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April 22, 2011

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April 22, 2011

I served as a mentor with Elevate Your GAME (Grades, Attendance, Maturity, and Empowerment) for approximately 1 1/2 years and it was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Mr. Michael Freeman, the executive director, introduced EYG to a few of the members of the Compton High School Alumni Association, and after hearing his presentation, as well as hearing a recording of an interview with Mr. Freeman I found as I searched for EYG on the internet, persuaded me to get involved. I'm glad I did. By interacting with the students using the EYG guide each week, I have seen very shy students (who attend the after-school program voluntarily) transform from very shy individuals to very confident individuals when the EYG ended for them. One of my very shy mentees volunteered the next year to become a peer mentor! The very thorough lessons each week are current, and force the students to 'think', 'analyze' the impact their actions (or lack of actions) have on themselves and others. Another aspect that I love about EYG is the importance of giving back to the community -- the all-important community service project and the opportunity to gain work experience during the summer months. In summary, Elevate Your GAME is a very worthwhile mentoring program. Students are transformed, as well as the volunteer mentors. Not only do the students grow, but the mentors as well. The staff of EYG are to be commended for giving back, not only to the Compton community, but to the nation as well.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the transformation of shy students into very confident students.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add once- or twice-per month mentoring activities so more adults can participate as mentors.

April 19, 2011

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April 19, 2011

This is my first year with the Elevate Your Game program and it has been a wonderful experience for me. I am able to help mentor children in the same apartments in which I spent my youth. I am able to personally relate to the youth by sharing my experience growing up in similiar conditions, such as broken homes, peer pressure, and poverty. I feel I've been affective with the program due to my relate ability and response from the children.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My personal experience with this organization has made me take an active role with the youth throughout my family and has inspired me to take a hands on approach to help the next generation maximize their potential.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to add to the program success I would start an Alumi Association and I would make sure that I had many from the program come back to speak about their experince in the program.

April 18, 2011

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April 18, 2011

I have volunteered with this mentoring program on several occasions. One of the things I did as a volunteer was speak to the young people about my college experience. I have been amazed at the positive impact EYG is having on young people in the community. EYG not only keeps students focused on achieving scholastic success, but it gives students life skills that help them mature into successful adults.

Many of the topics that are discussed at the weekly mentoring sessions go beyond what students are learning in the classroom, and the mentorship given to each participant of the program ensures that no student fall through the cracks.

One of the best components of the program is the Summer Internship Program, where students get the chance to experience working in a professional environment. To be able to experience this in high school is especially instrumental in illustrating to students the importance of a college education.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My experience with EYG has impacted my life in a positive way. The interaction with the young people in this program as just a volunteer has inspired me to take a more active interest in the young people in my life -- since volunteering with EYG, I've also started working with the youth of my church as well.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide a component of the EYG program that allows students to express and share themselves through creative expression and/or expose them to different cultures and environments other than the exposure they receive in the annual Summer Internship Program.

April 16, 2011

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April 16, 2011

I was a mentor the first year EYG started at Compton High School in 2001. I had two 9th graders and one 10th grader. They were all mediocre to poor students but had great potential. The program was instrumental in helping these young ladies become better students. They are all successful women that are continually contributing to society in a big and positive way. The weekly meetings, structured exercises, projects & internship opportunities resulted in conversations & experiences that changed not only their lives but mine as well. One of my protege's graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in Psychology and is now a councilor for at risk youth. Another, who became student body President, is an LVN going to school to become an RN. My 3rd protege, who was a foster child, is now a foster parent herself. None of the young ladies would have made these accomplishments without EYG. I too have benefited from EYG. As a Software Engineering Department Manager at a large Aerospace company, my passion for mentoring, along with my experience with EYG, provided the experience that has allowed me to lead the mentoring program where I work. I have received awards at work because of my leadership in the area of mentoring. EYG has made a huge difference in the lives of many inner city youth.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a Software Engineering Department Manager at a large Aerospace company, my passion for mentoring, along with my experience with EYG, provided the experience that has allowed me to lead the mentoring program where I work. I have received awards at work because of my leadership in the area of mentoring. I continue to stay in contact with my protege's. I will be one of their mentors for life. I told them that when I first met them and I intend to meet that committment.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

In addition to the once a week mentoring sessions I would like to see academic tutoring added to the program. This, of course, might cost.

April 14, 2011

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April 14, 2011

My name is Moranda Glasper and I am a 21 year old graduating senior at California State University Northridge (CSUN). During my summer and winter breaks I am a student mentor, through a program called Elevate Your G.A.M.E., for a group of high school and middle school students who are African American and live in subsidized housing in the North point apartments in North Long Beach. I graduate from CSUN in May of this year, 2011, and plan to stay involved in this program for as long as I possibly can. Listening to these students speak on their everyday struggles confirms my desire to better the lives of African Americans and other minorities. Being their student mentor has helped me grow in many areas of my own life, because I realized how much I was taking for granted. As a student mentor in the program, my main focus is to raise their grades, level of school attendance, maturity, and empower them to bring about positive change in themselves and in their community. I strive to make as much of a difference in their lives as they have in mine by sharing my personal school experiences and encouraging them to continue pressing forward in all that they do.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally experienced the results of this dynamic organization by witnessing the growth of students interested in participating in the program and how after some students graduate from high school they come back to visit the program. When they visit they share their personal stories and how this program was a huge positive feature that impacted their lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do not have any changes that I can think of to help make this program any better then it already is and growing to be.

April 13, 2011

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April 13, 2011

I have been a mentor with Elevate Your Game since 2009. I mentor high school girls at Compton High School and have personally observed the difference this nonprofit, grass roots Program is making in the lives of youth in Compton, California. The Program motivates and assists middle and high school girls and boys to improve their grades (G), attendance (A) in school, and mature (M) in ways to benefit them and their community. The Program also empowers (E) the youth by encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions, and to realize their future begins now and rests in the choices they make today. The Program teaches the youth principles and values, which not only benefits the individual youths, but helps them understand their responsibilities to their friends, families and community. I can testify to the wonderful and positive changes I see in the youth who attend this Program, and we have close to a 100% graduation rate for those who stay in the Program.
One of the most special things about the Program is the humility and commitment of the Program's Director. You can see that for him, it is all about the youth being the best that they can be!
I hope anyone reading my comments will be motivated to help us out, by providing financial support and/or provide in kind services (we need someone to donate a new flat screen TV for our upcoming fund raiser) and/or become a mentori n the program.
You always hear negative things in the media about Compton, California, but believe me, there are many good things going on in Compton, and many gifted, talented, and brilliant kids who will blessing our country.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the youth improve their grades, attendance in school, obtain good work habits, make good choices, grow in the maturity, and become empowered to make good choices for their lives and to help others and their community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

seek a volunteer who do nothing but recruit mentors for the Program, and secure the services of a professional fund raiser to raise money for the Program because this Program needs to be in all schools including the elementary schools.

April 13, 2011

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April 13, 2011

My name is Ralph Turner. I graduated from Compton High in 1969. It seemed like hope, dreams and school spirit was great in those days. I have been a mentor with Elevate Your GAME for 5 years now. I got involved after I read that the dropout rate for high school students was around 50%. Then Elevate Your GAME was suggested to me as a means my doing something to change this trend. I have seen student’s lives changed dramatically because of Mr. Michael Freeman and GAME. I believe it is because Mr. Freeman has been divinely assigned to change the future of these young people. He leads by example. He lives for these kids. He prays for them, the mentors, teachers and leaders in the community. He challenges them to think highly of themselves, speak with respect to others and aspire to do great things in this world. Over the years, students have returned, some from the nation’s best universities, others from local community colleges to share with current students what they learned from Elevate Your GAME and how it has made a significant difference in their lives. I heard an administrator make the comment that he has not seen a better mentoring program than Elevate Your GAME. Do what I did, check out the website, talk to people, and see for yourself. If you like investing in the future, helping where you can change young people’s lives, get involved. Companies can allow students to work a few weeks in the summer intern part of the program. Individuals and companies can help fund expenses for these valuable experiences for our youth.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've spoken a weekly affirmation with the students. I've seen students grades change from "D's" and "C's" to "A's" and "B's". I've seen our Compton teenagers way of thinking changed. These young people are challenged to bring out the best in themselves. Many have returned to speak of their maturity because of G.A.M.E. Absolutely an outstanding organization and well worthy of support.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change the organization. It is well administrated. I would like to see more students take advantage of what is being offered. It would be nice to see this group receive the backing it deserves. There should be a waiting list for companies looking to assist promising young people.

April 12, 2011

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April 12, 2011

Hello my name is Arnold Carter. I am a Minister at Zoe Christian Fellowship of Whittier, Ca. I was a mentor in the Elevate Your G.A.M.E. youth mentoring program in the cities of Compton and Long Beach, Ca. I worked with students at Compton High School. This program was created by Mr. Michael Freeman, to help students that needed a little push to stay on track with their educational pursuits and also their self esteem. G.A.M.E. stands for (Grades) We help the students stay focused on raising their grades from one level to the next. We have seen student actually do just that. it has been a very good motivator not only in their grades improving but a byproduct has been that they feel much better about themselves and their ability to accomplish what they want in life. (Attendance) One of the issues that Mr. Freeman saw was that the students at Compton High School were having problems being consistant in their attendance in class. With the help and encouragement from a mentor, they showed a marked improvement in their attendance, which again helped them to see that they could in fact improve their attendance, which gave them even more of a sense of accomplishment. (Maturity) With the help of the mentor they are treated with respect causing them again to be able to see themselves as vital human being who have something to offer to society as a whole. They are held accountable by the mentor for their own improvement. As they go through the program, they see that they can in fact be productive citizens in their community. One of the activities that each of them are responsible to partake in is a community outreach project. Throughout the year there are scheduled outreach projects to places like Convalescent Homes, Hospitals, Homeless Feeding Programs, etc. (Empowerment) Wow I continue to be amazed by the reaction of these students. We've seen many of them go on to Colleges and Universities and do well. Some have come back to share their experience with the program and to give pointers on how to actually get into the college of their choice. They have also come back and helped with various projects.

I am really grateful for people like Mr. Michael Freeman who has the ability to see a need and not wait for someone else to step up to the plate but to step up themselves and swing for the wall. I am not a part directly with the program at this time but when I was I was so motivated by Mr. Freeman's work ethic, that I had to help him and do all I could to support his efforts. This program has been in existence for 9 years and it seems to pick up steam each year. It started at Compton High School and has now spread to a housing complex in North Long Beach. Many families have been positively effected by the Elevate Your G.A.M.E. program and I only see great things in the future for them. Thank you Mr. Michael Freeman for your unyielding tenacity for the good of the children of these communities.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Students grades and attendance improving. Seeing them develop a level of maturity in their lives and to see them excel in their ability to effectively accomplish what they want in life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Branch out into more areas in order to have more families effected by this positive program.

April 12, 2011

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April 12, 2011

My role was to be a mentor to young men gowing up in an urban community and attending an urban high school. We kept positive reinforcment and education on top of their priority list. There is alot of recognition for this yound adults in all areas of working in the summer with major companies and getting an early insight what an education can get them. We also mentored in being responsible young adults and getting them help if needed in any realm of their life situation that they were in to get back on right track. I remeber when we had a recognition/fund raiser dinner and young gentleman felt embarassed on account that he did not have a tie or knew how to tie one. When I gave him a tie and helped him tie it, the glow and assurance in his facial expression and body posture that he is someone important in this world was priceless.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the young adults graduate from high school and going to college with grants, finacial assistance and the determination that many had to be first in their family to graduate from any college.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make any changes, it is an excellent program that show the young adults that there people out there that really care for their success in this world. They are cultivating our future leaders of this world.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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