In the real world, I am trying to lobby for the empowerment of young people through various means. Because this is a broad statement and goal, I've narrowed my approach to this through a single system. Future Leaders Advancing Self Help is an initiative I've helped reinstitute in Philadelphia with OIC of America. It was created in 1989 by OIC, and through their collaboration with my organization Phresh Philadelphia, we've brought it back. The goal of FLASH is to bring civic and service based organizations together under an umbrella of community engagement and true empowerment for Philadelphia.
With strength in numbers, my thoughts are that the more organizations that seem to be unified in their approach serving youth, the louder their collective voices will be in encouraging this movement. The two components to FLASH, the initiative and the program, are simple.
We are ENTREPRENEURS who understand the value of community advancement as a necessity for the future of the people in our neighborhoods, our city, our nation and our world.
We are ACTIVISTS, standing, walking, and running for righteousness, equality, and justice under a united front that we build together through peace and love.
We are STUDENTS who know how important and equitable true education is, and that learning should stretch beyond the classroom.
We are PARENTS, showing our children virtue, morality, respect, and love through the construction of the mind, body, and spirit.
We are CITIZENS, consciously taking interest in our environments, ensuring universal safety, just legislation, and equity for all.
We are EDUCATORS, teaching the importance of history, HERstory, YOURstory and MYstory so that THEstory is less of a mystery.
We are HUMAN BEINGS and we treat each other as such.
We are FUTURE LEADERS ADVANCING SELF HELP.
The FLASH Initiative will gather more proactivity among youth, influence service, make community engagement easy and rewarding, and provide more productive citizens to the city.
- Get organizations to pledge to be to be Future Leaders Advancing Self Help
- Create online database for citizens to get involved to civic and service based organizations in their city
- Empower people young people through making resource connection easy
- Become a nationwide movement
The FLASH Program will instill leadership, collaboration and early community creation, citizen development and early involvement, and educate outside of the classroom.
- Educate kids on local, national, and international past and current events
- Allow kids to generate conversation and research information
- Challenge kids to make a difference through creating projects, business ventures, bringing awareness, etc.
- Have kids pitch their ideas as a group to Philadelphia officials, public figures, and organizations to gather support for their cause.
As of now, FLASH is only a few organizations short and a website away from reaching the mayors office. This is important because through gathering the support of the city's mayor, reaching to other organizations, the Philadelphia school district, and the many departments of the city won't be too much of an issue. The goal is that through the support of the city's officials, FLASH can gather Philadelphia's public figures, celebrities, greatest influences, and more to be supporters. The hardest part of this process will be to gather youth involvement, but if we can successfully gather the support of public figures, that shouldn't be an issue.