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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Protect Yourself 1, Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Support, Nonprofit Management, Public & Societal Benefit, Public Health

Mission: PY1's mission is to increase precautionary awareness and individual responsibility with respect to HIV/AIDS through music, art, STEM and other media via educational events, programs and activities. PY1 strives to eliminate the taboos, myths and stigma associated with HIV, and to reduce risky behaviors and new infections.

Results: Since the SAFE2LIVE Program inception we have directly served 350 students in school settings and 500 children at community events. PY1’s Safe2Live© Program educates pre-adolescents and helps them to understand and identify risky behaviors, enhance their decision-making skills, and alleviate their fears. Safe2Live empowers youth with the information they need to take charge of their future, and the knowledge to make healthy lifestyle choices and changes. Based on our pre- and post- surveys, we can report that youth’s knowledge of HIV and other related diseases increased over 25% after participating in Safe2live. Since its inception Project Arrowhead© has served 320 adolescents’ at-risk youth from different organizations in Baltimore Maryland and Washington, DC: United Planning Organization (Providing Opportunities with Educational Readiness), Guide Program, Inc., Woodbourne School and Park Heights New Fellowship Christian Community; UMAR (Boxing and Youth Development Center) and Boys Hope - Girls Hope. The youth expressed satisfaction with the program and service workers and parents commented on increased positive behaviors of attendees.

Target demographics: Educate At-Risk Youth about HIV/AIDS/STIs

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100 At-Risk Youth scholars

Geographic areas served: Maryland and Washington DC, nationally and internationally.

Programs: Protect Yourself 1 has three complementary signature programs: Safe2Live Program – An HIV/STI awareness, education and prevention program that integrates dynamic health education and STEM skills acquisition in a student avatar-based virtual reality simulation. The Safe2Live curricula and content are certified and authorized by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Baltimore City Public Schools. Project Arrowhead – An award winning HIV and well being awareness, education and prevention program that incorporates health education, life skills and leadership development though horse husbandry, community gardening, nature education and physical challenge. The program strengthens disenfranchised youths abilities to achieve their potential through teamwork and collaboration. Be A Protector Campaign – A social media and distance learning campaign to promote environmental education and sustainability.

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was part of they're volunteer team and their programs were informative and entertaining at the same time. They captured the children's attention and left them feeling good about themselves.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I like new challenges and I am thrilled by the opportunity to launching innovating programs, such as Protect Yourself1 programs, dedicated to youth. In the French Caribbean Islands, there is a high level of unemployment among the youngest people, and the AIDS and drugs epidemics are reality. The Martinique’s population is getting to be the oldest of all French departments and there is an urgent need to educate youth to face those issues by using innovating tools,such as virtual reality, which are not yet developed in this part of the world.

Diane Heckel

Volunteer

Rating: 5


As a volunteer, I saw during Project Arrowhead program the happiness on the face of youth approaching horses and going over the fears . Also the organic garden and yoga classes left them with a sense of self confidence and self discipline in regards of the healthy choices they made.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering for PY1 because it delivers on all of its promises and provides so much for so little money. I can't imagine another learning experience for urban youth that matches this program. I am gratified when I see all of the students who participate in the program changing before my eyes when they experience nature in such a personal way - interacting with horses, learning to garden organically, experiencing yoga, hiking in the woods and receiving educational lessons on how to maintain good health and make wise life choices are all incorporated in a unique and memorable way. I am so honored to be a part of this program.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Project Arrowhead is an extraordinary and unique program for at-risk youth in Maryland. It is my great pleasure to serve as a donor and to help keep this farm and its horses in a position to serve youth in need of healthy and humane learning experiences. Not only is Project Arrowhead important for youth, but also for its mission to help protect wild horses. I donate to this project as I know that all of the funds are used to directly serve horses and humans in a healthy and natural environment.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter and contributor to this wonderful organization for quite some time now. As a member of the team at it's fledgling beginnings, it has been a joy to see the extent to which it has grown and the impact it has had on so many lives.

From the start, the concept of "edu-tainment" was at the core of activities and development. Educational Entertainment. Using the foundations of multimedia to create a bridge into the community to deliver much needed and potential life saving information. To create media that helped raise awareness about the FACTS regarding HIV, and to erase the taboos and stigmas that were so prevalent in the community.

Utilizing music, videos and graphics has an immediate impact. I was one of the earliest producers involved in creating that media content.

I am incredibly proud to see how PY1 has grown and flourished from those early days. And for the incredible support from so many individuals and areas that were inspired by PY1's mission and dedication to that mission.

PY1 has come far, but there is still work to do and they need YOUR help and support to continue this important work.

Thank you!
L. Battle
Multimedia Producer

Jean R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Project Arrowhead served youth since 2006 and has an opportunity to offer youth an extraordinary experience abroad through horses. As Project Arrowhead Founder, I am very proud to announce a partnership between our organization, PY1 and the Veloo Foundation. A project for an equine cultural exchange between disadvantaged youth from Baltimore City, MD, and youth from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As an entertainer having lost many friends in the music industry due to AIDS at the beginning of the epidemic, I decided to promote AIDS Awareness using music, art and multi-media. In 2004, I founded Protect Yourself 1, Inc. to promote HIV and SDT awareness, education and prevention. Supported by the Board of Officers, the Advisory Board Members, the corporate team and the volunteers; together we forward PY1’s mission. PY1 is a community-based organization operating from Maryland, spreading its urgent message locally and regionally. Also, PY1 is utilizing virtual worlds; Second Life and JokaydiaGRID to network, collaborate and educate globally.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i first encountered PY1 when they brought their puppet show to my son's school. The kids always get bad information about that stuff, or none at all, and i was really impressed by how much he picked up from the show. I've watched them since, and a couple of other kids i know went up to their farm for the Project Arrowhead program, and really had a great time. I think they are an important part of the community, and i recommend them highly.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A fine hardworking little organization, always finding ways to care for those who need it most. Project Arrowhead is such a wonderful program, a giant breath of fresh air and community for kids from hard neighborhoods. They really deserve to break out and do so much more. Tough times for everyone, really glad there's people like this helping out.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

always professional and truly caring, PY1 goes the extra distance to really reach kids who need it most. I wish PY1 best of luck with developing their virtual world and game programs; as technology opens up new ways for kids to interact with the world and each other, it is super important to provide an informed presence, so kids can learn how to navigate the dangers of the world. PY1 makes this process fun!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

My experience with PY1 began in 2014 bringing a group of inner city students out to their Horse Farm to participate in their Project Arrow program.The work they do with kids through horse training,organic gardening and yoga provides a unique holistic approach to instilling trust,self confidence and good decision making in our Youth. Over the 5 years I have continued to see their work have an impact throughout the Baltimore/Washington DC region.

Pascaline W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is managed by a group that truly is making a difference in kids’ life. They are impacting their future in such a positive way - doing so simply, without wasting in overhead. Keep doing this fantastic work!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Protect Yourself 1 is a wonderful organization which deserves to be supported for their work with those who represent the future of our world. Their Safe2Live, Project Arrowhead and "Be a Protector" life-changing entertaining programs, have been beautifully designed to provide awareness to the most vulnerable populations, and education in the protection of our planet.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Protect Yourself 1 is a great program! Using horses for therapeutic purposes is ingenious and provides many with an opportunity to get outside of city limits, and gain an experience that many others are not privy to.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with the level of professionalism shown by the PY1 team. All of them have a heart to serve with excellence. Their approaches are innovative and relevant to a variety of audiences. We are looking forward to collaborating with PY1 in the future.

2 De R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the Youth Services Director for United Planning Organization, located in Washington, DC, I was thrilled to have our early high school students participate in the PY1 Project Arrowhead program. The content was far greater than what I imagined when we originally signed up. The incorporation of yoga, horse training, ecology, and art provided our students with an unimaginable experience. They enjoyed themselves so immensely, that we decided to return the following year for an extended stay.

Our first group of students has recently graduated from high school and are off to college. We've since established our second program cohort and cannot wait to reconnect with JAR (the Horseman), Monique, and others as part of our program offering.

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

Over the past year, I have learned a lot about Protect Yourself1 and the team there. There is a great need for the inner city youth to gain experience, knowledge and assistance. Protect Yourself1 and Jar make this a reality. We truly appreciate all they do for the community and look forward to growing our relationship throughout the upcoming years.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work in various diciplines with children and young adults. They would use horses, art, music or another animal such as dogs to work with kids and I saw how successful this was. PY1 and Project Arowhead should have places throughout the United States. There are so many kids that need help, need recognition, need to feel empowered in a positive way which changes their lives for the better. Many of which will go on as adults to help others. Horses and animals in general do not judge. They do not care what your background was or is, what color you are, what sex you are or your political views. Children are not under pressure to perform, they are aloud to just be. In watching this charity and it's work many of these kids would have ended up in juvenile hall or jail or worse. They have been given the opportunity to see another world free from gang pressure, sex, drugs or other substance abuse. And when they do they also find out how great it feels to see the world and their life in a completley different way. It is my hope to see PY1 and Project Arrowhead become offered worlwide and funded. They changes we make in a childs life today will become tomorrows dreams and accomplishments. Thank you PY1 and Project Arrowhead foryour outstanding committment to bringing change-one child at a time!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The children are our future and it's our responsibility to help guide them along the way. No organization understands this better than Project Arrowhead. This outstanding program helps to take at-risk youth and redirect them through the power of education. Young lives are being changed everyday through the tireless efforts of PY1. As a filmmaker, I look forward to the opportunity to document how Project Arrowhead continues to help do their part in changing the world one youth at a time.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned about PY1 last year when I met the Executive Director of the program. I took an interest in the program for at-risk youth called Project Arrowhead. I am part of a production team covering the great work that this program does in working with the children. They offer an invaluable experience to children who may never otherwise have the opportunity to learn and grow in the way that PY1 encourages. I look forward to a continued partnership and work with PY1.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am involved as a volunteer with PY1 through their Be A Protector program. By introducing life-changing information about wellness and health in an entertaining way the program engages participants from all walks of life to be responsible, to change their behaviors and generate the change to protect our planet. Great organization to support....

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a professional in the private sector and have collaborated with PY1 on an informal basis for the past several months. During that time I’ve been thoroughly impressed with their vision of leveraging digital and interactive technology for AIDS and HIV education. As I’ve also dabbled in philanthropic work I can attest as to how important this vision is, especially for the younger generation for whom digital technology is almost a native language.

I hope others will support and get involved with PY1 and help them realize this vision.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was very honored that Project Arrowhead program that I founded became a part of the Bme Community. Project Arrowhead program was selected as a recipient of the 2013 Miami Foundation Black Male Engagement Fund. This award provided scholarships for 52 Baltimore City youth to participate in Project Arrowhead and acquire the knowledge and skills vital to becoming future leaders in our community. Since 2006, Project Arrowhead has served 320 adolescent at-risk youth from numerous organizations. Future plans are to develop Project Arrowhead as a turnkey educational program of national prominence for at-risk youth advancing HIV/AIDS prevention and preserving Mustangs throughout the U.S.

2 Paterne M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Protect Yourself1 has helped us push our prevention program to the next level by putting our program in a youth attractive format. What is better than to find the right and best channel to convey one’s message to the audience? Thanks PY1 and keep up the great work…

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Protect Yourself 1 has developed programs designed to educate youth concerning the numerous issues concerning AIDS and HIV diseases, including educational and responsibility training Its team has designed state of the art interactive lessons that can be learned individually or in group settings. Their desire is to expand these programs to a much larger audience. Unfortunately, finding funding to further expand their efforts is difficult to come by.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became aware of Protect Yourself 1 when they joined the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life. They have shared information during regular, weekly meetings in addition to hosting in world events to educate and increase awareness of their mission and goals for their organization. They are able to share information and their mission with others around the world through using a virtual platform.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It has been an honor for me to serve on the board of PY1, Inc. I have seen the educational programs for prevention and awareness created by the in house staff make a positive impact on the youth in the city schools. More of this outreach needs to be provided to youth all over the world. PY1, Inc certainly has created a vehicle that works, via their diverse media presentations, that clearly sends a message to the youth. Lets plow forward to continue to educate these kids in preparation for a responsible and healthy future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are an organization that provides academic residential housing for at-risk youth in Baltimore, MD. We have partnered with Protect Yourself 1 which has given our scholars a tremendous awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention through youth-friendly technology. Also, it gave them an opportunity to have hands-on experience in nature (gardening, yoga, horseback riding, and overnight camping).

Joyce40

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the organizer of TechSoup's NonProfit Commons in Second Life community of nonprofit practitioners , NGOs, and those who support social good organizations. Protect Yourself 1, is a valuable, long-time member of this community, who have shared their best practices and wisdom gleamed through the amazing work they do. They have also hosted numerous networking and awareness raising events for their professional peers. They are a community asset, doing great work, and share back freely to the community-at-large.

fisoma

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Humanbe and Protect Yourself 1 are partners since 2013 to develop the Be A Protector Campaign – A social media and distance learning campaign to promote environmental education and sustainability, and provide community-level solutions for under-served, under-represented vulnerable populations to live healthier lives.

It is a great pleasure to work with the PY1 team comprised of professionals and share our goals to educate youth about a healthy lifestyle and environment protection...

Client Served

Rating: 5

PY1 is great initiative and I see complete team fully dedicated to the cause. I wish I could have been of more help to them.

Buffy B.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've helped the organizers of PY1 get started in their virtual office at the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life (www.nonprofitcommons.org) and they were very professional about all the little details to ensure their office was inviting and informative because they are dedicated to their cause. They are innovative and wanting to make a difference, and I know will be very successful in reaching their goal.

Tasha W.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PY1 is such an amazing program! The team of professionals there helped me and a group of students complete a SWOT analysis of their program. Not only did we find their program to be strong and fluid, but the connection and relationships we gained with them is unforgettable! Thank you PY1 for the great work that you do! Your community is very blessed to have you!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

PY1 is no ordinary non-profit organization I have come across.Being from Africa,and specifically Kenya,where there are so many NGOs working on issues concerning on youth education,I am confident to say PY1 has stood out for me as quite unique. PY1 exhibits that helping young people is not just about giving them information, but making them be part of what they acquire. For example the use of horses,appreciating the environment, use of social media for youth to share experiences, these are elements that guide the young people to appreciate what is around them. That life is not just about problems and what you don't have, but embracing what is around you.There are many gifts around us but we do not easily identify them.
Molding young people in different ways to discover themselves and that's how they get to identify their strengths.In this way,the weaknesses and vulnerability are overshadowed by the wonderful discoveries.That is what PY1 has taught me.To me, PY1 is a guide who journeys with the young person to get to that destination of total discovery and empowerment.
As a youth educator in a faith based organization, I feel blessed to be associated with PY1 and for being such a source of innovative ideas for educating young people.
PY1, keep building this vital foundation by educating the youth,as you will be securing a great tomorrow.

Renne B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Protect Yourself 1, Inc. is such an innovative and engaging nonprofit, as they have utilized immersive environments to educate and create advocates by actively participating in the virtual world of Second Life. Their staff has outreach that is beyond borders through community meetings, special events, and educational seminars. They are professional and passionate about how they help those with HIV and have effectively expressed the way we all are impacted by HIV while teaching us how we can make a difference on a local and global scale.

My experiences with PY1 have been with them at the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life and I have showcased their successes at many community events. They are an amazing team to work with and support! Please visit their virtual office at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Aloft%20Nonprofit%20Commons/236/169/24

beverlymjones

Advisor

Rating: 5

During 7 years, I was involved in PY1's organization as the Events Director. The corporate team is a small, tight-knit, organized, highly creative and motivated team of professionals working to develop programs and services aimed at increasing PY1's presence in the national fight against HIV/AIDS.

PY1 has developed programs such as Safe2Live or Project Arrowhead to engage youth living in high risk communities for HIV infection in the Washington- Baltimore corridor. The programs consist of state-of-the-art, culturally relevant, age-appropriate, and engaging educational productions to contribute to an AIDS-Free Generation.

PY1 deserves support and funding, the organization is transparent and is investing more than 90 % of their funding in these programs. I am very proud to have been part of such a great organization.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

My experience with Protect Yourself 1, Inc. as Events Director has been to organize events such as PY1 HEALTHSCAPE which is a great forum for PY1 to participate in the Community‘s efforts to make a difference in the fight against AIDS. Protect Yourself 1, Inc.'s partnership with church, government, community and business leaders enabled the development of PY1 HEALTHSCAPE as an Event that focuses on HIV/ STD testing, as well as other health issues affecting Inner City community residents. My role is to develop partnerships that PY1 HEALTHSCAPE will grow to have an increasing impact on many Communities and encourage positive health behavioral changes among African Americans from neighborhoods where the HIV infection rate is alarming.

John-Manuel A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PY1, Inc. uses cutting-edge technologies and innovative programming to provide education about HIV and other sexually transmitted infection to young people of color. Its team of highly experienced professionals and cost-effective programs let PY1, Inc. offer donors the most "bang for their buck." I have been working as a journalist and consultant on HIV-related issues for more than 25 years, and can say from lots of experience that PY1, Inc. stands out and is worthy of funding and a five-star ranking.