John Swain is the Executive Director and Founder of The Next Level Foundation. Swain has always been committed to uplifting the community. In the late 1980's he began Getting Set for Success, an after-school motivational curriculum for youth in public housing communities, this program transitioned into the core of all Next Level's future programming.
Inspired by education and athletics, Swain was a collegiate athlete at the University of Miami where he graduated with a degree in Sociology. He continued on to play corner back for the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers from 1981 - 1987.
When he transitioned out of professional athletics he stepped into a career of professional athletics to empower youth through sports, education, and self-esteem. He served as a correctional officer and a supervisor in the juvenile justice system for more than 20 years. He also spent decades as a football coach at multiple Twin Cities High Schools including St. Paul Central, Minneapolis North, and the Academy of Holy Angels.
Coach Swain was an Ambassador of Youth Football for USA Football, a Master Trainer, and a Uniform Inspector for the for the National Football League.
Cherrelle Swain is the co-founder of Next Level Foundation. She is a filmmaker and creative strategist who works at the intersection of social impact, racial justice, and activism. Cherrelle consults with brands across business, nonprofit, business, and media to activate systemic change. Her background is in education, social entrepreneurship, racial equity, and philanthropy. She has deep experience in building public-private partnerships and is expert in connecting people and ideas to identify and solve problems.
As a writer, she covers social impact, entrepreneurship, and community activism. Cherrelle previously served as the Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships at Citybridge Education, where she worked to increase access and opportunity for education entrepreneurs of color resulting in multimillion dollar investments into school founders of color building equity centered schools and ventures in Washington DC. In 2020 she Co-Chaired Black Voices for Black Justice DMV fund to provide financial resources to community based activists in the Greater Washington region.
Cherrelle worked as an associate producer for Black Boys film, currently streaming on NBC Peacock and is currently working as producer for the upcoming feature length documentary Black Girls Film. She serves on the board of directors of two Washington DC based non-profit organizations, GOODProjects and One World Education.
Director of Communications
Natalie is founder of The CONNECT Network TV. As a media executive she leads a television network that creates inspirational content for women in business and connects female entrepreneurs. The CONNECT Network currently syndicates in television markets across the country, including South Florida, Austin & West, Texas, and the Twin Cities.
Her background is in radio, broadcast television, beauty, and fashion. She has worked as a news anchor and reporter a variety of local syndicates in Florida and Texas.
Natalie is the Vice President of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Theta Delta Omega. She is a wife and mother of three who resides in West Texas.
Stacy serves as the Treasurer for The Next Level Foundation. Stacy has deep roots in the Twin Cities, growing up in St. Paul, Rondo community. She is an active member of Camphor United Memorial Church where she volunteers with the youth church choir.
Stacy is a Certiﬁed Payroll Professional (CPP) handling payroll employment contracts with employees of the Minneapolis Public Schools where she is dedicated to providing comprehensive services for the Payroll and Finance Department of MPS. Stacy is also a member of American Payroll Association North Star Chapter.
Stacy leads finance efforts for The Next Level Foundation and serves on both the Football Camp and Golf Tournament committee and leading her own youth weekend programs to girls.