Tae and Tray are identical twins from Compton, California. They were placed in foster care at a young age and separated from their nine siblings. Recalling their experiences emancipating out of foster care at the age of 18, they acknowledge they were ill-prepared for the rigors of college and financial responsibilities. Ten years later, these young men have created an organization that fills the gap they once experienced.
They created Twinspire to educate young adults to become self-sufficient scholars and change agents.
The Thompson twins are engaged in policy work, philanthropic endeavors, and sit on several non-profit boards in their community. They have been featured in several magazines, and most recently sat down with Kelly Clarkson to share more about Twinspire. Tray currently works in finance and Tae works in higher education.
As the co-founder and active board member of Twinspire, Tray also sits on the board for two other local non-profits; United Friends of the Children and Cal State Northridge Alumni Association. Demonte “Tray” Thompson mentors foster youth heading to college on the importance of budgeting.
Born and raised in Compton, CA, Tray is one of 11 siblings and knows the difficulties foster youth face having been one himself. Today, Tray champions movements that give black men, foster youth, and people from his community the opportunity to seek higher education.
Tray is currently a Vice President of Producer Development at AIG, providing training to financial advisors in the financial services sector.
Demontea Thompson is the Executive Director and co-founder of Twinspire. Demontea previously served as Resident Director at Cal State Los Angeles, where he worked with leaders across the campus to enhance the services for first-generation and foster youth students.
Having been in foster care, he has used his experience and knowledge to author books and policy reports to improve services of foster youth around the nation. Pursuing his Master’s degree in Postsecondary Administration at USC served as a catalyst for his transformative work with youth. His TEDxTalk articulates his passion for educational equity.
He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at UCLA in Urban Schooling to continue system change for foster youth and marginalized students through Twinspire.