Nichele Harper O’Connor has nearly seventeen years of experience in Grant Management and Development.  Nichele holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (1994) in Business Administration and Economics from Southern University at New Orleans and a Master’s of Arts (1996) in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University.  After returning to New Orleans in 1997, she began her career in the Office of Mayor Marc Morial, as Deputy Director for Grant Development.  After working in the Mayor’s office for four years in 2001, she started another facet of her career at Dillard University becoming the Post Awards Administrator.  After three years, she was promoted to the position of Director of Title III Programs.  Nichele proclaims that she loves her job immensely!   In 2007-2009, she also served as Program Coordinator for Dillard University’s Community Development Corporation.  She revealed that she really loved working in the Gentilly neighborhoods surrounding the campus and was proud to take part in assisting with the various revitalization projects in the Gentilly community.   

Nichele is an active member of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church‘s Share the Harvest Food Ministry, Prison Ministry and has been to several prisons throughout the State of Louisiana.  She is also a member of the Greater New Orleans Chapter of “100 Black Women” and in her spare time likes helping organizations receive their nonprofit status.  Nichele has noted a favorite scripture that she lives by and it comes from the book of Matthew, 6:33 it reads: “But seek ye the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” 

Minister Raymond D. Bailey is truly a gifted and talented Servant of God.  His vision is to serve the community through his vast skills and leadership ability.  Pastor Bailey accepted Jesus Christ at the age of eleven.  As he journeyed through life he realized that fulfilling the will of God in his life was important.  He accepted God’s call to the ministry in October, 1994 while driving an eighteen wheeler on the road to Florida.  Pastor Bailey was ordained on September 13, 1998.

Minister Bailey served as First Assistant to Bishop Robert C. Blakes, Sr., Pastor of New Home Full Gospel Church.  He also served at Cornerstone United Methodist Church as the Liturgist, Instructor of Wednesday “brown bag” noon Bible Study, Conference Teacher at Bridging the Gap and Chairperson of Evangelism. Minister Bailey, moved to Houston, Texas after Hurricane Katrina.  While in Houston, he served as an Associate Pastor at Fountain of Praise in Texas under Pastor Remus Wright.  While serving there he was presented an opportunity to be one of the Speakers at a Mission Church in Brazil.  He had the pleasure to speak on the lawn of the Whitehouse in Washington, D.C.  He also served as Revivalist in Maryland and Virginia.  His goal is to bring forth stability to a community that would influence a city, state and the nation.  Minister Bailey realizes his accomplishments are due to the favor of God on his life.  His favorite scripture is I Corinthians 15:10 “But by the Grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me”.

Minister Bailey is blessed with a unique way of communicating God’s Word.  He is the Founder and Executive Director of Strength For Today a
501(3)c organization that was originally a local New Orleans Radio Program that began in the 1990’s and was entitled “Strength for Today”.  When the radio program ended the name didn’t.  Pastor Raymond D. Bailey, had another vision.  His twenty-two-year journey would take him around the state of Louisiana and in the state of Texas institutional correction facilities to spread the good news of God.  He would later develop his passion for ex-offenders by developing a mentoring and rehabilitation program to help address recidivism. Minister Bailey believes that if you witness and share the word of God with an ex- offender than one third of the rehabilitation process is done.  He shares that the other two components are teaching the ex-offender life-skills and developing their “trade” and finally strengthening their family. 

Prison Ministry is a strong desire for Minister Bailey. He was Director of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church’s Prison Ministry for over 10 years, when he was a member there.  He has held revivals at the city and state levels in prisons in Louisiana and in the state of Texas.  He served as the Commencement Speaker for the Theology School at Angola Penitentiary in 1998.  He also served as Volunteer Chaplain in several prisons.  It was through this work that he would discover his true purpose for “Strength For Today”.

Minister Bailey also enjoys speaking at all levels of educational institutes, small businesses, churches and penal institutions.  He is also the Founder of R.D. Bailey Enterprise, LLC. a motivational / consultant public speaking group, is a man after God’s own heart and is known by people as a dynamic and exciting speaker who motivates people to change. 



Monday and Wednesday at 9:00 AM and  every fourth Saturday at 12:00 PM 

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Your support helps bring the community together and provides an everlasting impact.  


Minister Raymond D. Bailey 

Our main objective is to work with law enforcement in the reduction of recidivism, both on the local and state level, by addressing Antisocial Behavior, Antisocial Personality Patterns, Antisocial Cognition, and Broken Family Relationships in our pre-release training to male and female inmates, and providing continued support to them after their release.  

Program Information

Our  program helps those that want to change their lives and the community. 

Dorothy Louis is a Volunteer, Mentor and Life Coach with Strength for Today Mentoring Program.  She has served as a Chaplain for the Orleans Parish Women Prison, where she mentored female inmates.  Dorothy has worked in various community services positions, including organizing and directing the Welfare Right Organization.  While there, her duties included mentoring females in the areas of job readiness and how to have high self-esteem.  She is also a Community Activist that has worked and volunteered with individuals that struggle with drug dependence and alcohol abuse.  She is a former Overseer of the Women with Vision organization that provided a place of safety for women with a desire to live a drug free life.  Throughout her life, she continues to be an advocate for justice for the under privileged.  She is also known as a woman of God that is always willing to mentor others on how to sustain a life with purpose outside the prison walls.  Presently she is involved with the intervention of post-release and pre-release of incarcerated persons, as it is her personal desire to see the reduction of recidivism rate. 

Dr. Mary White eloquently combines education and empowerment to motivate anyone she comes in contact with. One of her greatest strengths is as a professional development provider.   Her ability to deliver high energy and audience-engaging presentations with a dash of humor is significant.  Dr. White speaks Spanish and works well with diverse audiences.

Her travels abroad include an educators training in Nairobi, Kenya, academic work in early literacy at the University in Madrid, Spain, research in early childhood as well as the justice system in South Africa. Her studies have also included a fellowship at Harvard University. Presently, she is an Education Outreach Coordinator with the University of Texas Health Science Center, an Adjunct Professor with Capella University, and a Master Trainer with the Texas Trainer Registry.  As a Certified Chaplain with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 20 years, her current research concerns itself with the high rates of female incarceration and recidivism.

She has earned Bachelors, two Master degrees in education, and a Doctorate from Texas Southern University. Dr. White is currently the CEO of Diversified Educational Consultants.

Strength For Today©® is a 501(c)(3) service-driven mentoring program, which was established to provide holistic support to inmates and returning citizens

​Whatever happened yesterday is history.  Whatever happens tomorrow is a mystery.        ALL WE REALLY HAVE IS TODAY!


Annual men's retreat helps us build up our men to enhance their leadership skills. 

​Our Board Members