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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

SPEAK

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The foundation of S.P.E.A.K. focuses on providing educational information and activities that encourage youth to become responsible, productive citizens, empowering them with the courage to speak out on issues that affect their lives and the communities where they live. With each letter of the word S.P.E.A.K, our efforts will encourage children to stay in school and understand that education is essential for their future. In order to achieve this, we must first help them to think positively and provide them the skills and guidance to achieve a successful life. We believe that Staying Positive Equals Amazing Kids.

Results: We spent a lot of time this year building our "Golden Ticket Intensive program" if you know of a business that would like to be part of this great program please let us know. Contact us for further information.

Target demographics: S.P.E.A.K. has also developed relationships with students in area colleges and universities in the areas of Performing Arts, Business, Communication, as well as other academic clubs. These relationships provide positive role models for our inner city youth, while encouraging the college students to join the organization’s mission and help young adults to strive for positive futures. University partnerships will not only benefit S.P.E.A.K’s development but will provide college students with experience that will contribute to their professional career development, such as Performing Arts students contributing to the organization’s presentations that actively involve K-12 students, teachers, and administrators.

Geographic areas served: The Philadelphia County and surrounding areas.

Programs: Presentations on Peer Pressure,The Dangers of the Internet and Drug Awareness. Golden Ticket Intensive Program, Shadowing Program. Community Service Programs

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

fantastic organization. always giving back to the public and community. We need more organizations like this one who truly care about people and their well being . They cater to all ages ethnicity gender and background. The nicest group of individuals.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dr. Douglas E. Thomas, PhD
dthomas@lincoln.edu

RE: Jeff Templeton, Executive Director of
Staying Positive Equals Amazing Kids (SPEAK)

This program had a tremendous impact on my son Myles Thomas who is a student at John Story Jenks Academy for Arts & Sciences located in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Staying Positive Equals Amazing Kids (SPEAK) allowed my son Myles to spend an entire day shadowing the Honorable Judge Giovanni Campbell at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, PA. Judge Campbell is on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. Before the court started, he patiently and methodically explained to Myles how the court system functioned and how he would periodically take breaks to explain the rationale for his judgements. I was more than impressed with how he patiently explained each case to Myles and why he reached a particular verdict.

This program should be in every school in Philadelphia. I wish I had the opportunity to shadow a judge when I was in the seventh grade. It may have prevented me from running afoul of the criminal justice system and being placed in a state correctional institute for juveniles. SPEAK is vital especially for African American male youth who as adults will disproportionately fill the cells in prisons across the United States.

I cried that night after leaving the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia. I did not know that men like Judge Campbell still existed in the African American community. Many are so preoccupied with their own lives that they have little or no time to mentor young black men who are dying prematurely in front of our eyes. We also met the Honorable Judge Charles Hayden who patiently spoke with Myles about pursuing law as a career. He spoke to Myles about the importance of African American men entering the legal profession and how he was willing to mentor him if he decides to pursue that career.

This was a great learning experience for both of us. I no longer looked upon the criminal justice system with complete disdain. After Meeting Judge Campbell and Hayden, I became convinced that light would eventually overcome the darkness even if it took a million years.

Finally, I want to thank Ms. Muc at Jenks for selecting Myles for the program. I also want to thank Mr. Jeff Templeton the Executive Director of SPEAK. Please contact me if you need my support.

Douglas E. Thomas, PHD

Author of African Traditional Religion in the Modern World, Second edition

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

The staff truly cares about the future of OUR children. They are dedicated and knowledgable and are always ready to lend a hand when needed. In fact, providing the children with Real-World experiences is what impressed me the most!
In addition, they are innovative, inspirational and guiding with the various approaches that they take with supporting the youth of today, but the leaders of tomorrow.
Thank you!
Katherine

3 Ang S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was Wonderful Working With Amazing Non- profit Organization . I have learned so much from foreshadowing state representative & councilwoman Cindy Bass ' .. The opportunities that this organization has put in front of me and has given me more knowledge that I have ever known .. that this organization has put in front of me and has given me more knowledge than .. So I would like to say thank you for everything and I will stay in contact. I will never forget you mr. Jeff Templeton Because if it wasn't for you I would have the knowledge that I know now about politics and then with the city and how much the people of our community has so much as impact wasn't for you I would have the knowledge that I know now about politics and then with the city and how much the people of our community and their voices has the impact to make their neighborhood and there are streets communities a better place ...

3 Shawnte L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Philly S.P.E.A.K is a positive organization which empowers it youth through positive mentoring as well as leadership. It is an organization which is devoted to empowering children with knowledge and guidance to be successful in life. I would recommend getting your child involved with this organization, or even volunteering within the organization. The gratification of being a part of Philly S.P.E.A.K is limitless.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a Guidance Counselor at Anthony Wayne Academy in Germantown, Philadelphia. I have worked closely with SPEAK for two years. Mr. Templeton has consistently been present and supportive of our students and makes sure there are plenty of opportunities for our students. His shadowing program has empowered our students to look into careers involving politics, law enforcement and social work. One of my students was shocked at how many resources there were for people in her community at Sate Representative Steve McKinsey's office that the people in her community are not aware of. She then put social work under her sought out careers as she graduates from Gratz High School this year and begins her college career at CCP. I look forward to working with SPEAK next year so that my students can experience more hands on experience while thinking about heir future careers.

2 Juan C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Jeff has always embraced positivity and change in the community, so I wasn't surprised when another worthy cause was realized and that he would be a major contributing factor.
I'm proud to personally know someone who isn't just talking about changing the world, but doing it as well.
I believe any cause Jeff Templeton is affiliated with is a cause that should be supported and embraced by anyone who cares about changing lives.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As the director of another like minded nonprofit in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, and a frequent collaborator with the organization in our community I have nothing but great things to say about the people and the organization at S.P.E.A.K. As a former AmeriCorps member and a lifelong volunteer I would recommend working with speak as a volunteer to anyone. If I were a parent in our community I would do everything possible to get my child involved with the good people at S.P.E.A.K. Again, I have nothing but great things to say about them.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Philly Speaks is an awesome program that focuses on the positive actions of young people today versus the negative which is so highly publicized through today's media. They are making a major impact on today's society. Keep up the awesome works

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

5 star works, without organizations like this ,a lot more of our children would be in jail or dead, thank God for this movement, looking forward to help in the near futher, keep up the good works

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Organization, information was very helpful. Thumbs up!!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization making a difference everyday!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Chef Kevin Evans of the S.P.E.A.K program facilitated a wonderful and engaging “Food Safety and Cooking Demo” workshop for the Upward Bound program on Saturday, October 25, 2014. The lesson was excellent and the dish was spectacular! The workshop was very informative and I have received great feedback from both the Upward Bound staff and students. We look forward to future workshops from the S.P.E.A.K program!

-Karletta Poland, Associate Director of University of Pennsylvania Upward Bound Program

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A great community based organiztion giving positive reinforcement to our future. They help kids to think for themselves through presentations at schools and community centers. They also run many charity events through out the year. S.P.E.A.K keep up the good work.

3 Chip F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jeff and his team came and spoke to our organization. His presentation was informative and enlightening. His knowledge gave our members insight that they previously didn't have. Our members can now go back to their families and spot a potential problem and correct it before it gets out of hand. Jeff's work, whether it is talking to people like our members or to today's youth, fills a vital need in the community of informing and re-enforcing core values, especially in our young people. They are our future and Jeff and his team are seeing to it that they are on the right path.

1 Dms P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Speak an organization that is made up of hardworking, selfless and giving individuals, working together to better our communities. Best of luck to Speak and keep moving forward making this world a better place. It has been a pleasure volunteering from time to time.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

So much work, so little time...yet Jeff and his team MAKE the time to work for the children in the community. SPEAK has been in the trenches, since day one, and I have truly learned much about what to look for with regard to drug usage and bullying. The SPEAK team are passionate with their delivery and sincere about their message. Their voice should be louder, and I am praying that this team finds a way to expand and expound. They REALLY need to be recognized for all of the work that they do. To Jeff and his team, please...NEVER STOP and KEEP UP THE OUTSTANDING COMMITTMENT TO WORK! God bless all of you...THANK YOU!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jeff and his crew are doing the most important thing anyone can do for our kids. With our current culture of movies, music and video games kids only see what they think is the glamorous side of drugs sex and rock and roll but the truth is much harsher and kids today need to see where the road leads.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

You guys do a phenomenal job, great to see you helping others!!!!!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In a time when the children of Philadelphia are overlooked and the focus is merely on the Economical and Financial bottom line it is great to see this organization take the time to help the children and the community by encouraging the children to stay on track and help their communities. When children are encouraged and inspired to do their best and be an active participant in their communities and schools it is a win win for everyone involved. The presentations that SPEAK provides to the schools and community are informative and enlightening. The fact that this group of people have taken this undertaking by THEMSELVES and asked for nothing in return is in one word...AMAZING. This organization in on track and hopefully with the proper support can be launched into a national organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When first hearing about S.P.E.A.K., I thought it was nice to know that there were more positive programs for our youth coming about. After actually being introduced to S.P.E.A.K. team members, and discovering what their goals were to support their vision, my perspective immediately changed. To know that there was a program that not only GUIDES our city's children, but educates parents as well was truly awe inspiring. From school presentations, to local community activities, S.P.E.A.K. truly reaches out and entrenches itself into the hearts of many neighborhoods. To know that such a program exists inspires me to not only want better for our children, but to expect better for our children. Thank you for truly helping us understand that Staying Positive Equals Amazing Kids!!!

Durron W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is very positive and uplifting in a time as this. we need more programs too keep kids positive and In school. I hope that this organization expands all over the world. God bless s.p.e.a.k.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Philly Speak has come out on several occasions to present at our meetings.
Each time, the audience has been engaged from start to finish and has always had many follow up questions.

They are a valuable non profit organization in our area that is having a positive effect on the community each day.

1 LATINONE

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I want to give thanks to the organization S.P.E.A.K. for the wonderful things that they are doing for our community. They are not doing it for any kind of monitory attention, but for the love of the our community's children. The children are in need of someone to guide them in the right direction. S.P.E.A.K. shows them how to cook, plant, improve their study skills and to ask questions without ridicule. A positive mentor is what children need and S.P.E.A.K is giving that to them from the heart and so much more.

I am proud of my friend, Jeff Templeton and his organization for the excellent work they are providing in his community.

God bless.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SPEAK is an incredible organization established and operated by selfless people who truly have the well being of our youth in their minds and hearts. Unfortunately, in our current society there are too many negative factors surrounding our children. SPEAK brings a positive light into the minds and lives of our youth. Teaching them how to make better decisions that will guide them to and through a better life. Instilling in them the belief and knowledge that they can make a difference and giving them the strength to believe that they will.
SPEAK is an organization that not only recognizes the difficulties facing our youths of today, but who voluntarily took the initiative to step up to the plate and take action to improve the outcome and direction of their futures.

Adrian5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SPEAK is a very special organization. They are passionate about everything they do and set forth to do. I believe that SPEAK has made such an impact in the individuals lives that they have worked with . I have had the awesome pleasure of working very closely with speak in mostly everything that they have done so far. We need more organizations and caring people like SPEAK throughout the nation. It's so funny how we as human beings can so easily forget and or take for granted the most simplest things in life. I don't think that speak realizes just how much of a difference they have made already with what they do; SPEAK reminds us of the importance of not forgetting. I only wish the very best for this organization.

1 Brianna8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for a lot of SPEAK's events and I have found them to be very productive and organized. The events went by without trouble, everything was planned out accordingly, and I had fun. I learned more about my community through these events and it made me want to do more. I meet different people by attending these events. SPEAK is a great organization that teaches people about their community and makes them more aware of the things they can do to make a change.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Speak is a unique organization that reinforces the positives in a child's life. It is extremely challenging for children today more then ever. With crime rates on the rise and all the devastating events going on around us, Speak continues to stay focused on helping Children stay positive by avoiding the everyday pressures of life that can cause them to make a wrong turn.
SPEAK believes that in order to create better communities and a better world, we need to be there for our children support them and teach them so that they can grow to become productive individuals in society,. creating a brighter future for everyone. Speak helps children battle peer pressures so that they can use better judgment and steer clear of violent behaviors and crime. Speak also has a drug awareness presentation that is vital to parents and educators so that they can recognize the behaviors and language our kids are being exposed too. I am proud to be a member of this amazing organization! Thank you!

1 Claudette M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SPEAK is an excellent organization that is driven by excellent, genuine, and humbled people who seek the betterment of our youth and educating parents as well. I love to volunteer whenever possible because of their purpose and vision.

1 Aaron36

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Inspiring a child is one of the greatest attributes a parent or an adult can have. During my time at SPEAK, I have truly been encouraged by the effects of our programs. What I believe that we REALLY represent is a bridge that brings parents and children closer together while building awareness. This is essential to any family's life.