Matt is a New Orleans native with a lifelong love for all NOLA sports. After graduating from Ben Franklin High School, he went on to the University of Colorado-Boulder where he finished with a degree in Political Science. Matt then embarked on a five-year teaching career, including three years in New Orleans where he earned his teaching certification through the TeachNOLA fellowship program. Prior to joining Elevate, Matt worked as a fundraiser for IU-Health Positive Link, an HIV service provider where he oversaw a near 100% increase in corporate giving and re-imagined their special events. During this time, he also earned a Master of Public Affairs degree in Nonprofit Management from the top-ranked O'Neil School at Indiana University while also serving a fellowship with CCS Fundraising, a leading nonprofit consulting firm in Chicago. Matt is excited to return home to use his experience and education to improve the lives of youth in New Orleans.
A native of Atlanta, Reverend Irvin L. Bell and his wife Sarah relocated to New Orleans immediately after their wedding in 2006 to serve the Gulf Coast in recovery efforts. He served for five years as a site coordinator and city director for two year-long volunteer programs upon moving to New Orleans. Rev. Bell’s passion for urban communities has led him to serve on numerous boards and community organizations, including
as Chair of the Board for the Health and Education Alliance of Louisiana Board and as a board member of Morris Jeff Community School where he created the Community Engagement and Communications Committee. Bell founded and was the Executive Director of the Abundance of Desire Community Wellness, a nonprofit organization focused on holistically improving the lives of the underserved through the tenets of health, education, and spirituality. Irvin and his wife Sarah are the proud parents of Ruby, Anderson, and Olivia.
Head Coach and Trainer
Brian Simmons is entering his 29 year of working with youth from the states of Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Simmons has coached, mentored, and trained both female and male athletes in the sports of basketball and track. He has been especially successful in developing both confidence, knowledge, skill, and teamwork skills of athletes in his charge. These traits have allowed many to go on to play their sport at the next level.
Some of his personal accomplishments are both being a State Champion and Runner up as a head coach, State Champion as an assistant coach, and Nike EYBL 16U champion as an assistant coach.
Coach and Trainer
Anthony Goode grew up in Baltimore, Maryland where he attended Milford Mill Academy. At Milford Mill, he led the team to a state championship and two county championships while being named County Player of the Year and Student-Athlete of the year in 2010. Anthony then began his college career at St. Francis University (PA) before transferring to Xavier University in New Orleans. At Xavier, Anthony was a captain, helping the team to a regular season conference championship. He was a Second Team All-Conference player, Honorable Mention All-American, and Xavier University Division of Business’ Student Athlete of the Year in 2015. Since graduating Xavier with a degree in accounting, Anthony has worked in the business field while also having multiples opportunities to play professional basketball internationally.