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Hip Hop 4 Life Newsletter | May 2011

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A Note From The Executive Director
Greetings and welcome to this month's installment of The Message, Hip Hop 4 Life's newsletter that keeps you abreast on the happenings of the organization. As we celebrate our 8th year of “providing interactive life skills training and health awareness workshops that are designed to engage, educate and empower young people to lead extraordinary lives,” we are excited about what the next eight years has in store for Hip Hop 4 Life.

We are thrilled to welcome three new staff members to the Hip Hop 4 Life family; Asia Sutherland who joins us as Coordinator of Programs and Events and Raoul Marques and Brian Chambers, Program Coordinators for Hip Hop 4 Life's Empowerment Team.  Words can not express how happy we are to have them on board as they have already made such a huge impact on the organization!

On behalf of our Board of Directors, Staff, National Advisory Council and Youth Advisory, I want to thank all of our donors, supporters, volunteers, champions and friends for supporting our mission, our vision and our purpose. Whether you’ve blessed us with your money, your time, your advice, your prayers, goods, resources or your endorsements, you have played a key role in the growth of this dynamic organization that started back in 2003 in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn with just one small program.  It is truly because of you that we have been able to serve the youth of America for the last 8 years and continue to Engage, Educate and Empower! THANK YOU!

With Appreciation,

Tamekia Flowers-Holland
Founder/Executive Director


Read the full post on our website
Empowerment Team:

A Day at ESPN with David Preschlack and Justin Connolly
Recently, the Empowerment Team had the opportunity to visit the New York City ESPN office on two occasions! The teens met with David Preschlack, Executive Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing and Justin Connolly, Senior Vice President of National Accounts.  The teens chatted with Mr. Connolly and Mr. Preschlack about high school and college background, the goals they set for themselves in high school, their career path, day to day tasks and job perks, and managing work and family life. In addition to this wonderful dialogue, the teens were treated to a delicious lunch and cool gift bags, courtesy of ESPN.  We thank Mr. Preschlack, Mr. Connolly, and Friend of Hip Hop 4 Life, Ianna Small, for a great afternoon. 

First Hand Journalism Experience With CARTER Magazine
CARTER Magazine is a quality online publication geared towards the culture of hip-hop and operated by youth in hip-hop culture.  Founded by Queon Martin and Datwon Thomas, CARTER positions itself to give youth a more educational alternative to media publications that promotes confidence and self worth while developing character.  Five of our Empowerment Team teens; Prince T., Ras Makonnen T., Myisha H., Ne-Ne A., and Shayla J., were selected to contribute to CARTER's second issue and learn what it takes to produce an online publication. We couldn’t be more proud of them and the outstanding articles they wrote and submitted.  To view the current issue of CARTER Magazine visit www.carter-mag.com/magazine.  We thank “Team CARTER” for this opportunity and look forward to a long lasting relationship

Deutsche Bank: An Evening of Personal Finance Education
Promoting financial education is part of Hip Hop 4 Life’s curricula. What better way to learn about personal finance than by the executives of Deutsche Bank, a leading global investment bank. The Empowerment Team had the opportunity to visit the New York office of Deutsche Bank and receive a presentation about finance by Deutsche Bank executives Ayisha Devonish and Terrence Rogers and BNY Mellon executive Ryan Pressley.  The teens were educated on banking, budgeting, and investing. The teens were truly excited about what they learned. Thank you to our Board Member, Melissa Pressley, for coordinating a wonderful session. For more information on Deutsche Bank, please visit: www.DeutscheBank.com

Youth Development:

Growth and Expansion
The 2010-2011 school year has been an exciting one for Hip Hop 4 Life thus far.  We’ve had the pleasure to provide our Shades of Beauty, ManUP! and The Rhythm clubs to 10 schools and one temporary housing shelter in Brooklyn, New York.  Just recently, we added a leadership skills development club in Franklin K. Lane H.S. and a Shades of Beauty club in Brooklyn Bridge Academy H.S.  In the coming months, we look to expand our services to District 75 and other schools throughout New York City!  We will be making an exciting announcement in our June newsletter that will make achieving this goal a reality. Stay Tuned!

The Shades of Beauty Club at H.S. for Global Citizenship (HGSC) Honors Today’s Women!
For their cumulating project, the young ladies of our Shades of Beauty club at HSGC in Brooklyn put on a special women’s month assembly sponsored by Hip Hop 4 lIfe.  In addition to a profound and conversation-provoking performance by the Shades of Beauty ladies, SiriusXM Radio host and motivational speaker Déjà Vu engaged the audience with a dynamic keynote speech and interactive discussion about key topics important to women, including career planning, self-esteem, and relationships.  To complete this day, the Shades of Beauty ladies were treated to dining etiquette workshop and dinner.  Empowering!

Hip Hop 4 Life's Fun & Fit Health Fair at M.S. 366
Hip Hop 4 Life admires First Lady Michelle Obama's endeavor to fight childhood obesity so we pledge to do what we can to support her mission! Therefore, Hip Hop 4 Life's The Rhythm Club hosted a Fun & Fit Health Fair at M.S. 366 in Brooklyn.  Approximately 200 middle schoolers were provided a day of strength training, step exercise, stretching and fun!  The event was such a success, we are looking to make it an annual event!    

Community Outreach:

Our 4th annual YOUTHFEST is coming!  Hip Hop 4 Life is diligently working on the plans for our annual event to be held in New York City on October 8th, 2011. This year’s theme, “Educated and Empowered,” will focus on the importance of school, graduating, and college/career readiness.  Youth from throughout the five boroughs and surrounding regions will be invited to attend this free summit.  YOUTHFEST would not be complete without our popular parent workshop, a free day-long session for 60-75 parents.  Stay tuned for more information.

Sexting Crimes and Teens
As cases of "sexting" increase amongst teens, state legislators are currently deciding on how to legally handle this distribution of what legal scholars are calling "self-produced child pornography."  On March 26th, NewYorkTimes.com wrote an excellent article about how some states are revisiting their child pornography laws and how they would charge juvenile offenders.  

For more information and to read the article, CLICK HERE.

BET & Hip Hop 4 Life  
Viacom and Black Entertainment Television 
Hip Hop 4 Life was invited by Viacom and Black Entertainment Television to participate in their VIACOMmunity Fair. We had the opportunity to meet BET executives and invite them to participate in an upcoming community service event.  On May 6th, the executives joined Hip Hop 4 Life’s Empowerment Team in an exciting arts & crafts project at Boys & Girls Harbor in Harlem. Together, they helped spark creativity in and empowered dozens of children, ages 5-10, to make Mother’s Day appreciation cards for their moms. The BET executives also served as role models for our teens, showing them that giving back doesn’t stop after they graduate from Hip Hop 4 Life! 

Kudos to Viacom and BET for making community service a company-wide commitment and we thank all of the executives that participated.  A special thanks to Debbie Douglas, Carmen Arias and Jennifer Pena for considering Hip Hop 4 Life!  For more information on Viacom and BET please visit www.Viacom.com and www.BET.com.

Hip Hop 4 Life is a champion of youth empowerment. Our mission is to provide interactive life skills and health awareness programs that are designed to engage, educate and empower young people to lead extraordinary lives. Hip Hop 4 Life’s three core programs that are offered are the Empowerment Team, a mentoring program for youth 12-18; Youth Development, provided to schools and community organizations; and Community Outreach, a program that involves executing and participating in community-based events. Since our inception in 2003, Hip Hop 4 Life has served over 10,000 youth throughout the country.
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