Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Brownsville Justice Community Kicks Off Another Year...Bigger and Better!

Justice Community has kicked off programming for the spring 2015 cohort. We have had an overwhelming response for enrollment this year, receiving over 90 applications from young adults, ages 16-24, from all over the Brownsville and neighboring Brooklyn communities. This year, we are excited to offer three interest-based program tracks that our participants can choose from. Each program provides participants an opportunity to expand their knowledge in the area of their interest and also receive internships that will allow them to gain real life work experience.

Justice Community welcomed Reel Works to their programming this year. The Reel Works/Brownsville Media Lab trains our participants to become media producers. The Reel Works/Brownsville Media Lab offers classes on all aspects of video and audio production.  From initiating a story idea, whether documentary, a scripted web series or a 30-second PSA (public service announcement). Reel Works seeks to develop the next generation of Brownsville storytellers and give them the skills they need to be successful.   

 Reel Works Group: From left: Amos Reden, Raquan Graham, Jonathan Smith, and Reel Works Mentor Bilal Ndongo

We are excited to bring back the Young Adult Entrepreneurship Program for the second year. This year we have partnered with Shayne Spencer, founder of Think Work Media, to provide business education classes to our participants. They will learn how to take their business ideas from thought to action. Shayne will teach them how to create a business plan and explain what it takes to have a successful business. The group will also go on field trips to various businesses to get more advice on building a strong company with sustainability. The alumni and executive board was given the opportunity to present their business pitches to a group of business owners and entrepreneurs at Columbia University's Lion Lab. The group received feedback to help them improve their presentations and strengthen their business plans in order to make their dream a reality. 

YAEP Executive Board at Columbia University - From left: Markal Walker, Roy Richardson, Tahmeel Marshall, and Quaming Boatwright

The Community Benefits track continues to be the Justice Community’s staple track. Participants complete various community projects that help to beautify and improve the conditions in the Brownsville community. Whether its snow removal or working on our Belmont Revitalization Project, the community benefit track can be seen all over Brownsville, making extraordinary physical changes. With the overwhelming response we received for the Young Adult Entrepreneurship Program, we decided to add a business aspect to the community benefits track this year. This year, the group will start their own landscaping business, offering their services to all local residents. Participants will also go thru trainings and receive certifications that will open up more job opportunities.

Community Benefits Group - From left: Kadale Tribble, Kymel Smith, Tisean Mack, Shanyce Johnson, and William Capers

This is looking to be an amazing year for Justice Community. We are excited to see all of the amazing work our participants will accomplish. Stay tuned!!!