James (Agbara) Bryson

James (Agbara) Bryson

Self-Handicapping Behavior In The Workplace – Behaviors that Sabotage Employee and Organizational Success!


James (Agbara) Bryson is an award-winning educator, author, and national trainer. His passion and commitment for helping people to maximize their potential inspired him to be the founder of the New Millennium Institute’s Life Skills and Job Readiness Bootcamp and Illinois Central College’s Harvesting Dreams African American Male Retention Program. Harvesting Dreams produced “Student of the Year,” and received a City Proclamation from the Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.  


Mr. Bryson is an author and has written several books which include: “Stop Tripping: Empowering African American Males to Succeed,” “Stop Tripping And Start Living: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles,” “Stop Tripping Over Your Own Feet: The Guide to Academic Success,” and “Stop Tripping Over Your Own Feet: The Self-Sufficiency and Empowerment Workbook,” which is a resource for the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals.


Recently he has presented at the Illinois Association of Career, Technical Education, (IACTE) National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Youth Symposium in Chicago, IL, Teaching Academy Survival Skills (TASS) conference, Fort Lauderdale, and has been invited to present at the Illinois National Association of Afterschool Professionals. 


He is a member of Illinois Diversity Council, National Association of Workforce Professionals he focuses on diversity and workforce development issues. He is an inductee of Peoria’s African American Hall of Fame and is featured in Role Models: Profiles of Successful African American Professionals in Peoria, Illinois and received the Martin Luther King Drum Major Award for Student Advocacy and Illinois Central College’s Staff Diversity Award.


Mr. Bryson was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. He lived in public housing and attended Irving Grade School and graduated from Woodruff High School.  Although high school was a struggle Mr. Bryson graduated and received an athletic scholarship to Spoon River Community College. After completing his two years at Spoon River, he was able to transfer and continue his education by receiving another scholarship to Eureka College where he received a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences and a master’s degree in Social Science from Illinois State University.


Upon graduation from Eureka, Mr. Bryson started his illustrious career with Peoria Juvenile Court Services as a probation officer where he worked for a few years before moving on into the mental health field as a community mental health counselor. Mr. Bryson also worked for the City of Peoria in Workforce Development for over seventeen years. While working for the City of Peoria, he went back to college and received his master’s degree before retiring as a counselor and adjunct faculty from Illinois Central College. He also serves on numerous committees such as Greater Peoria Workforce Alliance, Peoria Area Diversity in Employment Action Team, (PADEAT,) and Central Illinois Re-Entry Taskforce, is a member of Heart of Illinois Human Resource Council, IACTC National Association of Workforce Professionals and Illinois Diversity Council. 


He continues to serve the community by being a member of several committees and provides training and workshops to numerous social service organizations, colleges, businesses, and corporations. Mr. Bryson received the 2017 Pride of Peoria Award for community leadership and his efforts in partnering and collaborating with many non-profit organizations and businesses along with his life skills and job readiness boot camp initiative which successfully developed a talent pipeline of job-ready applicants to employers.