The Foundation


We Exist to Repair the Relationship Between Education and Under-recognized Communities.

Through strategic planning, cultural educational programming, event production, and fundraising, we aim to resource classrooms, develop educators, and provide access to inspiring educational experiences.

Our Ecosystem & Values

Our values are the foundation for everything we do, and we are guided by our responsibility to pay it forward to ensure the success of future generations.
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Integrity is the foundation of character and the cornerstone of trust. It enables us to be honest and truthful with ourselves and others. We root ourselves in leading with honesty and serving people with respect, a clear conscience, and a sense of personal responsibility. 
Equity and Inclusivity
Education and access should be equitable and inclusive. We believe that all students and teachers deserve access to resources, learning environments, and communities that would enable them to succeed in the future as well as enrich them in the present. We embrace diversity and value individuality in one another and in the communities we serve.
We embrace bold creativity and innovation that can offer new approaches, solutions, and services to help fill the gap between education and underserved communities. We’re inspired by change and look for innovative ways to collaborate with partners to make it happen.
We are passionate about empowering young people as the next generation of creators, curators, innovators, and leaders in their communities and beyond. Our programming centers the voices of students and educators. We help unlock their potential by championing them to learn beyond the classroom and set their own path to success.
Community Commitment
We are better together and we value the transformative impact of collaboration. By working together, fostering open communication, furthering understanding, and building caring and supportive environments, we can achieve something bigger than we could alone.

Board of Directors

The Sound Check Foundation’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of dedicated individuals who are focused on building a better community through education and leadership development. Each member is passionate, entrepreneurial and committed to using his/her resources to help curate safe spaces throughout the community that empower students and educators to thrive.

Learn more below about the individuals responsible for guiding and championing The Sound Check Foundation.

Sheldon A. McLean, M.ME

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer
Sheldon McLean (he/him/his) is an educator, clinician, and consultant specializing in the intersection of music education, mentorship and entertainment. As a multi-skilled project manager with a passion for community development through youth, he currently serves as a consulting director at Dillard Center for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
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Very active in the music community, educators, peers, community members and music professionals of various backgrounds frequently boast of Mr. McLean’s talent and innate ability to inspire, motivate and connect with students. Mr. McLean maintains a community-first philosophy, and his ensembles and projects have earned a national reputation as a model of excellence. Recently, McLean was nominated for a GRAMMY Music Educator Award and was named a 2021 Top 5 Finalist for Broward County Public School’s Teacher of the Year award.

Sheldon’s passion and diverse experiences in education have led him to become the Founder and Director of The Sound Check Foundation. His sincere interest in developing infrastructure that provides equitable access to inspiring educational experiences is the driving force of the foundation’s existence. Mr. McLean earned his Bachelor’s Degree (B.S. 2010) from Florida A&M University (FAMU), his Master’s Degree (M.M.E. 2015) from The Florida State University and is currently pursuing his doctorate in Instrumental Conducting at The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

Erin N. McLean, Ph.D.

Vice Chairwoman/Chief Operations Officer
Erin McLean (she/her) is a native Floridian who was raised by her mother and grandmother. Stemming from a family primarily composed of women in education, Erin learned early, the value of quality educators and educational experiences. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and doctorate from the University of Florida, Dr. McLean completed postdoctoral training at the University of Kentucky.
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Having experienced educators throughout her academic journey who were committed to and motivated by student success, Dr. McLean deemed it a responsibility to “pay it forward” by becoming an educator in her own right, serving as a teaching assistant, tutor, mentor, collegiate guest-lecturer and graduate course co-director.

As an African-American woman thriving in S.T.E.M., Dr. McLean has overcome various barriers facing double-minorities, and has recognized the value of guidance, mentorship, and allyship by those who have proven instrumental in her personal, academic, and professional development. Independently and through the work of The Sound Check Foundation, Dr. McLean is committed to making a transformative impact in under-resourced and under-served communities.

Emerson E. Bookal, M.D.

Emerson Bookal (he/him/his), born in Jamaica and raised in South Florida, attended the University of North Florida in Jacksonville for his undergraduate studies.
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During this time, Dr. Bookal served as the Vice President of Students Without Borders, where he organized local outreach activities as well as international service trips. Following graduation, he worked in higher education administration as an Associate Director of Admissions.

Years later, he transitioned back into medicine and earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. After medical school, Dr. Bookal began his residency training in Internal Medicine with the University of Central Florida at Ocala Regional Medical Center. Dr. Bookal has a passion for medicine, music, education and service.

Brithney Johnson

Brithney Johnson (she/her), Executive Director of the Community Education Alliance (CEA), draws on over 15 years of experience managing and implementing initiatives, while creating collaboration among community-focused organizations.
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Through her leadership role, she provides resources and support to improve the educational and life experiences of at-risk children in minority communities. The CEA is a community-based organization that works with Broward County Public Schools and other educational and youth organizations to enhance the educational performance of students through the use of supplemental curriculum.

This curriculum is directed towards literacy, mentorship and exposure to broader cultural experiences. As a South Florida native who has lived and worked extensively in her community, she understands the importance and impact of making meaningful and sustainable improvements for students and their families.

Ransom D. Johnson II

Ransom Johnson II (he/him/his), is a native of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Ransom has over 15 years of professional experience in the capacity of Leadership, Education, Finance, and Business. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University and an M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University.
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He most recently completed a Master of Education Leadership program from the University of West Florida. While attending FAMU, Ransom was a member of the Incomparable Marching 100 and was appointed freshmen section leader. The leadership skills developed from that position led him to multiple leadership roles throughout his career, including Operations Management for Walgreens Drugstores, Collegiate Educator for Miami Dade College, and Transformational Leader for Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS).

Within MDCPS, the 4th largest school district in the U.S., Ransom was selected – over nearly 20,000 other educators – as Teacher of the Year and became a semi-finalist. Ransom’s passion for education and leadership has led him to build a business in finance where he empowers and educates people on financial literacy. He is also a proud member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. His mission is to impact change through education and mentorship.

Dan Mathis, J.D.

Dan Mathis (he/him/his) is currently a Policy Fellow at Next100 and a lecturer in the Sustainability Management program at Columbia University.
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At Next100, his work focuses on the intersection of housing and climate change with a particular focus on climate adaptation policies and disaster recovery efforts. He also has a range of experience as a housing and community development advocate working in communities around the world—including prior stints with law firms in Washington, DC and New York City, and with the Legal Resources Centre of South Africa.

Dan earned degrees from Florida A&M University, the Hough Graduate School of Business at the University of Florida, and the University of Michigan Law School.

Colleen A. Wedderburn

Colleen Wedderburn (she/her) is a first-generation American but second-generation educator. Born and raised in New York, she received her Bachelor of Arts from Howard University and her Master of Science in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
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Working diligently to end the systematic oppression within the American education system, Colleen dismantles the School to Prison Pipeline daily by creating access and opportunity for her scholars.

With over 10 years in education, she serves as a mentor, step coach, the Instructional STEM and Special Education Lead, the Middle School Climate and Culture Coordinator, and an academic coach for pre-service educators. Colleen continues her advocacy and social justice work as an EdD student in the Curriculum, Culture, and Communities Program at Loyola University.


Education & the Arts are Essential & Transformative

We aim to fill the gap between education and underresourced communities and re-present education in a format that is more inclusive, culturally engaging, and inspirational to all students.

Focusing On Development

By focusing on the development of educators and the whole student, The Sound Check Foundation  curates and inspires safe spaces throughout the community that empower students and educators to thrive.

Join The Foundation

We value the transformative impact of collaboration.
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Our Values

Comprehensive Brand
There’s no better way to lead than with integrity. We root ourselves in leading with integrity and serving people with respect.
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What We Do

We are working to create a better world through programs that educate, create opportunity, and spark change. Guided by evidence and personal experiences, we develop novel approaches intended to provide AIR – Access to Inspiring educational experiences and Resources for educators and students.