Meet more of our Executive Team, Mark and Equilla!

YLA Executive team

Meet Mark Schick


Mark is the Owner and CEO of Master Mechanical and has been with YLA for half a year. 

I have been following Youth Leadership Authority (YLA) since 2019 when Executive Director Marie Tomao promoted YLA though a Marketplace Event I was MC’ing/attending. I was so compelled by the YLA story and its history that I knew it was an organization I wanted to sow into. And I immediately saw the fruit of my seeds in the programs and posts Marie would put out on social media. I knew I would continue to support this life-changing organization moving forward. 

I always want to associate myself with excellence – whether it be personally, professionally, or by those I align myself with. YLA is, by all observations, just that. The organization is excellent in every way, from the people associated with it, to its fearless and tenacious leader, and most profoundly by its model: Professional, Personal, Physical, and Spiritual Development. 

I was beyond humbled and honored to be asked to be a board member of YLA not long before getting invited to participate in “A Safe Place to Land – The Retreat.” To be afforded the opportunity to be involved at Mentor/Board Member level exceeded my expectations. And the retreat was an experience I will never forget. It galvanized my heart and solidified my future intentions as to my involvement with these young leaders that we at YLA have the opportunity to pour into. Being able to witness what a dramatic difference just two days made in these young lives was awe-inspiring. From the heart the young leaders showed during the physical training, to the passion exhibited during the constitutional debates, and further still in the development segments from the YLA model that keyed in and promoted oftentimes lost stalwarts, lifting them up and instilling within them the need for respect, manners & honor – it was truly something to behold.

To watch these young leaders transform in front of me, and to see even the seasoned participants grow, I am so proud and honored to be associated with YLA in any capacity. Through the programs and leadership of YLA our young leaders have such a bright future. I am not only a believer in YLA and what it does, I am a HUGE fan…


Meet Pastor Equilla Hicks

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Equilla is both an Associate Pastor and the Founder of the non-profit organization Lift One Up. She has been with YLA for a year as a Community Partner and has been on our Board for half a year.

I am honored to be in partnership with the Youth Leadership Authority (YLA) as a community leader and non-profit business owner. As an Associate Pastor at Church LV in Las Vegas, I have the opportunity to invest in the youth in our church community and see the benefits that the role of faith plays in their daily lives and decision-making. Our youth are experiencing numerous life challenges and they need our help in making the right decisions. Having a leadership role in our faith-based community has given me the opportunity to share spiritual wisdom, knowledge, and my life experiences, all of which have proven beneficial to them as they make choices that determine their present and future. I understand that the role of faith in each person’s life is personal, however, I believe it is vital. As YLA’s Founder, Marie Tomao, discussed with me the myriad of training programs within YLA, she knew that there was a missing component–faith. Marie recognizes that a foundation of faith will keep our young people grounded and hopeful as they pursue their dreams and goals.

As the Founder of Lift One Up, a nonprofit organization providing spiritual mentoring and a variety of programs, I understand the power of investing in today’s youth. When our youth know that there are leaders available to provide encouragement, resources, and spiritual guidance, it can make an incredible difference in how they see their future. Having the opportunity to come alongside YLA as a Board Member and community leader is a tremendous honor! I have an opportunity to impact the leaders of today and of tomorrow, and for that I am grateful.


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