Leadership must have a deep love for and commitment to young people.

Dr. Saundra Rhode

Founder and CEO

Dr. Saundra Rhode is the Founder and CEO of NextGen Empowerment Method, Inc. a desire and method to provide immediate assistance to young people and their families directly from a holistic approach in areas of emotional, psychological, behavior, and social needs; which provides “HOPE” in their situations.

My Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • A Master of Arts
  • Doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in Mediation and Conflict Resolution.

My Experience

With more than forty-two years of experience working closely with young people and their families, she is a FIRM believer, and have witnessed on numerous occasions, that the key to positive transformation is investing in the immediate needs and current challenges that families are experiencing.  

Dr. Saundra has provided services to families through one of her outreach programs of 15 years, entitled, “Raise the Curtain (RTC),” a 501c(3) nonprofit organization formed in 1987.  It was during these years that she found and directed a conflict resolution camp entitled “Hallelujah Week,” that ran for 10 years.  Each year she and her staff of 15 leaders accompanied 80 to 110 young people to various State camp sites for a week’s training, mentoring, and counseling; along with fun activities.  It was during these years that she had first-hand opportunity to impart the principles of integrity, trust and self-discipline to them.  

Following the camp, Ms. Rhode developed a follow-up program called “Keeping Them Charged” – a platform designed to encourage the young people who attended the camp, regarding their behavior at home, their progress in school, and their activities in their perspective communities.  

The organization changed its name in 2010 to “GATE 12, Inc.”- because of an added mandate to assist pregnant teens who were transitioning out of the foster care system and preparing them to become effective leaders.

Dr. Saundra also has a special gift to help break the personal bondages that women experience.  In 2014, she birthed a community outreach program for women called “Women in Labor.” Women in Labor’s mission is to provide a break-through and release from seeds of deception.  It helps women understand the background and root reasons why they may be going through challenges they do not understand; and to provide some strategies that might help strengthen the patterns and behavior of their child(ren) to enforce positive change.


Dr. James Rhode

Dr. Saundra unequivocally attributes her success with every ministry she had led to the strong support of her husband, Dr. James Rhode, who developed a plan to turn her dreams into a reality.  He encourages her and ensures that the goals and objectives of her vision were and are met. 

Dr. Rhode’s position on the Staff includes counseling, training, and mentoring.  He uses his elevator mechanic skills, his electrical training, carpentry expertise, and his entrepreneurial skills in home improvement to teach and train young men who wants to become entrepreneurs.  He often hires young men who are serious about job experience. Dr. James Rhode and his wife, Saundra have two grown children, Kenneth and Tanisha.

My Education

  • Attended National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) and received his license as an Elevator Foreman.

Contact Us

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3900-B Penn Belt Place, Forestville, MD 20747