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Academic Academy

Youth Intervention & Academic Achievers Awards Program

”It’s not about career wins, it’s about real-life victories”

Non-Profit # 94-3370345

HISTORY OF ORGANIZATION:

The Multi- Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame (MESHOF) is a non-profit organization that was established in 2001 to broaden the public awareness and understanding of African American Ethnic History and the role of diversity and cultural tolerance in the growth of professional sports and to provide education, social and career opportunities for youth. Although the Hall was established just 5 years ago, yet it has carved out a niche for itself in many ways; it has more than 100 legends and 80 current players in support of its program; it has facilitated the awarding of (9) nine college scholarships to deserving students; it has addressed critical thinking and self-directing skills at eight seminars (over 350 students), which arms young people with the tools to problem solving; it has given students the chance for an education they otherwise might not have; it has addressed critical issues such as: teen pregnancy, education, drugs and poverty.

MISSION STATEMENT:

MESHOF is designed to empower and educate young people while honoring our heroes from the past. The Hall wants to prepare our young people to do tomorrow what our heroes did yesterday, bearing in mind that the game of life is played on the fields of learning.

 

PROBLEMS:

Our educational, economic, and society circumstances regarding performance of our children are dismal. Academic breakdown, lack of quality employment training and social skills has been found to be inter-related. The question of poor academic performance of minority students has gone unanswered for decades, but it is known that an intervention program that addresses critical issues might help improve the problem, and arm youth with the tools for problem solving, social skills, employment opportunities and assist them in becoming self-sufficient adults and positive role models. To fix the inequalities that plague our community, we must start with education. Many of our social problems—crime, unemployment, homelessness, is a direct result of the failure of our education system. Until we give our children the education they need to hold the jobs in our new economy, we cannot begin to cut these problems off at the source. A study by the state of California discovered that teens are more likely to engage in criminal activity if left unsupervised and not in structured after school programs. An estimated 1 million kids in California ranging from 12 to 17 have no supervision or after school programs three or more days each week, according to the study. And one in five of those kids say they did something in the last year that could have gotten them arrested, and nearly one in four said they were a victim of crime. By comparison, one in 14 teens enrolled in after school programs three or more days a week reported illegal activity, and one in six were victims of crime. African-American youth has the highest rates of poverty, homicide; foster care placement and high school dropouts. Latino youth has the highest rates of teen births and being overweight. The link between education and good health is well known. Another report found that one in three 11th graders had experienced substantial depression in the past year, meaning they felt so sad and hopeless that they stopped participating in usual activities for at least two weeks. More than 100 youths ages 15-24 are hospitalized each year for suicide attempts and about 11 succeed in committing suicide. Only 31 percent had high levels of opportunities for meaningful activities. Additional evidence is the introduction of a bill to begin anti-gang efforts in schools at an earlier stage…fourth to eight grades, or 9 to 13 years old. Improving school safety, ensuring that students feel comfortable, confident and secure at school should be a high priority. The workshops/seminars address pre-teen and teenagers within the community of students from high poverty, ethnically diverse middle and high schools. Profiles are: 65% African American, 5% Caucasian, 20% Hispanic, 5% Asian American, and 5% “other” (Pacific Islander, Filipino) 69% boys 31% girls.

SOLUTIONS:

MESHOF recruits its participants into the program based upon need, commitment and recommendations. The workshops/seminars are FREE to all participants. Recruitment is carried out through the schools, churches and other community organizations. Services consist of a variety of forms including but not limited to the following:
Provide caring tutors to assist students in improving their academic performance and equipping them with transitional skills as they transition to higher education. Anticipating the attendance of the tutoring program to be 15 students, we will match the tutors with a ratio of one tutor per five students.  Which allows the students to get more individual attention as needed.
Get students to recognize their unique power through Self-Development, Leadership, Health and Nutrition, Team Building and Community Building skills. This will be accomplished by providing quality instructors who has the experience and skills at working with at-risk youth and understanding the need of each participant.
Provide employment-training services, which will give participants the opportunities to seek career options and to explore the workforce. These workshops will be a significant workshop for the older teenagers and young adults.  These workshops will equip all students with resume writing skills; increase self-esteem, self-marketing skills, and ability to identify career opportunities, by way of Internet and in newspapers exploration. How to communicate on the job and address issues and concerns in a professional manner. Various employment industries will address participants to; give them a clear visual of what apparel is required to fit into the workforce as a decent well-dressed employee, based on the requirements of the employer.
Strategies in Decision-making and communication among peers.  Students will learn how to handle peer pressure by ignoring and avoiding negative influences. Understanding that they have a purpose in life to better themselves, their family and community, rather its career and/or education.
Utilize professional athletes, doctors (for nutrition issues), community leaders and members of the business community to exemplify these points during workshop sessions. This service will be used to attract and retain youth. By allowing professional athletes and community leaders to share their experiences with students, to be reassured that everyone can succeed rather being a professional athlete or cooperate businessperson.
Enroll the students in our summer basketball camp for boys & Girls age 8-18 to teach the importance of teamwork, meet new friends and keep them “busy.”

OUTCOMES:

Participants demonstrate the following at the end of the program:

  • Obtain the awareness and importance of education. Improved academic performance. Students grades are sufficient enough to qualify for scholarships, get into colleges where before they didn’t have the right grades to get in. Understand what classes are necessary to reach their educational goal.
  • A positive change in attitude toward self, others and things.
  • Increased knowledge of skills.
  • Greater enthusiasm for task performance and accomplishments. Obtain the ability to take on tasks in a team setting and independently to reach the outcome of the project.
  • An understanding of the criticalness of taking responsibility for one’s behavior and actions.
  • A clearer understanding of the business world. Understanding how businesses are established through education and finance.

Our Senior Services Vision:

We believe visits from their “favorite” athlete can empower older people from diverse backgrounds to choose and develop joyful, healthful and meaningful lives. We propose to have our retired “senior” professional athletes visit with elders to offer support and have them experience a greater sense of purpose as they connect with athletes from the past. We are building programs that include and engage older people and those who love them in an interdependent community. We have a special responsibility for bringing this vision to reality and improving the lives of older adults.

Cultural Competence Statement:

At the MESHOF we embrace the belief that cultural, social and other differences should be respected and celebrated. We have a team of athletes with extraordinary cultural competence who will provide the elders with “love visits.” This provides the seniors an opportunity to meet and socialize with athletes they remember seeing on TV and stadiums throughout the world and their needs are justly represented and their desires amply fulfilled.

The value and benefits of community services.  Become ambassadors of their communities giving back to their community, by way of setting good examples as role models, mentoring younger kids and sharing their experience.