Future Kings Mentoring

To cultivate and develop male-identifying black youth into realizing they are Future Kings.

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Written by

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

June 6, 1998

Help us stay in touch!

412 657 7157 3406 Iowa Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

future__kings

Date You Started Your Project Started

February 11, 2019

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The problem that we are working to solve is the long-lasting mental-crippling effect created by the historically prejudiced misrepresentation of what it means to be a black man in America. These problems exist due to the unaddressed social impacts that American Slavery, Jim Crow laws, and Mass Incarceration has had on the black community. If this problem is not addressed, then the generational cycle of mental genocide will continue to perpetuate.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Future Kings Mentoring aims to create open-minded and well-rounded young men that stand united in America to conquer racial inequity. We will provide a discussion based forum that through mentoring and research activities, black men in the community will gain confidence in their future and capabilities. Future Kings will also obtain guidance helping them to build their own business and/or career opportunities.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Reflecting on 20+ years of experience, Terrell, Sean, and Isreal learned how they got to a place of not feeling trapped in a cycle. With hope and life being ripped from others like them, this was undoubtedly a challenge. At some point in our early lives, we found ourselves in situations that exposed the harsh realities of our society. Some hardships are watching the kids we play with go to jail at young ages and being afraid during daily activities in our own neighborhoods. Thankfully, we found spaces that gave us hope for the future by showing us better than the struggles we knew. We are anomalies and our stories are not the norm for others with our background. Future Kings Mentoring exists to be that greater place in the Pittsburgh community to make our experience the standard. We want to reject the narrative handed to us, and leave a legacy of hope, opportunity, and holistic wellness.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

In unison, a collective of students rises and repeats the mission statement for Future Kings Mentoring - To cultivate and develop male-identifying black youth into realizing they are Future Kings - young successful leaders in their careers, in their communities, and in their worlds. Instead of saying these words with monotony as they might when reading aloud in their classroom, this group of students utters the mission with pride and ownership. They have open conversations about their lives within their diverse group, enabling them to discover the lessons hidden in life’s “Ls.” Breaking down and discussing current events helps them successfully identify positive and negative qualities in the world around them. Dissecting these events and sharing their opinions develops transferable skills like public speaking and critical thinking as well as increasing confidence in themselves.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Future Kings Mentoring aims at creating holistic wealth, as many programs focus on a specific aspect of a student’s development. We plan to focus on the student’s self-image first, and then show that when they are successful within themselves, then they can be successful in other aspects of life as well. Our meetings with the students will be discussion based versus lecture. Our students deserve a platform to speak on successes, challenges, goals, and failures to be able to grow. Also, the founders of Future Kings Mentoring are closer to the student's age and therefore more relatable to them.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We plan to know if we are making a difference in students' lives by if they are striving to live up to the Future Kings Tenets, which will cause a growth in their mentality and therefore leaders are manifested. If the students are passionate about Future Kings Mentoring, they will share their perspective on what it means to be a “Future King: Capable of Anything!” Also we will know if we are making a difference by having a high retention rate of students in grade 8th-12th, an increase in secondary education completion, ambitious academic achievement, and passionate community involvement.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

For Future Kings Mentoring, our goals are to: - Becoming an established Changemaker - Establish Future Kings Mentoring as a legal 501(c)(3), - Earn grants/donations to fund the program - Begin recruitment of 8th-12th graders in Pittsburgh, PA - Start application process and acceptance of students for the program - Launch the first phase of the curriculum by Summer 2020 - Solidify partnerships with the YMCA, Samoht & Co., and other organizations/corporations - Long Term Goal: Establish a K-12 School

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Accounting & Finance

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • T-Mobile page or contact
  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Charles Street Area Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Photo of Erick Hughes-Hardy
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Growing up with these young men have also contributed a lot with my personal growth! These young kings have a plan & by all means are going to achieve their goals.

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