of Youth (MOY) in 2006 as a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. MOY is based off a similar program that Atrayus completed during middle- and high-school sponsored by the Greater Charlotte Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America. MOY was recognized in 2016 as the North Carolina Innovative Program of the Year by the Public School Forum of North Carolina, a well-respected think tank that for more than 30 years has provided trusted, nonpartisan, evidence-based research, policy analysis and innovative programs that empower an informed public to demand that education best practice becomes common practice throughout North Carolina.
Atrayus also serves as President & CEO of MENTOR North Carolina, a statewide affiliate of the National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR). In this role, Atrayus leads a team that is working to significantly increase the number of youth in high quality mentoring relationships in North Carolina, multiply and leverage the human, financial, and in-kind resources dedicated to mentoring initiatives, and expand the number and types of organizations that are equipped to start, manage and expand a mentoring initiative. This includes cross-sector strategic engagement to elevate mentoring programs across the state, tracking external impact measurements, and providing the link between MENTOR’s national efforts including public awareness and advocacy through national campaigns such as In Real Life, Coaches’ Challenge, NBA Cares, and National Mentoring Month. MOY serves as the host site for MENTOR North Carolina.
Atrayus has also worked with Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that advances diverse young leaders through rigorous paid apprenticeships in nonprofits with intensive skills training, active community-building projects, personalized coaching, and critical reflection. Prior to his work with Public Allies, Atrayus developed customized executive education programs at the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development. His work supported high-growth small businesses utilizing the talents of expert practitioners and teaching faculty from universities and organizations across the country.
Atrayus has global experience, including consulting in South Africa with Vuleka Schools (a network of independent schools founded in 1989 by the Anglican Church in response to the crisis in black education during the apartheid years); leading an all-Black delegation to Cuba with Witness for Peace to examine historical and present-day Cuban realities through a lens focused on race, gender, and other aspects of Cuban identity; and traveling to Palestine/Israel with Eyewitness Palestine to explore Palestinian and Israeli efforts to achieve peace with justice and investigate issues of detention and incarceration, the Israeli military court system, and political prisoners.
Atrayus is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the Triangle Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Leadership Award and the North Carolina Governor’s Medallion Award for Volunteer Service, the state’s highest award for volunteer service. He has also been featured on various media platforms, including TED.
An active member of the community, Atrayus is Co-Chair of My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Orange County, an Advisory Board Member with the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs, and a member of the National Board of Directors of Witness for Peace. Atrayus holds a Master's of Science in Organization Development from the American University School of Public Affairs in Washington, DC and an A.B. in Communication Studies with a concentration in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, Atrayus was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the University’s oldest and highest honorary society.
Atrayus resides in Durham, North Carolina and is the proud father of Everette Rose, 7.
Siera Nie has worked in human service for over 5 years. She earned her BSW from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2018. During her undergraduate studies, she worked with two nonprofits serving youth. She has prepared group activities to enhance youth’s social, intellectual, and emotional well-being. Siera strives to ensure that higher education and equitable opportunities are accessible to all youth. Siera enjoys cooking and spending time with family. She is also the proud mother of Aveana, 9.
Anissa Williams is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Medical Anthropology. She is passionate about community advocacy and social justice, centering these passions around health promotion and mentorship within marginalized communities. She aspires to one day further her education in public health to engage in community-based health equity research. Anissa is originally from Henderson, NC and now resides in Durham, NC.