About Us

Nakisha Hobbs is the Principal and Co-Founder of Village Leadership Academy (VLA), an independent elementary school where the primary focus is to transform urban youth into global leaders. A Chicago native and fourth generation educator, Nakisha began her journey in community activism as an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In response to the negative impact of high-stakes testing, Nakisha mobilized a group of peers to develop an African-centered tutoring program designed to empower marginalized youth. Nakisha continued her passion to address inequities in education by co-founding It Takes A Village Early Learning Centers in 2004 and VLA in 2007. This pipeline educational system, which is currently birth through eighth grade, serves over 700 students and redefines the purpose of urban education. Innovative components of the school include a practical approach to leadership development; a spiraling world studies and social justice curriculum; and access to global travel through the World Scholars Program. Nakisha Hobbs is also a founding Board Member of Child Care Advocates United (CCAU), a nonprofit organization formed in February of 2015, representing more than 400 child care businesses concentrated in Northern Illinois.




One day Tamera wanted to make God laugh so , she told him her life plan. The plan was to leave a legacy as an advocate and educator of children. For over twenty years, she served as CEO to a chain of successful child care facilities in the Chicagoland area. Her degrees in English from Fisk University and graduate degree from National Louis University in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy, reflect her preparation for her plan. God responded to her, “Im not through with you.” “Get ready, things are about to change.” Never in a million years did she think she would be in film, theater , or radio as anything other than a ticket holder.
After declining a movie role from her sorority sister/talent manager, Veryl, Tamera’s entire career plan was about to change. Veryl wouldn’t take no for an answer and her persistence was the major factor that shifted Tamera’s career course. Instead of watching her students create art in the classroom, she began to create her own path in front of the camera and on stage. She has had roles in several movies; But Deliver Us From Evil, Kismet, Traffic Safety School, Acts of Love, Fighting Injustice, Captive State and Watchdog. Several stage plays; Judgement Call, God Help Me Look to You, TV productions: Fatal Attraction (the series), Chiraq (the series), and a national Toyota commercial.
Tamera’s vivacious personality warms the hearts of her listening audiences around the globe on radio and the people attending the events she hosts. From Internet radio, to Crawford Broadcasting on 106.3 fm-a weekly show, (Darryl Cooke Live) to her present daily show on I Heart Radio, (The Brunch Bunch) Inspiration 1390 am, Tamera is carving her own niche in the industry. In her words, “I am a proud single mother and my best accomplishment to date, is being the mother to my wonderful daughter, Modi.” You will never catch Tamera ending a show without saying “I love you Modi.”

 Anita Andrews-Hutchinson, along with her partners, has added a new word to the Webster dictionary  – “edupreneur.” As an educator, she is the co-founder and Board Treasurer of Village Leadership Academy, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 independent elementary school in the South Loop of Chicago, IL. Designed to provide all city youth the opportunity to experience a high-quality private education that is usually only reserved for the affluent, Village Leadership Academy’s goal is to prepare tomorrow’s world leaders today. As an entrepreneur and serving as their Chief Operating Officer,  Anita has successfully

envisioned, facilitated financing, and managed three existing businesses: It Takes A Village Child Care Services, Inc., It Takes A Village Early Learning Centers, LLC, and It Takes A Village at River City, LLC.  In operation for a little over 15 years, these three early learning centers represent “The Gold Standard in early childhood education.” Through this family of schools, (It Takes A Village sites and Village Leadership Academy) she manages the care and education of over 700 children and employs more than 160 staff members. 

In 2015, Anita and a group of amazing women who believe that childcare is an essential service co-founded Child Care Advocates United, a non-profit professional organization for child care providers and early childhood educators in the State of Illinois.  Representing over 300 small businesses, Anita has been instrumental in not only promoting industry excellence by supporting providers in delivering high quality educational services to children and their families; but also representing those businesses as their advocate in State and City commissions and forums.

In 2017, Anita was honored to expand her reach in the educational realm by serving as a board member of STEMSpring Academy located in Tampa, Florida. Not only does she believe that high quality education is a universal right, but it is critically important for all children to have STEM based curriculum exposure in addition to developing leadership skills that can traverse any discipline. She is excited to be a part of an institution that will do so.