Community Activism: Leading the Southern California Mentoring Academy for 10 Years!
As I reflect back to June of 2006 when I first established the Southern California Mentoring Academy (SCMA), I recall that there was a lot of gang violence and murders during that time in Los Angeles County. The main difference between then and now is that these shootings have increased significantly and with all of the cell phone videos, these crimes are more visible to the public! In 2006, my first born son was 17 years old and I was afraid that he would either get shot and killed (because of the high incidents of shootings) or end up in jail (because of the poor choices he was making). Well, the latter occurred! My first born son's affiliation with the criminal justice system has been my greatest living nightmare! The good news is that God has helped me to remain focused and maintain my peace. God has also helped me to channel the pain towards developing my purpose which is to help youth and adults overcome obstacles, live with joy and reach their goals! My son regrets the poor choices that he has made and this is the first step in the right direction. I am hopeful that he will become the great man that God has created him to be!
In addition to personally recognizing the need for more community-based mentoring organizations in Southern California, this need was nationally recognized and written about in an article that was published by Essence Magazine in 2006. The Southern California Mentoring Academy was my answer to their National Call to Action to start a mentoring program in my area! Since 2006, we have provided one on one and group mentoring and leadership sessions to a countless number of youth and adults in both Southern and Northern California. We still keep in contact with many of the students we first began mentoring and they are excelling very well in college and in their careers! Contact us if you would like to make a referral or become a member during the 2016-2017 Program Year! We will be happy to send you more information about how you can join our leadership team. Together we can make a greater positive difference in the lives of those we serve.
Photography by James Roderick Reever