Youth violence is summed up in one statement: “We’re hungry and all that you have given us is an appetizer to appease our appetite to stop the rumbling. You have not given us the full meal to make us full and this is why we keep coming back.”
As long as the kids do not have any activities, they do not have a mentor and they do not have the community engaging into their lives then they will continue to “just have fun”. Yes, it was said and they have the right to say it. Why? Because they have asked, they have begged and the only response we can provide is to take away after school activities. What will that resolve? It will only enlarge their territory to do more damage. Then who will we blame again, the kids.
We are not listening to their cry. No, we cannot save all kids but we can save more than what we have now. It was a time when you had drama class, ROTC, youth activities, more sports activities that did not cost parents their arms, legs and a kidney to get their child involved. It’s understandable that the economic status has changed and income is much needed but when you charge so much, you are denying the students who are in low poverty level to be involved. Those are the kids you need to touch.
We make excuses all the time about what students are doing wrong but how many are out on the front line without charging as much if any, to make a change and help? Taking away after school activities and not letting programs in the school is not the answer. During a forum with 6 teens, they stated if they had a mentor or if they had more sustainable and consistent community leaders who cared about their success, they would be less likely out on the streets. They want adults to be held accountable for their child’s actions, they want adults to install common sense and make them conscious of their activities and behavior and most importantly they actually know there are repercussion but they also know they will not be held accountable for it; therefore, they will continue to do so.
Kids are yearning for that responsible role model, that person that will hold them accountable for their actions, that leader that will be there to show the right path and that parent that actually cares. Now what will you do to make a change? Will you continue to give them a nugget happy meal or will you start giving a Filet Mignon? Stop whining and do something!
Rising Student M.A.D. gives the community, teachers, parents and their peers the opportunity to nominate a student who has made a difference in the community, at school, or even at home helping their family to strive to change. Students are often embraced as juvenile delinquency only because they don’t have the right guidance. With Rising Student M.A.D. you will see these students are the opposite and have been willing to change their environment by making a difference.
Meet Christopher Wilson, 13 years old and a student at Colonial Middle School with a 4.5 GPA! Yes, over the barometer with a 4.5 GPA and striving to do better. We met up with Christopher at the Benjamin Hooks Library to talk about his nomination and winner of Rising Student M.A.D. (Making A Difference) in the community. Christopher was in his sharp light blue suit prepared for an interview. We asked Christopher what he thought made him different from other 13 year old students. His response was he had 2 different ears that made him hear further and what he felt made him understand his lessons better.
With a 4.5 GPA, a joy for reading books such as The 39 Clues Series and books by Andrew Clements and a peer reader for the non-profit organization, Successful Single Moms Memphis and Smart Start Family Literacy Program, you wouldn’t think he would have time to have fun with his friends but he does! He takes time out to be a typical student by playing games, going skating and just texting each other. He is known to his friends as the “problem solver”. They go to Christopher for advice which is amazing to me as he is only 13 years old. Beautiful! His most noted quote to his peers is “Don’t give up but strive for the success.” His mother, Irene Ford, has really been a great motivator and role model for him to follow. He sees her always working to help others, reading and making a difference so he directs his path to emulate her.
One question we asked Christopher is what do you think teens need to do to improve the community? His response…volunteer and help the elders. He helps his 90 year old grandmother with chores around the house.
Each month we will spotlight the winner of Rising Student M.A.D. on our website http://www.ucanofmemphis.org
, media and other social sites. The student will also volunteer with the organization representing Rising Student M.A.D. At the end of the year, we will have all Rising Student M.A.D. attend our Christmas Gala December 20, 2014 at Wingate by Wyndham. Only one of the Rising Student M.A.D. will be honored a small scholarship for a college of their choice! Deadline to nominate a Rising Student M.A.D is the 27th of each month. The winner will be announced and featured on ucnanfmemphis.org at the end of each month. Send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Ricky Floyd, Jr.
Galesky the artist!
As you know each month we spotlight a Rising Student M.A.D. (making a difference) in the community. We are a little behind but have caught up with our April’s Rising Student M.A.D, Galesky AKA Ricky Floyd, Jr. We met him and his family at The Office @ Uptown located downtown 594 N. 2nd Street to talk a little about why he felt he was making a difference in the community.
Galesky is only 15 years old and changing the lives of many young teens in the community by his poetry. Born as Ricky Floyd, Jr., he attends Central High School as a 10th grader and enjoys writing and rapping about poetry. He has recently performed at Memphis Business Academy in Frayser for their teen summit. The students were able to relate to his poetry and even asked could he come back to give more inspirational thoughts. Galesky started writing at a young age; he considered himself the “nerdy type” and didn’t want to follow the crowd. So he wrote poetry. He felt you should own up to your own style of nerdiness and just promote being you.
His plans after high school is to attend one of many great art schools in Memphis, Visible College of Arts located in Downtown Memphis. He wants to perfect his craft in poetry and even try some other instruments such as bass and acoustic guitar.
Watch UCAN’s interview to see more and hear his poetry, which has received over 1,200 hits on his YouTube Channel!
If you know a student in middle or high school that is making a difference in the community, nominate them by sending an emailing telling us why you think this student should me a Rising Student M.A.D.
MEET MARCH 2014 RISING STUDENT M.A.D (MAKING A DIFFERENCE)
Kennedy Anderson is the exception of building a new brand. Kennedy is a sophomore at Central High School with a 3.8 GPA. She enjoys theater, writing and public speaking which lead her to UCAN of Memphis as the 2nd lead in the anti-bully play “You Can’t Hold Me Down” which was March 8 at Le-Moyne Owen College. Kennedy was nominated for Rising Student M.A.D. by her tenacity of change. She was quiet and timid when we were first met but before hitting the stage, Kennedy became this fierce and confident young lady who was willing to help make a difference.
Kennedy stated, “After joining UCAN of Memphis, I have been more active in the community. I was a model at the Memphis Black Expo and I recently volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help the duties of building new homes.” She enjoys giving back to the community and helping others. She also believes it would be less teen violence in the community if more teens volunteered in the community like with organizations such as UCAN of Memphis. This has been the 2nd Rising Student M.A.D. that has made this statement; so if teens are saying it what can we do to make it happen?
As a 16 year old, she said she is very mature for her age. She enjoys being fashionable with her friends but she also knows the limits. She was taught well and wants to emerge that same wisdom to others her age. After graduation she plans on going to a 4 year college to major in journalism. Perhaps she could be our intern for Rising Student M.A.D. ?
Rising Student M.A.D. exemplifies a student who is willing to make a difference in their community. Kennedy Anderson has done just that! If you know a Rising Student M.A.D., nominate them by the 27th of each month to be spotlighted on our website www.ucanofmemphis.org, media and other social sites. The student will also volunteer with the organization representing Rising Student M.A.D. At the end of the year, we will have all Rising Student M.A.D. attend our Christmas Gala December 20, 2014 at Wingate by Wyndham. Only one of the Rising Student M.A.D. will be honored a scholarship for college of their choice! Send your nomination to email@example.com.
Interviewed by Christy
Being beat up, pushed around, name calling and more are somethings kids go through in school and at home. But what if it went to far and that child could not take it anymore and decided to commit suicide from it. What would you do? What would you say? The anti-bullying play “You Can’t Hold Me Down” was featured Saturday, March 8 at LeMoyne Owen College. The play showed why bullies bully and how the victim is traumatized from the long term torture.
Many said this play hit home with their own child. It gave them light to know how to help. Memphis Police Department provided resource material for those who needed help. As parents and educators we have to remember that before a child can learn reading, math, social studies and more, they have to have their social skills taught. Meaning if a child has low self esteem due to bullying, you will have a higher drop out rate because they can’t concentrate which could lead to an even higher suicide rate. Identify the signs and get help.
To get more information about UCAN of Memphis contact (901) 262-8642 or visit the website at http://www.ucanofmemphis.org
Rising Student M.A.D.
Students Rising Above to Make a Difference
Often we hear about students not completing school or not taking advantage of their education while they are in school. “A new report from the Department of Education shows that high school graduation rates are at their highest level since 1974. According to the report, during the 2009-10 school year, 78.2 percent of high school students nationwide graduated on time, which is a substantial increase from the 73.4 percent recorded in 2005-6. The report shows that graduation rates were up for all ethnic groups in 2010, and that the rate for Hispanic students has jumped almost 10 points since 2006.” (Brenchley, 2013)
UCAN of Memphis is aware this does not apply to all students in school and we want to highlight those rising students in middle and high school that are still in school and making a difference. This is why we are promoting Rising Student M.A.D. (Rising Student Making A Difference) Rising Student M.A.D. gives the community, teachers, parents and their peers the opportunity to nominate a student who has made a difference in the community, at school, or even at home helping their family to strive to change. Students are often embraced as juvenile delinquency only because they don’t have the right guidance. With Rising Student M.A.D. you will see these students are the opposite and have been willing to change their environment by making a difference.
Each month we will spotlight the winner of Rising Student M.A.D. on our website www.ucanofmemphis.org, media and other social sites. The student will also volunteer with the organization representing Rising Student M.A.D. At the end of the year, we will have all Rising Student M.A.D. attend our Christmas Gala December 20, 2014 at Wingate by Wyndham. Only one of the Rising Student M.A.D. will be honored a scholarship for college of their choice! Deadline to nominate a Rising Student M.A.D is the 27th of each month. The winner will be announced and featured on ucnaofmemphis.org at the end of each month. Send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nominate a student today!
Rising Student M.A.D. Nomination Form
Grade at school:
What has this student done to qualify for Rising Student M.A.D. (Rising Student Making a Difference)?
Signature of person nominating Nominee