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Matthew Donovan
Morehead State University
Morehead, KY

Matthew Donovan, President of NEOCA is an EOC alum as he received his GED in 2001 thanks to Morehead State University’s EOC program. He is the Director of the same program that helped him with his GED at Morehead State. Matthew is also the President of KYTRIO and a national EOC trainer for both COE and SAEOPP organizations. Matthew has a strong passion for EOC and strives every day to make sure that the EOC community is well represented on the state, regional, and national levels.

Ashley-ChildsVice President
Ashley Childs
Texarkana College
Texarkana, TX

Ashley Childs is the Coordinator and Educational Specialist for the TRIO EOC program at Texarkana College. She hit the ground running when starting her position in October of 2021. She loves being able to serve other first-generation students like herself. Ashley earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in school counseling from Henderson State University. She is currently in the education leadership doctoral program at Texas A&M University – Texarkana. She considers herself to be a lifelong learner and she has a passion for helping others gain access to quality education opportunities. Before being elected Vice President of NEOCA, she served as the co-chair for the NEOCA conference planning committee and communication liaison for NEOCA in 202

Melissa Rosa-Alvarez
Seminole State College
Sanford, FL

Melissa Rosa-Alvarez, the Treasurer of NEOCA, is an alum of Penn State University and Nova Southeastern University. She is the Program Manager of TRIO Connections for Central Florida – EOC, which serves three countries. Melissa is also the state Treasurer of Florida. As a licensed mental health clinician, Melissa has combined her passion for educating the community about mental health and inspiring individuals to control their lives to create a legacy through post-secondary educational options.

Lee-Williams-IIIPast President
Lee Williams III
Texarkana College
Texarkana, TX

Educator, mentor, leader, and motivational speaker, Lee Williams III has passionately worked in higher education for the last eighteen years. He is currently the Executive Director of Student Success, Retention, and TRIO-EOC at Texarkana College (TC) in Texarkana, Texas. Since his arrival at TC in 2012, Lee has realigned admissions processes, implemented, and managed multiple student success grants, and transitioned student orientation to an online platform. Known for his ability to mobilize people, Williams has assisted hundreds of adults, both young and old discover their potential through education. Established in 2016 through a Department of Education TRIO grant, the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at TC has placed over 3,500 students at post-secondary institutions throughout the United States and assisted program participants earn close to 1.5 million in scholarship funds.

Determined to be different, Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, OH, the nation’s oldest private historically black college, and a Master of Education with a concentration in Leadership from the American College of Education in Indianapolis, IN. Achieving Completion through Innovation Vision and Team Engagement (ACTIVATE) is a program created by Williams to improve completion rates for first-generation students at TC. ACTIVATE participants learn the importance of community engagement, communication, leadership, and networking skills by attending weekly meetings and workshops.

Fighting a childhood speech impediment, Lee has had the opportunity to speak in front of thousands throughout the United States promoting the importance of striving for excellence in all aspects of life. The president of the Northeast Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (NETABSE) and immediate past president of the National Educational Opportunity Association (NEOCA), Lee believes in rolling up his sleeves and collaborating with a diverse group of people to advocate and promote education.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Lee is the son of a Baptist minister and retired social security representative who both modeled the importance of integrity, hard work, and commitment. Unique in every sense of the word, Williams is the father of one dog, Simba, and resides in Texarkana, Texas.