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Our Team

We are passionate about empowering young people and creating experiences that foster higher-order thinking, innovation, and social responsibility. 

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Monica Freeman Lewis

Founder and CEO

Monica Freeman Lewis is a well-respected educator and entrepreneur with a passion for teaching and expanding student capacity through innovative learning tools like the Japanese abacus. She taught math and science for more than 20 years in urban and suburban settings, and owned and operated a Math Learning Center serving hundreds of students in grades K - 12 in her local community. She understands the value of good problem solving skills and as a trained School Psychologist has a diagnostic eye and edge in assessing students' skills and  improving achievement.


Her travels to a Soweto school in South Africa and Japan, the home of the soroban (Japanese abacus), further fueled her dreams and vision.  Her trip to South Africa established opportunities to support their under resourced schools and her trip to Japan yielded a global partnership with access to authentic soroban materials for project use, a unique program differentiator.

Joy Yancey

Administrative Associate

"The Abacus Project provides an opportunity to enrich the black youth with wealth. They say knowledge is power. I say the sharing of knowledge is power. To be a part of a movement whose primary focus is to diminish the achievement gap in black youths makes my heart rejoice."

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Joe Lewis

Corporate Sponsorship

"The Abacus Project is a way to introduce math to young learner's in a relaxing and fun way. Giving them an opportunity at a young age to be successful in math later in life."

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Antoinette Murphy

Marketing & Development Coordinator

"The Abacus Project represents an opportunity to advance, explore and uncover new paths for learning and overcoming educational obstacles. It means stepping into a new realm of solutions and positive problem-solving tools that expand far beyond the classroom. And for that, I’m grateful and excited to be a part of such a powerful and vital mission. Onward!"

Stephanie Wyche

Digital Marketing Associate

"The Abacus Project is a place of opportunity, learning, and creativity.  It is passionate about breaking the cultural barriers and closing the achievement gap in STEM education.  The Abacus Project is unique by using the Japanese abacus to teach mathematics, a fundamental part of STEM.  By starting early, we can better prepare and encourage our youth to become better problem solvers."

Najee Lewis

Digital and Data Metrics Associate

"I was blessed to grow up with parents and an environment that encouraged my mathematical curiosity and nurtured my confidence from a very young age. The Abacus Project is an opportunity to pass on that curiosity and help foster and grow mathematical confidence in the next generation of black and brown students, helping them open doors."

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Marcus Clark

Volunteer Coordinator

"For me, the Abacus Project represents a chance to impact lives. Building a solid foundation of skills is critical for later success. As a former social worker, I have seen how easily students can fall off track when that foundation is lacking. The Abacus Project not only helps to improve math skills, but confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills as well."

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