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8/10/16 - 7pm Monique Dove

Mission: Create a movement that will change perspectives and attitudes of our at-risk youth between the ages of 8-21 through exposure to travel, culturalization, and education. Sustain a dialogue with these youth from all races through art and music exploration. Thee Equal Medium Mentorship Program aims to provide youth with the opportunity to learn more about other cultures and lifestyles as well as their own identities. Equal Medium Mentorship Program uses art as a medium to teach entrepreneurship, self-reliance, problem solving, and self-discipline. Equal Medium Mentorship Program gives youth the skillset, resources and partnerships needed to turn their lives around.  E.M.M.P. offers youth opportunities to continue their education, and achieve financial stability. E.M.M.P. is a program where troubled teens can learn to believe in their abilities and build trust in others through artistic entrepreneurship. Our goal is to strengthen bonds and build relationships with at-risk youth that will last for a lifetime.

Vision: To further develop Equal Medium Mentorship Program (EMMP) to serve as a catalyst for core services that will build on improving socialization skills, timeliness, anger management, community involvement and offer financial assistance with basic necessities for the youth through sales and partnerships. Equal Medium Mentorship Program aims to assure that youth will become empowered to share their stories of adversity and success, thereby encouraging a generation of leaders and innovators that have a sense of optimism to insure sustainable change within their demographic. Within ten years, E.M.M.P will be a national organization for youth who struggle with a lack of community sponsorship, financial instability, and continuous incarceration. EMMP will allow youth to exceed all limitations and provide enduring change for the young generation of the present and future.

History: Currently Equal Medium Mentorship Program hosts tutoring sessions in math and reading for students between seven and thirteen. Also valuable is a mentorship for the students between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one. Tutoring sessions are held three times per week for two hours at the James McHenry Recreation Center. Equal Medium Mentorship Program started May, 2014 when I was volunteering with the Baltimore City Recreation & Parks. As program director, I also work with Litmore Community Organization which has allowed me to host Saturday classes from 12:30pm to 2:30pm at their center since January, 2015.  Mentoring is scheduled around the availability of community members who have volunteered their time to our most worthy project. We provide one on one tutoring with the mentees, which make this program unique and effective while serving students coming from under resourced schools. E.M.M.P occasionally provides personal care supplies and meals to youth outside of the program who cannot afford the bare necessities in emergency situations. Monthly trips throughout various scholastic and explorative venues, along with college tours, are offered to mentees who show exceptional dedication. These trips provide opportunities for the participants to further develop self-esteem and gain life enrichment skills.

 I am currently a student at the Community College of Baltimore County pursuing studies in the college’s Human Services Program. Though my studies have expanded and formalized my knowledge base, my main reference is my own life.  I have experienced the same circumstances that E.M.M.P’s current participants are now facing. During this extensive period of my life, there were run-ins with the law and with principals. My fights in public reflected an intractability I displayed over a course of sixteen years.

 Letters from the Department of Juvenile Service, court cases, intake officers, and diversion programs seemed to be the future for me. I got arrested for malicious destruction, violation of probation, underage drinking, and domestic violence. Throughout my middle school and high school years, I was confronted with many hardships, including neglect, abuse, bullying, and living in a poverty-stricken neighborhood, which left me disheartened about ever achieving success. I acted out in school because my difficulty with learning and underperforming filled me with anxiety.  In 1997, I was struck by a vehicle and crashed into its front windshield. I suffered humiliating scars and was teased by my peers because of my appearance, and in response, I became aggressive and violent.

 My father intervened by enrolling me in a drawing class at the Park School. This course was a fresh start that allowed me to regain confidence as well as interact with other people interested in the arts and it exposed me to other cultures. E.M.M.P’s participants are a mirror for me.  I have personal knowledge of their struggles, their adverse environments, their lack of resources, and their needs, which makes me uniquely qualified to implement a program that addresses these challenges.  I am determined to provide them the guidance they need to pursue goals that are meaningful to them, to give them the support they need to stay the course to the fulfillment of those goals.

 I am presently President of Delta Alpha Pi at CCBC. An International academic honor society for students with disabilities in colleagues and universities. I believe the arts and socialization will be as life-changing for them as they have been for me. I am a full-time student scheduled to complete my Associates degree in Human Services in May of 2016.

 E.M.M.P is designed to help young people embody five principles: passion, persistence, determination, knowledge, and understanding.   There is a special emphasis on the arts, because artistic expression can provide a sustainable lifestyle and self-esteem.  As evidenced by my own life and the lives of countless others, the arts are a lifesaving tool. E.M.M.P strives to bring about enduring change in the lives of young people who might otherwise be consumed by the unfortunate circumstances that have been thrust upon them.  The changes these young people make not only improve their own lives, but  also have a positive impact on their communities and everyone with whom they come into contact as they pursue their goals.  E.M.M.P graduates would be in the position to reach back to those who are like their younger selves, fostering a continuum of hope and achievement.

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