The formation of our rag-tag superhero crew, The Madvocates, arose out of a need to break cycles within our community in hopes of sharing our experiences with others around the world so they, too, can make an impact. Experience is an excellent teacher, and the road to peace has not been an easy one.
In 2019, my engineering internship was cut short due to emergency kidney surgery. In 2020, my leadership training was cut short due to the pandemic. That's two SIGNIFICANT time and money investments toward becoming a contributing member of society ended abruptly by unforeseen circumstances before they could bear fruit.
Though one might see it as unlucky, I am fortunate enough, however, to have lived long enough, tried and failed long enough, and been a minority in America long enough to know that luck favors the prepared; and, despite their best intentions, there are just some things our parents can't prepare their children for simply because they themselves do not know, and circumstances have directly and indirectly prevented them from being aware of what they "don't know they don't know".
As a child who had to overcome hunger, domestic violence, poverty, discrimination and more to graduate high school and college with honors, I know all too well about that "little something extra" it can take for people who look like me to get a foot in the door let alone a seat at the table.
Having since had children of my own--a 1-yr old daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a newborn son in 2022--I am more determined than ever to ensure that children just like them are equipped with every opportunity possible in a quickly changing world and that adults are equipped with the tools to guide them to heights beyond what they've achieved.
THIS IS WHY IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT WE, AS A COMMUNITY, EDUCATE LOW-INCOME TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS IN THE COMMUNITY ON THE UTILITY OF WEB3, NFT, BLOCKCHAIN & METAVERSE WHILE IT IS STILL EASILY ACCESSIBLE.
I was surprised to learn in 2020 that, though many people were just hearing the name "Bitcoin" for the 1st time, the Blockchain technology that supports it, NFT, Web3 Metaverse, etc, has been around since 2009. That was the same year I graduated from business school. Even so, the more I learned about cryptocurrency, the more obvious it became how little I and just about everyone I knew really understands how money works, grows, & circulates. Just the amount I learned within a few short months exposed how far behind in and unaware of the global economy the average person is in my community. With a few sometimes-minor adjustments, I've been able to get myself and others out of the perpetual cycle of struggle and begin the slow climb out of the deep crater dug by generations of inherited hardship and unacknowledged systemic oppression.
WHAT IS "NFT"?
"NFT" which stands for "non-fungible token" isn't quite a household name just yet, but those who arrived at the party early are already making millions in some instances. Even among those who have heard of NFT, only a small percentage of them understand the utility of NFT and the potential for Web3 beyond art & collectibles.
HOW DOES LEARNING NFT HELP THE COMMUNITY?
Among the biggest contributors to crime and violence in low-income communities are lack of practical formal education and training, lack of economic opportunities, and lack of activities for youth.
Not only does learning how to create NFTs and program for Web3 give young people something productive to do, but it also helps them earn money for themselves and their families even from the comfort of their homes--a safe working environment.
The current NFT online space is heavily built on a foundation of trust and community supported by the decentralized "transparent ledger" quality of Blockchain and peer-to-peer transactions. As people learn to operate in this way online, these qualities begin to spill over into real life as a culture of accountability and honest, direct business begins to sprout forth.
Acquiring skills in this area allows youth to become peer mentors to one another, teaching each other how to turn their creativity into participation in the global economy.
WHAT IS NFTEACHER?
I met Brent Craige a.k.a. Dr. Clipz after seeing one of his TikTok videos about NFT. I was thoroughly impressed with both Brent's Metaverse school, NFTeacher, as well as with Brent himself. As a young man in Louisiana, he has partnered with a team of highly capable individuals within the NFT community to make information on this growing field accessible to people of all ages and walks of life.
Students gain access to exclusive training videos, interviews, consultation and even a wearable item to use in Decentraland. Students have the ability to network with creators who are winning in the space and gain exclusive access to special events and giveaways (which has included an Oculus VR Headset in the past.)
HOW WILL YOUR CONTRIBUTION BE USED?
My overall goal is to begin training young people in Macon, GA, by Summer 2022 in applications related to NFT, Metaverse, and general programming. Target areas include Bloomfield, Fort Hill, and Pleasant Hill. The first step toward this goal will be completing the NFTeacher curriculum to begin adapting training to the youth in our area.
GOAL $300: NFTEACHER TUITION
Tuition for the NFTeacher training needed to create the youth program is roughly $300. 100% of this amount will go toward tuition to train a Madvocates Productions staff member.
PUSH GOAL $600+: NFTEACHER SCHOLARSHIPS
Any amount collected in excess of the needed $300 will go toward tuition for another trainee to complete NFTeacher and assist with teaching the youth.
EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!
Even if all you have is $5, it will make a huge difference. Things have been a little tight for me, personally, with my wife out on unpaid maternity leave until April and other recent setbacks.
NOTE: I am not a representative or directly affiliated in any way with NFTeacher.
For more info about The Madvocates and the Macongaverse, visit HERE