Please allow me to extend a heartfelt thank you to the individuals, corporations, foundations, teachers, parents, counselors and friends who have helped to enrich EYM's programs for more than 30 years. A simple thank you cannot do justice to the warmth and more than generous support you have provided. EYM could not have grown to its present level without your assistance. Your commitment to the success of EYM's programs and ultimately, to the greater success of our graduates and community, continues to empower, inspire and strengthen our academic foundation and nurture our programs.
As we all know too well, we have a huge challenge on our hands in our communities. Our Black and Hispanic parents are struggling to raise their children in urban environments that too often breed disillusionment and disenfranchisement. Our young students are having babies. Fathers are abandoning families, leaving children without strong, loving male role models. Our Black and Hispanic boys are falling victim to gangs. Too often day -to-day survival supplants school and academic achievement.
How do we create peace in our homes and communities? How do we save a child? I have identified the answer. I have seen children from foster care grow and succeed. I have seen children of drug addicts go off to some of the top universities in the country. I have seen boys who could have so easily drifted off to the streets instead find their strength and their focus. I have seen girls traumatized by neglect or abuse learn to believe in their own future and their own potential. The answer, of course, is education. And it is more than education - it is creating an environment where children are nurtured and cared for. Where we as a community of educators can provide stability and love; where we can watch children grow.
Street credibility or a college degree?
Too many of our modern-day youth are enamored by misguided media icons, and personalities who openly present a very negative view of an education. They say to our children that success is not measured by what you know, but by what you have. Thus, educators, parents, community leaders and funders, must combine our efforts and become one voice for all children regardless of income, race or gender. We cannot hold others responsible for the pathologies destroying our communities. We must be a part of the answer.
I believe, no I know, that EYM is making a difference. Our inner-city students are graduating from colleges like Stanford, Berkeley, USC, Spelman, Cal Tech, Xavier, Howard, and many others. They are entering law and medical schools, applying for graduate programs across the country. They are returning to EYM as teachers and as mentors. We are creating a generation of powerful young adults who know that the answer to our problems can only be solved one child at a time.
Ensuring our children's future is paramount and EYM makes daily strides to promote the true potential of our students. EYM is here to convince youngsters that learning is and should always be a lifelong endeavor. Education is not a form of punishment but a tool to enrich ones mind, spirit and ability to achieve.
My friends, the class of 2030 is arriving home from hospitals across the country. Let us change the academic statistics of our students and make certain that all of them earn a high school diploma and that the majority of them become college graduates. Many of you, who know me personally, know that my faith and determination is relentless. I know what we can accomplish as a team.
Before the class of 2030 graduates, EYM will have at least 21 new locations nationwide, supporting charter, private and public schools districts. So, as my kids say, let's keep it real and get busy!
Mrs. Angeles Echols-Brown
Founder / Executive Director,
Educating Young Minds