Bio-Sketch

M. Christine Young Thomas,

Mama Chris, A Servant Leader

Since the 1970s M. Christine Young Thomas affectionately called Mama Chris, has been an award-winning, innovative educator. She is the founder and former CEO of Imhotep Institute Charter High School. She is also a community leader, founder/ CEO of Thomas Developmental Transformations/TDT Enterprises, and the president of Northwest CommUnity Coalition for Youth (NCCY). Other titles Mama Chris proudly acknowledges include sister, aunt, mother, wife, grandmother, Godmother, and dedicated caretaker of her mother. Additionally, Mama Chris has also been honored as the first African American woman to be given the title of Asafoanye Odametey Tsotso (A Warrior Chief) by the GADANGME people of Accra, Ghana.

An Olney High School graduate, Christine attended Lea College in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and Cheyney University. She has a master’s degree in computers and technology from Beaver College and a principal’s certificate from Cheyney University.  Mama Chris is now pursuing her PhD. in Educational Leadership where she looks to publish her work on “The Institutionalization of African Centered Education” in the near future.  Her teaching career has given her the opportunity to change the lives of students in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Miami, Florida; several countries in Africa; and of course, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 
In the 1980s Mama Chris co-sponsored the Songhai Empire at Leeds Middle School.  The program has received national recognition for raising achievement, self-esteem, improving behavior and attendance, and reducing serious incidents.  Under the leadership Mama Chris, the Songhai Empire mathematics and science scores went up 10% and serious incidents (violence, fights, etc.) plummeted by 50% the first year and another 25% the next year.  Dr. Edward Robinson and Christine Thomas set up and ran a summer program (The African Genesis) at William Penn High School using the Songhai Empire as a model.  The African Genesis Program was equally successful for the more than 400 young people from across the city. 


Mama Chris’ ability to turn educational theories into successful practical application, her accomplishments and skills as a cultural educator and community leader have been recognized and have gained the admiration of community residents, as well as the respect of local and national organizations: 

Mama Chris’ ability to turn educational theories into successful practical application, her accomplishments and skills as a cultural educator and community leader have been recognized and have gained the admiration of community residents, as well as the respect of local and national organizations:

  • The National Alliance of Black School Educators honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • The Philadelphia Inter-Alumni Council of United Negro College Fund. (Frederick D. Patterson Award)

  • Cheyney University / Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Phi Beta Omega Chapter (outstanding educator /leader)

  • US News and Report top high schools (Bronze ranking as a national leader in African Centered education)

  • State of Pennsylvania, (named State Middle School Teacher of the Year/ Master Teacher)

  • Kuumba Family Institute, Inc/KFII (Logistics Coordinator/ Development Consultant)

  • Northwest Community Coalition for Youth

  • Umoja Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Foundation (local president)

  • Annenberg Foundation grant recipient (Rites of Passage Program)

  • Kuumba Family Organizing Committee (Logistics co-coordinator)

  • Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church (active member)

  • Recipient of Gear Up Grant and in partnership with two (2) other charter schools that received a $2.4 million 

       21st Century Community Leaning Center Grant

6801 North 16th  Street. 3rd floor

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19126

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1-215-399-7561

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