The goal of the Youth Initiative Program for the City of Atlanta District 2 is to help shape the prospects of the youth. Teens who are in a troubled environment and circumstances, may need extra help acquiring skill sets that will make them competitive in today’s market place. Throughout my years, in various positions in life, I have worked with teens and mentored students. I noticed that most of these students before being mentored, did not possess the life skills necessary to remain competitive as they transitioned into adulthood.  I want to change that. I want to place myself into their surroundings, gain knowledge of their lifestyle, and prepare them with the correct mindset to thrive while transitioning into adulthood. Ultimately instilling in them a sense of pride and accomplishment which can only motivate them to be successful residents. Creating a culture of “Oneness” or community by giving back to the students/youth. After being elected as Councilperson for District 2 City of Atlanta, I would like to deploy a program capable of creating scholars, or at the very least young adults empowered with knowledge which demystifies everyday life in the working world, as they come of age.

The District 2 Youth Initiative Program, will benefit at risk youth between the ages of 14-18.  I will introduce a program geared toward the youth of Fulton County who may qualify for or already benefit from the Department of Family and Children Services(DFCS). We as a community must stop the “throwaway syndrome” once a child reaches the age of 18. If a child reaches 18 and does not receive proper guidance on self-governance, this 18 year old in the eyes of the law is an adult, but mentally they are still a child. The District 2 Youth Initiative Program will allow kids the opportunity to become viable adults through internships within the City of Atlanta throughout the different departments. We will also offer various training classes to equip our students with a knowledge base that preps them for today’s job market. This mentorship program invites students to a 4-year commitment.  The youth involved enter the program receiving a paid internship of minimum wage. The goals of the program are:

  1. Teach students how to manage their money, e.g.  maintain a bank account, and pay bills.

  2. Make them more health conscience of their food purchases and preparation.

  3. Teach them about credit and how to maintain a healthy credit score.

  4. Show them all of the requirements for purchasing and managing a home.

  5. Teach them the “ins and outs” of purchasing a vehicle e.g. insurance, car care, tags.

  6. Continued education in the form of technical classes, e.g. Microsoft Office, Web Development, Computer Networking.

  7. Bi weekly forums to discuss their progress and their challenges to ensure that each student gets the attention they need to nurture their success.

Each tier of requirements will have a partnership with institutions within City of Atlanta/Fulton County.  After completion of this mentorship, a youth will possess the tools needed to become a productive adult. The projected time line to start up District 2‘s Youth Initiative Program will begin upon my inauguration as Atlanta City Councilmember.  I believe your success as a Councilmember can only be based on the people that you assisted while in office, and the fulfillment you brought to their lives. I want to be able to change the outlook of the at risk youth, and promoting this community based organization is the key to their new healthy environment.  Throughout the years I have thrown myself into community service, neighborhood groups, and nonprofit organizations. I wish to give back to my community in the areas that have demonstrated a true need.

My future goals are to take this community program to the adjacent counties, then nationally. The time line for shifting my mentoring program to adjacent counties such as, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Clayton ranges from 10 to 15 years. Moving my Youth Initiative to a national level starting with neighboring states such as South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi may take at least 20 years.  My goal is to use Fulton County as a model. Then enact a progressive move to other counties, and states. The youth are the most valuable asset that the community can invest in. By cultivating and gifting at risk teens with the aforementioned skill sets, we can shape the future of the nation to include scholars and entrepreneurs that the world may have otherwise never known.