YOUTH AND FAMILY INITIATIVE PROGRAM
Program Description and Goals
MHCDO recognizes the need to engage our youth in wholesome activities and is seeking ways to bring youth and families together under our Youth and Family Initiative Program.
Our goals are as follows:
- To improve the social and emotional development of youth through family togetherness;
- To teach the avoidance of risk-taking behavior; and
- To increase academic, athletic, artistic or social skills.
Program StrategyOur approach is just a little different. We want to change behavior by exposing Ward 7 youth to hopes and dreams beyond the neighborhood and beyond the street where they live.
We have partnered with the First Baptist Church of Minnesota Avenue located at 3440 Minnesota Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20019, Pastor Dr. Harold N. Brooks, Jr. - http://fbc-dc.org/pastor.html - to provide structured activities and opportunities for our youth.
In January 2012, a community forum was held at the First Baptist Church to strategize on ways to engage the youth and their families. As a result of the forum, we have begun to sponsor great events and the children and parents are demanding more activity. Through these activities we have attracted other partners such as Potomac Job Corp, Alabama Avenue IHOP, the Boys and Girls Club, Concerned Black Men, and some others.
The first event was an Ice Cream Social held on April 13, 2012. Over 50 youth and parents attended. There was standing room only. This event was centered on encouraging youth to examine the world of cooking and preparing a family meal. Potomac Job Corp students from Ward 7 and 8 demonstrated the art of making omelets and IHOP took them on an imaginary journey of culinary arts in an IHOP kitchen. The goal of this event is to teach youngsters the joy of being a chef (new job experience) and preparing meals at home. Click here for pictures of the event.
The second event was exciting. We took 23 youth between the ages of 8 to 14 and 8 parents to Joint Air Force Day at Andrews Air Force Base on May 19, 2012. The goal of this event was to expose youth and family to events outside of the neighborhood, to teach patriotism, to experience the military in action, and to widen their dreams of the possibility of becoming a pilot or join the military. Click here for pictures of the event.
- Studying and cleaning up the Anacostia
- Exploring the National Parks located in Ward 7
- Exploring the mountains of Western Maryland on a historic ride through Washington and Garret County (The Cumberland Gateway) or a trip along the Great Chesapeake Watershed
- Community Day sponsored by First Baptist Church, an old fashion family picnic, talent show for youth, and distribution of school supplies.
Another component of the Youth and Family Initiative Program is the award of college scholarships to deserving youth in the community. For years MHCDO has awarded college scholarships to youth and we currently are providing scholarships to four (4) students who will graduate in 2013. We track and monitor the student's matriculation throughout their college experience and interact with their parents and provide advice and guidance as needed. Click here to read more about our College Scholarship Recipients.