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A message from our president:
Hello, my name is Julious George and I am president and co-founder of Young Generation Movement. I want to thank you for taking the time to come to our website and in particular thank you for clicking the "Donate" link. I beg your endulgence and ask you to please read this entire message in order that you'll better understand why giving to this organization is both important and rewarding.
I want to tell you a story about how and why this organization was founded. It was in late winter of 2012. I was on the bus headed home from a long day's work. I was sitting there nodding off when a woman boarded the bus and sat down next to me. I didn't really pay much attention to her but after a couple of minutes, as the bus started off on its journey again, the lady looked at me and said, "Excuse me, aren't you Julious"? I glanced over at her curiously trying to see if I recognized her, and I seemed to remember her face but couldn't quite place it. "Yes ma'am", I answered, "I'm Julious." She grinned ear to ear and reached to embrace me saying, "Boy, give me a hug. You don't remember me do you?" Before I could answer her she continued, "I'm Mrs. Wright. Sally Wright. I live off Hollywood road just around the corner from you. You used to visit my daughter Jenn." That's when the light came on and I realized who she was. I was delighted to see her. I recognized her smile. I remembered her always having a smiling face. We exchanged pleasantries and she asked me about my family, how things were going and all. Then I asked her about Jenn. Here is where the story gets interesting.
She said, "Baby, I don't know where Jenn is. I haven't seen her in years". A very sad look came to her face. She turned away. I knew there must have been tears in her eyes. I touched her shoulder, "Oh, I'm so sorry Ms Wright", I said. In a minute or two she composed herself and continued, "It's ok Julious, I'm fine. I wish I had some kind of news about my daughter but you know, we just have to leave such things in God's hands and know everything will turn out fine. She did leave me with two beautiful grandchildren though. We call the oldest RayRay. He's named Raymond, after his father. And right now, RayRay is my biggest concern". Ms Wright went on to tell me that she had to leave work early to go down to the police station because RayRay had been picked up at Target shoplifting and she needed to find some kind of way to help him out of this situation. She went on to tell me about all of the issues she was experiencing with RayRay and how day after day it's always something going on with this kid. She felt as though she was at the end and that there was just nothing she could do. She was so desperate that she was even considering just letting him stay in jail because if she got him out he'd only continue to do bad things and make bad choices. He was barely 14 years old, so imagine what lay ahead for this boy as an adult.
Watch this video to learn what funding Y G Movement does for the community
The story she told me resonated with me because I too had been a RayRay. I too had hung out with the wrong crowd and caused my mom so much grief. I too had needed saving. Were it not for the kindness and caring of a mentor, I too might have been left to rot in jail. Instead, someone took the time to care about what happened to me; to care about what my mom was going through; to care whether or not I had a future. I knew I had to help her. It was destiny calling. I knew it was my turn to give back.
In that very moment, the initial ideas for Young Generation Movement were being formulated. I knew what neighborhood I'd come from. I knew the types of hurdles and barriors RayRay faced because he was from that same neighborhood. I knew that without some kind of positive intervention he was probably doomed. I knew I wanted to see Ms Wright smile again. RayRay became the first beneficiary of this movement.
So what does YG Movement do for youth on the fringes? Plain and simple, we get down in the trenches with them. We get our hands dirty. When I first started this organization I realized that what I was wanting to do was not entirely new. There are some organizations out there that help these kids. But they usually don't get to them until after they leave the juvenile justice system. I wanted to get to them before they reached the DJJ. The only way to do that is to get out there in the streets where they are. Get to know them and get to know their friends. All of our programs are therefore designed around making them feel comfortable with us, the community and with themselves. We share similar life experiences with these kids. We understand their troubles and we can certainly draw from our own life experiences in order to better help them cope and triumph. These kids know that. They sense it. And they appreciate it.
Since RayRay, over 125 boys and girls have come into our program. Though with varying degress of success, I'm happy to say we've been able to help each and every one of them. But there is so much more that we need to do to help these kids and so many more kids that need our help. The good thing is we have the will and know-how to accommodate doing more. The sad thing is that it requires a lot more resouces than we currently have available to us. RayRay was able to take advantage of the help we provided. He was able to turn his life around and make his grandmother proud. But unfortunately, not all of his “friends” could. Not because they didn't want to, but because there simply wasn't opportunity for them to do so. Now, you might not be able to understand this connection, but it because we did not have the resouces to help RayRay's friends that ultimately RayRay was killed by gang violence. Walking home from school one evening RayRay was shot dead by a group of boys who quite frankly hated that he was moving on without them and making something better of himself. He said NO to them, and they didn't like it. Had we had the resouces available to us at the time, each of those boys likely would have been a part of the YGM program.
We have had our successes as well. You'll be happy to know that RayRay's younger brother is also a YGM beneficiary now. He has made great strides toward staying on the straight and narrow. He has stayed out of trouble, made excellent grades and has now gone on to college. We now have kids knocking on our doors asking to be a part. These boys and girls are desperate for opportunity. They want to do well. All they need is a chance and a little bit of guidance. YGM stands ready to provide that guidance and afford them with the opportunities they seek.
Reaching out to new kids is often difficult when these kids lack previous exposure to this movement. So, we now rely on the kids already a part of the program to help us reach their friends and aquaintances. We rely on word-of-mouth from within the communities in which we operate. Whether that be kid to kid or parent to parent. Most often kids will bring friends into the program. But we do have many occassions when frustrated and worried parents are actively seeking help and through some mechanism they hear about Y G Movement and the great work we're doing and they contact us seeking our assistance. We'd like to make this organization even more accessible. We are seeking to purchase a new headquarters and we're hoping to be able to advertise our presence at some point. But accessiblity is paramount.
Y G Movement needs to grow. We need the ability to reach more and more kids. I dream of the day that we've grown so big that the only way to grow would be to shrink. Sounds contrary, but it is not. You see, when that day arrives, it would mean that there are so few kids out there needing the type of assistance that we provide that we can then reduce the size of the organization and dedicate more resources to community maintenance and awareness. Not saving so many troubled kids, but rather, celebrating the new reality that there are so fewer kids needing to be saved. That dream is achievable. But it will require hard work and unrelenting effort and perseverance. And it will require funding.
So I ask you today, please click the GoFundMe link and donate whatever the spirit touches you to give. Remember, every donation helps. And thank you from all of us at Young Generation Movement.
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