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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Elevate Your G.A.M.E. (EYG)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Community Service Clubs, Youth Development - Business, Youth Development - Religious Leadership

Mission: The mission of Elevate Your G.A.M.E. is to lift urban students (through mentoring) to higher levels in their Grades, Attendance and Maturity to Empower them to be leaders who bring about positive change in their schools, communities and the world.

Results: Today, Elevate Your G.A.M.E. is mentoring students and developing leaders at six locations in the urban communities of Compton, Long Beach and Lynwood. We have mentored 1,300 students since we started in 2002 and continue to have a 95 percent graduation rate. Our students have received scholarships and have been accepted to over 35 universities across the United States including: UCLA, Tuskegee, Xavier, Pepperdine & UC Berkley.

Target demographics: African-American, Hispanic and other urban youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 300+ urban youth/student

Geographic areas served: Compton, Long Beach and Lynwood

Programs: Mentoring program: mentored 300 underserved urban youth through its mentoring programs at six locations: Compton High School, Centennial High School (Compton), Dominguez High School (Compton), Cabrillo High School (Long Beach) and Lynwood High School. Objectives achieved: students were motivated to excel in their grades, attendance and maturity to empower them to be leaders. Ninety-five percent of the participants graduate from high school and enter post-high school education programs (college or technical school).

Summer Internship Program: provided internships for 30-40 urban teenagers from Compton High School, Centennial High School, Dominguez High School (Compton), Cabrillo High School (Long Beach) and the Northpointe Apartments (Long Beach). Interns worked at job sites for 3 weeks and received eight hours of job training. Objectives achieved: students were exposed to various careers and taught work ethnic and professionalism. Participating businesses included corporations, law offices, a dental office, and non-profit organizations.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was part of Elevate Your G.A.M.E. for 3 years during high school. This program helped me develop personal, academic and professional skills that I use up to this day. Thanks to them, I will be graduating from UCI in a few weeks. I am eternally grateful for everything that this program does and I wish that everyone could take advantage of their resources. Even though I graduated from Compton High 4 years ago, I still keep in touch with my E.Y.G. mentor. All of the staff and volunteers genuinely care about the students and put their heart into the work that they do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved in the Summer Internship Program with Elevate Your G.A.M.E during the first three years of high school. It is honestly a great academic program, giving our youth a productive and interesting summer experience. Businesses and government agencies partner with Elevate Your G.A.M.E. to provide internship experiences to the Urban Youth. These internships expose participants into various careers. These exposures essentially help students find their career interest, or even help prevent them from choosing the wrong one. I recall how a young woman shared her story during our summer sessions. She claimed that she wanted to be in the medical field, so decided to pick an internship at a hospital. She shared with us how she soon regretted the decision because she became very uncomfortable in the environment. She claimed she has a sensitive personality so she soon became emotional witnessing patients spend their final days at a hospital bed. Of course she realized the profession was not for her.
This program provided that young lady with early experience, self realization, and personal growth.


For my internships, I decided to explore the law and legal field. I ended up at a law office and loved it. I enjoyed the small amount of staff members and enjoyed being inside an office. I got the opportunity to learn about the legal procedures and documents. I even attended and participated in client interviews. Witnessing the attorneys and paralegals give legal advice and assistance to those who cannot afford and really need it gave me happiness and excitement. I enjoyed the internship so much that I took on a 3rd one in another law office. However, this particular office focused mainly on family law like custody, divorce, child custody, and child support. Unfortunately the office could not assist with criminal cases. I recall how on my first week I was asked to reply back to emails and mail. Since many of the letters consisted of people seeking legal assistance on criminal cases, my task was to reply to apologize on behalf on the office for being unable to assist and provide a reference number or email to another office who would be able to assist. As I read the emails and letters I became a lot more comprehensive and sympathetic. I noticed that many of the people asking for legal advice and assistance are just ordinary people who have made a few bad decisions that turned them down a negative path, and often convictions, and jail time. I also noticed how desperate some of the people were to get assistance especially if they could not afford it. I am currently interested in majoring in criminal justice, going to law school and becoming a public defender to help those who cannot afford legal assistance. These summer internship experiences are very significant to me. It opened my eyes to a career I have never previously considered. If I wouldn’t have took advantage of the internships, I would probably still have the wrong profession in mind. Discovering which career interests me really makes my life easier and puts my mind at ease. I have a major selected, a career planned, and have a overall plan.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Elevate your G.A.M.E is a great program for high school students who want to grow academically and in all other areas of their lives. Mentors are a crucial part in the development of the next generation. I served as a mentor in the program and enjoyed watching young people gain real life insights and learn how to navigate high school, college and beyond. EYG gives students the tools needed to succeed in life. The summer internship program gives high school students real life experience in various job fields. This experience is a great addition to their resume and college applications.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My high school was very small and intimate, and being apart of EYG helped to make that closeness familial. Not only did it nourish mine and my friends' emotional side, but literally nourished us with food.
The mentors I had when I was an underclassmen helped me tremendously when discussing issues at school, and helped me to foster my own ability to mentor as I became of age. EYG was one of many defining experiences of my high school career.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a freshman in college, graduated from Dominguez High Co 2016. The experience I had with elevate your G.A.M.E was amazing. It honestly helped me a lot, especially with my social and speaking skills which I highly lacked. I am thankful to have come across the program which not only helped me with that but also in giving me the opportunities to work (doing things I could possibly see myself doing) and learn how it is in the real world which not only is fun and games. I was very glad that this program had some religion into it even though not always but it really helped me grow spiritually too which is the best part of all. Thank you Mr. Freeman and Mr. Damien. Keep helping others with this program. You guys are the best

1 Deborah S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 Jamaul M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 Jaleesa C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a current Sophomore at Biola University, I was a member of Elevate Your Game and saw first hand how the program inspired students to reach higher. The relationships built in the program continue to have a deep impact and the lessons learned are still relevant beyond High School.

1 Laurie I.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board Member since the beginning of Elevate Your Game and every year as I reflect on the lives of the youth that are being affected by their work, my heart is filled with joy. Students in urban high schools, are being guided by adults and peers to improve and strengthen their grades, attendance and maturity, as they become more empowered in shaping their own destiny. They are learning that they possess the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical capacity to accomplish whatever they desire, now and in the future. They have a multitude of opportunities to learn, grow and give back through service projects. Best of all, they are able to pass on what they are learning to their peers. Elevate Your Game is a wonderful non-profit for today's youth.

1 moranda14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2 Mercedes R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a mentoree of this wonderful mentoring program. I started in this mentoring program my sophomore year until my senior year thanks to the advice of one of my closest friends. When I joined, three of my friends joined the program as well. Throughout these three years, I was able to improve my grades, define my career goals, and gain invaluable networking skills. As a result, I became my class valedictorian with the highest GPA. Currently, I am finishing my bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering from UC Merced.

Thanks to Elevate Your G.A.M.E., I was able to gain the skills that most likely are attained through internships. My first internship was at Xerox in the Public Relations Dept while my second internship was at Lerma Law office. Without these internships, I would not have been able to obtain my current job as a Student Assistant in the School of Engineering Dean's office at UC Merced, for the past three years.

As a result of my enthusiasm, I was able to motivate my two younger sisters of joining the program at Compton High. As the mentoring program continues to expand, I am positive that it will continue to impact the student's lives as well as the mentors.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 Ralph T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.