Reaching America's most at-risk young adults has been my mission in life since I was 19. Before there was a national outcry on the issue of high school drop-outs, I was actively working in the toughest areas of the U.S., helping America's most disenfranchised young people gain access to educational and work experience opportunities. After years of direct service work, I realized that the majority of policy and program approaches were simply not working.
Helping youth graduate from high school and enter the world of work has historically challenged the nation's workforce development and educational systems. Despite years of changes in youth culture, policy and programmatic approaches have basically stayed the same. Without the willingness to implement new and innovative approaches, these systems will continue to produce mediocre educational outcomes and doom a generation of young people to low wage jobs "“ the type that youth can find all on their very own.
I came to realize that the real world of most at-risk youth exceeded the imagination of most decision makers. Despite good intentions, we still have too many 8-Track policies in a MP3 World.
In early 2000 I created an unprecedented model for youth achievement. I interviewed former youth employment and training program graduates in order to determine what factors led to their success. I put together a 144 page manual for youth on success strategies for work and school. This ground-breaking project, MAKiN' iT, was distributed to hundreds of youth programs and schools across the United States. The MAKiN' iT brand is now well known among youth service providers, moreover, the MAKiN' iT Curriculum and the MAKiN iT Day program are in use by youth organizations seeking to reach and work with America's disenfranchised youth population.
The popularity of the MAKiN'iT program with young adults and the successful outcomes that have been experienced, has prompted me to continue this mission and launch MAKiN it 3.0. MAKiN' iT 3.0 will take the 12 years of research and knowledge behind the MAKiN iT Brand, my experience as an Ironman triathlete, and the collective wisdom of gainfully employed young adults and provide young people seeking options beyond the streets a new insight into achieving economic and educational success.
We plan to distribute 100,000 copies of MAKiN iT 3.0 to young people in selected cities. Our goal is to transform how young people see education and workforce success by using the power of peer influence, youth involvement and popular culture to do so.
The cost of such an undertaking is enormous. I need your support to make the MAKiN iT 3.0 Campaign a reality. Whether you are a corporate or individual donor, every $1 you contribute, will help get this needed effort to the young people who need it most.
Reach all Youth,
- jade baker
- Lorenzo D. Harrison
- (Sir) Charles
- shawna c johnson
- Rory West
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