Why, "a safe place" Afterschool (Now called The Power House)
The Cause Born The after school program, "a safe place" Afterschool, was born from my son's school experience. He hated it after the first grade. I recognized his artistic ability and interest very early. I also recognized he learned very fast when he was interested. My home became a movie set and a set designer's workshop. He possessed multiple learning styles but the dominant styles are tactile and kinesthetic. I wondered how many other children, especially young men, had this same experience. After researching learning styles, I discovered African-American and Hispanic young men are predominately tactile and kinesthetic learners. Traditional classrooms are not designed for these styles. The result: behavior problems and low achievement.
Long before President Obama coined the phrase, "Yes, we can!, 'a safe place" pressed the students with "Yes, you can IF you TRY!" There was no pressure for grades or perfection; just a fervent try.
The Cause Verified
The young men who have participated in our program have been encouraged to do their best. They were treated like the valuable gifts that they are. Respect was expected from them and was given to them. Attitudes and behavior changed. Prison was not the only option. They were shown other options for their life. They were given the power to make the choice for themselves. You can help us help them. Opportunities to donate your time, skills, and finances are available. For financial donations, click the "DONATE" tab. To volunteer your time and skills, click volunteer.
The Cause: Moving from Prison Beds to Corporate Heads
One day the young men were discussing their future and one of them said, "When I go to prison...." I freaked. What do you mean "When..?" Why do you think you are going to prison? The response: "All the men I know have gone to jail so I figured I was suppose to go." I inundated him with pictures of black men who did not go to jail but went to college or vocational school instead. He started talking about a different kind of future.
A third grader, let's call him David, was presented with the task of reassembling a computer in our P.C. Bootcamp for Kids. He said, "I can't do this because I am too dumb." I asked him, why he thought he was dumb. He told me that his teacher and his family said so. This made my heart very sad. I asked him to try and when he needed help to just ask. I assured him that we didn't think he was dumb. He was a joy to be around but he didn't have any confidence. He tried. He accomplished the objective with minimal assistance. More importantly, his self concept changed. He no longer believed he was dumb. For the next three years he tried everything without hesitation. He graduated from 6th grade and looked forward to junior high school. We cannot guarantee David's future but we have given him hope and confidence to continue to try. He discovered that he was capable of learning. He was not dumb. We taught him that he learned differently and he had to use projects and visuals to learn. His reading improved and prison probability decreased.
David is not the only young man whose attitude changed from hopelessness to hopefulness.