Concrete Roses is geared to nurture the goals, aspirations, and ambitions of our mentees and help them blossom into successful young ladies.



Trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship 


Cultivate skills to motivate, empathize and build relations


Develope strategies to achieve  full academic potential


Voluntarily serving our community wholeheartedly

What is special about

Concrete Roses?

The Concrete Rose Foundation is overseen by an Executive Board who has over 35 years of collective experience as Educators in the Alachua County School District. 


We need more voices speaking up and advocating for the minority youth in our community 


  • Alachua County has the largest racial achievement gap in the state of Florida

  • Alachua County has the fourth highest out of school suspension rate for Black students of all Florida school districts. 

  • Only 26.7% of Black students as compared with 71.5% of White students in Alachua County scored at or above grade level in English Language Arts on the Florida State Assessment (FSA) (FLDOE, 2018a).

  • Schools with magnet programs have a 66.8% achievement gap between Black and White students in ELA (SBAC, 2017; FLDOE, 2018b).

  • Black students comprise 35.5% of school population but account for 70.6% of district suspensions (FLDOE 2018b; FLDOE, 2018c).  

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​The Mission of Concrete Roses Mentoring is to embrace and empower minority girls and equip them with the skills to make positive life choices.


The Concrete Roses Foundation envisions a community with a constant effort to cultivate a sense of self-worth and equality in adolescent, minority, females, which in turn will afford them the same opportunities regardless of their race, gender, environment or socio-economic status.


​We believe that developing proper etiquette, public speaking skills, self-esteem, effective communication, self-love and leadership skills are the keys to maximizing the potential of all girls regardless of their background.


The purpose of The Concrete Rose Foundation is provide advocation and assistance to minority youth in our community

Message from our President:

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Ashley McClellan
President &
Executive Director

I founded The Concrete Rose Foundation in 2019 at a local elementary school in Gainesville, Florida. As a teacher at an urban, inner-city school the seats in my classroom were often filled with students from disadvantaged neighborhoods. Being a young, African-American female teacher gave me the opportunity to relate to students that had no connection with my fellow colleagues. It wasn’t long before I found myself sharing a unique bond with many students that had, unfortunately, been deemed unteachable or a lost cause. 


As a 2015 graduate of a Historically Black University, I considered it my responsibility to uphold the motto of my beloved alma mater, Bethune-Cookman University, “Enter to learn and depart serve.” Thus, I made a pledge to serve my community by embracing and empowering the at risk youth of society. Rita Pierson said “Every child deserves a champion. An adult that will never give up on them and insist that they become the best person that they can possibly be.” Our society continues to display an inability to develop a rapport with minority youth. Thus, they are either overlooked or labeled as troublesome or problematic. When they are actually misunderstood and underrepresented. I believe that all children should be afforded the same opportunities regardless of their environment or socioeconomic status. The constant effort to cultivate a sense of self-worth and equality in at risk youth is my vision for the The Concrete Rose foundation. 

Ashley McClellan

Founder & President 

Meet Our Executive Board

Jibria White

Vice President

Jibria White is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University where she was an intern at The Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation-National Historic Landmark, where she gained pre-curatorial training. In addition, she served as a Resident Assistant for a resident’s hall at Bethune-Cookman University. In spring 2015, Jibria interned at Ortona Elementary School in Daytona Beach, FL where she contributed to the lesson plans and curriculum of the classroom in which she was interning in. Jibria is also an active member of the community. She committed every Thursday of the week to mentoring and tutoring the children of Campbell Middle School in Daytona Beach, FL. In addition, annually Jibria volunteers with the United Methodist Church Mission-U Event, where she serves as a children’s youth counselor. At Bethune-Cookman University, Jibria became a member of the NAACP, Sigma Alpha Pi National Honor Society and is the founder of Phenomenal Women in High Education Think Tank.


After graduating from Bethune-Cookman University, Jibria started her Advocacy and philanthropic career at Florida Rights Restoration Coalition where she was the Organizing Administrator and quickly progressed to the Programs Administrator. As the Programs Administrator at Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Jibria had the pleasure of planning the 2019 Women’s Retreat, Advocacy day 2020 and the COVID- 19 Mask Distribution bus tour. In both roles at FRRC Jibria connected with grassroots organizations to solidify partnerships, developed, and maintained detailed project plans, organize events for returning citizens (formerly incarcerated) and directly impacted persons and process implementation.


Recently, Jibria was the 2018-2019 United Methodist Women Theressa Hoover Community Service and Global Citizenship Awardee and grant recipient, where she partnered with the United Methodist Women on a journey to dismantle specific policies that push minority children out of schools and into the prison pipeline. Jibria is also a recent graduate of Saint Leo University, receiving her Masters in Business Administration and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  


Currently, Jibria is now the Operations Manager at Clean Slate Initiative and will continue her advocacy career there.

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Brenda J. Darling


Brenda Jackson Darling is a retired Registered Nurse, graduate of the University of Florida. She is the mother of 2 sons, grandmother of 5. She is the Director of the Shekinah Seven Intercessor Prayer Group at Shekinah Faith Center and an Ordained Deaconess. Brenda enjoys gardening, bird watching and is a member of two book clubs.


Susan J. McClellan


Susan is a graduate of University of Florida and has a bachelors degree in Political Science. She is the wife of Rev. Kenneth McClellan, Pastor of Shekinah Faith Center, and the mother of Ashley McClellan, Founder of The Concrete Rose Foundation. Susan is a History Teacher at A.L. Mebane Middle School in Alachua, FL and has been teaching there for 28 years. Over those years, she has taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Susan is a collector of Cherished Teddies and Disney PVC’s. Her hobbies include journaling and scrapbooking.


Bianca Blackshear

Activities Director

I was born and raised in Tampa Florida. I am a graduate of Bethune- Cookman University. It is my pleasure to be such an integral part of Concrete Roses. There is no greater joy than to witness the education, elevation, and execution of excellence in the young ladies who are a part of Concrete Roses. My steadfast goal is to see these young ladies realize that they are the intrinsic fiber that will someday be the core for measurable and irrevocable change in our perplexing society while carrying out civic duty with insurmountable grace and pride.