Community Xccelerator prepares for launch

Submitted PhotoDeWayne Johnson, Community Xccelerator program director, discusses plans for the program with Margo Braski, Chick-fil-A Valdosta Mall owner and operator, and Jeanna Allums, head librarian for the Willis L. Miller Library. 

VALDOSTA — With much anticipation, the Valdosta-Lowndes community and surrounding area will have access to its inaugural Community Xccelerator program in the fall open to all adults to enroll. 

Community Xccelerator is a program that provides access to 20 weeks of "actionable insight and exposure for those enrolled," according to organizers. "By bridging knowledgeable resources within our community, participants are able to learn directly from local, subject matter experts.

"Each participant graduates from the program with new connections, financial empowerment, proven business advice and a greater ability to impact his or her community."

“We are pleased to offer this unique program for working individuals and college-level students in our community that want to accelerate their goals and stability,” said DeWayne Johnson, program director for the Community Xccelerator.

Johnson, who is the former program director for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Valdosta, has his sights on a broader goal, he said.

“As a result of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce deciding to go a different direction with the YEA program management by managing it themselves, their decision has afforded me the opportunity to have an impact on a wider audience in the Valdosta-Lowndes community,” he said.

Community Xccelerator teaches aspiring individuals, ages 18 and older, how to gain significant traction for their future by participating in a series of valuable, interactive sessions while receiving direct guidance from a curated list of regional leaders, Johnson said.

“The goal of the Community Xccelerator is simple. It is to help eliminate the common thought of ‘I wish I had learned this 10 or 20 years ago,'" he said. "The program accomplishes this goal by leading participants to experience success in their endeavors much quicker through exposure to a wealth of knowledge, proven to be vital factors for financial freedom and stability, community influence and personal development.”

Key partnerships are the lifeline of the Xccelerator program. The Community Xccelerator’s two primary partnerships are with the Willis L. Miller Library, the flagship location of the South Georgia Regional Library system, and Chick-fil-A Valdosta Mall, a leading brand in the food-service industry for quality food and hospitality, he said.

The Willis L. Miller Library is set to offer its state-of-the-art classroom space and a community-friendly setting to the Community Xccelerator program.

“The South Georgia Regional Library system is pleased to partner with the Community Xccelerator program to aid in the enrichment of our community’s residents," said Jeanna Allums, librarian. "The library focuses on providing quality, reliable information, which aligns with the program’s workshops led by professional experts. We love that program participants will have the opportunity to build their knowledge in an encouraging environment.

“The vision of the South Georgia Regional Library system is to provide essential community connections that inspire life-long learning for everyone. Programs such as the Community Xccelerator help make that vision a reality."

Additionally, Chick-fil-A Valdosta Mall has agreed to join the initiative by providing a variety of catered meals during every session of the program for everyone enrolled in the Community Xccelerator.

“Building stronger citizenship in our community will not only benefit those engaged in the Community Xccelerator, but also the local businesses involved in growing their influence," said Margo Braski, owner and operator of Chick-fil-A Valdosta Mall. "As a local young business owner, I have learned the hard way countless times, and I think the Community Xccelerator will equip individuals in all walks of life to overcome challenges before they arise.”

“We are all excited about the launch of such an initiative in the Valdosta-Lowndes community. The Community Xccelerator is a unique approach to an old concern in our area, and this team is committed to being an active piece of the solution,” Johnson said. “The Community Xccelerator will serve as an influential program and a driver for uniting knowledgeable resources with eager community residents and students.”

Champion sponsors and local presenters for various subjects, such as city/county leadership, eat-to-live nutrition, physical/mental health, financial literacy, understanding taxes, real estate investing, business development, branding and public speaking, are encouraged and invited to become involved in the program.

The Community Xccelerator is a program made possible by supporters of the H. DeWayne & Amanda Johnson BridgeBuilder Education Foundation. The program begins in late August for adults that enroll by Aug. 6. The program will have limited seating. Early enrollment is encouraged and is open now in order to guarantee a seat, organizers said.

An interest meeting open to the public to learn about the Community Xccelerator is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Willis L. Miller Library in community hall room 1. Light refreshments will be available for those who attend.

For more information about the Community Xccelerator, sponsorship opportunities, how to become involved, and how individuals can enroll early, contact DeWayne Johnson at or call (229) 588-0866.

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