Giving Season is here, and as 2021 comes to a close, we are approaching the end of our fifth year of existence as an organization geared towards empowering male youth in Baltimore. We cannot think of a better time to reflect on the progress that has been made and the impact of the support we’ve received throughout the year. On November 6, 2021, we hosted an annual retreat at Hotel Revival where we heard from the mothers of some of our youth leaders as well as our staff, which gave an overview of our accomplishments and insight regarding goals for next year.
The hope is that we continue to receive and increase support from corporate sponsors and individual donors, and build a strong board of directors in order to continue providing the best mentorship and leadership development opportunities for our male youth.
Are you interested in supporting I AM MENtality mentorship and leadership development programs? Click here to submit a donation!
What did I AM MENtality accomplish this year?
Our Program Director, Tiaira Robinson, and Program Administrator, Tiffini Suber, presented the facts at the annual retreat, and here’s what we learned: In FY 2021 we served a total of 166 youth with 320 hours of programming, which included 37 hours of academic support. I Am Mentality is responsible for engaging 43 of those youth in therapy. We also heard reassuring words from two I AM MENtality mothers in that they felt their children were safe and they benefited from having the mentors and development opportunities that we provide.
Below is a closer look at the programming we offered this year, thanks to support from community donors and partners. The areas of focus are Leadership Development, Financial Literacy, Health & Wellness, and Workforce Development.
With the goal of transforming male youth between the ages of 5-18 into young men who will be leaders in our community, creating a better, safer Baltimore, we spent a total of 49 hours working with the youth on building their communication skills, learning about civics and providing exploratory leadership opportunities and training.
The community partners who made our leadership development programs possible are:
- Camp Puh’tok
- Sophmore Coffee
- Doner Bros
- Reeds Fund
- Enoch Pratt Library
- Boardroom Chess
- The Hustling Creative
- SOY Baltimore
- Maryland Mentor
Financial literacy is a required course for our Community Investment Work Program (watch this video to learn more) which is designed to give male youth work experience, training, and money management skills. A total of 46 hours were spent working with the youth on financial literacy. Two of our very own mentors, John T. Sly, Partner, Waranch & Brown, LLC and Michael Jackson, Owner, A Little Faith Accounting & Tax Services, LLC taught these courses throughout the year, along with support from our community partners listed below:
- Ms. FinancialE
- Sarah Wallace, Strategic Planning Consultant
- Fulton Bank
- SC&H Group
- M&T Bank
Health & Wellness
Our largest focus this year, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, has been supporting the health & wellness of our youth leaders. We’ve spent 131 hours of programming working on physical fitness as well as mental health awareness. We were able to facilitate safe, in-person sessions that gave youth the opportunity to exercise with professionals and spend time talking to therapists. Here’s the list of partners who helped us carry out these efforts this year:
- Baltimore Rec & Parks
- Guardian Baltimore
- Outward Bound
- More Watters Co.
- Community Mediation
- Elevation Arts
- Mettle Works
- Son of a Dream
- Restoring Destiny
Through our Community Investment Work Program, we worked closely with the youth leaders for a total of 80 hours to build their skills in the workforce, along with their work ethic. We provided mentorship to ensure they were motivated to work, and the partners below gave them opportunities to learn and perform jobs in our community.
- KCI Technologies (Watch the video!)
- BGE: Sophomore Coffee
- Baltimore City: BMore Beautiful
- Dent Edu
- Mettle Works
How can you help?
During Giving Season we are asking for donations to sustain our youth male empowerment project. Executive Director, Darren Rogers’ vision for I AM MENtality’s future includes the purchase of a building that would be used for offices and our own space to offer youth development programs. In order to reach this goal, and to continue supporting male youth and their families in Baltimore City, we need your help. Please visit our donation webpage here, or you may donate through Cashapp, PayPal, or Venmo. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.